John D. Fitzpatrick

Partner

 

EDUCATION:

J.D., University of Texas at Austin – 2002
B.A., Michigan State University (James Madison College), with honors – 1996

 

EXPERIENCE:
Mr. Fitzpatrick is a Partner at Mandell Menkes. He represents institutional and individual clients in diverse areas of litigation and was admitted to the State of Illinois bar in 2002. After trying complex commercial cases in state and federal courts, Mr. Fitzpatrick was admitted to the Federal Trial Bar for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2006 and is admitted to practice in numerous other district courts and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He consistently obtains favorable outcomes for clients involved in litigation as the following cases exemplify:

  • In 2014, prevailing on a motion for summary judgment that dismissed all claims for copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act alleged against a media defendant on two grounds: (i) the writer’s use of a photograph for the purpose of illustrating the subject matter of a news article (a lawsuit involving the Super Bowl Shuffle) constituted fair use; and (ii) even if the use of the photograph had been infringing, the client did not copy the story by linking to the content via a “RSS” feed.  The opinion may be retrieved at Leveyfilm, Inc. v. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC, No. 13 C 4664, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92809 (N.D. Ill. July 8, 2014).

  • In 2012, acted as lead trial counsel for Gene Chandler (a/k/a the “Duke of Earl”) through a jury trial in which Mr. Chandler prevailed on every claim alleged.  The jury awarded Chandler the full measure of damages requested on both his breach of contract claim and for a production company’s willful misappropriation of his name and likeness–a statutory claim under the Illinois Right of Publicity Act.  Because of the willful misappropriation, the jury elected to award Chandler punitive damages and he is entitled to accrued fees and costs in prosecuting the action.
  • In 2012, negotiated a beneficial settlement for a group of investors alleging securities fraud after being dissatisfied with representations made to them prior to divesting their interests in a start-up company.
  • In 2011, resolved a software implementation case on behalf of a Fortune 500 software developer on favorable terms.
  • In 2010, defended an online music subscription service in multiple putative consumer class action claims for alleged “cramming” — i.e. placing unauthorized charges on mobile telephone bills for content — and helped achieve a “global” resolution after prevailing on numerous motions to dismiss various claims asserted in the cases.
  • In 2009, succeeded in obtaining a permanent injunction in federal court for a client alleging trademark infringement and dilution claims.
  • Represented the Chief Executive Officer of a limited liability company during a 2009 evidentiary hearing which led the court to enter a preliminary injunction preventing the client’s adversaries from completing a “squeeze out” merger.
  • Acted as “second chair” during a 2008 trial in which the jury found the client, a publicly traded corporation, not guilty of breaching a separation agreement with a former corporate executive by imparting “inside” information to the executive.
  • Defense counsel in a 2006 jury trial in which the plaintiff alleged that his father breached fiduciary duties owed to fellow shareholders in connection with a sale of a company they jointly owned. The plaintiff demanded $3.5 million prior to the verdict but the jury found the client had not breached any fiduciary duties owed to the shareholders, absolving him of any liability and awarding the plaintiff nothing.
  • Acted as the primary trial attorney in a 2005 bench trial for a lending institution defending a breach of contract claim brought by its former in-house attorney and succeeding in having no damages awarded for the “largest single component” of the claim. The judgment entered by Judge Matthew Kennelly is retrievable at Nevel v. Ocwen Federal Bank FSB, 2005 WL 106484 (N.D. Ill. 2005).
  • Prevailed on a motion to bar the testimony of an opposing party’s designated damages expert in a case where the estimated damages exceeded $40 million. The order entered by Judge Jeffrey Cole granting the motion is published at Loeffel Steel Products Inc. v. Delta Brands, Inc., 387 F. Supp.2d 794 (N.D. Ill. 2005).
 

While attending law school at the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Fitzpatrick participated in the Wilson Mock Trial Tournament and remained active in the community, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and tutoring elementary school children. Mr. Fitzpatrick is a member of the Chicago, Illinois, and American bar associations, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and dedicates a significant number of hours performing pro bono legal services for persons in need.

 

PUBLICATIONS

  • “Me and My Shadow — World-famous magician, Teller, wins summary judgment against copycat magician.”  Published by the Illinois State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, June 2014, Vol. 53, No. 4
  • “A Review of Recent Texas Whistleblower Litigation.”  Published by the Texas State Bar Association.