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Dave Rownd

Partner

Chicago
312 580 2311 direct

Dave is a practical and resourceful business litigator with a long track record of successful results.

He assesses legal disputes from a business perspective and focuses on identifying the key leverage points that enable him to position his clients for the best possible result. Precise and persuasive, Dave is often able to convince adversaries to reassess their positions and resolve cases favorably at an early stage. When adversaries are entrenched, Dave is a creative and vigorous advocate who can envision, develop and articulate a comprehensive and compelling theory of the case to convince decision makers - be it a jury, a judge or an arbitrator - to see the situation his client's way.

Dave often represents clients in complex, high stakes litigation involving many moving parts. He is a trusted advisor to in-house lawyers, executives, owners of privately held companies and individual entrepreneurs, advising them on how the particular matter at hand can impact bigger picture business issues and guiding them through the dispute resolution process in a way that allows them to focus on their business. With focused strategies on the substantive issues and the most up to date E-Discovery management tools at his disposal, Dave is able to contain the costs of discovery in major litigation matters, enabling clients to pursue their claims and defenses through a controlled and efficient process. As one in-house attorney at a large public company put it, "Dave is knowledgeable, client service driven, and dedicated to achieving the best result in a cost effective manner."

Dave handles disputes involving contractual, fiduciary and other statutory and common law duties in a number of industries, including real estate, telecommunications, marketing, automotive and insurance. He has extensive experience litigating property rights; representing clients that manage portfolios, such as cell tower and billboard leases and easements and various financial instruments, where the assignees of the original contracting parties are in dispute over their acquired contractual rights and liabilities. He has significant experience representing parties in disputes with former colleagues or fellow business owners where the parties' characterizations of situations can vary greatly. Dave has tried bench and jury trials in state and federal courts, conducted hearings before administrative agencies and represented clients in arbitrations and mediations before domestic and international alternative dispute resolution tribunals. He has substantial experience prosecuting and defending emergency proceedings for injunctive relief. In addition to his work as a litigator, Dave also serves as a counselor and concierge to a variety of clients, coordinating the delivery of client services in a number of different areas, including real estate transactions, business deals and estate planning and administration.

Dave received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He is admitted to practice before the Illinois state courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and federal district courts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin and he has been admitted pro hac vice for various cases in numerous courts across the country. Dave is a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and has been selected by his peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer every year since 2009. When not serving his clients, Dave is active in the community serving on the Board of Directors of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music and as the Treasurer of Chicago's North River Commission.

Representative Matters

Cell Tower/Billboard/Real Estate Asset Cash Flow Protection Litigation

Led a team of attorneys from multiple law firms in federal court litigation and five related state court actions relating to efforts to control land rights at more than 600 cell tower sites. The case involved Antitrust, RICO, Lanham Act claims as well as common law fraud, tortious interference and contract claims, over ten million pages of documents, one hundred depositions and 23 identified expert witnesses. We successfully removed six of our opponent's eight claims through summary judgment motions and settled the case favorably after winning Daubert motions excluding our opponent's primary liability expert on its surviving claims and our opponent's primary damages theory.

Successfully handled numerous matters for cell tower and billboard operators and property rights holders protecting property rights from claims that jeopardized or inhibited clients' ability to maximize cash flow from real estate assets. Cases include lease disputes, condemnation matters, foreclosure proceedings, zoning and permitting matters and various efforts by third parties to interfere with cash flow generated by real estate assets.

Post-Acquisition Disputes

On behalf of a buyer of a business, obtained summary judgment on fraud, breach of contract and duress claims filed by seller, in which seller claimed that buyer purchased business for purpose of eliminating a competitor and failed to use good faith efforts to generate expected royalties.

Obtained million dollar award in an arbitration involving whether the former stockholders of a company that the client acquired were obligated to indemnify the client for taxes that were accrued but unpaid at the time of closing.

Prosecuted and defended numerous claims against escrowed funds arising out of alleged breaches of representations and warranties in asset purchase and stock purchase agreements.

Insurance Litigation

Represented the Illinois Director of Insurance in trial that determined that an insurer should be liquidated because of its insolvency.

Obtained half-million dollar award in arbitration involving an insurance agent's failure to turn over contingent commissions to which it was not entitled. Obtained dismissal of $5 million claim against the liquidator of an insolvent insurance company for commissions allegedly due an insurance agent.

Extensive experience in coverage litigation and management of insurance relationships while defending clients to maximize insurer participation in costs of litigation.

Injunction Litigation

Successfully prosecuted and defended numerous matters involving injunctive relief, including temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions. Cases have involved non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, public bidding protests and various contract and property disputes. Well versed on the procedural requirements of emergency injunction practice in the Circuit Court of Cook County and have utilized this knowledge to my advantage as a plaintiff and a defendant on numerous occasions.

Successfully intervened in federal court action in which Illinois plaintiff had obtained a temporary restraining order against our client's non-resident employees, prohibiting the employees from working for our client. Because our client's intervention destroyed diversity of citizenship, the court dismissed the entire action and dissolved the restraining order.

On behalf of a buyer of a business, obtained summary judgment on fraud, breach of contract and duress claims filed by seller, in which seller claimed that buyer purchased business for purpose of eliminating a competitor and failed to use good faith efforts to generate expected royalties.

Obtained dismissal of $5 Million claim against the liquidator of an insolvent insurance company for commissions allegedly due an insurance agent.

Obtained temporary restrictive order against financial consultants prohibiting them from using customer information belonging to their former employer in connection with their new employment.

Obtained half-million dollar award in arbitration involving an insurance agent’s failure to turn over contingent commissions to which it was not entitled.

Successfully intervened in federal court action in which Illinois plaintiff had obtained a temporary restraining order against our client’s non-resident employees, prohibiting the employees from working for our client. Because our client’s intervention destroyed diversity of citizenship, the court dismissed the entire action and dissolved the restraining order.

Obtained million dollar award in an arbitration involving whether the former stockholders of a company that the client acquired were obligated to indemnify the client for taxes that were accrued but unpaid at the time of closing.

Won motion for summary judgment on behalf of cell tower owner in action against landowner, holding that cell tower owner had the right under its agreement with landowner to add additional wireless providers to the tower without paying additional compensation to the landowner.

Represented the Illinois Director of Insurance in trial that determined that an insurer should be liquidated because of its insolvency.

Successfully defended cable television provider against a temporary restraining order sought by municipality to prevent closure of production studio.

Represented a school bus company which had received a three year, $3 million contract from a suburban Chicago school district. An unsuccessful bidder sought to enjoin the school district from awarding the contract to our client, alleging that its bid was invalid and should have been rejected as a matter of law. Successfully opposed the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and preserved the contract for our client.

Publications

"Establishing a Protectable Interest, Forward Thinking for Clients that Use Restrictive Covenants";
Illinois State Bar Association, Corporation, Securities & Business Law Forum, Vol. 46, No. 3, April 2001

Co-Author, "Corporate Relationships and Coverage";
Coverage, Vol. 8, No. 6, 1998

Co-Author, "Court Decisions Favor Federal Preemption in Medical Device Litigation";
Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation. Vol. 10, No. 13, 1995

Co-Author, "Federal Preemption is Powerful Antidote to Product Liability Explosion Against Medical Device Manufacturers";
Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation, Vol. 9, No. 21, 1994

"Muting The Commercial Speech Doctrine, Fox v. Board of Trustees";
Washington U. Jour. Urb. and Contemp., 38, L. 275, 1990