We wrote the book on emergency business litigation. In most cases, the parties to a lawsuit are fighting about money: one party or the other is going to pay money to the other if successful to compensate it for the claimed wrongs that were done. But sometimes money is not enough. What if, by the time the lawsuit is decided, the treasurer has run off to Siberia with all the money; you would have only a worthless money judgment after spending the time and money to litigate. If an employee has stolen your trade secrets and is giving them to a competitor, you need to stop him or her now before your entire business is ruined. If a competitor is using your trademark, you want to stop the competitor immediately before customers get used to the idea of going to someone else—and the damages you will sustain from lost customers can be very difficult to measure.

A preliminary injunction may be the answer to these dilemmas. It is a court order requiring someone to do something or refrain from doing something—and it can be obtained relatively quickly. Its cousin, the temporary restraining order, can be obtained immediately without formal notice to your opponent, but it lasts for only ten days—enough time to hold a hearing to decide whether you are entitled to a preliminary injunction.

Other cases in which injunctions are commonly requested include partners who want to prevent the sale of a partnership asset; a medical residency program or hospital or school that wants to prevent its loss of accreditation; shareholders who want to prevent waste of corporate assets; businesses that want to prevent the loss of trade secrets or stop a raid on its key employees by a person or business not privileged to do so; and many others.

My book on injunctions (“Handling the Business Emergency: temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions”) has been published by the American Bar Association.

We work fast under emergency conditions. For example, in the commercial context a client might need advice regarding a payment delay or a request to perform extra work without documentation. Or whether it is necessary to mitigate damages after a breach has occurred and, if so, how this mitigation should be accomplished.

Other lawyers frequently request our help in this field because fast action is required and there is no time to learn the principles for the first time.

We Have 18 Areas of Practice. They include:

  • B2B Fraud
    • Business-to-business fraud is a growing area of practice. There are several circumstances in which business fraud occurs.
  • Banking, Loan Agreements; Guaranty Contracts
    • Successful financing is important to most businesses, yet many never study their loan documents until and unless they receive a notice of default.
  • Breach of Contract
    • Breach of contract is one of the most common disputes among businesses; colleagues within a business; or investors and a business.
  • Class Actions
    • People often blame class actions for increasing insurance premiums, but in the hands of responsible lawyers this tool has been used to benefit businesses and consumers.
  • Commercial Real Estate Litigation
    • We handle commercial matters surrounding real estate litigation: disputes over brokerage commissions, commercial leases, development of contracts and contracts including options to purchase.
  • Construction Disputes
    • Owners, architects, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors and their insurers can benefit from our experience handling construction disputes.
  • Corporate, Partnership and LLC Transactions
    • We have helped businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals in Chicago start their enterprises by forming a corporation, partnership or limited liability company.
  • Defamation or Product Disparagement
    • False statements about a company, product, or individual can kill your reputation or your business. New internet and consumer laws make it difficult to protect your reputation, but we have had success in doing so—across the country and in Canada.
  • Emergency Litigation
    • In most cases, the parties to a lawsuit are fighting about money: one party or the other is going to pay money to the other if successful to compensate it for the claimed wrongs that were done. But sometimes money is not enough.
  • Employment, Commission and Brokerage Claims
    • The Patterson Law Firm helps employees preserve their civil rights and sales representatives recover payment for services rendered. We have also defended employers in labor and union disputes.
  • Insurance and Contractual Indemnity
    • Many times the key component of a successful resolution of a business issue depends on establishing insurance coverage. We have extensive experience working with our clients on insurance and contractual indemnity issues.
  • Intellectual Property / Technology
    • We stay on the cutting edge of technological and business advancements and fuse this knowledge with science and the law to bring unparalleled service to our clients.
  • Personal Injury
    • The Patterson Law Firm has worked on complicated personal injury matters to get compensation from insurance companies and others. If you were injured in an accident, we work to make the best out of a bad situation.
  • Professional Negligence
    • Have you been injured because a lawyer or other professional has deviated from the appropriate standard of care? We have considerable experience and proven results in this area.
  • Sales of Goods
    • Transactions for the sale of goods are primarily governed by the sales laws of each state. Illinois has adopted Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) as the main body of law regulating transactions in goods.
  • Shareholder Disputes, Partnership Disagreements and LLC Lawsuits
    • One of the largest areas of our practice is lawsuits, arbitrations and mediations between (a) shareholders, (b) shareholders and officers or directors of a corporation, (c) partners, (d) members of an LLC and (e) members and the manager or managers of an LLC.
  • Trademark Infringement
    • We offer a wide range of trademark services including protection, enforcement and dispute resolution. We stay abreast of the trends in technological and business advancements.
  • Unfair Competition
    • The term unfair competition is often broken down into two categories: torts that confuse consumers as to the source of a product and unfair trade practices. We have experience in both categories.