Litigation and Dispute Resolution
In many instances, a skilled attorney will be able to help clients avoid the cost and difficulty associated with litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes by carefully documenting transactions and relationships, identifying and mitigating risk, and having a clear understanding of client objectives and desired outcomes. However, from time to time conflict does arise, and my experience renders me uniquely qualified to represent my clients’ interests.
My unique practice background has given me the opportunity to try thousands of cases, both in court and administrative hearing processes. In the administrative realm, I have worked both as a prosecutor, enforcing governmental regulations, and as a respondent, explaining the fashion in which my clients’ actions comply with all relevant requirements. I have defended Internal Revenue Service audits of $23,400,000 in special service area backed, tax-advantaged bonds utilized for tax-exempt construction purposes and gone through the most rigorous federal administrative processes that exist.
In the courtroom realm, again I have substantial experience based on my varied background. As a prosecutor, I have tried thousands of cases and have a feeling for the dynamics of a courtroom, judge and jury that can only come from extensive time spent actively presenting cases in a live courtroom. As a general litigant, I have represented my clients in diverse areas of the law including uniform commercial code and commercial paper claims, insurance defense, complex contract claims, personal injury and products liability defense, employment discrimination claims and many more areas of law. My work has expanded the application of legal protections for companies that face lawsuits seeking recovery of purely economic damages arising out of alleged tortious behavior, and in the realm of real estate related litigation, has expanded the applicability and defensibility of annexation, boundary line and development agreements. I help my clients through legal processes on projects involving many millions of dollars of private and public investment, and when a dispute arises, I bring my combination of careful motion practice and practical courtroom experience to bear so that my clients prevail. I have also developed extensive experience with e-discovery and compliance with regulatory record-keeping requirements, and have litigated issues relating to spoliation of evidence and bad faith in discovery. In one such case, litigation relating to lost airplane engine parts from a fatal airplane crash spanned multiple state and federal lawsuits and established new case law relating to both spoliation of evidence and the boundaries of the General Aviation Revitalization Act.
In Illinois, the party responsible for managing the records of the state court system is the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Several years back, the Clerk of the local Circuit Court faced litigation between her office and the County government, relating to the operation of her office and its corresponding budget. In that process, the Circuit Clerk had choice of any litigation counsel she desired. Serving as Circuit Clerk, she was familiar with the work of every attorney who practiced in the County. She requested my assistance, and I was appointed as a Special Assistant State’s Attorney to represent her in complex litigation ranging from public finance to questions of constitutional priority of services and separation of government. Having her pick of any attorney, she chose me. In that case, we not only produced an outcome favorable to the Circuit Clerk, but we did so in a way that resulted in her opponent in the litigation actually arguing in her favor. Sound litigation strategy that drives responses from opposing parties is the foundation of a comprehensive approach to litigation. When the outcome of litigation is initially not as favorable as desired, I bring my legal research and writing acumen to bear on presenting appeals that cut to the heart of the issue and that can restore my clients’ favorable position in litigation. My litigation experience spans administrative hearings before many agencies at the local, state and federal level, a myriad of different cases at the state court level including appeals through the highest level of state courts, and litigation in federal court (including claims pursued against the federal government or federal agencies).
As with other areas of my practice, I believe that a skilled attorney never stops learning, and so in addition to my work as a litigator I am also a scholar. I serve as an Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, sharing my skill and abilities with undergraduate students and expanding their understanding of the dynamics of complex negotiations. I also teach them about the varying types of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation, and the relative benefits of each approach. From this work, I have developed a knack for explaining conflicts in terms that are readily understandable by persons lacking a technical background in the law, as well as the ability to evaluate the best available method to resolving a conflict, whether it be a collaborative approach such as mediation, or a directed approach such as litigation. Based on my training as a court-appointed arbitrator and as a facilitative mediator, I understand the benefits and detriments of each approach, and know how to use the processes to my clients’ advantages. With my scholarly background in teaching, I am also effective at devising and implementing effective mandatory dispute resolution processes to control and mitigate unnecessary litigation and related costs.
Finally, working as functional in-house counsel on behalf of key clients, I have extensive experience in selecting and actively managing outside counsel in a fashion that makes the best and most efficient use of internal and external resources, to minimize cost, reduce exposures, and produce the best possible outcomes. I have also devised reporting and billing structures that serve my clients’ interests and promote the greatest transparency in outside counsel billing practices. I work to maximize use of internal resources and minimize unnecessary outside counsel costs, while also recognizing the appropriate times to bring in specialized expertise handling specific matters. I have worked both as in-house counsel, outside counsel and insurance defense counsel, which gives me a unique perspective on the appropriate role for each, and which enables me to efficiently and effectively manage litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes.
Frieders Law, LLC
P.O. Box 1009
St. Charles, IL 60174