Mitchell L. Marinello

Partner

Overview

Mitch is a trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience in handling business and professional disputes in the courts and through arbitration and mediation.

He provides his clients with services ranging from skilled representation in court to practical advice on how to comply with the law, improve business practices, or resolve a dispute quickly at a reasonable cost.

For ten years, Mitch served as the Managing Partner of Novack and Macey and the Editor of Litigation Review, a legal periodical published by the firm.  Mitch is the firm’s representative to the IAG International, an international association of attorneys and accountants.  He recently was elected to a three-year-term on the IAG Management Committee, its board of directors, and he serves as the organization's Secretary.

Mitch is an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University College of Law where he teaches Commercial Arbitration. He is a former Director of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, a member of the Civil Practice Committee (past Chair) of the Chicago Bar Association, and a member of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association where he serves as Vice Chair of the ADR Committee and Editor of its Website.  Mitch recently was selected to be a member of the American Bar Foundation.

Mitch has been selected annually by his peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer for more than 10 years.  He has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability.  Mitch also has been chosen by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation each year since 2004.

Mitch serves as a Director and Chair of the Development Committee of the Resolution Systems Institute (RSI), an organization dedicated to enhancing ADR systems in the courts.  He also is a Director of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and serves as Co-Chair of its Outreach Committee.  He was appointed to the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

The Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) often looks to Mitch for his expertise in civil practice and recently recognized him for his exceptional volunteer service as an author of IICLE’s civil practice materials.

Education

  • Wesleyan University (B.A. 1976), with Honors, Magna Cum Laude
  • The Thomas J. Watson Foundation (Fellow, 1976-1977)
  • New York University Law School (J.D. 1980), Senior Writing Editor for the Moot Court Board
  • Northwestern University School of Professional Studies, Mediation Training Certificate Program (2014)

Speeches & Publications

  • Author, "First impression case on veil-piercing and attorney fees an eye-opener," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 6, 2016. View PDF.
  • Author, “Lessons in partnership law from an unreported decision,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 7, 2016. View PDF.
  • Author, ““Freeze-out does not negate fiduciary duty,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 10, 2016. View PDF.
  • Speaker, “Crossing the Line: New Developments in Arbitral Jurisdiction,” AAA Conference in New Orleans, January 2016
  • Editor, Handbook on Disputes Involving Closely Held Companies, and Co-Author, Chapter 1, “Litigation Issues Related to Corporate Governance,” published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2015.
  • Author, Chapter 5, “Venue in Federal Civil Cases,” Federal Civil Practice, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2015.
  • Speaker,Illinois’ New Mandatory Arbitration Program for Commercial Cases,” sponsored by the CBA and AAA and Chaired by Judge Thomas Mulroy, 2015 and 2014.
  • Author, “Federal Circuit Holds That Magistrate Judge Violated Duty to Disclose,” Sidebar of the Federal Litigation Section of the Federal Bar Association, 2014. View PDF.
  • Faculty, “Managing a Successful Arbitration,” sponsored by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), JAMS and the DePaul University College of Law Center for Dispute Resolution, 2014.
  • Author, “Legal Malpractice Claims and the Innocent Insured,” a case note on Illinois State Bar Ass’n Mut. Ins. Co. v. Law Office of Tuzzolino & Terpinas,” eVisory of the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability, 2014. View PDF.
  • Co-Author, Fighting Anonymous Online Defamation, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2014. View PDF.
  • Panelist, Presentation and Discussion of the American Arbitration Association’s Revised Commercial Rules and Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules, 2014.
  • Co-Organizer and Co-Speaker, “Practicing in the Federal Courts,” a six-part webcast for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2013.
  • Author, “Contracts for the Benefit of a Third Person,” Chapter 18, Illinois Law of Contracts, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2013.
  • Co-Author, “Internet Defamation: The Need to Change Illinois and Federal Law,” CBA Record, 2013. View PDF.
  • Author, “Smart Evidence: Commercial Litigation,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.
  • Co-Author, “Preserving the Record During Trial” and “Motions at the Close of Evidence,” Illinois Civil Practice: Trying the Case, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.
  • Co-Author, “Small Business and the Corporate Opportunity Doctrine,” Business Law Today, the Online Resource of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, 2011. View PDF.
  • Author, “Nonparty Discovery Under the Federal Arbitration Act,” 98 Ill. B.J. 476, 2010. View PDF.
  • “Should Your Firm’s Engagement Letter Contain an Arbitration Clause?” in Conflict Management, a Publication of the Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution of the American Bar Association, 2010. View PDF.

Representative Cases

Contract Disputes

  • Helped obtain settlements totaling approximately $200 million in actions for breach of contract against a Fortune 500 company that managed a chemical plant that exploded.
  • Analyzed and reported on a Fortune 100 company’s potential liability for an allegedly defective component used in hundreds of thousands of computer hard drives.
  • Won a favorable settlement for a food ingredients supplier seeking to enforce a long-term contract governed by the United Nations Convention on the Sale of International Goods.
  • Defended and prosecuted claims involving purchase or sale contracts for electrical transformers used to operate light rail, sea containers, electrical switches and doors used on subway cars, coal, steel, natural gas, paint, wine, perfume, cloth and clothing.
  • Prosecuted and defended licensing disputes for software including software used in health care applications and to create and maintain hospital medical and billing records.
  • Revamped a Fortune 100 company’s form contracts with suppliers and with customers of customized chemical products to reduce its potential exposure.
  • Recovered fraudulently acquired jewelry valued at several hundred thousand dollars for an upscale jewelry boutique.
  • Defended and prosecuted claims for breach of loan and guaranty agreements.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Represented the State of Illinois in a suit for defective construction of a university library.
  • Represented the manager of ten residential complexes with more than 5,000 units, winning damages for the wrongful termination of its management contract.
  • Obtained a multimillion dollar settlement from the owner of an LLC who reneged on a contract to buy a commercial building
  • Won a trial that enabled a Fortune 500 company to share in a multimillion dollar eminent domain award
  • Successfully defended a company at trial from being forced to sell its warehouse to an unscrupulous buyer.
  • In unrelated cases, enabled one owner to retain its commercial property and another owner to develop its commercial property in the face of disputed rights of first refusal.
  • Successfully defended majority partners against minority partners seeking damages and a forced sale of the partnership’s investment properties.
  • Prosecuted claims for lease violations on behalf of several buildings and shopping centers.
  • Defended a major builder from homeowner warranty claims.

Partnership and Closely Held Corporation Disputes

  • Defended the managing partner of a real estate partnership against claims of mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Enabled an investor to exercise conversion rights, vote his new shares and exercise control over a profitable retail company despite fierce opposition.
  • Represented wealthy family members in a dispute over control of a profitable family business.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for an entertainment company in a suit to gain control of a closely held corporation with significant business assets.
  • Represented a professional medical association in an action to enforce its bylaws and right to payment from a group of doctors.
  • Helped a renowned surgeon retain his membership in a voluntary professional association that threatened to suspend him for his testimony in a medical malpractice case.
  • Defended the managing shareholder of a metal fabrication company against claims of malfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty from his fellow shareholder.

Professional Liability Defense

  • Defended a major law firm in an action involving alleged malpractice relating to the entry of a $17 million judgment against its former client.
  • Obtained the dismissal with prejudice of claims alleging that a major law firm failed to advise its clients of a “Dutch” settlement offer and the firm’s conflicts of interest.
  • Defended a major law firm in an action involving alleged malpractice in tax and estate planning.
  • Defended a major law firm in alleged malpractice involving an employee stock ownership plan.
  • Represented law firms and individual attorneys in disputes with partners who resigned or were asked to resign, including issues concerning the solicitation of clients, allocation of income, return of capital, and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Defended and prosecuted claims for accounting malpractice.
  • Represented a law firm in an action to recover its fees and expenses pursuant to statutory and retaining liens.

Employment and Non-Compete Disputes

  • Represented the State of Illinois in disputes involving employee terminations and alleged Rutan violations.
  • Successfully defended a Chicago manufacturer against Wage Payment Act claims brought by its former President.
  • Represented a senior executive who wished to change firms and was threatened with litigation based on a non-compete agreement.
  • Prosecuted embezzlers, including the partner of a real estate venture, the treasurer of an energy company, and the bookkeeper of a significant business.
  • Prosecuted and defended claims for breach of an employment agreement.

Internet Defamation

  • Prosecuted claims against persons who made anonymous, defamatory internet postings that damaged the reputations of medical doctors.
  • Prosecuted claims against an individual alleged to have hacked into a private computer and sent a defamatory email blast to the friends, family and business associates of a business executive.
  • Prosecuted claims against persons and businesses who posted reviews on internet sites defaming their competitors.

Product Liability

  • Defended an 1100-member class action against the owner of a chemical plant that exploded resulting in deaths, personal injuries, and property damage in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Defended the manufacturer of liquid propane valves and regulators in lawsuits involving fires and explosions that challenged the manufacturer’s corporate reorganization.
  • Defended a chemical company in an action for exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Bankruptcy

  • Investigated and analyzed the causes of and potential legal claims arising from the sudden demise of two major Illinois corporations in the automotive and recreational equipment industries.
  • Prosecuted liens and actions to recover possession of commercial property and to evict debtors who were not meeting their commercial lease obligations.
  • Prosecuted claims to prevent the discharge of debts arising from the debtor’s defalcation or fraud.

Arbitration and Mediation

Mitch has served as an arbitrator and mediator in a broad variety of commercial disputes. To date, he has served as an arbitrator in more than 175 business cases, and he frequently serves as the chair of three-person arbitration panels.

Mitch is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators where he serves as a Director and Co-Chair of its Outreach Committee.  He is a member of the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He is a long-time panelist with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) where he serves on the Large and Complex Case and Employment Panels. He is also a panelist for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), the Chicago International Institute for Dispute Resolution, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Public and Employment Panels), and the National Futures Association. Mitch is a Director and serves as the Secretary of the Resolution Systems Institute (RSI), an organization dedicated to enhancing ADR systems in the courts. He also chairs RSI's Development Committee.  In addition, Mitch serves as mediator for the AAA and CPR and mediates cases privately.

Mitch’s arbitration and mediation cases include both national and international business disputes and involve such matters as:

  • manufacturing claims relating to pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and foods.
  • intellectual property involving inventions in dental equipment, pharmaceuticals, and automotive designs.
  • insurance disputes concerning such things as durable medical equipment, health services, and property damage.
  • the construction and leasing of buildings and factories.
  • health care services administration and management.
  • bank and other loans.
  • government contracts, including a contract for the construction of a municipal transit line and one for an exclusive 100-year parking lot concession, each in a major U.S. city.
  • joint ventures, acquisitions and mergers.
  • shareholder and partnership disputes, including law firm breakups.
  • employment matters, including class actions.
  • shipping, freight forwarding, and aircraft leasing.
  • automobile dealerships and franchises.
  • patent, trade secrets, unfair competition, and non-compete and non-solicitation provisions.
  • the sale of goods, including foods, consumer goods and industrial equipment.
  • software and technology issues and telecommunications.
  • environmental liability.
  • the governance of voluntary associations.
  • film distribution.
  • farming operations.
  • financial management and brokerage accounts