Alan-Curley

Alan F. Curley

Shareholder
Phone: (312) 663-3100
Email: acurley@robinsoncurley.com

 


Experience

Alan litigates commercial disputes in federal and state courts and alternative dispute resolution venues across the country. He represents individuals, receivers, trustees, independent fiduciaries and commercial entities of all kinds in a wide variety of business disputes, including breach of contract, insurance coverage, reinsurance, complex collections, professional liability, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and other intentional torts, and civil RICO. Alan has tried several complex cases to verdict and argued numerous appeals in the state and federal courts. He has been named a Leading Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation by the Leading Lawyers Network, and an Illinois Super Lawyer in Business Litigation.

Since leaving Sidley & Austin in Chicago in 1988 to join the firm, Alan has developed a national practice representing receivers of insolvent financial institutions, especially when the institutions have been victims of fraud perpetrated by their constituents. Alan frequently counsels and represents bank and insurance company receivers in asset recovery and professional liability investigations and litigation. He also advises insurance company receivers and independent fiduciaries on administrative matters such as claims procedures and reinsurance recoverables.

Alan is one of the most experienced and successful plaintiff-side professional liability litigators in the nation. He has been lead and co-lead counsel in cases against directors, officers, attorneys, accountants and other professionals resulting in over $200 million of cash recoveries for the firm's clients


Representative Engagements

  • Alan is currently lead counsel to a receiver in confidential professional liability investigations and litigation involving officers, directors, brokerage firms and auditors arising out of a multi-million-dollar fraud perpetrated by an insider who looted the entity, faked his own suicide, disappeared, and was finally apprehended two years later.
  • Alan recently acted as local counsel representing an insurance company subsidiary of a Fortune 100 company in a coverage action under a travel insurance policy. The plaintiff-claimant, a Maryland resident, had been detained in Aruba under suspicion of killing his girlfriend, the insured, for whom he had purchased the policy shortly before leaving on vacation. After his release, he filed a coverage action against the insurance company in Illinois, its domiciliary state. Alan assisted with a successful forum non conveniens motion, resulting in dismissal of the Illinois case. Alan has represented the client as lead counsel in several other matters since that time.
  • For over ten years, Alan was lead counsel to the receiver of three insolvent Mississippi life insurance companies looted by the notorious felon Martin Frankel. Through the efforts of Alan and his co-counsel, over $168 million of cash was recovered for the estates of the Mississippi insurers and their affiliates. Litigation was filed in Mississippi, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. against Frankel, his co-conspirators, several domestic banks and brokerage firms, a Swiss bank, a diamond dealer, a gold dealer, and others. Confidential, pre-filing settlements were reached on several professional liability claims as well. Alan also served as lead or co-lead counsel in connection with numerous other asset-related actions, including dozens of federal forfeiture cases. Alan also represented the Mississippi receiver in connection with the conspirators' criminal sentencing and restitution proceedings.
  • Alan represented an Ohio title insurance company in connection with two separate, multi-million-dollar escrow theft schemes perpetrated by certain of its agents. Alan prosecuted claims against one of the agents, assisted with bankruptcy proceedings the agent filed, represented the title company in connection with criminal sentencing and restitution proceedings, obtained recoveries under fidelity bonds held by the agent in several states, coordinated the defense of actions filed against the title company in Nevada, and obtained substantial recoveries under a professional liability policy held by the title company. Alan also represented the title company in a complex settlement negotiation involving the second defalcating agent, certain solvent affiliated entities, other affected title insurers, and numerous insureds including many of the country's largest national banks. As a result of the settlement, the title company obtained releases from the banks and paid nothing. Alan has also represented the title company in several other matters since that time.
  • Alan represented the independent fiduciaries of two separate Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and receivers of two separate Risk Retention Groups (RRGs) in professional liability litigation and numerous facets of estate administration, including federal and state court liquidation proceedings, claims analysis and objection proceedings, reinsurance recoverables, asset recovery and distribution, and estate closure.
  • Alan was lead counsel to the receiver of three insolvent Illinois property and casualty insurers in RICO, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims against the insurers' dominant officer, director and shareholder, who was accused of looting the insurers through a complex web of affiliated companies. After defeating motions to dismiss and extensive pre-trial discovery, the case was settled favorably for the receiver. Alan and his co-counsel at the firm also sued the insurers' auditor for accounting malpractice, and won reversal in the Illinois Appellate Court of the lower court's dismissal of those claims. Shortly after the reversal, the malpractice claims settled favorably for the receiver. The appellate decision provides a significant precedent for receivers of insolvent entities, as the court imposed severe limits on the equitable defenses of imputation and in pari delicto as applied to receivers. The decision also established precedent in Illinois upholding the validity and applicability of tolling agreements as applied to statutes of repose. McRaith v. BDO Seidman LLP, 909 N.E.2d 310 (Ill. App. 2009).
  • Alan has co-authored amicus briefs in the Illinois Appellate Court (concerning reinsurance recoverables) and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (concerning in pari delicto) for the International Association of Insurance Receivers, an organization of which he has been a member since the 1990s.
  • Alan was lead counsel to the receiver of an insolvent life and health insurer in West Virginia against the company's former officers, directors, accountants, and attorneys, claiming that millions of premium dollars were looted from the company through sham subsidiaries and illegal dividends. Over $6 million of pre-trial settlements were obtained from accountants and law firms involved with the company. Alan also served as first chair in a jury trial in West Virginia resulting in a $13.6 million verdict against three officers, directors, and attorneys for breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice. Alan successfully defended the verdict in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He also served as co-lead counsel in bankruptcy proceedings initiated by the judgment-debtors in Florida, and assisted the receiver with wind-up of the estate.

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Education

Alan earned his B.A. in Anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1981. He earned his J.D. with Highest Distinction from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois in 1985. He served as Lead Articles Editor for The John Marshall Law Review and volunteered as a mentor with the school's Legal Educational Access Program.


Clerkships

After law school, from 1985 to 1986, Alan clerked for the Honorable W. Eugene Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Lafayette, Louisiana.