Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes

Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes

Unfortunately, litigation is sometimes a cost of doing business in this society. Despite best intentions and efforts, legal disputes occur. Success in a commercial dispute is achieved by first understanding the business and its goals and then moving toward a resolution through counseling and, if necessary, litigation.
 
When a commercial dispute arises, a client is best served by lawyers who can efficiently solve the problem. Efficiency is largely measured by the expenditure of time and money. Although hourly rates are a key indicator of cost efficiency, there are other questions for clients to consider. Significantly, do their lawyers have real trial experience through handling complex commercial matters or are they merely second chair litigators?

At Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, clients retain experienced trial lawyers with reasonable hourly rates. Those lawyers use efficient staffing and a litigation plan that identifies the client’s goals and budgets to achieve those goals. In this regard, a cardinal precept to the firm's representation of business clients is to gain an early understanding of the value and significance of the matter to the client. Based upon that understanding, firm attorneys confer with the client to determine an approach to handle the matter efficiently. Such an early consensus on legal strategy allows us to undertake and complete engagements within the client’s expectations. Through it all, the commercial litigators at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP have come to learn that early, hands-on, client-involved management of business disputes is the only way to achieve economical and favorable results without sacrificing the superior work product clients deserve and expect.

In short, the commercial litigators at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP know that clients are interested not only in results, but in results at an acceptable cost.  They strive to achieve these goals when commercial disputes arise in the following areas: 
  • Class Action Lawsuits
  • Commercial Fraud
  • Contract Litigation
  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Equitable Actions/Injunctions
  • NCCI Disputes (Insurance)
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Professional Liability
  • Replevin/Reclamation
  • Restrictive Covenant/Confidential Agreements
  • Shareholder Disputes


News

Chicago, September 7, 2021
Fitzgerald Named One Of Crain's Chicago Business' Notable Rising Stars in Law
Fitzgerald is one of 74 Chicago attorneys selected for this honor, which recognizes attorneys who have been partners for five years or less and have demonstrated an impact at their firm and in the community.

Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, St. Louis, Madison County, Indiana, August 19, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2022 Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch Lists
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

Chicago, August 10, 2021
Five Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
They will all practice in the firm's Chicago office.

Chicago, July 6, 2021
Weiler Receives Law Bulletin Media's Top 50 Women in Law Honor
Weiler is one of 50 honorees chosen for her work to mentor and promote other women in the profession, her success in the legal community and being a shining example of leadership.

Chicago, May 6, 2021
Kincaid, Stephens Successfully Defend Client in Alleged Fraud Claim
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's client's motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens enforcing the forum selection clause contained in the underlying contract.

Chicago, May 4, 2021
McCaskey Re-Elected to Non-Resident Lawyer Division Board of Directors for State Bar of Wisconsin
The Nonresident Lawyers Division helps nonresident members maintain their ties with Wisconsin.

Chicago, St. Louis, April 14, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Sponsors ACC St. Louis Litigation Seminar on Post-Pandemic Litigation
The panel will offer thoughts on how litigators will see their workday change or return to pre-pandemic practices, as well as ways courts will be affected and what new challenges litigators may face.

Chicago, March 8, 2021
Becker, Alva Successful in Appellate Defense of Commercial Litigation Matter
The Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of Smith v. Sterling Bank, letting stand the appellate affirmation of a lower court's dismissal of the plaintiff's claims against Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's client in a commercial litigation matter.


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Chicago, February 19, 2021
Recent Law School Graduates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
The four newly sworn in lawyers joined the firm's Chicago office as associates.

Chicago, February 2, 2021
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 25 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 12 attorneys have been named n to the 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers list and 13 have been named to the Illinois Rising Stars list.

Chicago, January 18, 2021
Three Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Partner
Jessica Levitt Acuna, Jack A. Gould and Jonna McGinley Reilly have all been named partner.

Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, Madison County, January 11, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers for 2021
Those designated Leading Lawyers were recommended by their peers to be among the top lawyers in Illinois.

Chicago, December 11, 2020
Cooke, Keating Secure Reversal in Illinois Appellate Court of Contempt Order and Trial Court's Enforcement of Unsigned Settlement Agreement
Cooke and Keating obtained the reversal of a contempt order in connection with the enforcement of an unsigned settlement agreement.

Chicago, December 3, 2020
Patterson Shares How Santa Monetizes His Intellectual Property
Hosted by the Center for Creative Entrepreneurship, the webinar offered a timely case study for entrepreneurs on how to mind their business and protect their interests.

Chicago, November 13, 2020
Cooke, Skwiat Prevail Before Ninth Circuit in Accreditation/Common Law Due Process Challenge
Cooke and Skwiat recently secured a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming an accreditation agency's imposition of probation against one of its accredited members.

Chicago, Lisle, St. Louis, Madison County, August 20, 2020
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch Lists
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

Chicago, June 15, 2020
Keating Speaks at Virtual CLM Conference
Keating and two fellow panelists will present on "Work Comp? Premises Liability? You Can't Have It Both Ways."

St. Louis, May 21, 2020
Weishaar Authors Chapter in ABA Arbitration and the Surety Compendium
Weishaar's chapter in Arbitration and the Surety focuses on "Scope and Enforceability of Arbitration Clauses and Requirements."

Chicago, March 10, 2020
Patterson Speaks at Litigation Funding Forum
Patterson's presentation is on "Pitching the Case – A Guide to Finding Litigation Funding."

Chicago, March 06, 2020
O'Toole Authors Article on Millennial Lawyers and Technological Competence in DRI Young Lawyers Newsletter
The article appears in the latest issue of "Raising the Bar," newsletter of DRI's Young Lawyers Committee.

February 19, 2020
DRI's The Voice Highlights $1.5 Million Win in Construction Breach of Contract Case
The Voice, weekly publication of the Defense Research Institute, highlighted a recent Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP matter in its "And The Defense Wins" section.

January 31, 2020
Monaco Inducted Into Society of Trial Lawyers
Monaco focuses his practice on Product Liability, Class Action Defense, and Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes.

January 29, 2020
Seven Associates Named Partner at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Seven associates based in the Chicago office have been named partner.

January 2, 2020
Recent Law School Graduates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that five recent law school graduates have joined the firm's Chicago office as associates.

December 16, 2019
Lateral Partner Joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Commercial Litigation Practice
Harkness focuses his practice on commercial litigation, manufacturing disputes, partnership and membership disputes, class action defense, intellectual property litigation, and real estate litigation.

December 9, 2019
Sheean Serves as Law Institute Liaison at DRI Insurance Seminar
Sheean welcomed attendees to the symposium last week.

September 27, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Fardy in "40 Under Forty" Look Back
Fardy was chosen from among his fellow "40 Under Forty" Class of 2009 peers for a detailed profile on his career since receiving the honor.

September 16, 2019
Seven Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes seven lateral associates, including one in the firm's St. Louis office.

September 3, 2019
McCaskey Serves as Program Co-Vice Chair at DRI Automotive Seminar
McCaskey's practice includes advising clients in product liability, construction, insurance, banking and commercial disputes and class action matters.

August 14, 2019
Drumke Elected to ABA Board of Governors
The ABA Board of Governors oversees the general operation of the ABA and develops specific plans of action.

April 25, 2019
Sheean Speaks at DRI Business Litigation Super Conference
Sheean will discuss "The Shattered Corporate Shield: Tales of Member and Owner Liability" along with the Honorable James L. Gale, North Carolina Business Court, Greensboro, South Carolina.

April 3, 2019
Patterson Speaks on Data Privacy at DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal Symposium
This year's symposium will focus on "Innovation, Technology, and Developments in the Legal Landscape."

March 28, 2019
Kawala, O'Sullivan Named BTI Client Service All-Stars
Kawala and O'Sullivan were two of 335 individual attorneys from 153 law firms nominated to the BTI Client Service All-Stars 2019.

March 27, 2019
Lateral Partner Joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Medical Negligence and Healthcare Practice
William P. Greubel, III will focus on Medical Negligence and Healthcare.

March 5, 2019
McGovern, Fitzgerald Prevail Before Seventh Circuit in Maritime Contract Case
McGovern and Fitzgerald defended a logistics company in a maritime case involving the international carriage of copper from China to the United States.

February 1, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names Six New Partners
Andrew J. Albright, Joshua E. Bidzinski, Sarah A. Ferrill, Erica S. Longfield, Kristine C. Reveille and Stephanie Rifkind have all been promoted to partner.

January 29, 2019
Drumke Nominated to ABA Board of Governors
Drumke's three-year term will commence following the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in August.

December 5, 2018
Report Names Illinois, Missouri Courts as "Judicial Hellholes"
Courts in Missouri and Illinois listed among the top nine.

October 19, 2018
BTI Consulting Names Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP A Standout in Commercial Litigation
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP was one of nine law firms singled out in Commercial Litigation and one of seven named a Commercial Litigation Standout.

July 3, 2018
McCaskey Elected to Board of Governors for State Bar of Wisconsin
The Board of Governors manages and directs the affairs and activities of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

June 29, 2018
Seven Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Six join the firm's Chicago office, while one will practice the firm's Lisle office.

June 11, 2018
Haddox Named to Law Bulletin Media's "40 Under Forty" List
Haddox was recognized for his work in Contract Disputes, Construction Litigation and Product Liability matters.

May 15, 2018
Fitzgerald Gives Remarks at University of Illinois College of Law Convocation Ceremony
She delivered brief remarks welcoming the new graduates into the alumni family, and encouraging them to stay connected to their alma mater.

March 22, 2018
Kincaid Speaks at DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal Symposium
This year's symposium focuses on "Lending & Litigating: A Look into Chicago's Commercial Real Estate Market."

March 12, 2018
Court Vacates $23 Million Default Judgment Against International Client
McGovern, Fitzgerald secure dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

January 5, 2018
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names Four New Partners
All four attorneys practice at the firm's Chicago office.

November 10, 2017
Lateral Partner, Lateral Associate Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Patrick G. Cooke joins the Chicago office, while Jordan C. Olejniczak joins the Lisle office.

November 8, 2017
McCaskey Named to Law Bulletin's "40 Under Forty" List
According to "40 Under Forty," to be named to the list, honorees must have intelligence, passion, success in the office, a desire to help the community, and a willingness to work hard.

October 30, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights New Indiana Office, 25th Anniversary
The article quotes partners Brian W. Bell and Timothy G. Nickels, and speaks of the firm's long history in Indiana.

October 19, 2017
SMB Attorneys Win Partial Summary Judgment in TCPA Class Action Lawsuit
The decision is one of the only in the country in which a court enforced the retroactive FCC waiver as a matter of law to dispose of a plaintiff's TCPA claims based on improper opt-out notices.

October 6, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Opens Indiana Office
The trial firm, which celebrates 25 years in business in 2017, already boasts more than 130 attorneys between its downtown Chicago headquarters and its other offices in Illinois and Missouri.

October 2, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Celebrates 25th Anniversary, Continued Growth
In recognition of its 25th anniversary year, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP has made a monthly donation to a non-profit with whom the firm has a strong relationship.

September 21, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Client Obtains Summary Judgment in Copyright Case
The ruling granted Frenchy's summary judgment as defendant in an action brought by a former employee.

August 15, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Appellate Court Ruling in Noncompete Case
According the article, "in a ruling that broke new legal ground Monday, a state appeals panel found that connecting with a former colleague on a social media platform is not enough to violate a noncompete agreement."

July 25, 2017
Three Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that two lateral attorneys and a newly sworn-in attorney have joined the firm as associates.

May 9, 2017
Sheean, Wahl Speak at DRI Business Litigation Seminar
Sheean chairs the DRI Business Litigation Committee; Wahl will speak to young lawyers on copyright basics in musical compositions and sound recordings.

January 5, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names Three New Partners
Sullivan practices in Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Lisle office, while Lothson and Wahl practice in the firm’s Chicago office.

January, 4, 2017
Report Names Illinois, Missouri Courts as “Judicial Hellholes”
The report said courts in Illinois and Missouri are among the nation’s “most unfair” in their handling of civil litigation.

December 9, 2016
Lateral Associate, Four New Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Four practice in the firm's Chicago office; one practices in the firm's St. Louis office.

August 5, 2016
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts Client Service Seminar With Panel of In-House Counsel and Business Owners
The seminar focused on the “Dos and Don’ts After Being Engaged by In-House Counsel and Business Owners.”

June 3, 2016
Sheean Obtains Favorable Settlement in False Advertising Case
The victory represents the culmination of a three-year litigation battle that included three separate reported decisions.

January 12, 2016
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
Clyder and Haddox practice in Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Chicago office, while Henne practices in the firm’s Libertyville office.

December 17, 2015
Lateral Associates, Law School Grads Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
The firm welcomes two lateral associates and two recent law school graduates to the firm's Chicago office.

October 30, 2015
Skiko, Fardy Recognized at Jury Verdict Reporter Awards
The pair were recognized for obtaining the highest settlement of 2014-2015 on behalf of client Business Logic.

October 12, 2015
October's Chicago Lawyer Cover Features Fardy
Chicago Lawyer recognized partners Steve Fardy and Pete Skiko for obtaining the largest settlement in 2014 on behalf of a client.

October 9, 2015
Law Bulletin Recognizes Becker on "40 Under Forty" List
Becker, referred to in his profile as "an attorney's attorney," was recognized for his practice in Entertainment Law / Commercial Law.

October 1, 2015
Sheean Named Chair of DRI Commercial Litigation Committee
Sheean's first official meeting as chair will take place during DRI's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

September 22, 2015
Kincaid, Murray and Becker Speak at ISBA Commercial Banking CLE
They spoke on both "Fraudulent Transfers, Successor Liability, Alter Ego, and Veil Piercing" and Judgment Enforcement against a Member in an LLC."

August 24, 2015
Law Bulletin Photos Highlight Drumke, TIPS' Awards Reception
Photos feature Michael W. Drumke presenting an award to Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

August 4, 2015
McCaskey Named to DRI Young Lawyers Steering Committee
He will serve in the role for 2015-2016.

July 23, 2015
Drumke Caps TIPS Chairmanship With ABA Annual Conference, Awards Ceremonies
With over 25,000 members and 32 general committees, TIPS is one of the ABA's largest sections.

May 18. 2015
ABA TIPS Chair Drumke Offers "View From the Chair"
Drumke writes about the return he has received on his involvement with TIPS for the past 20 years.

May 5, 2015
McCaskey Elected to State Bar of Wisconsin's Non-Resident Lawyer Division's Board of Directors for
The Nonresident Lawyers Division provides nonresident members opportunities for participation in the governance of the State Bar.

April 24, 2015
Miller, Kincaid and McCaskey Author DRI Commercial Litigation Article
The article discussed the impact of the FCC's 2014 ruling relating to fax advertising.

April 6, 2015
Recent Results Highlight Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Growing Strength in Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property
Long known for its depth in tort defense and trial experience, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s success continues in other litigation areas.

February 4, 2015
Bell, Monaco Defeat Plaintiff’s Federal False Claims Act Complaint
The lawsuit alleged that the manufacturer violated the federal False Claims Act in relation to warranties provided to the government.

January 15, 2015
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
Six associates were recently named partners, including one in St. Louis.

January 13, 2015
Becker, Weiler Win Appeal before the Illinois Second District Appellate Court
The win affirmed a summary judgment on behalf of their client, a national homebuilder in a large homeowner class action.

December 12, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Obtain Retroactive FCC Waiver Leading to Dismissal of Class Action Lawsuit
The FCC granted a retroactive waiver regarding laws requiring opt-out notices on fax advertisements. The ruling led to the dismissal of a lawsuit, and a sweeping change to the law.

November 17, 2014
Wisniewski Judges ABA Student Employment Trial Advocacy Competition
Teams from law schools nationwide competed as plaintiffs and defendants in labor and employment-related matters, with Wisniewski and fellow attorneys serving as judges and evaluators.

November 5, 2014
Sheean, Keating Defeat Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification in SkinnyGirl Margarita Case
The lawsuit alleged that SkinnyGirl Margarita was mislabeled as "all natural."

October 24, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Indiana Practice, New Attorneys Highlighted in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article
With an increasing workload in the Hoosier State, Swanson, Martin & Bell LLP has added a lateral partner and four lateral associates over the past five months.

October 20, 2014
Drumke Offers "View From The Chair" in ABA Publication
Drumke announces the the inaugural TIPS section conference in his first letter as TIPS Chair.

October 9, 2014
Drumke Tells TortSource About "When I Was a Young Lawyer"
Drumke answers questions about his career and offers advice for new lawyers in the Summer 2014 issue of TortSource.

September 10, 2014
Fardy, Skiko Author Intellectual Property Magazine Article
The article details a trade secret dispute that settled for over $60 million.

August 13, 2014
Drumke Elected Chair of ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
TIPS unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system in one of the ABA's largest sections.

July 21, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Trade Secret Settlement
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP represent Business Logic Holding Corporation in its $61 million settlement with Morningstar, Inc.

July 18, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Client Business Logic Obtains $61 Million Settlement
The publicly reported settlement ranks as both one of the largest reported Illinois settlements in recent years and is among the ten largest reported settlements involving trade secret misappropriation, according to Orrick.

June 4, 2014
Lateral Associates, New Grad Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes three associates, including one who was recently sworn in to the Illinois Bar.

January 13, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Equity, Non-Equity Partners
Two were elected equity partners and two were elected non-equity partners.

November 20, 2013
Wisniewski Judges ABA Student Employment Trial Advocacy Competition
Teams from law schools nationwide will compete as plaintiffs and defendants in labor and employment-related matters, with Wisniewski and fellow attorneys serving as judges and evaluators.

November 18, 2013
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Three Associates
The firm welcomes three associates, including two who were recently sworn in to the Illinois Bar.

October 30, 2013
Drumke Speaks at DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar
Drumke will address "Defending the Rest—Basics on Lung Cancer, Other Cancers, and Asbestosis: Review of the B-Read and Pulmonary Function Testing."

October 17, 2013
Reliford Named to Chicago International Charter School Board of Directors
Reliford aims to bring an additional perspective and commitment to academics to the CICS Board of Directors.

August 13, 2013
Drumke Named Chair-Elect of ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
With over 25,000 members and 32 general committees, TIPS unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system in one of the ABA’s largest sections.

July 23, 2013
Sheean Named Vice Chair of DRI Commercial Litigation Committee
Sheean's one year term as Vice Chair is effective immediately.

July 9, 2013
Seven Lateral Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Four partners and three associates have recently joined the firm's Chicago office.

April 24, 2013
Pardys, Goles Present at Seminar for Local Government Officials
Pardys and Goles will address FOIA and The Gift Ban during their presentation.

January 30, 2013
McCaskey, Clyder Author Eighth Circuit Product Liability Case Update
The update will be distributed with materials for the upcoming DRI Product Liability Conference outside Washington, D.C.

November 26, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Three New Associates
All three associates were recently sworn in to the Illinois Bar.

May 15, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Two Associates
Andrew J. Albright and Claire A. Floore join the firm's Chicago office.

March 19, 2012
Toxic Tort Team, Former Patent Examiner Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes four lateral attorneys to its Chicago office.

January 23, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
The firm's new partners focus on a variety of practice areas.

February 4, 2011
Fitzpatrick Gives Purdue Students Tips for Building a Career
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner George F. Fitzpatrick, Jr. spoke to Purdue University College of Liberal Arts students about his legal career as part of the college’s “LA Influentials” lecture/discussion course.


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