oesterle Mr. Oesterle has 40 years of litigation experience in a wide-range of complex commercial matters including bankruptcy, breach of contract, class action, construction, employment, environmental, fiduciary duty, franchise, fraud, higher education, insurance coverage, legal malpractice, lender liability, patent, real estate, theft of trade secret and other matters in both federal and state trial and appellate courts, and in arbitration and mediation proceedings throughout the country.

Selected Engagements

  • Defended a claim for breach of fiduciary duty regarding a partnership formed to obtain a concessions contract at an O’Hare Airport terminal.
  • Handled a wide range of construction related matters for projects such as the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Project (over Tampa Bay), Chicago’s Deep Tunnel Project, an Illinois water reclamation facility, a large manufacturing plant (located in Minnesota), and the renovation of a Chicago area hotel.
  • Represented licensor in arbitration proceedings relating to the termination of a Middle Eastern licensee.
  • Defended a franchisor against fraud, breach of contract and Franchise Act claims.
  • Represented a creditor’s committee in numerous adversary proceedings before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and on appeal to the U.S. District Court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defended employment and other claims brought by administrators, faculty and students against various institutions of higher learning.
  • Defended on appeal a federal trial court victory in a qui tam claim for alleged fraudulent billing to a VA Hospital.
  • Brought an appeal of behalf of a university to reverse a $1,000,000 judgment against it in favor of two former professors for alleged wrongful termination.
  • Brought and defended theft of trade secret claims regarding edible and inedible plastic films, and band casting equipment.
  • Defended an environmental rights NGO in a defamation claim brought against it by a chemical manufacturer in India.
  • Handled numerous foreclosures, breach of lease, restrictive covenant, lender liability, eminent domain, and breach of real estate partnership agreement cases.
  • Represented an Ethiopian couple seeking asylum in the United States.


  • B.S., University of Michigan, Chemistry, 1970.
    Graduated with distinction
  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1973.
    Graduated cum laude
    Member and Staff Editor, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform


  • Admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1973.
  • Associate and partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, 1973-2007.
  • Adjunct faculty member of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law, 1987.
  • Joined this firm as a partner, 2007.


  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2006 to present
  • University of Michigan Honors Program Advisory Council, 1996-2001
  • University of Michigan Law School: Campaign Steering Comm., 2001-2008; Development and Alumni Relations Comm., 2008 to present
  • Leading Lawyers Network, commercial litigation, 2005 to present

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • “Complex Real Estate Issues: Arbitration vs. Litigation,” presented at Negotiating Commercial Leases, Practicing Law Institute Seminar, November 2014; November 2013; November 2012.
  • “Complex Real Estate Issues: Arbitration vs. Litigation,” Practicing Law Inst. Course Handbook, 2014