Qui Tam "Whisleblower" Litigation
Under false claims statutes, the whistleblower/relator can bring suit on behalf of the government to recover damages against those who commit fraud. In the event of a successful outcome, the relator is eligible to receive a percentage share of whatever funds that he/she recovers for the government.
Since 2000, Miner, Barnhill & Galland has represented whistleblowers whose lawsuits under the FCA have recovered tens of millions of dollars to compensate the government for damages due to defendants' fraudulent practices in health care, defense contracting, and government-funded construction contracts.
Representation of State and Local Governments
The firm has significant expertise in representing state and local governments who have brought lawsuits against companies who have violated consumer protection and anti-fraud laws.
A firm-wide team led by Charles Barnhill and Robert Libman, and including Elizabeth Eberle, Benjamin Blustein, Sarah Siskind, Jeffrey Cummings, Scott Entin, George Galland, Deanna Pihos, and David Baltmanis, represents the Attorneys General of eight different states in suits seeking redress for damage to state Medicaid programs caused by the publication by pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers, and pricing services of false and misleading prices for prescription drugs. This work, which remains ongoing, has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for the firm’s state clients.
Consumer Fraud Litigation
Mr. Barnhill, Ms. Siskind, and Ms. Eberle have represented individual consumers and organizational plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging predatory lending practices, leading to large settlements in lawsuits brought in Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and elsewhere.
Representation of Hospitals and Physicians
A team headed by George Galland and including Jeffrey Cummings, Scott Entin, and Nancy Maldonado, conducts a broad-ranging practice in nearly all aspects of health law on behalf of hospitals and physicians. The firm represents large teaching hospitals in Chicago and downstate, smaller community hospitals, a major Chicago safety-net hospital, outpatient clinics, and individual physicians. The firm defends large-scale medical malpractice lawsuits involving most medical specialties; handles litigation involving staff privilege revocation or restrictions; has represented medical schools in student expulsions and discipline; handles hospital clients’ disputes with excess insurers and disputes involving self-insurance programs; consults with health care clients on numerous issues of internal governance and government regulation and investigation; defends and advises health care clients in employment lawsuits and disputes; has negotiated contracts with hospital executives; counsels hospital clients on relations with practice groups; and performs a wide variety of other health care matters.
Federally-Qualified Health Clinic Representation
William Miceli and Laura Tilly represent several “federally-qualified health clinics” (“FQHCs”) including Chicago’s oldest such entity. The firm works with its FQHC clients on corporate governance, managed care agreements, affiliation agreements and physician contract issues, as well as general real estate, facilities, corporate, financing, grant related and personnel issues. The firm also represents a consortium of federally qualified health services endeavoring to improve the delivery of health care through use of electronic health records.
The firm is one of the nation's leading employment law firms. Partners Judson Miner, Charles Barnhill, George Galland, Sarah Siskind, Elizabeth Eberle, Jeffrey Cummings, Robert Libman, Benjamin Blustein, and Nancy Maldonado devote substantial time to this work.
From its founding, the firm has represented plaintiffs in large-scale, high-profile class actions or multi-plaintiff cases brought under the federal employment discrimination laws and under federal and state wage and hour statutes. The firm has achieved many landmark victories or settlements in litigation against auto and heavy equipment manufacturers, railroads, construction contractors, municipal governments, retail chains, and many other types of defendants. The firm handles cases involving claims of discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity, gender, age, sexual harassment, and other prohibited conduct including retailiation.
Through partners George Galland, William Miceli, Jeffrey Cummings, Laura Tilly, Scott Entin, and Nancy Maldonado, the firm also provides employment-law representation and counseling to its many nonprofit and other corporate clients. The firm defends individual discrimination and other employment lawsuits; counsels with respect to reductions in force; responds to EEOC and other fair employment agency charges; drafts employment manuals and handbooks; drafts policies against sexual harassment and trains clients in their administration; and provides many other employment-law services.
Sarah Siskind and George Galland have successfully represented clients in ERISA litigation, handling large-scale employee benefits lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs challenging efforts to reduce or eliminate employee benefits, and also handling disputes for hospital clients involving welfare benefit plan coverage and practices. Ms. Siskind and Ms. Maldonado have successfully represented clients in wage and hour litigation under federal and state laws (including Illinois, Wisconsin, and California). They have handled both collective and class action lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs in the agricultural and food processing industries in challenging off-the-clock work and failure to pay overtime.
Voting Rights and Other Civil Rights Litigation
The firm is one of the best-known and most experienced firms in the country in large-scale voting rights cases. Judson Miner and Jeffrey Cummings have won major lawsuits challenging redistricting of Chicago's aldermanic districts and Illinois congressional districts. The firm has advised and continues to advise local governments to help them conduct redistricting in compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act.
Mr. Miner, Mr. Cummings, Robert Libman, Benjamin Blustein, Sarah Siskind, Betty Eberle, and Nancy Maldonado have provided representation in a wide variety of other civil rights litigation, including police misconduct litigation and First Amendment cases.
Securities, Banking, Antitrust, and Commercial Litigation
Charles Barnhill, George Galland, and others in the firm have conducted significant commercial litigation in the areas of securities fraud, antitrust, consumer fraud, and other regulatory areas.
The firm was one of the lead plaintiffs’ firms in a large securities case brought against Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham, resulting in a recovery for the class in excess of $150 million. The firm also has been counsel in a number of other large class actions, including antitrust lawsuits against a major publisher of Bar Review materials, against a real estate brokers’ association for price fixing, against the manufacturers of laser eye surgery equipment, and the vitamin industry. The firm also has represented plaintiffs in large-scale class actions against rent-to-own businesses.
Sarah Siskind, Scott Entin, Deanna Pihos, David Baltmanis and Benjamin Blustein comprise the firm's Environmental Litigation Practice. The practice focuses on protecting people and their property from corporate polluters through toxic tort, citizen suit litigation and other environmental justice actions (based on nuisance, negligence, trespass, and statutory and regulatory violations). The group has experience with both class action litigation to recover damages for environmental harms and advocacy litigation on behalf of local and national advocates to curb harmful pollution practices.
Neighborhood Development and Affordable Housing
William Miceli and Laura Tilly have represented a large number of developers, both for-profit and not-for-profit, focusing on work in the inner city and affordable housing. The firm's current clients in this practice area include some of the premier community development corporations in Chicago. Development in low-income neighborhoods and of affordable housing presents unique challenges, ranging from multiple-layered financing and equity structures, to deteriorated building conditions, to working with public agencies. Lawyers at the firm have helped to provide thousands of new and rehabilitated units of housing and commercial space in inner-city communities.
On behalf of owner-borrowers, Mr. Miceli and Ms. Tilly routinely structure and create development entities; document borrowing and granting transactions with public and private entities of all kinds; negotiate purchase and sale agreements with public and private parties and other development related contracts; document and close various types of HUD financing; assist in syndication of projects eligible for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit; structure projects using the Illinois Donations Tax Credit; and structure joint ventures or other combinations of multiple developers. While the firm’s developer clients are predominantly nonprofit, it has represented for-profit affordable housing developers as well.
General Real Estate
Mr. Miceli and Ms. Tilly represent a wide variety of clients in the firm’s general real estate practice. The firm’s real estate expertise includes purchases and sales of multi-family residential and commercial properties, acquisitions from governmental entities, leasing, condominium development, single family home development, negotiation of redevelopment agreements with municipalities, appearances before the City of Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, Housing Court representation, real estate financing, eminent domain, subdivisions, alley vacations, subdivisions, divisions and consolidations.
Non-Profit Corporate Practice
Mr. Miceli’s and Ms. Tilly’s corporate practice focuses on not-for-profit corporations and includes corporate formation and organization, preparation of federal and state tax exemption applications and other governmental filings. Corporate work also includes consultation on corporate governance, charitability issues, structuring joint ventures and limited liability companies with other not-for-profit entities, contracting, and ongoing counsel and assistance. The firm’s nonprofit clients range from large statewide organizations to smaller neighborhood-based entities. For many of these clients, the firm plays a “general counsel” role, providing contract, employment, miscellaneous, and litigation representation as needed in addition to specialized real estate and corporate representation.
Community Development Lending and Investment
For over thirty years the firm has had a variety of community development lending and investment clients, including the nation's largest not-for-profit lending intermediary, focusing on community development corporations. This work has involved not only transactions in Chicago but throughout the Midwest.
Real Estate Tax Practice
As part of its work for clients who successfully redevelop multi-family housing, the firm represents owners seeking real estate tax relief, including owners of large multi-family real estate portfolios. This work is concentrated in Cook County, Illinois. The firm has particular expertise in obtaining and maintaining charitable and religious real estate tax exemptions and obtaining special real estate tax relief available to many of its clients through aggressive challenge of real estate tax assessments on grounds unique to affordable housing, as well as public housing tax abatements.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mr. Galland has an active practice as a neutral, including service as an arbitrator, mediator, and settlement monitor. As an arbitrator, he has served both as neutral and party-appointed arbitrator. As a mediator, he has successfully helped parties negotiate settlements of both class action and individual matters. He has served as the neutral monitor to oversee compliance with four large-scale consent decrees negotiated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Jeffrey Cummings likewise has served as a neutral monitor to oversee a consent decree entered as a result of a race discrimination and retaliation class action brought by private parties.
The firm’s attorneys handle a broad range of litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants in many other categories than those listed above. For example, Mssrs. Galland and Cummings have successfully defended several large defamation and invasion-of-privacy lawsuits; and Charles Barnhill has handled substantial lender-liability litigation.