Text Box: Text Box: The Law Offices of Matthew R. Wildermuth
Text Box: Providing thoughtful, timely and practical advice and representation    for individuals and businesses who need the right answers right away







We have the experience and expertise to collaborate with you to fully evaluate the merits of the dispute, to develop a plan to most efficiently and effectively protect your interests, and to execute on our agreed strategy to bring the matter to as prompt and successful outcome as we can.
We understand that litigation distracts you from the core activities necessary for you to run a successful business and takes up valuable resources that, in a perfect world, you would be investing elsewhere. We therefore commit to be accessible, responsive and efficient in everything we do with and for you so you can get back to doing what’s best for Text Box: Bar Admissions & Memberships

Illinois Supreme Court (1989); United States Supreme Court (2005); United States Courts of Appeal for the 7th Circuit (1993), 6th Circuit and 9th Circuit (2003); United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois (1989), Northern District of Indiana (1994) and Eastern District of Michigan (1996); admitted pro hac vice in more than 25 other state and federal courts
American Bar Association, Sections of Litigation and Trial & Insurance Practice, Committees on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Insurance Coverage Litigation; 
Chicago Bar Association; 7th Circuit Bar Association; Illinois State Bar Association; 
Practitioner, Association for Conflict Resolution (National and Chicago Chapters); Associate Mediator, Mediate.com; Roster of Qualified Mediators for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois and the Eighteenth Judicial District, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois (Civil Division), 2006; American Arbitration Association, Roster of Qualified Arbitrators & Mediators (application pending)
Text Box: Contact Uss
Managing Partner:       Matthew R. Wildermuth           Matt.Wildermuth@wildermuthlawoffices.com
Office Address:                Suite Number 1900                      Direct Phone:  (312) 285-8918
				        33 North LaSalle Street         	Facsimile:         (312) 425-2525
				        Chicago, Illinois  60602	         Wireless:          (630) 430-2213

 

 Experience

 

Strategic Solutions ADR, Inc., Chicago, Illinois -- Principal, October 1, 2006 to present

I founded  Strategic Solutions ADR in 2006 to provide parties in complex civil litigation another avenue for resolving their disputes in a manner that allows them greater influence and control over the timing, cost and terns of resolution.  This approach can be particularly useful in circumstances where  the parties are in a long-term commercial relationship.  For more information regarding this component of my practice, please visit my website at www.strategicsolutionsadr.com.

Meckler, Bulger & Tilson, llp, Chicago, Illinois -- Partner, August, 2000 to September 30, 2006

Represented domestic and foreign insurance companies in complex and high-stakes insurance coverage disputes, including litigation over claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith. In addition to evaluating and litigating more “traditional” coverage issues inherent in long-tail  claims asserted under general liability policies, my expertise extends to coverage disputes for professionals, health care providers, risk retention groups, self-insureds, brokers, directors & officers and employers.  Developed substantial expertise in construction defect litigation and fronting insurance and reinsurance transactions.  As a principal member of MB&T’s team serving as National Coordinating Counsel for a major domestic insurer’s construction defect and general liability claims, provided guidance and training in general claims handling procedures and protocols, coordinated the activities of attorneys involved in complex litigation throughout the country on hundreds of individual matters and directly participated in scores of mediations and settlement negotiations in an effort to resolve these challenging cases. With respect to the litigation of such matters, had substantial responsibility for matters involving temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, class actions, rescission claims, contribution and subrogation actions and related issues. 

Brand & Novak, ltd, Chicago, Illinois -- Associate & Equity Partner, December, 1993 to August, 2000

As a founding attorney of this firm, specialized in litigating and resolving complex insurance and reinsurance, commercial, product liability and personal injury disputes.  As national coordinating counsel to a British insurance company, directed the defense, evaluation and resolution of more than 300 individual insurance coverage matters arising from comprehensive general liability policies issued to Fortune 500 companies such as Dow, General Electric, AMOCO, PPG and National Steel. Responsibilities included all phases of asbestos bodily injury, property damage and premises liability claims, pollution, bodily injury and property damage claims, toxic torts, product liability (including breast implants and tobacco), director and officer claims, fiduciary coverage claims and related matters.

Phelan, Pope & John, ltd., Chicago, Illinois -- Associate, September, 1989 to November, 1993

Prepared and responded to correspondence, pleadings and discovery at all levels of state and federal courts and state agencies; conducted and defended fact and expert witness depositions; prepared and conducted oral arguments and trial presentations; devised and implemented case management and litigation strategies; and counseled clients in product liability, personal injury, commercial and insurance\reinsurance litigation matters.

Text Box: EDUCATION

  Indiana University School Of Law, Bloomington, Indiana,  
        J.D., magna cum laude, May, 1989
  Indiana law journal, Executive Board
  Order of the Coif
  National Trial Advocacy Team 
  Indiana University School of Law Fellowship

  Indiana University, college of arts & sciences, Bloomington, Indiana 
          Honors B.A.  in Political Science (with distinction) May, 1986
  Phi Beta Kappa
  Honors Division Teaching Intern
Text Box: Managing Partner’s Professional Credentials

Professional Recognition & Publications

Recognized multiple times as an Illinois “Super Lawyer” in Insurance Coverage Litigation and Counseling (top 5% of practitioners in the State as determined by peers)
Chaired a plenary panel session at the ABA’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s Annual CLE Seminar, March, 2007; Panel Topic:  The Insurer’s Duty to Defend the Insured Where the Insurer Has Initiated a Declaratory Judgment Action Challenging Coverage for the Claim at Issue; Co-Panelists:  John S. Vishneski, III, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, LLP, Georgia Kazakis, Covington & Burling and Sarah Dearing, Lord Bissell & Brook LLP
Certificate of Professional Achievement in Mediation Training, DePaul University Center for Dispute Resolution\DePaul University College of Law, 2006; Appointed to Roster of Qualified Mediators for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (Chancery and Law Divisions) and the Eighteenth Judicial District, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois (Civil Division), 2006 
Author, Compelling Insurer Participation in Mediation: An Oxymoron?, Coverage (publication of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation), Volume    , Issue  (June 2007)   
Speaker, Risk & Insurance Management Society Annual Meeting, “Strategic Considerations for Policyholders Pursuing Long-Tail Claims against the Solvent London Market,” April 1997  
Author, “Blind Man’s Bluff:  An Analysis of the Discovery of Expert Witnesses under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4) and a Proposed Amendment,” 64 Indiana Law Journal 925, Fall 1989

 

Representative Cases and Published Decisions

 

Hendricks v. Bank of America et al., Case No. 02-3150 GHK, U.S.D.C., C. D. Cal., appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Appeal No. 03-55754, amended opinion denying motion for reconsideration published at 408 F.3d 1127 (9th Cir. 2005).  We represent individual shareholders in a self-insurance program in injunction proceedings to prevent a now-insolvent fronting insurance company and its affiliated offshore reinsurer from accessing the proceeds of a letter of credit the shareholders had posted to secure their legitimate obligations under the program. The District Court entered a temporary restraining order and, after hearing, entered a preliminary injunction order prohibiting any draw against the letter of credit based on the uncontroverted evidence of fraud.  The 9th Circuit affirmed both as to the merits of the injunctions and addressed several novel procedural issues, including venue and forum selection, personal jurisdiction, collateral estoppel and necessary parties. My colleagues and I also litigated certain elements of this dispute in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and Eastern District of Michigan, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the 6th and 7th Circuit Courts of Appeal, the United States Supreme Court and the trial, appellate and Supreme courts of Bermuda since this matter’s inception in 2002.

 

Transcontinental Insurance Co. et al. v. Stock Roofing, et al., Case No. 04-5125 PJS-RLE, U.S.D.C. for Minnesota, published at 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57248 (2006) and in Mealey’s Litigation Report, Construction Defects Insurance, Vol. 3, # 8, September 2006 -- We represented three insurers who had issued commercial general liability policies to a roofing contractor.  One of the roofer’s customers filed suit to recover damages for property damage that it contended was the result of the roofer’s deficient work. While the insurers were defending the roofer under a reservation of rights while the parties sought to develop definitive evidence of causation of the property damage, the roofer entered into an assignment of its insurance claims to the claimant and stipulated to entry of judgment against it in exchange for the claimant’s covenant not to execute against the roofer’s personal property.  We defeated this claim at the point that the claimant sought to garnish the policies on the grounds that the assignment constituted a breach of the insured’s duty to cooperate with the insurers.

 

Northfield Insurance Co. v. Franklin County, Kentucky et al., Case No. 97-CV-0018 JMH, U.S.D.C. for the Eastern District of Kentucky, appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, Appeal No. 04-5103 (2005) – We initiated a declaratory judgment action on behalf of Northfield Insurance Company and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London that had jointly issued an “All-Risk” policy to a pool of governmental entities and public officials in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, including officials of Franklin County. Among other provisions, the “All Risk” policy expressly excluded coverage for the insured’s direct liability for civil rights violations. Several claimants brought sexual harassment and sexual discrimination claims against the County after a State Police investigation revealed that the County Jailer had sexually assaulted several of his female deputies and had retaliated against other male employees who had cooperated with the investigation. The claimants further alleged that other County officials had actual knowledge of the Jailer’s conduct but did nothing in response.  After the jury awarded a verdict in excess of $5 million to the claimants and the County exhausted all of its appeals, we briefed and argued our motion for summary judgment in the coverage action seeking a determination that neither the Jailer nor the County were entitled to coverage. On an issue of first impression, the District Court expressly found that the “All Risk” policy provided coverage to the extent that the County’s obligation to pay damages in respect of civil rights violations was based solely on the County’s vicarious liability.  However, the Court further found that the County’s liability for the civil rights violations was direct rather than vicarious because of its failure to take remedial measures after having actual knowledge of the Jailer’s misconduct. Accordingly, the District Court held that Northfield and Certain Underwriters had no duty to indemnify the County for any portion of the $5 million verdict against it. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s order granting summary judgment to Northfield and Certain Underwriters.

 

Frederick L. Carus v. The Hegeler Carus Foundation et al., Case No. 94 CH 45, LaSalle County, Ottawa, Illinois.  This  matter arose out of disputes over the distributions intended under a will that was first probated in 1936.  At issue was the testator’s intentions regarding the allocation of the family fortune derived through mining, manufacturing and publishing businesses and, in connection therewith, whether one or more of the heirs abandoned or otherwise forfeited claims to the property.  The matter ultimately was set for trial on June 4, 2007 and, following  several days of intense negotiation, settled.

Text Box: Experience
Text Box: Representative Cases
Text Box: Professional Recognition
Text Box: Bar Admissions
Text Box: Education
Text Box: Representative Cases
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Breach of Contract

Personal and Business Torts

Insurance Relationships

Employment Relationships

Injunctive Relief

Other Civil Litigation