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Hinshaw Helps Secure Sanctions Order Totaling $1M against "Serial Litigator"

One of the Largest Rule 137 Sanctions Ever Imposed in Cook County

April 8, 2019

Hinshaw attorneys Tom McGarry and Michael Ruff recently teamed up to help secure what is likely the biggest Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 sanction ever awarded in Cook County. Cook County Circuit Judge Margaret Ann Brennan granted bids for sanctions brought by Hinshaw and several other firms against a plaintiff and his lawyer for having engaged in a "pattern of abuse" in litigation that included nearly 400 court filings and multiple frivolous complaints. The Judge imposed more than $1M in attorney fees and costs, and issued an injunction barring the plaintiff from filing any more actions against the parties concerning the underlying claims.

The case centered around a condominium association dispute that "needlessly mushroomed" into multifaceted litigation involving multiple condo owners and condo association lawyer Michael C. Kim of Michael C. Kim & Associates, according to McGarry. Hinshaw represented Kim in the case.

Press coverage:

Law360: Sprawling Chicago Condo Court Fight Leads To $1M Sanction

ABA Journal: Client and lawyer, a 'willful enabler,' sanctioned over $1M for 'simply obscene' condo litigation

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Condo board fight ends in $1M sanction

Chicago Tribune: Wilmette man, attorney ordered to pay more than $1 million in legal dispute with condo association

The case is 1618 Sheridan Rd. Condominium Association v. Marshall Spiegel et al., case number 15 L 10817.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices nationwide and in London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw also serves as counsel to the professional services sector, and provides business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes.