Joshua E. Liebman

Partner

Overview

Joshua E. Liebman represents clients in high-stakes litigation arising out of a wide variety of business relationships and commercial transactions, but focuses his practice on real estate disputes, soft intellectual property matters, and professional negligence defense.  Josh also has substantial experience representing clients in the live music and live event space, as well as in the direct sales and gaming industries.

In 2016, Josh was named one of the “Forty Illinois Attorneys under 40 To Watch,” a prestigious list published annually by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. In selecting him for this honor, the Law Bulletin relied on his reputation as a “diligent, thorough and talented attorney” whose “dogged and unrelenting advocacy has resulted in several big wins in court.”  In the words of a client, Josh “cares about his clients and takes their problems on as his own.  In the end, it is this character trait that separates him from other lawyers.”

Josh was selected as an “Emerging Lawyer” by Law Bulletin Publishing Company in 2015 and 2016. Emerging Lawyers are those who are age 40 or under or have been practicing law for 10 years or less. Less than two percent of all lawyers in the State receive this distinction. Josh also was selected by the Super Lawyer’s list as an Illinois Rising Star in 2009, 2010 and 2012 – 2016.

Josh has represented individuals as well as companies ranging in size from two-person partnerships to global entities publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.  In doing so, he has defended the depositions of powerful CEOs and worked closely with general counsels and other business executives. Josh takes great pride in learning his client’s business and making sure that the client understands the legal process so that they can collaboratively formulate a litigation strategy that both addresses the dispute head on and protects the client’s business interests.  

Josh graduated from Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1998 and from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Magna cum Laude, in 2004. While attending law school, Josh served as the Research Editor of the Loyola University Law Journal and was named best respondent in the 2003 Niagara International Moot Court Competition.

Josh is a member of the Chicago and American Bar Associations, and serves as the Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Legal Malpractice Committee. He is co-editor of the Illinois Legal Malpractice and Defense of Lawyers Blog. He is a member of the firm's Real Estate Litigation and Representation of Law Firms practice groups.

Josh served on the Jewish Council for Youth Services’ Board of Directors for which he sat on the Finance Committee. Josh grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and currently lives in Chicago with his wife Beata and their three children.

EDUCATION

  • Tulane University (B.A. 1998)
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Magna cum Laude (J.D. 2004)

 

Speeches & Publications

  • “Arbitration of Attorney Malpractice Claims,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Professional Services Liability Website, June 8, 2016. View PDF.
  • “‘Friends of the Parking Lot': Lawsuit Challenges Lucas Museum Site Proposal,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 27, 2015. View PDF.
  • “Rules Governing Attorney Advertising, Marketing and Solicitation,” Presentation with Alexander L. Berg to the Committee on Attorney Malpractice, The Chicago Bar Association, March 3, 2015. Read More.
  • “Thinking Bigger Picture: When to Sacrifice the Benefits of Arbitration in Favor of Litigation,” Smart Business Chicago, August 2014. View PDF.
  • “Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRPC) 26(f) Conferences,”  Part of a Webinar Series on Practicing in the Federal Courts, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), March 14, 2013.
  • “Keeping It Secret: How to Protect Your Company’s Trade Secrets During Litigation,” Smart Business Chicago, August 2012. View PDF.
  • “When Can You Defend Both a Corporation and Its Officers?” 97 Ill. B.J. 618 (Dec. 2009). View PDF.

Representative Cases

Real Estate

• Successfully represented a national hotel operator in a lease dispute with its landlord at a downtown Chicago property. The client’s primary goal was not to recover monetary damages but, rather, to substantially extend the lease term. After taking over the case from prior counsel, we amended the complaint to add claims that the landlord and its affiliate had breached a territorial exclusivity covenant in the lease. We then sought discovery on the affiliate’s profits from improperly competing with our client. After we obtained court orders requiring both defendants to comply with discovery, the landlord reversed its longstanding opposition to extending the lease and settled the case by entering into a 50-year lease.

• Assisted a group of minority members in multiple limited liability companies which were organized to facilitate real estate investments. The minority members were attempting to sell their interests to the majority member who was not negotiating in good faith. We drafted complaints alleging breach of fiduciary duty, among other things, which persuaded the majority member to purchase the minority members’ interests. The complaints never had to be filed.  

• Represented a shopping center developer in lawsuit against a local municipality for damages related to the municipality’s attempt to restrict consumer access to the shopping center's parking lot.

• Defended real estate developer and personal guarantor of loans in multiple commercial foreclosure actions.

• Defended real estate developer in alleged breach of oral contract to make million dollar payment.

LIVE EVENTS/entertainment

• Obtained summary judgment for publicly traded producer of live events where the primary issue was whether our client, who recently purchased the assets – but not the stock – of a local live event production company, was bound by the arbitration provision in a contract between the local company and the opponent. The asset purchase agreement specifically excluded the contract containing the arbitration provision. The opponent argued that the asset sale was a de facto merger so the contractual exclusion did not appy.  The Court rejected that argument and adopted our argument holding, among other things, that the terms of the asset purchase agreement governed. 

• Represented camping and outdoor music festival promoter in a trademark infringement and anti-cybersquatting case in federal court.  After filing a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order (TRO), the defendant capitulated to such an extent that there was no need to go forward with the TRO hearing.

• Obtained a complete defense victory following a five-day arbitration hearing on behalf of a local festival and concert promoter in a dispute filed by the counter-party to an expired profit sharing agreement.

• Obtained summary judgment in favor of the business manager of a world-famous recording artist in a suit relating to the collection of installment payments under a settlement agreement.  

GAMING

• Won a motion to dismiss on behalf of an internet-based social gaming company accused of violating Illinois gambling statutes.  The entire class action complaint filed in federal court was dismissed before any discovery took place.

 • Represented a state lottery operator in various disputes related to FOIA requests, the disclosure of confidential information and contractual disagreements with the governmental department responsible for the lottery.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

• Represented national third-party logistics provider in action to enforce non-competition provision against a former employee.

• Represented global direct sales company in connection with breach of contract claims alleging that members of its independent contractor sales force were prohibited from recruiting sales people from other direct sales companies.

• Represented national aviation insurance broker in action to enforce contractual non-compete and non-solicitation provisions against former employee.

OTHER REPRESENTATIONS

• Represented national commodity wholesaler in action against former employees for breach of confidentiality provision and misappropriation of trade secrets related to hedging strategies.

• Defended prepaid credit card supplier against the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation’s claim that the client violated the Illinois Transmitters of Money Act.

• Defended major Chicago law firm in connection with multi-million dollar professional negligence claim.