Novack and Macey LLP has represented law firms and lawyers in virtually every type of dispute that arises in the profession.
The National Law Journal called us “A law firm’s law firm,” citing our impressive track record in legal malpractice and firm break-up disputes, among others. Our clients range from the world’s largest and most prominent law firms to single lawyers. Our firm has represented at least forty nine Chicago law firms, including five of the ten largest firms in town.
Our blog, the Illinois Defense of Lawyers Blog, provides information on legal malpractice, legal ethics and other defense of lawyers issues. We aspire to link to every new case decided under Illinois law where legal malpractice is a significant issue and also to write about national issues.
Because we are lawyers who regularly represent lawyers, we understand the demands that lawyers face. We understand the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern lawyers and the fiduciary and professional obligations lawyers owe to their clients, law firms and partners. We also understand the practice of law and never forget that litigation strategy must reflect the business and professional goals of our law firm clients.
Lawyers and law firms engage Novack and Macey because of our nationally recognized reputation as trial attorneys, our personal attention to their issues and business goals and their confidence in our ability to protect their confidential information and privacy. Our focus on efficient staffing and alternative billing ensures our clients that we are focused on delivering value.
A brief sampling of the types of disputes we have helped our lawyer clients navigate includes:
Lawyers and law firms accused of malpractice in connection with their transactional, estate planning and tax work rely on us to represent them. We have successfully defended lawyers and law firms with respect to their work on loans, mergers and acquisitions, employment contracts and practices, commercial contracts, administrative licensing and zoning issues, tax planning and estate planning.
Lawyers and law firms charged with negligence in their handling of litigation have long sought out our help. Our defense of such matters has included alleged mishandling of documents in discovery, failing to raise claims or defenses, improper withdrawal and failing to timely file a lawsuit, pleading or appeal.
Malpractice cases often include allegations of ethical misconduct. When such allegations arise, lawyers and law firms choose us for our experience dealing with these ethical issues, including alleged conflicts of interest, lack of engagement letters, excessive fees, agreements that restrict the right of a lawyer to practice law and the failure to follow clients’ instructions.
Although we do not usually represent lawyers before the ARDC, we have good working relationships with excellent lawyers who practice in this area.
Lawyers and law firms accused of charging excessive fees and those trying to collect unpaid fees also turn to us for guidance. Although fee claims frequently give rise to malpractice allegations, lawyers are in business and are entitled to be paid for good work. We are comfortable evaluating such matters and helping lawyers decide whether and when to assert fee claims informally, in litigation or in ADR proceedings.
Claims By Non-Clients
Claims by non-clients against lawyers are increasing. Lawyers have retained us to defend claims they aided and abetted clients’ wrongdoing, conspired with clients to commit wrongful acts, tortiously interfered with contracts or business expectations, and/or committed fraud on behalf of their clients.
Claims Against Lawyers in Other Capacities
Clients and non-clients often bring claims against lawyers who are functioning in other capacities, such as receivers, trustees, corporate directors, estate administrators and fiduciaries. Lawyers in these situations choose us for our extensive experience representing lawyers in claims against them in a non-lawyer capacity brought by beneficiaries, shareholders, heirs, and others.
Lawyers in disputes with other lawyers, particularly in cases that involve partnership or law firm breakups, departures from law firms, client solicitation, and disagreements about compensation, choose to work with us because of our extensive experience in these types of disputes.
Sanction and Disqualification Motions
Lawyers turn to us when facing motions that seek to disqualify them from representing their clients or sanction them for their conduct in representing their clients. They find it makes sense for a lawyer other than the lawyer accused of misconduct to defend that lawyer’s actions.
Lawyers and law firms rely on us in disputes concerning landlords, business partners, suppliers and employees.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Not every dispute must be litigated in court. Our clients benefit from our skill and experience in solving their disputes through informal negotiations, mediation and arbitration.