DIANE F. KLOTNIA, partner

klotnia Ms. Klotnia has litigated many complex commercial and legal malpractice cases and is well known for her command of legal ethics. She has represented clients in cases involving legal malpractice defense, attorney disciplinary matters, corporate and partnership disputes, derivative actions and shareholder disputes, RICO litigation, contract disputes, commercial mortgage foreclosure, environmental law, constitutional law and federal civil rights. Ms. Klotnia has been selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list every year since its inception in 2005.
        Ms. Klotnia has been involved in cases in the U. S. District Courts in Illinois, Hawaii, Kansas and Pennsylvania and in the state courts of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Delaware and has participated in appeals to the U. S. Supreme Court, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the Third Circuit, and to the Illinois Appellate Court and the Wisconsin Appellate Court.

Selected Engagements

  • Represented several large law firms in separate, unrelated lawsuits involving claims of legal malpractice. The underlying matters that gave rise to the claims involved complex commercial transactions, patent litigation, and commercial litigation.
  • Appointed Special Master by U. S. District Court to review and provide recommendations on privilege and work product claims in connection with an SEC lawsuit.
  • Represented hospital system in federal class action by registered nurses alleging antitrust violations, and led defense group of six law firms in successful presentation of complex econometric issues to the Court.
  • Represented a manufacturer of railroad tracks and wheels in connection with its claims under an environmental indemnity arising out of the manufacturer’s purchase of several facilities.
  • Represented clothing manufacturer against anti-trust claims asserted by a retailer.
  • Represented a trustee and corporate officer in several related lawsuits involving shareholder derivative claims and claims of breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented two closely-held corporations in connection with claims by one of the shareholders that he had been frozen out by the other shareholder.
  • Represented the seller of manufacturing facilities in arbitration held in connection with post-closing disputes, including claims arising out of an environmental indemnity.
  • Represented an international power manufacturing corporation in connection with disputes between the corporation and its joint venture partners arising out of their development and operation of a power co-generation facility in Hawaii.
  • Represented a minor in child abuse and neglect proceedings in Cook County. The Illinois appellate court resolved in favor of the minor the novel issue of whether a minor is entitled to counsel of her own choice in such proceedings, in lieu of the public guardian.
  • Represented, along with the Roger Baldwin Foundation, a physician who wished to exercise his first amendment rights and demonstrate at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in an area other than the area designated by the City and the DNCC. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court ruled in favor of the client and other demonstrators.

Education

  • B.S., University of Illinois, Business Administration, 1984.
    Graduated with highest honors
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1987.
    Graduated with highest honors
    Order of the Coif
    Managing and Book Review editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.

Experience

  • Admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1989; Pennsylvania Bar, 1988 (currently inactive).
  • Law clerk to the Hon. Max Rosenn, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1988-1989.
  • Associate with this firm, 1989-1994; became a partner in 1995.
  • Associate with Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C., 1987-1988.
  • Adjunct faculty of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law, 2009-2011.
  • Adjunct faculty of Professional Responsibility at Northwestern University School of Law, 2011 to present.
  • Member, ISBA Standing Committee on Professional Conduct, 2012 to present.
  • Member, ISBA Special Committee on Judicial Disqualification Standards, 2012.
  • Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee, Chicago Bar Association, 2009 -2010.
  • Vice-Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee, Chicago Bar Association, 2008-2009.
  • Co-Chair, Joint Task Force of the CBA, ISBA and IJA on Limited Scope Of Representation, 2010-2011.

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Council of Lawyers
  • Board member, ACLU of Illinois, 1999 to present; Executive Committee Member, ACLU of Illinois, 2001 to present. As a board member, developed a weekly call-in program on cable television called “You Have the Right.”
  • Board member, University of Illinois College of Business Alumni Association, 2002-2012.
  • Board member and officer, Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County, 2006 to present.
  • Alternate Board member, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 2006-2012.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Why Do Environmental Lawyers Get Sued For Malpractice? What Can They Do To Avoid A Malpractice Claim?” Bloomberg BNA, 2013. Written with Michael L. Shakman and Edward W. Feldman.
  • “A Primer On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Managing Risk in the Patent Arena,” presented at Midwest Intellectual Property Summit for the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, November 15, 2013.
  • A Primer on Legal Malpractice for Patent Lawyers,” Bloomberg BNA – Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, November 2012. Written with Michael L. Shakman and Edward W. Feldman.
  • “Conflict of Interest Considerations When a Lawyer Changes Law Firms,” presented at Webinar for the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, 2011.
  • “Contacting and communicating with putative class members in the pre-certification phase of class actions lawsuits – ethical considerations under the Rules of Professional Conduct and a recent ABA formal ethics opinion,” presented at Professional Responsibility Committee, Chicago Bar Association, 2007.
  • “Mediation of Business Disputes,” Alternative Dispute Resolution, Illinois Institute for CLE, 2001. Written with Michael L. Shakman and Edward W. Feldman.
  • “Trust Us: How Rules on Referral Fees Influence the MDP Debate,” Chicago Bar Association Record, September 2000. Written with Michael L. Shakman.