A boutique of sophisticated litigation practices.
MILLER SHAKMAN LEVINE & FELDMAN provides its clients with exceptional, tenacious and effective representation. Our talented litigators practice at the highest level and are recognized leaders in a number of complementary fields.
Rather than the typical “pyramid” structure, our firm features a core group of accomplished partners supported by a small pool of talented associates. This structure allows us to staff matters efficiently and effectively. Our structure also ensures that each client has direct and immediate access to the senior lawyer handling the case, who remains involved in every key aspect of the representation. For cases that are tried or arbitrated, we have experienced trial and appellate lawyers, some of whom teach courtroom skills to law students and other lawyers. But many cases settle before trial, and we are well-versed in alternative methods of resolving disputes. We work with our clients to provide the best solution for each individual matter, considering the relevant costs and risks.
The attorneys at Miller Shakman were attracted by the firm’s reputation for excellence, its vigorous and efficient approach to the practice of law, and its long history of civic leadership. Our lawyers have richly varied backgrounds, interests, and talents, which are reflected in the firm’s diverse practice concentrations. But all share common strengths: we are smart, successful, and respected leaders both in and out of the courtroom. With a long history of litigating and resolving complex cases, our lawyers offer clients a unique blend of creativity, knowledge, tenacity and pragmatism.
Since its founding in 1946, the firm has provided the highest level of legal services to its clients – from Fortune 100 companies and Am Law 100 law firms to individuals and family-owned businesses. This legacy has earned us respect and prominence well beyond our size.
Long known for their talent and tenacity, the litigators at Miller Shakman handle a wide array of commercial disputes. These include contract disputes in a broad range of substantive areas, conflicts involving privately-held businesses, debtor/creditor matters, employment claims, fraud, RICO and other business torts, trademark, copyright, trade secret and restrictive covenant disputes and insurance coverage claims. In addition, the firm frequently litigates issues that turn on the scope of the duties of partners, officers, directors and other fiduciaries, and it represents educational and other non-profit institutions in contested matters. The firm stays on the leading edge of legal and technical developments in electronic discovery so that, in all matters, it can best protect its clients’ interests and provide efficient and effective representation and advice.
Representation of Law Firms and Lawyers
For many years Miller Shakman has represented lawyers and law firms in matters related to all aspects of the practice of law. Among the firm’s clients are some of the country’s largest and most prestigious firms, including numerous members of the Am Law 100. The firm’s representations have focused on four major areas:
Legal Malpractice Defense. The firm regularly represents lawyers and law firms in responding to complex legal malpractice claims. The firm defends lawyers in malpractice cases arising from litigation and transactional work, taking the cases to trial where necessary. These claims arise from the full range of lawyers’ activities and cover many areas of the law, including contract drafting, securities law, real estate, bankruptcy, insurance, M&A, personal injuries, patents and other intellectual property, commercial litigation, ERISA, public finance and estate planning.
Disciplinary Proceedings. The firm represents lawyers in responding to inquiries by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission; if the inquiries result in complaints, the firm defends lawyers in hearings before the Commission. The firm also counsels lawyers and law firms on their duties under the Rules of Professional Conduct to report the activities of other lawyers to the ARDC.
Law Firm Disputes and Lawyer Mobility Matters. The firm represents lawyers and law firms in lawyer relocations and separations and law firm dissolutions. We counsel lawyers and law firms on appropriate practices when attorneys relocate, advise on appropriate communications with clients, address disputes related to separation, negotiate such disputes, and, when necessary, litigate these and other internal law firm disputes.
Legal Ethics Counseling. The firm advises lawyers and law firms on their duties under the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and other applicable standards with regard to a wide range of issues arising in the practice of law, including the creation and modification of lawyer-client relationships, fee and billing issues, conflicts or potential conflicts of interest, disqualification of lawyers and duties relating to communications with clients.
Complex Family Law Litigation
The firm has an active practice handling complex divorce and other family law matters for high net-worth individuals, including the negotiation of pre-nuptial agreements, contested divorce proceedings, post-decree proceedings, and appeals. In light of the firm’s extensive experience in commercial and business litigation, the firm is particularly adept at resolving divorce litigation involving complex property interests or estate planning. This practice area is headed by Karen L. Levine and is supported by other partners and associates.
Miller Shakman has extensive experience representing hospitals, physicians and other entities in a broad range of health–care-related litigation and investigations. Firm attorneys have defended hospitals and educational institutions in single plaintiff and class action matters involving a broad spectrum of issues affecting health-care providers, including hospital charges and coding, charity care, antitrust, fraud and matters under the false claims Act. The firm has represented hospitals in responding to government investigations and in contractual disputes with physicians and other vendors. In addition, firm attorneys have substantial experience litigating disputes concerning pharmacy benefit services, including disputes relating to contract termination, performance guarantees, and audits.
Real Estate and Construction Disputes
Miller Shakman represents owners, investors, developers, borrowers, contractors, sub-contractors, and architects in a wide range of complex real estate and construction disputes throughout the country. Such matters include breach of contract claims, partnership disputes, actions to quiet title, landlord-tenant matters, real estate lending disputes, construction delay claims, title insurance coverage disputes, mechanics lien and other lien claims, architect’s malpractice claims, breach of implied and express covenants or warranties, restrictive covenant claims and bankruptcies. Projects in which the firm has been involved include high-end residential buildings, public works projects, shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, and mixed-use projects.
Governmental Disputes and Civil Rights
Miller Shakman regularly represents clients who are adverse to the City of Chicago and other governmental bodies, including commercial clients seeking to protect their business interests and individuals and businesses whose civil rights are threatened. The firm represents businesses in contractual and regulatory disputes with the City, as well as developers and property owners in zoning, permitting and takings matters. The firm represents media companies and others in seeking documents under the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, the firm has a long history of handling complex, high profile matters that have transformed the way Chicago does business. In the landmark Shakman case, the firm has played a leading role in obtaining and enforcing court orders barring the City of Chicago, Cook County and other government bodies from patronage employment. In other federal lawsuits, firm attorneys enforced the consent decree that ended the Chicago Police Department’s activities that spied on individuals and groups; and the firm also ended the Chicago Housing Authority’s unconstitutional searches of public housing. The firm represented the State of Illinois in litigation against the City of Chicago in successfully opposing the City’s first effort to close Meigs Field. For nearly two decades the firm represented the Federal Court receiver responsible for development of new public housing in Chicago in the federal Gautreaux litigation.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Few law firms can equal the integrated experience and commitment to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) of Miller Shakman. The firm’s lawyers have significant experience serving as both advocates and neutrals in arbitration and mediation proceedings. As advocates, the firm’s lawyers have used mediation to settle significant claims before clients incur the high costs of full litigation; attained arbitration awards in our clients’ favor after weeks or months of hearings; and litigated post-arbitration award confirmation and vacatur proceedings, as well as challenges to the enforceability of mediated settlement agreements. In addition, Miller Shakman attorneys have been entrusted as neutrals with the responsibility of deciding or mediating claims covering an array of commercial and employment disputes.