FREDERICK

ROTH

FREDERICK

ROTH

CONCENTRATION

Roth Law Firm represents clients in the business transaction and estate/trust litigation and maintains an active transactional/estate practice representing select closely-held businesses and their owners. Family litigation representations also include participating as business counsel in business and personal divorces which involve significant business interests.

“It has taken me places I usually don’t go in dissolution proceedings, but most importantly, you both, I think, have witnessed some really excellent lawyering in here. These two gentlemen came up with some really out-of-the-box ideas to get this dispute resolved for the two of you. I know where you guys–how you guys got here and I know it was a tough road and I know it was hard for both of you because things didn’t go the way you planned. That is obvious. But it took a long time, but I think the way this thing was resolved was really, really bright, good lawyering, so I congratulate the lawyers for this, too.”

Associate Judge, DuPage County

BACKGROUND

Frederick E. Roth is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL, J.D. (1979) and received his B.S. in Accountancy with Honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign, IL (1975). He received his Certified Public Accountant (1975) and was a James Scholar. Invited to be a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma, he received The Book Award and was President of Alpha Gamma Rho social fraternity where he  received  the Sleeter Bull Award for academic achievement.

Licensed by the state of Illinois in 1979 and in good standing, Fred Roth has been admitted in state and federal courts in Illinois and appeared in cases throughout  the State of Illinois. He has participated in appeals in all five Appellate Court districts, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Outside Illinois, he has been admitted to participate in cases in Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, and Arizona.

40+ YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
State

Circuit Courts (Bench & Jury Trials), Appellate Courts (all five Districts); Illinois Supreme Court.

Federal

U.S. District Courts, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alternatives

Arbitrations (AAA & JAMS) and Mediations.

Litigation

Closely-held business disputes, including breach of contract, fiduciary obligations, fraud and injunctive relief, contested Will and Trusts, financial disputes in divorce and banking.

Transactions

Commercial real estate, banking negotiations, workouts, corporate and estate planning.

RESULTS

Family Business Matters

A client’s husband died during a pending divorce. Six lawsuits were filed in Illinois and Florida by his girlfriend and widow. As lead counsel for the widow and children, we succeeded in having the husband’s Will declared invalid on summary judgment. The remaining cases were eventually consolidated and the bench trial over an allegedly forged change of beneficiary signature (which substituted the girlfriend in place of the husband’s children on the $1,000,000 policy) was successful. As a result, the girlfriend’s claims to the Florida home were abandoned. Our client and her children inherited 100% of the successful, 30+-year-old family business as opposed to the girlfriend.
An older brother of my client, without authority, sold the parent’s home and adjacent acreage to a developer for a fraction of its value. Through negotiation and discovery that the transaction violated certain real estate/title laws, we were able to rescind the sale and resell the property for its FMV and then structure the transaction as a Section 1031 to avoid capital gain taxes and provide a substantial long-term investment for our client.
Client’s family won a jury trial wherein an uncle had forged their father’s Will and it was declared invalid. However, despite the favorable ruling, the Judge (who later pleaded to guilty to theft and was sentenced to jail), fashioned an unusual ruling whereby a third party purchaser was “given” the family residence and acreage, leaving the family with nothing. As new counsel to the family, we succeeded in opening the matter and on appeal, reversing the trial court decision. The family recovered the property free and clear of the third party.
Forced the settlement of a long term, complicated estate dispute involving multiple entities and parcels of real estate, as new counsel for the widow (previously accused of murdering her husband and found innocent by the jury due to self defense). Proving to opposing counsel and their accountants that the risk of prolonging the estate would result in a substantial increase in taxes convinced the estranged children and the executor/trustee to settle on reasonable terms the day before New Year’s Eve, thereby avoiding the taxes.
Successfully removed a professional executor/trustee and his counsel for making improper payments from the trust and forced them to return 100% of the funds wrongfully removed. Also, reached a six-figure settlement for additional claims made against the executor/trustee for his handling of the trust and estate. The complex litigation and negotiations resulted in our client securing 100% ownership of the part of the family businesses he had operated for over 30+ years.
Lead business litigation counsel throughout for matters during and post divorce between spouses regarding co-ownership of industrial properties sold to a municipality under threat of eminent domain. The 2008 credit crisis resulted in new appellate precedent which cancelled the sale. After surviving several contested hearings on make or break issues before several judges, we ultimately structured a unique settlement, (described by quote above by the Associate Judge), which allowed our client to maintain the business he had operated for 20+ years and obtained in the divorce, despite years of challenges by his ex-spouse, who engaged several law firms and advisors over the 10+ years of litigation.
Other divorce-related matters include work as co-counsel for performing business discovery, structuring business interests, and successful negotiations with high net worth individuals. Also, succeeded on the legal doctrine of judicial estoppel to prevent a sanction claim and cause the ex-husband (who brought the sanction motion) to use retirement funds to pay outstanding support. Recently, in a separate divorce-related matter, overturned a sentencing order for contempt which may have resulted in the ex-wife being jailed for 6 months due to disagreements over the interpretation of the child custody arrangement.
Represented divorced spouse against ex-husband’s family who made post divorce claims to property she was granted a 50% interest in (via the divorce decree which was affirmed on appeal). The family’s claim was dismissed twice before they appealed and on appeal, my client prevailed and ultimately was allowed to maintain the 50% ownership interest, as well as the right to a claim against her ex-husband for legal fees incurred.

Contract Litigation

Obtained a high seven figure award in an intense Arbitration case wherein our client’s breach of contract claim was met by 15 separate affirmative defenses. Successful on all claims and defenses, despite the fact that the matter took several years, involved numerous discovery orders, hundreds of thousands of dollars in accounting, expert witness and arbitrator fees and opposing counsel was one of the largest firms in the U.S.
A downstate Illinois Circuit Court Judge stole millions from two estates and a community charitable foundation. Characterized by the Chicago Tribune as the “longest running saga of judicial corruption in Illinois history”, I participated as lead counsel for the two estates and charitable foundation, appearing before over 30 judges in the Circuit Courts, Appellate Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. District Court and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (and as the complaining party in an ARDC case which resulted in a 2 year suspension of an attorney, as finally resolved by the Illinois Supreme Court). Recoveries totaled more than $2,000,000.
Succeeded in representing a 50+ year old family business in an operating loan dispute that threatened the sale of the business at a critical time when the company was experiencing warranty issues. Had a sale have occurred, the family would have received virtually nothing. The resulting compromise allowed the family ownership to remain intact while the business thrived and was ultimately sold for a low eight-figure amount.
Participated as lead counsel in the negotiating of a mid-eight figure settlement on behalf of the prevailing party in arbitration and solved the critical dispute by designing a rolling letter of credit for the extended payment period, thereby avoiding the debtor’s threat of bankruptcy.
Co-counsel in matter wherein a third party purchased services on credit and then immediately filed bankruptcy to avoid payment. Discovery revealed the third party had signed the bankruptcy application prior to the purchase and the filing of a bankruptcy fraud claim convinced the third party to pay the amount owed over time, despite the bankruptcy. Client recovered close to full amount.
Represented local attorney in his efforts to battle a large bank regarding a defaulted loan dispute over a seven-figure amount intended for the construction of a new house (which was halted due to the financial crisis). Succeeded in redirecting the focus of the case which later resulted in a settlement whereby our client was able to reduce the loan by more than 75%, sell the property and achieve a six-figure net gain.

Employment

Represented physician/employee who left large medical organization and was sued for alleged violations of a non-competition restriction. Following multiple motions and strong-arm discovery tactics, succeeded in obtaining summary judgment for our client which allowed him to continue his medical practice wherever he chose to do so.
Defended physician/employer against six-figure compensation claim from long term physician/employee. The court adopted all of our facts and legal argument and after denying all claims, assessed a small amount of damages against the physician/employee.
As co-counsel, following contested court proceedings, settled a sex discrimination/equal pay claim for a six-figure amount which fully compensated our client, a woman, for more than 100% of the base salary and commissions disparity paid to her counterpart during the period of discrimination.

Professional Liability

Succeeded in bringing and settling two separate legal malpractice claims against well-known, wealthy attorneys who defrauded their clients. Although cases did not go to trial, the claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud survived extensive motions to dismiss and in one instance, a motion for summary judgment. Amounts recovered exceeded the low seven figures.
Co-counsel for long term resident in nursing home abuse case resulting in high six figure settlement. In another nursing home abuse case, succeeded in having claim one of the first of over 435 pending against nursing home claim after it filed bankruptcy (a few months following the filing of the case). In the court-ordered national mediation program, obtained a six-figure settlement despite there being very limited insurance coverage.

Appellate Practice

Although dismissed in the trial court three times, we obtained a reversal on appeal of the dismissal and, as a case of first impression, established in Illinois the right to bring a negligent misrepresentation action against a third party appraiser for a negligent appraisal.
In two separate matters following appeals to the Appellate and Supreme Court, although partially successful in one, six-figure judgments were entered against our clients. In the interim, we successfully purchased third-party judgments against each of the opposing parties and when the cases returned to the trial court, we succeeded in collecting more than was owed in one and offsetting 100% in the other. The judgments purchased for nominal amounts allowed our clients to avoid making any payment to the successful opponents from our client’s funds. In one instance, the Appellate decision remains a leading precedent for the right of a party who is awarded damages to elect a different remedy between the time of the jury verdict and the entry of judgment.

Other

Independently researched matters involved in a complicated estate which had already closed and where the estate tax return had been approved by the IRS. Prepared and pursued a claim for refund and eventually received a refund for $232,000. The matter involved a narrow retroactive provision in a tax regulation which was adopted after the estate was closed.
Represented several community groups who challenged the siting of CAFOs in Illinois. Succeeded in convincing 10+ owners of proposed hog factories and a mega dairy to abandon their plans. As a part of the process, we pursued public nuisance actions and obtained significant data and information about the harmful effects of and the political and regulatory bias in favor of such facilities.
Between 1988-1990, as corporate counsel for an out of state small startup, engaged and managed the work of 13 outside law firms in 6 states involving transactions and litigation.
Engaged as an expert witness (by ISBA Mutual) regarding a commercial real estate matter on behalf of the defendant attorney alleged to have committed professional malpractice.
Prepared numerous estate plans regarding advanced tax planning, represented business owners and negotiated commercial loans, purchases, and sales of businesses, and structuring business contracts.

Notable Appeals

Cohen v. Thompson, 3-18-0266, Ill. App. 3d (2018) Unpublished
Diotallevi v. Diotallevi, 2013 Ill. App. LEXIS 917 (12/23/13)
Toftoy v. Rosenwinkel, 2011 Ill. App. LEXIS 1200 (12/30/11) (Reversed in 2013 Ill. LEXIS 9 (1/29/13))
Block 418, LLC v. Uni-Tel Communs. Group, Inc. 398 Ill. App. 3d 586 (2010)
Stephen v. Huckaba, 361 Ill. App. 3d 1047 (2005)
People ex rel. Madigan v. Cochonour (In re Estate of Hayden), 361 Ill. App. 3d 1021 (2005)
Kelly v. Carbone, 361 Ill. App. 477 (2005)
Quality Components Corporation v. Kel-Keef Enterprises, Inc., 316 Ill. App. 3d 998 (2000)
Thoms v. Private Ledger Financial Services, Inc., 155 Ill.App. 289 (1987)
Kurti v. Fox Valley Radiologists, Ltd., 124 Ill.App. 3d 933 (1984)
CONTACT
FRED@RLFIRM.COM    630.778.1100
33 N DEARBORN ST., STE. 2350, CHICAGO, IL 60602

 

*attorney & Client references available 
Frederick E. Roth
Rated by Super Lawyers


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(2019-2021)