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Matthew Henderson concentrates his practice in the representation of attorneys in legal malpractice cases and disciplinary proceedings. He has extensive experience litigating consumer class action cases, including actions brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Mr. Henderson also regularly represents businesses in contract actions and other commercial disputes.

Professional Background

Mr. Henderson regularly speaks and writes on attorney malpractice, legal ethics, attorney discipline, and risk management. He serves on the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Attorney Malpractice and also on the Professional Responsibility Committee. Mr. Henderson is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. 

Mr. Henderson was an author of the American Bar Association's Amicus Curiae Brief filed in the United States Supreme Court case, Williams-Yulee v. the Florida Bar,135 S.Ct. 1656 (2015). The brief, which argued the ABA Model Rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions does not violate the First Amendment, was cited twice in the decision.

He was featured in the national and local news coverage of the murder of the family of The Honorable Joan H. Lefkow, including, "World News Tonight" with Peter Jennings; ABC 7 News, Chicago; CBS 2 News, Chicago; the New York Times and the Chicago Sun Times.

Mr. Henderson appeared on NBC Channel 5 news and was quoted in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times regarding his representation of Trinity Services, Inc. in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a patient seeking the entry of an injunction requiring Trinity to administer electric shocks to prevent the patient from injuring himself and others.

He joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in March 1998.

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Committee on Attorney Malpractice, Member
    • Professional Responsibility Committee, Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Member of the Leading Lawyers Network, where he was selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation and Professional Malpractice Defense Law
  • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability

Representative Matters

  • The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of legal malpractice action against class action counsel on the basis that plaintiff’s employment classification claims remained viable at the time that client discharged his attorneys and because the fraud claim was not pled with sufficient particularity and was contradicted by exhibits attached to the complaint. 
  • In a nonprecedential disposition, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of legal malpractice and civil RICO claims against a lawyer for supposedly conspiring with the City of Chicago, other law firms and attorneys, and a Cook County judge on the basis that the allegations were legally frivolous and for lack of diversity jurisdiction. 
  • Martinez v. City of Chicago, 823 F.3d 1050 (7th Cir. 2016). Seventh Circuit reversed its own precedent and ruled that an attorney had standing to appeal a District's Court order sanctioning her even though the sanction award had been paid by her employer.

  • Bianchi v. McQueen, 818 F.3d 309 (7th Cir. 2016).  U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of McHenry County State's Attorney’s §1983 claims against a special prosecutor on basis of absolute immunity and because alleged misconduct did not violate due process. 

  • Obtained "not guilty" jury verdict in legal malpractice action at the conclusion of two-week trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. A mattress licensor alleged that lawyer and 25 attorney law firm were negligent in drafting 10 year license agreement which excluded royalties and marketing payments on licensee's private label sales and sought $6.5 million in damages. 
  • Nelson v. Cascino Vaughan Law Offices, Ltd., 2015 IL App (1st) 141710. First District affirmed dismissal of legal malpractice action against attorneys for failing to conduct sufficient discovery in underlying asbestos wrongful death action on the basis that the claim was not filed within the applicable statute of limitations and statute of repose. 
  • In re Charles Taylor, 793 F.3d 814 (7th Cir. 2015). Seventh Circuit affirmed reversal of $165,000 sanction award entered by U.S. Bankruptcy Court against two Washington state attorneys for allegedly violating the automatic stay and discharge injunction by seeking clarification of their client's standing from a probate court in Washington. 

  • In re Charles Taylor, 526 B.R. 719 (N.D.Ill. 2014). District Court reversed $165,000 sanction award entered by U.S. Bankruptcy Court against two Washington state attorneys for allegedly violating the automatic stay and discharge injunction by seeking clarification of their client's standing from a probate court in Washington. 

  • Harris v. Vitale, 2014 IL App (1st) 123514. First District affirmed dismissal of legal malpractice action arising from attorney's notarization of a signature on an annuity form that his client allegedly used to convert money from his disabled mother. 
  • Won summary judgment in legal malpractice action in the Circuit Court of DuPage County in legal malpractice action.  Conservative youth foundation sued attorney to recover $2 million failed charitable bequest but failed to come forward with evidence that the settlor lacked capacity to eliminate gift to organization prior to her death. 

  • Bianchi v. McQueen, 917 F.Supp.2d 822 (N.D.Ill. 2013). Obtained dismissal of § 1983 action by McHenry County State's Attorney against special prosecutor alleging false arrest and violations of due process in the course of prosecution for alleged political corruption. 
  • Hernandez v. Pritikin, 2012 IL 113054, 981 N.E.2d 981 (Ill. 2012). Illinois Supreme reversed summary judgment in favor of Worker's Compensation attorneys in re-filed legal malpractice action on the basis of res judicata and the prohibition against claim-splitting because trial court's previous rulings on motions to dismiss were not adjudications on the merits. 
  • Hernandez v. Bernstein, 2011 IL App (1st) 102646, 956 N.E.2d 558. First District affirmed summary judgment in favor of Worker's Compensation attorneys in re-filed legal malpractice action on the basis of res judicata and the prohibition against claim-splitting. 
  • Bernstein v. Department of Human Services, 392 Ill.App.3d 875, 910 N.E.2d 733 (1st Dist. 2009)
  • Griffith v. Wilmette Harbor Ass'n, Inc., 378 Ill.App.3d 173, 881 N.E.2d 512 (1st Dist. 2007)
  • Graco v. Trauner, Cohen & Thomas L.L.P., 412 F.3d 360 (2nd Cir. 2005)
  • Blair v. Supportkids, Inc., 222 F.Supp.2d 1038 (N.D.Ill. 2002)
  • Pettit v. Retrieval Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., 211 F.3d 1057 (7th Cir. 2000)
  • Sanders v. Jackson, 209 F.3d 998 (7th Cir. 2000)
  • Patterson v. North Shore Agency, Inc., 126 F.Supp.2d 1138 (N.D.Ill. 2000)
  • DiRosa v. North Shore Agency, Inc., 56 F.Supp.2d 1039 (N.D.Ill. 1999)
  • Wells v. McDonough, 188 F.R.D. 277 (N.D.Ill. 1999)
  • Pettit v. Retrieval Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., 42 F.Supp.2d 797 (N.D.Ill. 1999)
  • Pikes v. Riddle, 38 F.Supp.2d 639 (N.D.Ill. 1999)
  • Long v. Gray, 306 Ill.App.3d 445, 714 N.E.2d 1041 (1st Dist. 1999)

Presentations

Mr. Henderson's speeches and presentations include:

  • "Legal Malpractice 'Top Ten' Traps," University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois, January 2016.

  • "The Exposure of Class Action Counsel," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 2015.
  • "Arbitration -- The Why, When and How" before the Hartford and Liberty International Underwriters, New York City, July 2014. 

  • "Transactional Malpractice—Establishing Causation," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2014.
  • "Estate Planning—Standing to Sue," Hartford Insurance, New York, New York, June 2013.
  • "Corporate Counsel—Where are the Duties Owed and to Whom?" Liberty Insurance, New York, New York, June 2013.
  • "Recent Cases and Strategies Involving Expert Witnesses in Legal Malpractice Cases," CNA, Chicago, Illinois, October 2012.
  • "Lesser Known Affirmative Defenses," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 2012.
  • "Conflicts of Interest, Waivers, and Civil Liability Implications," State Bar of Wisconsin, December 2007.
  • "Statute of Limitations—Disparate Rules on Tolling," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, March 2006.
  • "Lawyers' Statutory Liability in Collection Matters and Exposures Under ERISA," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, February 2005.
  • "The Jurisdiction Jungle and New Development in Insurance Coverage Law," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, March 2004.
  • "Legal Ethics: Identifying and Preventing Conflicts of Interest" before the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, November 2002, 2003, 2004.

Publications

  • "Breach of Fiduciary Duty," chapter author, Attorneys' Legal Liability, 2014 edition.
  • "Breach of Fiduciary Duty," chapter author, "Attorneys' Legal Liability," IICLE, August 2012.
  • "Breach of Fiduciary Duty," chapter author, "Attorneys' Legal Liability," IICLE, November 2007, Supplement 2010.
  • "Breach of Fiduciary Duty," chapter author, "Attorneys' Legal Liability," IICLE, November 2002, Supplement 2005.
  • "Recovering Costs in Illinois Civil Actions," (lead article) Illinois Bar Journal, September 2000.
  • "Resolving Contract Ambiguity: Parol Evidence Versus the Rules of Contract Construction," Illinois Bar Journal, April 1999.
  • "Making the Most of Rule 216 Requests to Admit," Illinois Bar Journal, August 1995.
  • "Arbitration and the New 'Public Policy' Doctrine," Minnesota Trial Lawyer, fall 1993.

Education

J.D., cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1992

B.A., cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1989

Admissions