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Chicago IP Litigation Tracking Northern District of Illinois IP Cases

Tag Archives: Finnegan

“Special Sharing” Allows Claims Against Corporate Officer

Posted in Pleading Requirements

Lang Exteriors, Inc. v. Lang Windows, Inc., No. 11 C 5517, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 16, 2012) (Finnegan, J.).

Judge Finnegan denied individual defendant Lang’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & (6) motion to dismiss this Lanham Act suit.  Lang argued that plaintiff Lang Exterior could not bring claims directly against Lang without piercing the corporate veil.  But Seventh Circuit law allows personal claims against corporate officers where there was a “special showing” that the officer acted beyond the scope of her official duties.  Plaintiff’s pleadings were sufficient to make that showing at the Rule 12(b) stage.  Specifically, plaintiff pled:

  1. Lang founded defendant Lang Windows and deliberately chose a name to confuse.
  2. Lang personally emailed contacts using a pseudonym she used for plaintiff in order to confuse customers.
  3. Lang created a website intending to confuse.

The Court also deemed waived Lang’s arguments reviewed for the first time on appeal.

New N.D. Illinois Judges Panel: Judge Finnegan

Posted in Legal News

In late January, the Northern District’s six newest judges attended a Federal Bar Association* panel to offer insights into their practices and chambers. The recurring theme of the discussion was a call for civility: Civility in court. Civility in briefs. Civility in emails. Over the next several weeks, I will provide summaries of each judge’s comments and insights. This post (the third in the series) focuses upon Magistrate Judge Finnegan:

  • Discuss ways to streamline cases early
  • Plan early discovery to focus issues and settlement conferences
  • Will sometimes meet counsel without clients before a full settlement conference
  • Follow Seventh Circuit E-Discovery Program

The State of the Northern District Remains Strong

Posted in Legal News

Chief Judge Holderman recently gave the annual State of the Court address, concluding that the Northern District continues to be an active, growing district court. Civil case filings were up 6.2% from 2008 to 2009, and the Northern District remains in the top 10% of district courts for median time to disposition – 6.2 months. 

The Court began 2009 with one vacant judgeship – created by Judge Filip’s March 2008 resignation. The Court ended 2009 with from after Judges Bucklo, Coar and Gettleman took senior status. In February 2010, Judge Manning also took senior status. Judge Feinerman was confirmed last month, reducing the vacant seats by one, but there could be five vacancies again at the end of July when Judge Anderson retires. 

The magistrate bench was also active. Judges Ashman and Keys shifted to recalled status. Judges Finnegan, Gilbert and Kim joined the bench. 

Finally, the number of registered e-filers is up 18% to over 25,000. And the daily filing rate is up 15% to an average 867 documents per day. 

N.D. Illinois Appoints Three New Magistrate Judges

Posted in Legal News

 Chief Judge Holderman announced that the Northern District of Illinois has appointed three new magistrate judges to seven year terms.  All three new magistrates are former Northern District law clerks.  Here are the biographies of each new judge as provided by the Northern District (emphasis added):

  • Jeffrey T. Gilbert received his law degree from Northwestern University (1980). He is a partner with Reed Smith in its Chicago office and is a member of the firm’s regulatory litigation group. Mr. Gilbert originally practiced with Sachnoff & Weaver, which combined with Reed Smith in 2007. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Gilbert served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Marvin E. Aspen, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer by 2010. Mr. Gilbert is also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University Law.
  • Administrative Law Judge Young B. Kim was born in South Korea. He received his law degree from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (1991). Judge Kim began his legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in Cook County, working in various misdemeanor courtrooms and in the Domestic Violence Division. Two years later, he served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Charles R. Norgle, Sr., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After his clerkship, Judge Kim joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he litigated both civil and criminal cases. During his seven-year service, Judge Kim focused on healthcare fraud, medical malpractice, and employment discrimination cases. In 2001, Judge Kim accepted an appointment with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an Administrative Law Judge. Judge Kim is one of the recipients of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s "2004 Best Lawyers Under 40" award.
  • Sheila M. Finnegan received her law degree from the University of Chicago (1986) and currently co-chairs Mayer Brown’s Chicago litigation practice, handling civil and criminal trials.  In 2008, 2009, and 2010, she was recognized as one of the top 50 women lawyers in Illinois by Super Lawyers.  Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Ms. Finnegan served as Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. She also served for several years on the Financial Fraud Task Force. Ms. Finnegan served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Milton I. Shadur, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University Law School.

Welcome to the Northern District bench Judges Finnegan, Gilbert and Kim.