Paul Porvaznik – Business Litigator

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Latest from Paul Porvaznik – Business Litigator

The Northern District of Illinois considers a plethora of signature complex litigation issues in FW Associates, LLC v. WM Associates, LLC, 2019 WL 354953 (N.D.Ill. 2019), the culmination of a years’ long dispute between LLC members over ownership and management of Smart Bar –  a company that made an automatic cocktail dispenser [the Smartender]. After a flurry of lawsuits and an arbitration hearing that resulted in a nearly half-million dollar money judgment, the judgment creditor…
Hayward v. Scorte, 2020 IL App (1st) 190476, reads like a creditors’ rights practice manual for its detailed discussion of the nature and scope of various creditor remedies under the Illinois supplementary proceedings and garnishment statutes.  (735 ILCS 5/2-1402 and 735 ILCS 5/12-701 et seq., respectively.) The plaintiffs confirmed a half-million dollar arbitration award against a corporate defendant in a construction dispute and sought to collect. In post-judgment discovery, the post-judgment court (the Law Division’s…
The First District appeals court recently examined the collateral attack doctrine – which immunizes a court’s judgment from challenge in a separate judicial proceeding – in a case flowing from failed settlement talks. The defendants in Tielke v. Auto Owners Insurance Company, 2019 IL App(1st) 181756, four years after a 2013 personal injury suit was filed, made an eve-of-trial verbal offer to settle for $700,000. The plaintiff’s counsel verbally accepted the offer the next day before trial started. …
A New Mexico LLC’s attempt to collaterally attack a mortgage foreclosure judgment five years after its entry fell flat in US Bank v. Laskowski, 2019 IL App (1st) 181627.  The case discusses the elevated level of proof required to successfully contest service of process when the property rights of a bona fide purchaser for value (a “BFP”) are at stake. In 2009, the lender plaintiff filed a mortgage foreclosure suitagainst an individual borrower.  That borrower…
Title to real estate is typically held in one of three ways: tenancy in common, joint tenancy and tenancy by the entirety. The salient characteristic of tenancy in common is that each owner holds a ½ interest in the property and that upon an owner’s death, his/her share passes to his/her heir. Joint tenancy’s hallmark is its survivorship feature: when a joint tenant dies, his/her share passes to the surviving joint tenant. The deceased’s interest…
Super 8 and Motel 6 registration records take center stage in an Illinois appeals court’s discussion of the razor-thin difference between computer-stored and computer-generated business records. In People v. Schwab, 2019 IL App (4th), a sexual assault defendant argued the trial court erroneously admitted his hotel check-in records during a jury trial that culminated in a guilty verdict and long prison sentence. The prosecution offered hotel records into evidence at trial to place the…
Snap Advances, LLC v. Macomb Office Supply, Inc., 2019 IL App(1st) 180773-U examines the enforceability of a Utah judgment against an Illinois-based college bookstore operator. There, a Utah business lender sued a defunct bookstore, its owner and corporate successor in Utah state court for breach of contract. The underlying contract (signed by the plaintiff and dissolved corporate predecessor) had Utah choice-of-law and venue terms. No defendant appeared in the Utah case and the plaintiff won…
When some  high-level General Electric employees defected to a Chicago rival, GE sued for trade secrets theft and for violations of employee non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. Partially granting and partially denying the employee defendants’ motions, the District Court in General Electric Company v. Uptake Technologies, Inc., 2019 WL 2601351 (N.D.Ill. 2019) provides a thorough choice-of-law analysis and discusses the trade secrets case inevitable disclosure doctrine. Non-Solicitation Agreement: What State’s Law Applies – New York or…
The Second District appeals court recently affirmed a harsh result against a subcontractor who failed to properly serve a Section 24 notice in accordance with the strictures of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act. The earth-moving subcontractor recorded a lien against a nascent Starbucks in Chicago’s western suburbs seeking payment for various change orders. It sent its lien notice to the property’s lender by certified mail but not to the property owner. After a bench trial,…
I previously featured (here) a 2018 4th Circuit decision that discussed reverse veil-piercing under Delaware law.  In 2017, a California court provided its own trenchant analysis of reverse veil-piercing and how that remedy relates to a charging order against an LLC member’s distributional interest. The judgment creditor plaintiff in Curci Investments, LLC v. Baldwin, 14 Cal.App.5th 214 (2017) won a $7.2M judgment against a prominent real estate developer. In post-judgment discovery, the creditor…