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Appellate Court Affirms Law Firm’s Right to Arbitration

August 1st, 2001

A recent First District Illinois Appellate Court decision in the case of Adam B. Resnick v. Ross D. Emmerman and Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, Case No. 99 L 07065, found in favor of the defendants, a law firm that had sought to invoke its right to seek arbitration of claims brought by a disgruntled former employee of one of the firm’s clients. The Chicago-based firm of Novack and Macey successfully represented the defendants.

In a ruling written by Justice Robert Chapman Buckley, the court held that despite the fact that defendants attempted to dismiss the plaintiff’s first complaint, they did not waive their right to arbitrate because they did not know that the plaintiff had signed a contract containing an arbitration clause.

“The key point is that you can’t waive a right you didn’t know you had,” said partner Timothy Miller of Novack and Macey. “Because defendants did not know of that agreement, their earlier participation in the judicial proceedings did not waive the right to arbitrate.”

According to Miller, “The opinion also holds that the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court will enforce the American Arbitration Association’s rule providing that participation in a judicial proceeding does not waive the right to arbitration.”

In addition, Miller said, the ruling affirms public policy favoring arbitration over litigation as a means for resolving disputes.

Founded in 1984, Novack and Macey is a litigation firm that concentrates on complex commercial cases. The firm has successfully represented clients in a wide variety of business disputes, including matters involving banking, contracts, class actions, RICO, securities, real estate, land use, partnerships and close corporations, antitrust, insurance coverage, environmental matters, business torts and employment-related issues. Novack and Macey attorneys have honed their skills in courtrooms, mediations and arbitrations nationwide. Clients include corporations, institutions, investment ventures, partnerships and individuals.

For further information on Adam B. Resnick v. Ross D. Emmerman and Neal, Gerber and Eisenberg, please contact Timothy Miller of Novack and Macey at 312.419.6900.

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