Civil Litigation

At Burke, Burns & Pinelli, Ltd., our civil litigation experience is vast in subject matter and includes federal and state court trial and appellate cases as well as federal and state administrative hearings. Our three founding partners are the core of our BBP civil litigation team.

Our Extensive Civil Litigation Services

Our litigation clients include public agencies and entities as well as private individuals and businesses. Our BBP civil litigators have represented hundreds of clients in all types of cases, from small claims to complex class actions. Our successes cover virtually every type of civil litigation, including:

  • Administrative hearings and appeals
  • Personal injury
  • Property damage
  • Breach of contract
  • Construction disputes and claims
  • Employment discrimination
  • Premises liability
  • Officer and director liability
  • Bankruptcy litigation
  • Licensing disputes
  • Eminent domain
  • Commercial contract disputes
  • Mortgage and loan issues
  • Property encroachment
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Sherman Act anti-trust claims
  • Professional malpractice / negligence
  • Loan default litigation
  • Property theft
  • Regulatory investigations

Regardless of the type of issue, our BBP civil litigation attorneys thoroughly investigate the facts and law underlying the case and diligently and skillfully participate in all stages of litigation. Our extensive experience handling depositions, hearings, arbitrations, trials, and appellate arguments benefits our litigation clients in all venues. We are always mindful that settlement negotiations may lead to an advantageous result. But when litigation becomes necessary, our BBP civil litigation team aggressively pursues and protects our clients’ interests and rights in both trial and appellate courts.

On account of our substantial experience counseling and representing public agencies across all our BBP practices, our attorneys work exceedingly well with in-house counsel in both public agencies and private businesses, regardless of the type of litigation involved.

Our BBP Chicago trial attorneys have a wealth of experience that benefits our clients. Together, attorneys Edward Burke and Vincent Pinelli have more than 90 years of combined trial experience. With more than 30 years of litigation experience each, partners Mary Patricia Burns and Ellen Epstein add even greater dimension to our BBP team. Our BBP civil litigation attorneys may be contacted by calling our Chicago office at 312-541-8600 or completing our online contact form.

Representative Cases and Clients

Our many litigation successes cover a wide range of clients and subject matters. Representative cases include:

  • BBP represented the Illinois Director of Insurance in his capacity as Liquidator of Reserve Insurance Company, an insolvent Illinois insurer. This insolvency spawned complex civil RICO litigation in the Circuit Court of Cook County, federal district court, and federal bankruptcy court. Our successful representation included several interlocutory appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • As special assistant attorneys general, our BBP civil litigators represented the State of Illinois and a class of 300,000 citizens as plaintiffs against a major pipeline company for alleged anti-competitive practices in central Illinois. The case involved successful interlocutory appeals on behalf of the State to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Our BBP attorneys defended a local municipality and several of its officers in a federal action involving various civil RICO and civil rights claims, resulting in dismissal of all individual defendants and a successful settlement for the municipality.
  • BBP civil litigators represented a class of more than 30,000 citizens as plaintiffs against a municipal park district police force for constitutional and state law violations arising out of a longstanding practice of issuing moving violations without legal authority. The case involved four interlocutory appeals to the Illinois Appellate Court and resulted in a $1.9 million settlement on behalf of the plaintiff class.
  • In several employment discrimination matters in state and federal courts, as well as before the Illinois Human Rights Commission, our BBP attorneys represented an Illinois governmental authority. We worked on the cases in conjunction with the authority’s office of general counsel.
  • Our BBP attorneys represented the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Toll Highway Authority in numerous eminent domain proceedings instituted in Cook, Will, DuPage, and Kane Counties for acquisition of over $100 million of property for road and highway improvements. The land parcels were predominantly commercial in nature, and many involved complex damage to remainder issues.
  • We also have represented IDOT in civil suits involving various matters and claims to recover monies incurred by IDOT as a result of damage caused to bridges and overpass structures by private parties.
  • When a leading surety company was required to complete five public works projects after the general contractor failed and the principal fled the jurisdiction, our BBP attorneys defended the surety company against hundreds of contract and lien claims.
  • We defended a publicly-traded corporation and its surety against claim by a university alleging negligent construction in installation of a communications system after a lightning strike damaged the system.
  • Our BBP litigators prosecuted a $9 million contract claim by general contractor against the public owner and defended cross claims against the contractor and surety for critical path violations and liquidated damages.
  • In connection with the administration of an Employee IRS 403(b) plan, our BBP attorneys defended a state agency from injunction and monetary damage claims based on constitutional impairment of contracts.
  • Our BBP attorneys represented a multi-employer pension fund in ERISA claims against an investment advisor, resulting in a seven-figure settlement in favor of the pension fund.
  • In defending a multi-employer pension fund against a six-figure claim of wrongful discharge by an employee, our BBP civil litigators secured a grant of summary judgment in favor of the pension fund.
  • Our civil litigation team prosecuted a claim against a national bank for breach of an investment management agreement with the third-party marketer of the bank's investment products and services. We secured an $8 million recovery for our client.
  • Our BBP attorneys represented a multi-employer pension fund in an ERISA claim against an investment advisor. The claim was for losses resulting from investments in guaranteed investment contracts issued by Equitable Life Insurance Company, which were made in contravention of pension fund investment guidelines.
  • In connection with embezzlement of millions of dollars by an officer, our BBP civil litigators represented the board of a leading financial institution in investigations by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. No action was brought against any board member or the financial institution.
  • Our BBP civil litigation attorneys represented a corporation and control group shareholders against a major accounting firm for several million dollars of missing and stolen inventory.
  • In both negotiated loan workouts and lawsuits involving hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate, construction, and commercial loan defaults, we represented numerous state and national banking institutions.
  • Our attorneys represented a union pension plan administrator and its employees in multi-party civil action brought against plan professionals for alleged professional negligence. The amount in controversy was over $10 million. The matter settled on non-monetary terms after briefing of summary judgment motions.
  • In two multi-party antitrust actions relating to Sherman Act violations, our BBP attorneys defended a major liquor distributor. After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of our client.
  • We defended a large real estate developer in an ongoing dispute involving a number of complex matters relating to compliance with regulatory and municipal ordinances.
  • Our BBP attorneys have defended a number of businesses in commercial contract disputes involving a wide variety of issues, including: breach of contract, land usage, enforcement of contractual payment clauses, mortgage and loan terms, encroachment of property, and commercial buy-sell agreements.
  • For more than 15 years, we have represented the Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago in hundreds of disability hearings. Many of those cases result in appeals to circuit court and appellate court, which are subject to the Illinois Administrative Review Act.
  • Our attorneys have represented the Village of Bridgeview in litigation matters involving varied and complex issues, such as discrimination, civil RICO, licensing disputes, and tort defense claims. We also represented the Village of Broadview in numerous litigation matters and employment law matters, including matters before the EEOC and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
  • BBP attorneys have represented the Chicago Housing Authority on several matters, including litigation related to premises liability and personal injury claims.
  • We have represented the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Illinois Medical District on various litigation matters.
  • Our BBP litigation attorneys have significant experience representing construction companies, general contractors, sureties, and owner developers in hundreds of contract, mechanics’ lien, and delay claims involving multi-million dollar construction projects for both public and private entities.
  • We successfully defended against a number of personal injury claims as outside counsel for Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority.
  • In federal bankruptcy court litigation, our BBP attorneys have represented creditors seeking judicial determinations regarding the non-dischargeability of debts.

Illinois Civil Litigation Inquiries

State and local government agencies and entities, individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations wishing to meet with our BBP civil litigation attorneys may schedule a consultation by calling our Chicago office at 312-541-8600 or completing our online contact form.

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