In Illinois, there are several circumstances under which a partner can sue another partner (Battles v. LaSalle Nat. Bank, 240 Ill.App.3d 550 (1992))(In re Ascher, 141 B.R. 652 (1992)(Hux v. Woodcock, 130 Ill.App.3d 721 (1985)):

1. A partner can sue another for a breach of fiduciary duty, such as if a partner sells partnership property to a third party without approval from all partners (Battles v. LaSalle Nat. Bank, 240 Ill.App.3d 550 (1992))(Nussbaum v. Kennedy, 267 Ill.App.3d 325 (1994).

2. A partner or partnership can bring an action against a co-partner if the plaintiff’s claim can be decided without a full review of the partnership accounts. This means that if the issue between partners can be resolved without an accounting, one partner can sue the other. However, if such an issue requires an accounting, that is the proper remedy to seek under the Illinois Partnership Act (In re Ascher, 141 B.R. 652 (1992)).

3. The capacity to sue is determined under Illinois law, and a partnership must sue in the name of all its partners (Stotler and Co. v. Reisinger, Not Reported in F.Supp. (1987). In other words, to sue a partnership, it is necessary to sue and serve all of the partners (Gerut v. Poe, 11 F.R.D. 281 (1951)).

4. A partner may not sue individually to recover damages for injury to the partnership (Hux v. Woodcock, 130 Ill.App.3d 721 (1985))(Creek v. Village of Westhaven, 80 F.3d 186 (1996)). The lawsuit must be filed on behalf of the partnership and not the individual partner.

5. In cases involving a limited partnership, a limited partner can sue the general partners for alleged breaches of fiduciary and contractual duties arising under a written limited partnership agreement (Illinois Rockford Corp. v. Dickman, 167 Ill.App.3d 113 (1988)). However, limited partners do not have a cause of action for damages to their interest in a limited partnership as long as the partnership exists and has not been dissolved or liquidated (766347 Ontario Ltd. v. Zurich Capital Markets, Inc., 249 F.Supp.2d 974 (2003)).

6. A partner may maintain an action against a co-partner absent an accounting in certain situations, including upon claims involving express personal contracts between the partners, and also upon claims involving the failure to comply with an agreement constituting a condition precedent to the formation of a partnership (Hux v. Woodcock, 130 Ill.App.3d 721 (1985)).

7. Illinois courts may imply rights of action from Illinois statutes under certain circumstances. These include instances where the plaintiff is a member of the class for whose benefit the Illinois legislature enacted the statute; implication of the right is consistent with the underlying purpose of the statute; the plaintiff’s claimed injury is one which the Illinois legislature designed the statute to prevent; and a private right of action is necessary to effectuate the purposes of the statute (Bane v. Ferguson, 707 F.Supp. 988 (1989)). Continue reading ›

Yes, an individual can sue a college or university for a Title IX violation. The Supreme Court has recognized that Title IX entitles a person injured by a violation to sue for damages. In such cases, the plaintiff must demonstrate that an official of the educational institution who has the authority to institute corrective measures has actual notice of the misconduct and is deliberately indifferent to it (Doe v. St. Francis School Dist., 694 F.3d 869 (2012)).

Title IX violations in the educational context have been encountered in several legal proceedings. Examples include Hendrichsen v. Ball State University, where a student sued alleging a professor’s advances created a hostile learning environment, and Doe v. University of Southern Indiana, where a student sued after a Title IX committee found that he had sexually assaulted another student (Hendrichsen v. Ball State University, 107 Fed.Appx. 680 (2004)). Gash v. Rosalind Franklin University involved a former student suing for Title IX sex discrimination after his expulsion for violation of the university’s Title IX policy (Gash v. Rosalind Franklin University, — F.Supp.3d —- (2023)).

The Conviser v. DePaul University case expanded the scope of individuals who can sue for Title IX violations. The court found that a Title IX retaliation plaintiff need not plead that she is a university student or faculty member to have statutory standing. This suggests that individuals beyond students and faculty can also bring a Title IX claim if they witness and report discrimination and face retaliation (Conviser v. DePaul University, 649 F.Supp.3d 686 (2023).

However, it’s important to note that certain circumstances may fall outside the scope of Title IX. For instance, in Shannon v. Board of Trustees of The University of Illinois, the court found that an assault that occurred off-campus and out-of-state did not constitute “Title IX Sexual Harassment” and was not within Title IX’s jurisdiction (Shannon v. Board of Trustees of The University of Illinois, 2024 WL 218103 (2024)). But all off-campus assaults are not necessarily immune from Title IX. Each claim is different and a number of cases have proceeded even though the assault was off campus.

Furthermore, not all entities related to education are subject to Title IX. For example, the Supreme Court held in National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Smith that the NCAA is not subject to the requirements of Title IX merely because it receives dues from its member institutions which receive federal financial assistance (National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Smith, 525 U.S. 459 (1999)).

It’s also crucial to bear in mind that some of the legal principles established in certain cases may no longer be applicable due to their abrogation. For example, Delgado v. Stegall was abrogated by Doe No. 55 v. Madison Metropolitan School District in 2018, and Doe v. Smith was abrogated by Trentadue v. Redmon in 2010. Similarly, Boulahanis v. Board of Regents was abrogated by Trentadue v. Redmon in 2010. These abrogations may affect the interpretation and application of the principles established in these cases to current claims.

Lastly, Title IX, as codified in 20 U.S.C.A. § 1681, prohibits sex-based discrimination in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, with certain exceptions (20 U.S.C.A. § 1681). Continue reading ›

  1. Experience: Lubin Austermuehle has specific experience dealing with Title IX cases, which involve allegations of sexual discrimination, harassment, or violence in educational settings. Their familiarity with such cases can be crucial in navigating the complexities of both the legal aspects and the educational policies involved.
  2. Understanding of Educational Law: A law firm that concentrates on Title IX and discrimination cases, will have a deep understanding of the legal frameworks that govern educational institutions. This expertise can be instrumental in ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process.
  3. Advocacy and Representation: It’s crucial to have effective representation when facing a Title IX accusation, whether you are the complainant or the respondent. A specialized law firm can provide strong advocacy, ensuring that your side of the story is heard and that you are treated fairly under the law.

Yes, the Illinois Attorney General can sue your company for consumer fraud (In re Tapper, 123 B.R. 594 (1991))(People of State of Ill. ex rel. Hartigan v. Commonwealth Mortg. Corp. of America, 732 F.Supp. 885 (1990)(People of State of Ill. v. Life of Mid-America Ins. Co., 805 F.2d 763 (1986). The Attorney General can act under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFDBPA), and can take action when there is reason to believe that your company is engaging in, or about to engage in, any method, act, or practice declared unlawful under the ICFDBPA (People of State of Ill. v. Life of Mid-America Ins. Co., 805 F.2d 763 (1986))(People ex rel. Devine v. Time Consumer Marketing, Inc., 336 Ill.App.3d 74 (2002))(People ex rel. Madigan v. United Const. of America, Inc., 2012 IL App (1st) 120308 (2012)).

The Attorney General can file a lawsuit to halt deceptive practices without needing to demonstrate anyone has been directly harmed, a requirement necessary for a private plaintiff. B. Sanfield, Inc. v. Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., 168 F.3d 967 (1999))(Harris v. Kashi Sales, LLC, 609 F.Supp.3d 633 (2022)). Deceptive practices can include deceptive advertising or violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (People of State of Ill. ex rel. Hartigan v. Commonwealth Mortg. Corp. of America, 732 F.Supp. 885 (1990))(People ex rel. Devine v. Time Consumer Marketing, Inc., 336 Ill.App.3d 74 (2002)).

The Attorney General can file suit under the ICFDBPA when it appears your company has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in practices declared to be unlawful by the Act (815 ILCS 505/3)(815 ILCS 505/6.1). The Attorney General has the power to obtain and impose injunctions, and the ICFDBPA provides the Attorney General with the full authority to impose an injunction that can effectively tie up the company’s known assets. People of State of Ill. ex rel. Hartigan v. Peters, 871 F.2d 1336 (1989). They can even bring an action in the name of the People of the State against your company to restrain by preliminary or permanent injunction the use of such method, act, or practice (People ex rel. Devine v. Time Consumer Marketing, Inc., 336 Ill.App.3d 74 (2002)(815 ILCS 505/7).

However, a nonresident plaintiff can only sue under the ICFDBPA if the circumstances leading to the cause of action primarily and substantially occurred in Illinois. Irwin v. Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC, 175 F.Supp.3d 1064 (2016). The company’s headquarters being located in Illinois is not a decisive factor as to whether a nonresident possesses standing to sue under the ICFDBPA. Irwin v. Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC, 175 F.Supp.3d 1064 (2016).

It’s important to note that under the ICFDBPA, to state a claim, a plaintiff must show a deceptive or unfair act or promise by the defendant, the defendant’s intent that the plaintiff rely on the deceptive or unfair practice, and that the unfair or deceptive practice occurred during a course of conduct involving trade or commerce (Harris v. Kashi Sales, LLC, 609 F.Supp.3d 633 (2022)).

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Hiring Lubin Austermuehle to defend your company in an Illinois Attorney General consumer fraud investigation could be strategically beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Focus on Consumer Law: Lubin Austermuehle likely has a comprehensive understanding of consumer law, particularly as it pertains to the regulations and practices within Illinois. This focus on consumer law can be critical in navigating the specifics of a consumer fraud investigation conducted by the state’s Attorney General.
  2. Experience with Regulatory Bodies: If the firm has experience dealing with regulatory bodies, including the Illinois Attorney General’s office, it can provide your company with an advantage. Such experience means the firm understands the procedures, expectations, and typical workflows of the office, which can lead to more effective communication and negotiation.
  3. Defensive Strategies: The firm can develop robust defensive strategies tailored to the specifics of your case. This can include challenging the validity of the investigation, negotiating for lesser penalties, or demonstrating compliance with consumer protection laws.
  4. Preventive Advice: Beyond just defense, Lubin Austermuehle can offer preventive advice to help your company avoid future legal pitfalls. This includes revising current business practices, improving compliance protocols, and training staff to adhere to state and federal consumer laws.
  5. Reputation Management: During an investigation by the Attorney General, maintaining a positive public image is crucial. A law firm experienced in handling such cases can help manage the public and media perception, which is vital for preserving customer trust and company reputation.
  6. Cost-Effective: While defending against a consumer fraud investigation can be expensive, a specialized firm like Lubin Austermuehle might offer more cost-effective solutions through efficient management of the case, potentially reducing long-term costs associated with prolonged legal battles or heavier penalties.
  7. Personalized Attention: Depending on the size and focus of the firm, your company might benefit from more personalized service, ensuring that your specific needs and concerns are addressed promptly and thoroughly.

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In Illinois, a derivative lawsuit can be filed by an individual shareholder or a member of a limited liability company (LLC) to enforce a right that belongs to the corporation or the LLC (Silver v. Allard, 16 F.Supp.2d 966 (1998))(Pistone v. Carl, Not Reported in N.E. Rptr. (2020). The aim of such a lawsuit is to protect the interests of the corporation or the LLC from the misconduct of its directors and managers (Silver v. Allard, 16 F.Supp.2d 966 (1998)).

There are certain prerequisites for filing a derivative lawsuit. Firstly, the shareholder or member must make a demand upon the board of directors to enforce a corporate right (Silver v. Allard, 16 F.Supp.2d 966 (1998)). However, this demand requirement can be excused in certain situations. For instance, if the shareholders can demonstrate that the directors were aware of the misconduct but consciously chose not to act, the demand can be excused. In such cases, the plaintiffs would effectively be arguing the futility of such a demand. It’s important to note, as per Illinois choice of law rules, that the pre-suit demand requirement is governed by the law of Delaware in the case of corporations incorporated there (Wells v. Reed, — N.E.3d —- (2024). Continue reading ›

Retaining Lubin Austermuehle for a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit could be beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Focus on Business Litigation: Lubin Austermuehle has a focus on business litigation, which includes handling cases of breach of fiduciary duty. This specialization means they likely have a deep understanding of the laws and complexities involved in such cases.
  2. Experience: The firm boasts extensive experience in this area of law, which can be crucial for navigating the often complex legal issues that arise in breach of fiduciary duty cases. Experienced lawyers are more likely to understand the nuances of the law and how it applies to specific situations.

In Illinois, there are several defenses that can be utilized in response to a libel suit. One such defense is the doctrine of “innocent construction”, where a potentially defamatory statement is innocently construed, and therefore not actionable. Expressions of opinion are another type of defense, as they are not considered statements of fact and are therefore protected from defamation claims.

Another key defense to defamation in Illinois is the defense of truth. Under Illinois law, if the defendant can show the “substantial truth” of the alleged defamatory statement, this is considered a complete defense to defamation. The defendant need only show the truth of the “gist” or “sting” of the defamatory material.

Additionally, the establishment of a qualified privilege can also serve as a defense. If a qualified privilege is established, the communication becomes actionable only if the privilege was abused. The plaintiff must present evidence of a reckless act which shows disregard for the defamed party’s rights, such as failure to properly investigate the truth of the matter, limit the scope of the material, or send the material to only proper parties .

In some cases, the defendant can maintain a suit for defamation without proof of special damages only if the defamatory statement falls into one of four “per se” categories: commission of a crime; infection with a communicable disease leading to the infected person being shunned; malfeasance or misfeasance in the performance of office or job; and unfitness for their profession or trade.

Lastly, under Illinois statutory and constitutional provisions, when truth is published with good motives and for justifiable ends, it can be used as a defense to prosecution for criminal libel. However, both elements are necessary for the defense to prevail. Continue reading ›

Choosing Lubin Austermuehle to defend you in a libel case can be a strong option due to their extensive experience and strategic approach to defamation law. Here are some reasons based on their record and legal capabilities:

  1. Experienced Legal Team: Lubin Austermuehle has a dedicated team of attorneys with significant experience in defending and prosecuting defamation cases. This includes complex scenarios involving cyber defamation and First Amendment rights, ensuring that clients receive knowledgeable representation tailored to the nuances of each case​ (Chicago Business Litigation Lawyer Blog)​​ (Chicago Business Law Firm)​.
  2. Comprehensive Legal Strategies: They are well-versed in deploying a range of defamation defenses, such as the innocent construction rule, which can dismiss a complaint if the statements can be interpreted innocently, and understanding the nuances between statements of opinion and fact as they relate to defamation claims​ (Chicago Business Law Firm)​​ (Chicago Business Law Firm)​.

Yes, taking excessive compensation can indeed violate a managing member or majority shareholder’s fiduciary duties. Case law supports this assertion. In Fleming v. Louvers International, Inc., the court found that a majority shareholder violated his fiduciary duties by taking excessive compensation, depriving a minority shareholder of his rightful distributions. This conduct was seen as a breach of both his common-law fiduciary duty and his duty under section 12.56(a)(3) of the Act, and also constituted constructive fraud.

The case of Kovac v. Barron highlighted the defendant shareholder who had the corporations pay him and his wife millions in excessive compensation, which was then concealed by disguising the payments as “contract labor” on the corporations’ tax returns.

Similarly, in Halperin v. Halperin, it was held that the payment of excessive compensation and the concealment of the amount of compensation received by the officers were breaches of fiduciary duty. Concealing compensation amounts from shareholders could still constitute a breach of fiduciary duty, even if the compensation was not found to be excessive. Continue reading ›

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