Mr. Schlueter tries cases on behalf of companies in both state and federal courts. In a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Mr. Schlueter and his team won a directed verdict and dismissal of the plaintiff's gender discrimination claim at the close of plaintiff's case-in-chief and then won a complete defense verdict on the plaintiff's age discrimination claim.
Mr. Schlueter has successfully briefed and argued matters before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Illinois Appellate Courts. Some recent examples include:
- On behalf of a national auto parts supplier, persuaded the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to preserve the district court's summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff's national origin discrimination and retaliation claims.
- On behalf of an international insurance brokerage, persuaded the Illinois Appellate Court to reverse trial court's ruling on motion to dismiss ruling that client's restrictive covenant agreement had expired and therefore was unenforceable.
Restrictive Covenants, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Trade Secrets and Related Claims:
In addition to ongoing counseling, drafting and reviewing agreements and matters involving restrictive covenants and confidential information for companies and executives, Mr. Schlueter has a proven track record in high stakes litigation, including temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in connection with restrictive covenants (non-compete, non-solicit and confidentiality agreements) and claims of misappropriation of trade secrets; retaliation; tortious interference; breach of fiduciary duty; and unfair competition. Some examples include:
- On behalf of a medical products company, obtained a TRO based on the inevitable disclosure doctrine in the Circuit Court of Lake County, Illinois restraining a high-level salesperson from working for a competitor. After several contentious hearings and associated briefing, the matter resulted in a consent order and decree, providing, among other restrictions, that the employee could not work for the competitor for a significant term.
- On behalf of employees hired by a national rail transportation company, defeated a motion for a TRO in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging breach of employment agreement, misappropriation of trade secret, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Successfully obtained an order invalidating the customer restriction contained in one of the employee’s agreements with his former employer.
- On behalf of an employee hired by a medical device company, defeated a TRO in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as it related to employee’s agreement with his former employer and competitor.
- On behalf of a national company, won a TRO in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois restraining a key employee and inventor from working for a competitor. The TRO protected the confidential and trade secret information of one of the company’s business divisions that produced over $30,000,000 in sales in 2008.
- On behalf of a national packaging company, obtained a TRO in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois restraining the company’s former senior executive and head of a $250,000,000 business unit from becoming the president of a competitor’s business unit, and then successfully fended off the executive’s efforts to dissolve the TRO. The TRO remained in place for approximately six months until the parties resolved the claims through a highly favorable settlement agreement.
- Defended technology company and its new employee in a lawsuit filed by the employee’s former employer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against claims of breach of restrictive covenant agreements and fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secret and tortious interference with contract. During the contentious litigation, succeeded in moving the Court to bar the plaintiff’s expert witness and compelling production of other witnesses. This forced a favorable settlement agreement for the client.
- Key member of the defense of five brokers in lawsuit filed by multinational insurance company in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois alleging that the brokers breached their restrictive covenant agreements and fiduciary duties to the company by leaving and moving their business to a competitor. After a contentious motion practice and discovery, drafted and filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings that resulted in a swift and favorable settlement of the case.
- Recovered $110,000 in matter against client's former employee who attempted to work for a competitor.
Mr. Schlueter has extensive class action defense experience, including with respect to removals under the Class Action Fairness Act. Some examples include:
- Co-lead the defense of a multinational company in a putative class action involving potentially thousands of plaintiffs with respect to allegations that the company’s vacation policies violated the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.
- Key member of legal team that successfully defended a multinational retailer against a national collective action brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Member of team that defended for-profit education company in class action asserting violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act with respect to payment of overtime compensation.
On a daily basis Mr. Schlueter represents companies on employee issues, litigation avoidance and implementing policies that are in conformance with the various federal, state and local employment statutes and laws, including the FLSA, FMLA, ADA, Title VII, and IWPCA.
Mr. Schlueter routinely defends companies against employment-related charges and claims before administrative agencies and federal courts, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Illinois Human Rights Commission, Illinois Department of Labor and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Mr. Schlueter represents companies before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). Recent experience includes:
- In a solo effort defending a Chicago-based investment firm, Mr. Schlueter won a complete verdict against a former employee who was claiming approximately $1,000,000 in compensation and damages. The arbitration spanned three days in which, in addition to opening and closing arguments, Mr. Schlueter cross-examined approximately seven witnesses, including the plaintiff, and directed three other witnesses.
- On behalf of an international bank, Mr. Schlueter second chaired a three-day arbitration before a three-member FINRA panel in Indianapolis, Indiana resulting in a complete verdict for the bank. Mr. Schlueter cross-examined three witnesses.
- After 3 days of FINRA arbitration, obtained $154,226 award for another international bank against former broker who resigned without repaying a promissory note. Broker filed counterclaims for disability discrimination which were were completely rejected by the FINRA panel. Arbitration involved 6 witnesses.
Mr. Schlueter has extensive experience in representing companies in complex commercial matters.