United States: Freeborn Growth Fuels Major Trial Successes For Clients In 2018, Further Establishes Firm As Litigation Powerhouse®

Last Updated: February 15 2019
Article by David C. Gustman

CHICAGO – Freeborn & Peters LLP is pleased to announce that it heads into 2019 continuing to expand its brand as a Litigation Powerhouse® with major trial victories and growth in litigation capabilities and geographical reach during the past year that rival many Am Law 100 firms in the nation.

The firm's ongoing achievements in litigation are reflective of the firm's significant growth over the last few years, including the addition of 14 new litigators across all of its offices in 2018. Last year was the firm's first full 12 months after opening offices in New York (combining with the New York City firm Hargraves, McConnell & Costigan P.C. in March 2018) and Tampa, Fla., in the summer of 2017. Additionally, Freeborn established its office in Richmond, Va., in 2016 by combining with the Richmond-based firm Brenner, Evans & Millman P.C.

"We are litigators first, and our clients choose Freeborn because of our knowledgeable attorneys with coveted experience, our smart management of litigation teams across the country, and our track record of trial successes," said David C. Gustman, a Freeborn Partner and leader of the firm's Litigation Practice Group, Co-head of the firm's Antitrust Practice Group, and a member and former Chairman of the firm's Executive Committee. "We credit our achievements as a litigation firm to our comparatively large group of trial-ready lawyers who are prepared to execute a case from start to finish."

Freeborn has a Big Law-caliber reputation in litigation. With nationwide and international capabilities, Freeborn has one of the largest litigation departments among Chicago-based law firms – currently with more than 90 litigators, which represents about two-thirds of the firm's lawyers.

Many of Freeborn's litigators are former federal and state prosecutors with decades of trial experience handling all areas of complex disputes and litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States. In addition, the firm includes one of the largest Insurance and Reinsurance industry groups in the nation, based in Chicago and New York and handling disputes for clients nationally and internationally.

"We certainly have a track record of resolving claims through summary judgment and settlement, but our philosophy is to always prepare cases to be tried, and we believe that our trial-ready approach provides the best, ultimate outcome," Mr. Gustman stressed. "Our lawyers are highly skilled at squaring off against the most renowned opposing counsel should a matter go to trial. Part of what sets us apart is our attorneys who not only prepare, but also try cases for our clients. Many large firms don't typically get trials, so their attorneys don't have the deep experience that we do at securing victories at trial."

Mr. Gustman explained that Freeborn's proficiency at trial also is attributed to strategic staffing for a case for optimal focus and efficiency, which could mean a couple of attorneys or more than 10, depending on what best serves the case and the client's ultimate goal to win. In addition, Freeborn's in-house E-Discovery Lab also has contributed to the firm's trial successes. The E-Discovery Lab has been recognized as a trailblazing innovation among law firms for its high-quality, low-cost approach to the preservation, review and production of electronically stored information.

The firm's high-profile trial victories, including numerous major case resolutions in 2018, cover all forms of contention, from liability involving multiple parties to industry-specific regulations, and from high-profile accidents to disruption of key commercial ventures.

Following are some of Freeborn's litigation highlights from 2018:

  • Client: Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO) – The firm secured an appellate court victory for its client, an independent insurance intermediary, after taking on the case following the client's frustration over the previous adverse judgment in the matter that was handled by another law firm. The firm identified a recent Florida Supreme Court decision supporting the client's position in the case, which was key to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal's ruling that reversed the trial court with instructions. The appellate court also denied a frivolous fee claim.
  • Client: Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO) – The firm obtained a complete defense judgment for its client following a federal bench trial. The lawsuit alleged that the client, an insurance intermediary, violated state and federal statutes and unlawfully interfered with a business relationship as a result of the placement of force-placed hazard insurance on mortgaged properties being serviced by the client's customer. The federal district court entered a written opinion fully exonerating the client, and holding that the client complied with all federal and state statutes and industry practices.
  • Client: Shuffle Tech LLC – Together with co-counsel Nixon & Vanderhye, the firm won a $105 million jury award in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for its client and three other companies that accused Scientific Games Corp. of initiating sham litigation to assert invalid patents intended to suppress the market for automatic card-shufflers. A judge determined that the jury verdict must be trebled under the antitrust laws, and entered a judgment for the amount of $315 million.
  • Client: Advanced Disposal – The firm obtained a jury verdict in favor of its client in a contentious and protracted dispute over alleged odors and other nuisances from a landfill in Zion, Ill. The lawsuit brought on behalf of 50 households surrounding the landfill alleged that odors, noise, dust, birds, and litter interfered with the use and enjoyment of their property. The firm prevailed for its client on the theme that the company runs a lawful and necessary business in full compliance with the law and industry standards.
  • Client: National Material Company – The firm secured an Illinois jury verdict in favor of its client in a breach of contract action against GSI Group (owned by public company AGCO), which is one of the world's largest manufacturers of grain bins for farmers and agribusiness. The case concerned a contract for the sale of more than 120,000 tons of steel, for which GSI contended there was no contract because the parties did not sign a single written instrument. The case previously went up on appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District after the trial court had awarded summary judgment to GSI, and was remanded back for trial. The jury in the nearly three-week-long trial found that there was a contract formed under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code by various writings and the parties' long course of dealings and course of performance.
  • Four Individual Whistleblowers – The firm obtained a jury verdict in favor of its clients, four whistleblowers who worked as security investigators on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. The firm's clients prevailed on claims for retaliatory discharge after they were terminated by their employer Vectrus Systems Corp., a $1 billion defense contractor, in retaliation for reporting serious wrongful conduct by their supervisors and assisting with the military's investigation. Following a contentious, three-week trial in federal court in Denver, the jury awarded the firm's clients both compensatory and punitive damages.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions