Robinson Curley "Super Lawyers": Five Robinson Curley attorneys have been named "Super Lawyers" in the 2015 edition of Super Lawyers Magazine.
Robinson Curley attorneys wrote the article "Litigation Funding for Federal Equity Receivers," published in the Summer 2015 edition of The Receiver, a publication of the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers. Click here to read the article.
On June 6, 2014, Robinson Curley won an appeal in the Seventh Circuit on their client's race-discrimination-in-hiring claim. Click here to read the opinion.
Robinson Curley prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, successfully defending a $413 million judgment obtained for our clients, victims of a complex RICO scheme whose interests in a valuable close corporation were stolen by the company's management and their associates. Writing for a unanimous panel, Judge Joel Flaum found that the defendants' "drumbeat of discovery abuse" -- including concealing evidence, destroying evidence, fabricating documents, and avoiding a deposition -- amply justified the District Court's entry of a default judgment sanction against them. The Seventh Circuit also affirmed the District Court's adoption of Robinson Curley's expert-supported damages calculation. Click here to read the appellate opinion, here for the District Court's default order, and here for the District Court's damages order.
Robinson Curley received a "Tier 1" ranking in the 2014 Edition of the U.S. News -- Best Lawyers' "Best Law Firms."
On June 6, 2013, Philip and Alan Curley participated as panelists in a presentation entitled To Catch a Thief: The Rise and Fall of Marty Frankel, at a meeting of the International Association of Insurance Receivers (IAIR) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Robinson Curley, led by Philip and Alan, represented the receiver of three insolvent Mississippi insurance companies looted by Frankel and his criminal associates. Robinson Curley was lead or co-counsel in numerous lawsuits nationally that resulted in the recovery of over $156 million for the victims of Frankel's crimes. Philip was co-chair of the Las Vegas meeting and recently completed a three-year term on IAIR's Board of Directors.
Robinson Curley won summary judgment for a volume buyer of waste paper against one of its former suppliers, which had sought $3 million in liquidated damages under the parties' contracts. Judge Darrah of the United States District Court for the Northern Disrict of Illinois agreed with Robinson Curley that the liquidated damages provisions were uneforceable penalties, and that because the supplier sought only liquidated damages, its claims failed.
Representing the successor to a major mortgage lender, Robinson Curley filed a federal RICO case against more than 70 defendants, arising from a notorious $100 million residential mortgage fraud scheme in Michigan. The Complaint in Fremont Reorganizing Corp. v. Duke, et al., No. 2:10-cv-11923-DML-RSW (E.D. Mich.), alleges that Ronnie Earl Duke and his co-conspirators perpetrated a ghost and straw loan scheme to defraud mortgage lenders, including Robinson Curley's client, which suffered approximately $20 million in damages. Defendants include Duke, property buyers and sellers, title companies, real estate and mortgage brokers, appraisers, and a bank.
Nevada Insurance Commissioner Brett J. Barratt and Deputy Receiver Betty Cordial appointed Robinson Curley as counsel to advise on receivership and liquidation issues in connection with Financial Advisors Assurance Select, RRG, an insolvent Nevada risk retention group.
FIFTH CIRCUIT VICTORY. Robinson Curley won a major victory for the Mississippi Insurance Commissioner in his capacity as Receiver of three insolvent insurance companies looted by the notorious Martin Frankel. Chaney v. ALA Acquisitions, Inc., 595 F.3d 219 (2010). The Court unanimously reversed the District Court's grant of summary judgment on the Receiver's negligence claims against Dreyfus Service Corporation, a major financial institution through which Frankel looted and laundered over $200 million of the insurance companies' assets. The Court agreed with Robinson Curley that Dreyfus owed its insurance company customers a duty of reasonable care and that Dreyfus's efforts "to identify the origin, legitimacy, or ultimate destination of the funds passing through its accounts were . . . non-existent." The Court remanded the case for trial and denied Dreyfus's motions for rehearing and en banc review.
ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT VICTORY. Robinson Curley won a significant appeal for the Director of the Illinois Division of Insurance in his capacity as Liquidator of three insolvent insurance companies. McRaith v. BDO Seidman, 391 Ill. App. 3d 565, 909 N.E. 2d 310 (2009). The Court unanimously reversed the dismissal of the Liquidator's professional negligence claims against the insurance companies' former auditor, rejecting the auditors' imputation-based in pari delicto defense. Recognizing that insurance company receivers/liquidators are "statutorily charged with preserving the rights of  policyholders and creditors," the Court found it would be "unlawful, as well as illogical," to impute to the Liquidator the misconduct of the insurance companies' former CEO/Board Chairman, who looted the companies. The Court held: "The imputation doctrine does not apply to the director of the State of Illinois Division of Insurance when acting as an insolvent insurance company liquidator under the statutory authority provided by the Illinois Insurance Code." The Court also agreed with Robinson Curley that the "sole owner" doctrine does not apply to insurance companies because of the unique regulatory environment in which they operate. The decision sets an important precedent for insurance company liquidators, who frequently face imputation-based in pari delictoaffirmative defenses from third-party service provider defendants.
Several Robinson Curley lawyers have been chosen to play key roles in important legal and civic organizations. Philip Curley was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Insurance Receivers. Cindy Hyndman was selected to serve on the Board of Advisors of the Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society. And Robert Margolis was selected to serve on the Board of Directors of Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
SUPREME COURT VICTORY (as amicus curiae). By a vote of 9-0, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co. that plaintiffs in civil RICO cases with mail or wire fraud predicate acts need not prove that they personally relied on defendants' misrepresentations; they need only show that their injuries were proximately caused by the misrepresentations, even if a third party relied on them. This was the exact position taken in the amicus curiae brief Robinson Curley filed on behalf of the International Association of Insurance Receivers ("IAIR"). The Court's ruling is a major victory for IAIR, whose members are now free to pursue RICO claims against malefactors who loot insurance company assets by making misrepresentations to third-party insurance regulators. The Court's opinion is here, and Robinson Curley's amicus brief is here.
ANOTHER SUPREME COURT VICTORY. Robinson Curley won a major victory for civil rights plaintiffs in the United States Supreme Court. By a vote of 7-2, the Court ruled in the case of CBOCS West, Inc. v Humphries that Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 allows claims for retaliation. The details are here.
Robinson Curley obtained a $9 million settlement for victims of workplace racial harassment. The settlement, which was reached in the midst of trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, also included a tough consent decree, which includes five years of independent oversight and monitoring of the defendant.
Robinson Curley won a $1.2 million judgment for Chicago-based Stratego Consulting, which was wrongly denied full compensation by one of its clients. The judgment resulted from a week-long bench trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County.