Firm wins dismissal with prejudice of RICO case against Lehman

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Counsel for certain defaulters on real estate loans sued Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. and Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB for racketeering, fraud and other causes of action.  Gair Eberhard Nelson Dedinas Ltd. responded with motions for both summary judgment and dismissal.  Faced with these motions, counsel for the plaintiffs dismissed their claims with prejudice less than two months after filing them.  Delaware Motel Associates v. Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB et al., 17cv1715 (Kennelly, J.)
 

Firm Wins Judgment In Forged Non-Compete Case

On March 15, 2017, Gair Eberhard Nelson Dedinas Ltd. won an agreed judgment on consent in a case involving a forged non-competition agreement in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

The firm’s client is an event promoter who had a long-term equipment lease with the defendant and his company.  After relations soured between the parties, they negotiated a rescission and mutual release agreement which called for a payment of $20,000 to the lessor.  The promoter emailed the lessor an executed settlement agreement, and the lessor agreed verbally and by email to the terms.  However, after delivering a $20,000 cashier’s check to the lessor and receiving what purported to be a fully-executed copy of the settlement agreement, the promoter learned that the lessor had created a different settlement agreement which included a five-year, worldwide non-competition agreement, secretly inserted it in the agreement, and copied and pasted the promoter’s signature from the true agreement.   That spurious agreement would have prevented the promoter from obtaining financing, contracts with venues, and advertising contracts and would have led to the imminent destruction of the business. 

The firm filed an action for fraud and declaratory judgment in federal court in Indianapolis along with a motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction.  Confronted with these filings and the proof of fraud, the lessor agreed to a consent judgment declaring that the initial agreement constituted the contract between the parties and that the non-competition agreement was not part of the agreement and was unenforceable. 

Kristi Nelson Named to Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Advisory Board

Partner Kristi Nelson has been named to the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Advisory Board, whose members serve as ambassadors of CVLS in the legal community by working with the Board of Directors and CVLS management to build, maintain, and strengthen relationships with law firms, legal entities, the judiciary and other related groups and organizations in the legal community. 
 
Kristi has been involved with CVLS for many years, including serving the maximum term as a member of its Board of Directors.  As part of her involvement, she has represented clients pro bono in immigration, employment, unfair housing, criminal, and civil rights matters.

Firm Successfully Limits Guarantor Liability of Public REIT in CMBS -Lending Issues of First Impression

On February 4, 2016, the Northern District of Illinois ruled in favor of Gair Law Group’s client, a publicly-traded REIT in the hotel industry, on important issues involving its guaranty of a non-recourse loan that was part of a commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) trust. The case was brought by the lender Wells Fargo, through its special servicer Torchlight Loan Services, against the REIT, which had served as guarantor for a non-recourse loan made to its subsidiary LLC.  After Torchlight foreclosed on the hotel in Indiana state court,  it then filed suit in federal court and moved for summary judgment against the guarantor REIT, contending that certain non-recourse “bad boy” carve-out provisions in the loan agreements had transformed the loan into a full recourse liability, rendering the guarantor liable to Torchlight for the entire deficiency judgment.

Seventh Circuit Issues Landmark Fraudulent Transfer Decision In Sentinel Litigation

On January 8, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court's entry of judgment in favor of the Bank of New York and against GLG client Frederick J. Grede, the trustee of Sentinel Management Group, Inc.  The case, originally tried by GLG partners Chris Gair and Jeff Eberhard while at Jenner & Block, was part of a larger constellation of litigation they led stemming from the collapse of Sentinel, a cash manager and investment advisor, in August 2007.  With the victory against the Bank, the trustee's litigation team has recovered over $260 million for Sentinel's customers.  

Firm Wins Dismissal of Action Against Public REIT

On December 22, 2015, the Honorable Gene A. Zmuda of the Court of Common Pleas in Toledo, OH dismissed an action brought by a telecommunications company against GLG's client, a publicly traded hotel REIT.

The plaintiff sued the REIT for breach of contract and unjust enrichment and sought damages of approximately $2 million. GLG moved to dismiss, crafting an argument that allowed the Court to interpret the contract as a matter of law and dismiss the action in its entirety at the pleadings stage. The Court adopted GLG’s arguments and dismissed the case with prejudice, representing a complete victory for the client.  The client lauded GLG for its “aggressive” and “creative” strategy. 

Gair Law Group Wins Trial for Henning-Carey Proprietary Trading

On June 9, 2015, after a week-long jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, GLG clients Henning-Carey Proprietary Trading and its principals Charlie Carey and Joe Niciforo obtained a verdict in their favor on claims brought by a former trader associated with the firm. The verdict represented a complete victory for Henning-Carey and ended five years of contentious litigation in which the plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages. The jury soundly rejected the plaintiff’s claims and exonerated Henning-Carey of any wrongdoing.

SEC Problems Can’t Be Fixed By Judges

By Chris Gair

From the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 12, 2014

In the wake of our most profound financial crisis since the Great Depression, citizens, elected officials and commentators of various political stripes have condemned what they see as a tepid response to the crisis by law enforcers. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, which have primary jurisdiction to enforce the securities laws, have (perhaps justly) been criticized for not sufficiently pursuing charges and punishment against banks, brokerage firms and their individual employees for fast-shuffle, self-interested conduct that contributed to the loss of tens or hundreds of billions of dollars by investors.