MILLER SHAKMAN & BEEM provides its clients with exceptional, tenacious and effective representation. Our attorneys practice at the highest level and are recognized leaders in a number of complementary fields. All share common strengths: they are smart and accomplished litigators with experience successfully representing clients in complex cases. Their richly varied backgrounds, interests, and talents are reflected in the firm’s diverse practice concentrations.
Our firm is not segregated into rigid practice groups. Rather, we are organized as an integrated team of seasoned litigators, each possessing in-depth experience in specific industries or legal fields. This approach allows us to staff matters creatively and efficiently, drawing on the broad experience of all attorneys and assembling teams that fit each particular case and client.
Law Firms and Lawyers
For many years Miller Shakman & Beem has represented lawyers and law firms in matters related to all aspects of the practice of law. Among the firm’s clients are some of the country’s largest and most prestigious firms, including numerous members of the Am Law 100. The firm’s representations have focused on four major areas:
Legal Malpractice Defense. The firm regularly represents lawyers and law firms responding to complex legal malpractice claims. The firm defends lawyers in malpractice cases arising from litigation and transactional work, taking the cases to trial where necessary. These claims arise from the full range of lawyers’ activities and cover many areas of the law, including contract drafting, securities law, real estate, bankruptcy, insurance, M&A, personal injuries, patents and other intellectual property, commercial litigation, ERISA, public finance, and estate planning.
Disciplinary Proceedings. The firm represents lawyers in responding to inquiries by the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission; if the inquiries result in complaints, the firm defends lawyers in hearings before the Commission. The firm also counsels lawyers and law firms on their duties under the Rules of Professional Conduct to report the activities of other lawyers to the ARDC.
Law Firm Disputes and Lawyer Mobility Matters. The firm represents lawyers and law firms in lawyer relocations and separations and law firm dissolutions. We counsel lawyers and law firms on appropriate practices when attorneys relocate, advise on appropriate communications with clients, address disputes related to separation, negotiate such disputes, and, when necessary, litigate these and other internal law firm disputes.
Legal Ethics Counseling. The firm advises lawyers and law firms on their duties under the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and other applicable standards with regard to a wide range of issues arising in the practice of law, including the creation and modification of lawyer–client relationships, fee and billing issues, conflicts or potential conflicts of interest, disqualification of lawyers, and duties relating to communications with clients.
Divorce and Family Law
The firm has an active practice handling complex divorce and family law matters for high net-worth individuals, including the negotiation of prenuptial agreements, contested divorce proceedings, post-decree proceedings, and appeals. In light of the firm’s extensive experience in commercial and business litigation, the firm is particularly adept at resolving divorce litigation involving complex property interests or estate planning. This practice area is headed by Karen L. Levine and is supported by other partners and associates.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Few law firms can equal the integrated experience and commitment to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) of Miller Shakman & Beem. The firm’s lawyers have significant experience serving as both advocates and neutrals in arbitration and mediation proceedings. After using these tools for decades, firm attorneys are recognized as leaders in the local and national ADR arenas. As advocates, the firm’s lawyers have used mediation to settle significant claims before clients incur the high costs of full litigation; attained arbitration awards in our clients’ favor after weeks or months of hearings; and litigated post-arbitration award confirmation and vacatur proceedings, as well as challenges to the enforceability of mediated settlement agreements.
In addition, Miller Shakman attorneys have been entrusted as neutrals with the responsibility of deciding or mediating claims that total more than $1 billion. These claims include both bilateral and class action disputes and cover a wide array of commercial, construction, employment, professional, and family law conflicts.
Miller Shakman & Beem has extensive experience representing hospitals, physicians, and other entities in a broad range of healthcare-related litigation and investigations. Firm attorneys have defended hospitals and educational institutions in single-plaintiff and class action matters involving a broad spectrum of issues affecting healthcare providers, including hospital charges and coding, charity care, antitrust, fraud, and matters under the False Claims Act. The firm has represented hospitals in responding to government investigations and in contractual disputes with physicians and other vendors. In addition, firm attorneys have substantial experience litigating disputes concerning pharmacy benefit services, including disputes relating to contract termination, performance guarantees, and audits.
Miller Shakman & Beem regularly represents clients who are adverse to the City of Chicago and other government bodies, including commercial clients seeking to protect their business interests and individuals and businesses whose civil rights are threatened. The firm represents businesses in contractual and regulatory disputes with the City, as well as developers and property owners in zoning, permitting, and takings matters. The firm represents media companies and others in seeking documents under the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, the firm has a long history of handling complex, high-profile matters that have transformed the way Chicago does business. In the landmark Shakman case, the firm has played a leading role in obtaining and enforcing court orders barring the City of Chicago, Cook County, and other government bodies from patronage employment. In other federal lawsuits, firm attorneys enforced the consent decree that ended the Chicago Police Department’s activities that spied on individuals and groups; the firm also ended the Chicago Housing Authority’s unconstitutional searches of public housing. The firm represented the State of Illinois in litigation against the City of Chicago in successfully opposing the City’s first effort to close Meigs Field. For nearly two decades the firm represented the federal court receiver responsible for development of new public housing in Chicago in the federal Gautreaux litigation.
Dave Weisman heads up the firm’s white collar criminal defense, False Claims Act defense, and corporate investigation and compliance practice. Dave’s background as a former FBI Special Agent and Assistant United States Attorney with extensive trial experience in both criminal and civil matters allows him to offer a set of talents and experience uniquely designed to meet the needs clients who find themselves involved in government investigations and inquiries. His practice includes the defense of both individuals and corporations facing federal criminal and civil investigations, the counseling of clients who are involved in government regulatory investigations, and supporting the development and implementation of corporate detection and compliance programs.
Long known for their talent and tenacity, the litigators at Miller Shakman & Beem handle a wide array of commercial disputes. These include contract disputes in a broad range of substantive areas, conflicts involving privately held businesses, debtor/ creditor matters, employment claims, fraud, RICO and other business torts, trademark, copyright, trade secret and restrictive covenant disputes, and insurance coverage claims. In addition, the firm frequently litigates issues that turn on the scope of the duties of partners, officers, directors, and other fiduciaries, and it represents educational and other nonprofit institutions in contested matters. The firm stays on the leading edge of legal and technical developments in electronic discovery so that, in all matters, it can best protect its clients’ interests and provide efficient and effective representation and advice.
Real Estate and Construction
Miller Shakman & Beem represents owners, investors, developers, borrowers, contractors, subcontractors, and architects in a wide range of complex real estate and construction disputes throughout the country. Such matters include breach of contract claims, partnership disputes, actions to quiet title, landlord–tenant matters, real estate lending disputes, construction delay claims, title insurance coverage disputes, mechanics lien and other lien claims, architect’s malpractice claims, breach of implied and express covenants or warranties, restrictive covenant claims, and bankruptcies. Projects in which the firm has been involved include high-end residential buildings, public works projects, shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, and mixed-use projects.
Firm attorneys have litigated class action lawsuits in federal and state courts across the country for clients in a range of industries, including insurance, healthcare, and real estate. If federal court is the preferred forum, the firm is experienced in removal of class actions under CAFA and has had great success defeating class certification. Firm attorneys also have negotiated creative settlements and tried the claims brought by a certified class or class opt-outs to verdict in jury trials. The firm also has substantial experience representing parties seeking injunctive relief in class actions against state and local governments.