Courtney D. Tedrowe



Courtney Tedrowe is an experienced commercial, business and employment litigator.

He has practiced at Novack and Macey LLP for over a decade. Prior to joining Novack and Macey Courtney practiced at Dewey Ballantine LLP in New York.

Courtney’s litigation style has been described by clients and other litigators as “deliberate and considered,” and “confident and tenacious.” He radiates calm and focus even under the most demanding situations, and especially at trial, and is known for his ability to distill and clarify complex mechanical and technological issues for the judge and jury. Most recently, after the conclusion of a three-week jury trial, the presiding judge commented that Courtney’s cross-examination of the defendants’ expert witness was “one of the best” he had ever seen.

Courtney represents businesses and their officers, directors, members, partners and shareholders in their commercial and employment disputes. Courtney’s clients span a broad range of industries, and include hedge funds, property managers, manufacturers, retailers, restaurant franchisors and REITs, among others. Courtney’s practice includes representing clients in connection with corporate governance and fiduciary obligations, trade secret protection, breach of contract claims and assorted business torts.

Recently, Courtney was part of a team of Novack and Macey attorneys who obtained a complete victory for the owner of a poultry processing plant, who had been accused in a putative class action of failing to pay overtime as required under the United States Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (the “IMWL”). The plaintiffs, unionized poultry processors, alleged that the owner had failed to pay for the time they spent changing protective clothing before and after their shifts and during meal breaks, and brought individual claims under the FLSA and a putative class action under the IMWL. In an earlier split decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed entry of summary judgment in favor of the owner, finding that the FLSA and IMWL do not require the claimed compensation. The plaintiffs petitioned for a rehearing of their appeal by the entire Court, en banc. After briefing, Novack and Macey succeeded in convincing a majority of the Court to deny that request. The final vote was 6-4, and the process led to what Judge Posner described as a “rare” published dissent from the denial and a “virtually unheard of” concurrence in response to the dissent. Link to opinions.

Courtney recognizes each case has its own unique characteristics, and he focuses on using the most effective and efficient tactics available, whether that is a negotiated resolution, mediation, arbitration or trial. In the past two years, Courtney has helped clients obtain:

  • An $8 million judgment in a stock buy-out suit for the former CEO of a construction company, which judgment was affirmed on appeal
  • A jury verdict for a property management company, after a three week trial, for tortious interference with ten property management agreements
  • A successful defense of a major international retailer in an arbitration against a Chinese shoe manufacturer
  • A favorable settlement of breach of contract and fraud claims on behalf of a Chicago-based hedge fund
  • A favorable settlement after mediation of breach of a limited liability company agreement brought by a defunct hedge fund against one of its former founders

Courtney lectures on litigation-related topics including, most recently, at Chicago-Kent School of Law and the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He is a member of the Founders’ Council of the Field Museum of Natural History, and serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, a not-for-profit serving the legal needs of low-income youth in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.


  • Vassar College (B.A. 1992), Cum Laude
  • Boston University (M.A. 1997)
  • Cornell Law School (J.D. 2000), Cum Laude; symposium editor, Cornell Law Review; Herbert Reif Prize

Speeches & Publications

  • Author, "Illinois Supreme Court Rules Against Rock Island Wind Energy Project," Energy Alert, October 2017.
  • Author, " Illinois Supreme Court Grants Review in Consequential Wind Power Dispute," Energy Alert, May 2017.
  • Author, Chapter 4, “Minority Stakeholder Rights and Remedies,” Handbook on Disputes Involving Closely Held Companies, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2015.
  • “No Meeting of the Minds Regarding Agreement to Arbitrate,” Doe v. Vineyard Columbus, Case Note, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Website, June 27, 2014. View PDF.
  • “Arbitration provisions: How to draft an effective arbitration clause,”  Smart Business Chicago (July 2013). View PDF.
  • “Federal Procedural Rules Update,” Federal Practice Webcast Series, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (April 11, 2013).
  • “Everything You Wanted to Know About Law Firm Practice Today . . . But Were Afraid To Ask,” Lecturer, Chicago-Kent School of Law (Nov. 29, 2012).
  • “Mitigation of Damages,” an interview in Smart Business Chicago (December 2011). View PDF.
  • “E-Commerce and You,” an interview in Smart Business Chicago (August 2010). View PDF.
  • “Conceptual Severance and Takings in the Federal Circuit,” 85 Cornell L. Rev. 586 (2000).

Representative Cases

  • Trans Helicopter Service v. Jet Support Services, Inc., No. 03 C 0498, 2004 WL 725700 (N.D. Ill. Mar 30, 2004). View PDF.
  • European Dairy Ingredients, b.v., v. JLS International Foods, Inc., No. 02 5700 (N.D.Ill. 2002).