Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our focus begins and ends with identifying your goals, and helping you achieve those goals in the most efficient, cost effective manner.

We have many years of experience representing companies, large and small, in jurisdictions throughout the United States and in every aspect of litigation and dispute resolution, from jury trials and bench proceedings, to appellate and Supreme Court arguments. Here is what you get when you hire a Much Shelist litigator: 

  • Experience & Knowledge that, combined with our practice-wide bench strength, enables us to focus directly on the issues and objectives of most importance to you

  • Industry Experience in construction, real estate, intellectual property, technology, labor and employment, post-merger and acquisition disputes, insurance coverage, and disputes with mission-critical suppliers, distributors and customers

  • Trained Mediators & Arbitrators are committed to the strategic use of alternative dispute resolution when doing so makes practical business sense

  • Responsiveness – you are the most important client to us 

  • Creative, Sensible Fee Arrangements

What Sets Us Apart

In addition to our more typical litigation services, we provide multi-disciplinary, coordinated counsel designed to help meet dispute-resolution needs more cost-effectively, through prevention, sensible billing and alternatives to traditional litigation.

Alternative Fee Arrangements

We are committed to open and creative partnerships with you, especially when dealing with fees and billings. As a firm, we understand the importance of tailoring our agreements to individual clients and their needs. We also believe that many traditional fee arrangements result in inefficiency. We prefer to develop service agreements that reward efficiency; for example, as litigators, we have developed numerous contingency- and result-based fee arrangements that align our interests more closely with those of our clients. These include blended, task-based, partial contingent and discount/premium rates, as well as retainer-based fees.

Litigation Avoidance Counseling

As experienced litigators, we understand many of the business dynamics and other factors that can lead to an increased risk of litigation. We work with you to review contracts, analyze business decisions, determine appropriate legal structures, review financial, vendor, customer and joint-venture agreements, and explore a broad range of other legal and business choices, all with an eye toward proactively identifying and preventing situations that may lead to future disputes.

Settlement Counsel

Although the vast majority of cases result in some form of settlement, these settlements typically occur after significant time, money and other resources (not to mention lost opportunities) have been spent preparing for trial and litigating. We offer settlement counsel services that differ from typical litigation in their focus on settlement as the ultimate goal. As settlement counsel, we do not act as mediators or arbitrators; rather, we are engaged by clients to pursue rational settlement strategies as a first recourse. In doing so, we take the interests of all parties into account, including time pressures, needs for privacy and the prevention of negative publicity, working separately from litigation counsel to develop innovative solutions.

Practice Group Leadership

Edward D. Shapiro, Chair
Martin J. O'Hara, Vice Chair

Attorneys

Jeff J. Astarabadi
Principal
Jeff J. Astarabadi
Principal

Jeff Astarabadi, a Principal in the firm's Orange County, California office, concentrates his practice in civil litigation, representing clients in both the prosecution and defense of complex business and real estate matters involving construction, insurance, outdoor advertising, trade secrets, unfair competition and employment issues.

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John A. Benson Jr.
Associate
John A. Benson Jr.
Associate

John Benson focuses on business reorganizations, Chapter 11 bankruptcy and out-of-court restructurings. John also represents individuals, financial institutions and corporate entities in litigation arising out of commercial transactions, contract disputes and commercial real estate matters.

 

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Steven P. Blonder
Principal
Steven P. Blonder
Principal

Steve Blonder is a valued legal and business counselor in a wide range of matters. As a skilled advocate whose practice focuses on complex business litigation, Steve has argued successfully before the federal appellate courts, and possesses a record of consistent success in motion and trial practice (both jury and non-jury) in state and federal courts and in arbitration. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries.

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Steven L. DeGraff
Principal
Steven L. DeGraff
Principal

Steve L. DeGraff is an accomplished transactional attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing entrepreneurs, developers, owners and institutional lenders in a full range of commercial real estate matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, financing and leasing transactions. He also represents real estate developers in all aspects of condominium law. Steve has extensive experience in a broad range of financial distress issues, which include negotiating and facilitating favorable results in workouts of financially troubled loans.  He regularly acts as an advisor to closely held business in connection with their everyday legal and businees needs.

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Folarin S. Dosunmu
Associate
Folarin S. Dosunmu
Associate

Folarin Dosunmu is a business litigation lawyer who focuses his legal practice on Chapter 11 bankruptcy, business reorganizations, workouts and complex commercial litigation. Folarin has represented debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, and other interested parties in restructuring proceedings and pre-bankruptcy negotiations, including financing, preparation of auction and bidding procedures, stalking horse agreements, motion practice, sales of assets, settlement negotiations, claims objections and review, and preference and fraudulent conveyance actions.

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Marissa L. Downs
Associate
Marissa L. Downs
Associate

Marissa Downs is an experienced litigator who represents manufacturers, financial institutions, corporate officers and directors, and other clients in a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters, including international and domestic contract, insurance coverage, fiduciary breach, securities fraud, contested probate, and product liability disputes.

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David A. Eisenberg
Associate
David A. Eisenberg
Associate

David A. Eisenberg represents clients in disputes involving construction and design litigation. David regularly advises owners, architects, contractors and subcontractors on projects ranging from upscale high-rise condominiums to retirement homes, and in matters involving construction defects, property damage, breaches of contract, delays and mechanics liens, among other issues. He has experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation, and is well versed in issues relating to the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, the Moorman Doctrine and the Illinois Public Construction Bond Act.  David also represents banks, mortgage lenders, and loan servicers in consumer financial services litigation with regard to claims under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and related federal and state consumer protection statutes.

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Scott R. Fradin
Principal
Scott R. Fradin
Principal

Scott Fradin is the co-chair of the firm’s Construction Group.  In his practice, Scott draws on his significant experience as both an attorney and a licensed architect (having practiced for several years) to draft and negotiate complex design and construction agreements on behalf of owners, architects, engineers, contractors and specialty subcontractors.  Scott’s passion for design and construction and unique understanding of the construction process facilitates his main goal, which is minimizing the likelihood of construction disputes. Scott has developed contract templates for contractors, architects, major institutional owners as well as Fortune 500 companies. Scott’s experience in the construction industry also has enabled him to successfully represent clients involved in a wide range of construction-related matters, including breach of contract, delay and disruption claims, design- and construction-defect claims, bond claims and mechanics lien disputes.  Scott has also assisted his design professional clients on licensing and other professional regulation matters.

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Jeffrey L. Gansberg
Special Counsel
Jeffrey L. Gansberg
Special Counsel

Jeff Gansberg is an experienced bankruptcy, creditors' rights, and trial attorney with an extensive background in both the transactional and litigation aspects of insolvency, reorganization and creditors’ rights representations. Jeff represents debtors, trustees, creditors and creditors’ committees from a wide range of industries, including health care, travel, transportation, manufacturing, retail, insurance, entertainment and communications. Jeff has represented constituencies in restructuring matters including workouts, forbearance agreements, and assignments for the benefit of creditors where he has represented both assignors and assignees.  Jeff also represents receivers appointed by the state and federal courts. His representations include matters involving publicly traded Fortune 500 companies, as well as middle-market, privately held and family-owned businesses.

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Irving M. Geslewitz
Principal
Irving M. Geslewitz
Principal

Irv Geslewitz, is a "one-stop shop" when it comes to representing and counseling his clients in any matter relating to employment laws and labor relations.  A principal in the firm's Labor & Employment  group, Irv has extensive experience representing employers and executives on issues or disputes arising out of the employment relationship.  He also handles the entire gamut of labor relations issues that confront management in a unionized setting. His experience ranges from reviewing and helping prepare employment contracts, policies and manuals to representing clients in employment-related litigation in state and federal courts as well as before administrative agencies. 

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James P. Hanrath
Principal
James P. Hanrath
Principal

James P. Hanrath has practiced law for more than 30 years. A member of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology group, Jim is a registered United States patent attorney serving the needs of publicly held corporations, private enterprises, small businesses and individual inventors.

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Thomas C. Koessl
Principal
Thomas C. Koessl
Principal

Thomas C. Koessl defends corporations and individuals against employment-related claims, helping businesses and executives avoid or minimize the financial and public-relations costs associated with such disputes. Tom has represented small, large and multinational corporations, as well as CEOs and high-profile leaders, in numerous federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings. His work is broad ranging. In addition to helping clients address allegations of race, sex and national-origin discrimination, he provides counsel on matters such as breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, securities, environmental contamination, defamation, and legal and accounting malpractice lawsuits.

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Josh M. Leavitt
Principal
Josh M. Leavitt
Principal

Josh Leavitt advises his clients on a broad range of construction-law matters, including disputes, contracts, and counseling on industry risk. Co-chair of the construction practice, he has over 25 years of construction law experience, and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers. 

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Jacob R. Lenzke
Associate
Jacob R. Lenzke
Associate

Jacob R. Lenzke focuses his practice primarily on commercial litigation, business reorganization and bankruptcy matters, as well as on patent prosecution, licensing and other intellectual property issues.

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Melisande C. Loeppert
Associate
Melisande C. Loeppert
Associate

Meli Loeppert represents clients in a variety of legal matters with a particular focus on complex litigation, including contract disputes, bankruptcy and consumer finance issues. Meli has assisted the firm’s banking, mortgage lending, and loan servicer clients in claims brought under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Meli has prosecuted violations of building, health and safety codes; negotiated settlement offers with opposing counsel; and drafted motions, briefs and proposed ordinances.

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Jonathan L. Loew
Principal
Jonathan L. Loew
Principal

Jonathan Loew concentrates his practice on civil trials, complex and critical motions, and appellate matters. 

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Warren Lupel
Special Counsel
Warren Lupel
Special Counsel

Warren Lupel is an accomplished litigator and trial attorney who represents lawyers, judges and other clients in matters involving professional responsibility and ethics. Warren also represents businesses in a broad range of commercial litigation.

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Melinda J. Morales
Principal
Melinda J. Morales
Principal

Melinda J. Morales is an accomplished litigator with 20 years of experience representing businesses and individuals in a broad range of complex class action and commercial litigation matters involving, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA); the Truth in Lending Act (TILA); the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); and related consumer protection statutes.

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Robert K. Neiman
Principal
Robert K. Neiman
Principal

Bob Neiman is an experienced litigator who focuses his practice on health care regulatory counseling and litigation, employment-related counseling and litigation, and commercial litigation, including insurance coverage matters and other business disputes.

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Norman B. Newman
Principal
Norman B. Newman
Principal

A creditors' rights, insolvency and bankruptcy attorney for 35 of his 39 years in practice, Norm Newman serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Creditors' Rights, Insolvency & Bankruptcy practice group. Norm has represented debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors' committees and bankruptcy trustees in all phases of proceedings under the Bankruptcy Code.

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Christopher L. Nybo
Special Counsel
Christopher L. Nybo
Special Counsel

Chris Nybo represents employers in all types of employment matters and disputes, including defending wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment and wage and hour claims. He regularly represents clients before federal and state courts, as well as state and local administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

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Martin J. O'Hara
Principal
Martin J. O'Hara
Principal

Marty O'Hara, Vice Chair of the firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group, concentrates his practice on commercial litigation and the defense of professionals in malpractice actions.

 

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Neil B. Posner
Principal
Neil B. Posner
Principal

Neil Posner successfully counsels his clients on the complexities of buying and maintaining insurance, and using insurance as part of an overall risk-management program.  Co-chair of the firm's Policyholders' Insurance Coverage group, Neil focuses on insurance recovery and dispute resolution, risk management, loss prevention and cost containment. His clients include public and private companies, organizations, boards of directors, individual officers and other policyholders.

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David L. Rieser
Principal
David L. Rieser
Principal

David Rieser is head of the firm's Environmental, Regulatory & Redevelopment Law practice. He has over three decades of experience advising clients in all areas of environmental law, including legislative, regulatory, compliance and law enforcement matters, corporate, commercial and real estate transactions, governmental and private cost-recovery actions, environmental insurance coverage, and remediation of contaminated sites. David serves Fortune 100 and mid-sized companies operating in a broad range of industries, including power generation, chemicals, petroleum, steel, railways, food and consumer products, financial services, waste management and insurance.

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Lorne T. Saeks
Principal
Lorne T. Saeks
Principal

Lorne Saeks represents clients in commercial and real estate litigation, with an emphasis on foreclosure and construction matters, lease disputes, title insurance defense work and business disputes. Lorne also counsels clients on issues relating to loan defaults and foreclosure-related matters.

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Joanne A. Sarasin
Principal
Joanne A. Sarasin
Principal

Joanne Sarasin concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation with specific emphasis on appellate practice, especially with regard to insurance coverage issues. She has successfully obtained not only insurance coverage, but also additional damages against insurers who have acted in bad faith towards their policyholders. Her successful representations include obtaining insurance coverage for policyholders sued for defamation, for architectural malpractice and for violations of federal statutes resulting in class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits "blast faxing." Joanne's work on blast fax cases resulted in a victory for policyholders in the Illinois Supreme Court, which overturned a prior decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denying coverage.

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Jeffrey M. Schwartz
Principal
Jeffrey M. Schwartz
Principal

Jeff Schwartz focuses his practice on the representation of secured and unsecured creditors in out-of-court restructurings and business reorganizations under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.  He also represents buyers and sellers of financially distressed companies and distressed debt, and advises, creditors' committees, indenture trustees, and other parties involved in bankruptcy-related matters.

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Edward D. Shapiro
Principal
Edward D. Shapiro
Principal

Ed Shapiro has been Chair of the firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group since 2007. Trained as a trial attorney and as a mediator, his practice focuses on the efficient prevention, management and resolution of disputes for businesses, organizations and individuals. Ed’s primary objective is to help clients identify their goals, and then to collaborate with them on business and personal solutions to meet those goals.

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Jonathan D. Sherman
Principal
Jonathan D. Sherman
Principal

Jonathan D. Sherman is an accomplished litigator who focuses his practice on three areas: business disputes involving contract, insurance, trade secret, and other matters; consumer financial services litigation on behalf of mortgage lenders and loan servicers in claims under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and related federal and state consumer protection statutes; and the defense of lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Drawing on his broad range of experience, Jon also served as interim general counsel for one of the firm's largest clients.

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Scott J. Smith
Principal
Scott J. Smith
Principal

Scott J. Smith, an accomplished attorney and litigator with significant engineering experience, focuses his practice on construction law, with particular emphasis on design and construction-defect disputes and mechanics liens.

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Shawn M. Staples
Associate
Shawn M. Staples
Associate

Shawn Staples focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, appellate litigation, and defense of professional malpractice claims. Shawn has extensive experience inside and outside of the courtroom. He has conducted trials in state and federal court and has assisted in appeals before the Illinois Supreme Court. Shawn has conducted depositions, participated in mediations, and successfully argued many contested motion hearings. Shawn also has experience in successfully arguing and defending hearings for temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief for his business clientele.

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Daniel J. Struck
Principal
Daniel J. Struck
Principal

As an experienced policyholder attorney, Dan Struck advocates on behalf of corporate and individual insurance policyholders throughout the United States.  He represents clients in insurance coverage litigation, and counsels clients facing contested claims and other complex insurance concerns.

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Anthony C. Valiulis
Principal
Anthony C. Valiulis
Principal

Tony Valiulis is an accomplished litigator with 40 years of experience in a broad range of state and federal civil trial and appellate matters. As counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants, he has first-chaired numerous jury and bench trials in federal and state courts and argued a wide variety of appeals throughout the country, including in the Illinois Supreme Court. A Principal of the firm since 1979 and a member of the Management Committee from 2010-2013, Tony served as Chair of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group for more than 20 years.

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Paul E. Van Hoomissen
Principal
Paul E. Van Hoomissen
Principal

Paul Van Hoomissen represents clients, including Fortune 1000 companies, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, and other business matters. In the litigation area, he represents commercial clients in a variety of issues, including trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, trademark/patent disputes, and contract disputes. He also represents large-scale property owners in litigation relating to the operation and management of commercial property throughout Southern California. Paul, also counsels property management companies and real estate brokers on issues pertaining to the management of community associations and land sales.

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Neal L. Wolf
Principal
Neal L. Wolf
Principal

Neal L. Wolf, Co-chair of the Creditors’ Rights, Insolvency & Bankruptcy group, provides creative solutions for corporate clients facing complex business litigation, insolvency, or Chapter 11 restructuring issues. Neal focuses his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, business reorganization, workouts and commercial litigation. He has represented debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees, trustees, lessors and purchasers of stock or assets of insolvent entities. He also has significant experience with railroad reorganizations and commercial litigation. During his career, he has appeared in the federal courts of more than 40 states and the Territory of Puerto Rico.

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