Melissa A. Murphy-Petros: Lawyer with Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Melissa A. Murphy-Petros

Phone312.821.6154

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Experience & Credentials
 

Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • General Liability & Casualty
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Coverage
  • Medical Malpractice & Health Care
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability & Services
 
Contact InfoTelephone: 312.821.6154
Fax: 312.704.1522
http://www.wilsonelser.com/attorneys/melissa_a_murphy-petros
 
University Indiana University, B.A., 1987; University of Notre Dame, M.A., 1989
 
Law SchoolLoyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1995
 
Admitted1995, Illinois, New York and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits; U.S. Supreme Court
 
Memberships 

Memberships & Affiliations

Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association

New York State Bar Association

Defense Research Institute (DRI), Appellate Advocacy Committee and Amicus Subcommittee
Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)

 
Biography

Melissa Murphy-Petros is co-chair of Wilson Elser’s Appellate practice. She has concentrated solely on appellate law and procedure throughout her career, and has litigated hundreds of appeals in state and federal reviewing courts across the country. The national scope of Melissa’s practice and her depth of experience in post-trial and appellate litigation not only benefit the firm’s existing engagements, but also are frequently leveraged in appeals of cases tried by other firms.

Licensed in both Illinois and New York, Melissa has successfully prosecuted appeals before the Illinois Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals, both states’ highest courts. Her work spans a variety of Wilson Elser’s practice areas, with particular emphasis on liability and property insurance coverage, commercial litigation, and casualty defense.

Melissa also acts as trial monitoring counsel in high-exposure cases. As part of this practice, she partners with trial counsel both inside and outside Wilson Elser to prepare dispositive pre-trial motions, motions in limine, motions for directed verdict, jury instructions, verdict forms and post-trial motions. She also assists in the development of overall trial strategy to ensure that error is preserved and that the appeal is properly postured.

Professional Activities
Melissa is a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association and the Defense Research Institute’s Appellate Advocacy Committee and Amicus Subcommittee. She is a former member by appointment of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction. Melissa is a frequent author and CLE lecturer on appellate practice and other litigation topics, and has taught advanced legal research and writing at John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Publications

Where Suicide Is Caused by Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Illinois Now Recognizes Ensuing Actions for Wrongful Death and Survival

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and Wrongful Death in Suicide Actions

August 13, 2014

Careful to draw the distinction between negligence and intentional torts in cases where a defendant’s actions cause emotional distress that leads to a suicide, the Illinois Appellate Court’s opinion in a recent case nevertheless opens the door to a wide variety of wrongful death and survival claims that were previously not recognized.

The Minefield of Appellate Practice: Notices of Appeal

In Appellate Work, the Devil Is in the Detail

August 11, 2014

Because the filing of a notice of appeal is the jurisdictional step that initiates appellate review, it confers jurisdiction on a court of review to consider only the judgments or parts of judgments specified in it. Where a notice of appeal is filed improperly, the appellate court lacks jurisdiction over the matter and is obliged to dismiss the appeal.

Seventh Circuit Opinion Demonstrates the Importance of Engaging an Appellate Attorney When the Right to Appeal Is on the Line

The Case for the Appellate Practitioner

June 9, 2014

By filing a Rule 59(e) motion just one day late, a plaintiff unwittingly rendered a summary judgment order unreviewable and changed the standard of review in an unfavorable way. The lesson from a recent case before the Seventh Circuit is that engaging an appellate practitioner to handle post-trial and appellate litigation is a necessity, particularly where the right to appeal is at issue.

Recent Case Advances Ninth Circuit Law on Pleading Diversity of Citizenship on Information and Belief

Pleading Diversity of Citizenship on Information and Belief

February 26, 2014

“On information and belief,” which indicates a statement is made not from firsthand knowledge but in the firm belief that it is true, played a key role in a recent Ninth Circuit holding of first impression where the citizenship of parties to the case was unknown. The court agreed with Wilson Elser appellate attorneys, recognizing that the pleading of diversity of citizenship on information and belief is not sufficient to sustain federal jurisdiction throughout the life of a case, but reasoned that it is enough to allow the complaint to stand until it is served and a response is received; specifically, jurisdictional discovery is an appropriate solution because the insurer will likely be able to “obtain the information it needs via discovery from the defendants it can locate.”

California Appellate Court Expands Rights to Homeowners in Construction Defect Cases beyond Remedies Provided in the California Right to Repair Act

CA Expands Rights to Homeowners in Construction Defect Cases

September 19, 2013

The California Court of Appeals (Fourth District) has held that the Right to Repair Act does not provide the exclusive remedy to homeowners in cases where actual damage has occurred because of construction defects, thereby upholding a homeowner’s common law rights and remedies to seek actual damages despite noncompliance with the terms and conditions required for relief under the Act.

Appellate Court in New Jersey Imposes a Limited Duty of Care on Texters in Connection with Personal Injury Matters

Duty of Care to Refrain from Texting Driver on the Road

September 5, 2013

A recent decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, held that an individual texter who knows or has a reason to know that the recipient of the text is driving and will read the text while driving owes a duty of care to users of the public roads to refrain from sending the driver a text at that time.

NJ Appellate Panels Reach Opposite Conclusions on Duty of a Commercial Tenant to Inspect and Secure Parking Lot for Which It Has No Responsibility

NJ High Court Likely to Consider Duty of Commercial Tenants

March 5, 2013

In one case, the court held “as a general rule, when a commercial tenant in a multi-tenant shopping center has no control or contractual obligation to maintain a parking lot shared with other tenants, the common law does not impose a duty upon the tenant to do so.”
In a second case, the court held that despite a developer’s contractual responsibility for the maintenance and repair of an area outside a commercial condominium unit, the owner of that unit still owed a duty of care to the employee of an independent contractor with regard to a hazardous condition in that same location.

Avoiding the Ostrich Problem: Dealing with Adverse Precedent

For The Defense

January 2013

Illinois Supreme Court Places Primary Emphasis on Plaintiff’s State of Residence and Location Where Injury Occurred

January 2013

In Fennell v. Illinois Central Railroad Company, the Illinois Supreme court majority decision was clear that each forum non conveniens case is unique and must be considered on its own facts. However, Fennell establishes that in the interstate forum non conveniens context, the state of plaintiff’s residence and the state where his alleged injury occurred are vitally important, the court is to look at the location of plaintiff’s actual injury or exposure, and the focus is on plaintiff’s specific injury and whether any factor relating to its cause may be found in Illinois.

Illinois Supreme Court Shapes Forum non Conveniens Debate on Plaintiff’s State of Residence and Location Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred

IL Supreme Court Analyzes Forum non Conveniens in Pending Asbestos Cases

January 10, 2013

A recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling expands the options for the defense of non-resident asbestos cases pending in Illinois. Illinois is often considered one of the country’s most attractive jurisdictions due to its plaintiff-oriented substantive law and the ability for plaintiffs diagnosed with a malignant disease to get a trial date as early as nine months from the date of filing. In its ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court emphasized that the plaintiff must have a connection with Illinois. While each forum non conveniens case is unique and must be considered on its own facts, the ruling may result in the transfer of hundreds of pending asbestos cases where the non-resident plaintiff was never exposed to asbestos in Illinois.

NY Appeals Court: Claims Disposed of by Motion Practice Not Concluded until Appeal from Judgment Is Decided

Consequences for Trial Strategy Based on NY Court Ruling

October 25, 2012

An October 23, 2012, ruling by the New York Court of Appeals holding that claims disposed of by motion practice early in a case are not really concluded until an appeal from the final judgment is decided will have an effect on strategy for trial lawyers.

Insider’s Guide to the Illinois Appellate Courts

The Appellate Practice Compendium

August 2012

One to Watch: Pre-suit Duty to Preserve Surveillance Video without a Written Request?

July 24, 2012

While Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal ruled that it would not be fair to businesses to require them to preserve video evidence without a written request, the court noted that the Fourth District Court of Appeal has held there can be circumstances in which a defendant has a duty to preserve evidence absent a request to preserve it. There is now a conflict among the appellate districts, which may ultimately be resolved by the Florida Supreme Court.

Illinois Supreme and Appellate Courts Issue Stern Reminders on Appellate Jurisdiction and Waiver

June 12, 2012 The Illinois Supreme Court and two districts of the Appellate Court issued written opinions on appellate jurisdiction and waiver issues, highlighting the perils appellate procedure may hold for the unwary litigant or counsel.

Cutting Corners Can Lose an Appeal

May 9, 2012

Illinois appellate court warns litigants that an appellate brief cannot be a trial court pleading with a new cover, and all appellate briefs must follow the strict rules of factual and legal citation imposed by the reviewing courts.

Ruling Significantly Reduces Insurer’s Exposure for TCPA Claims in Illinois

April 30, 2012

An Illinois appellate court has decided as a matter of first impression that statutory damages imposed by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are punitive damages that cannot be covered by insurance.

Illinois Supreme Court Allows Jurors in Civil Cases to Question Witnesses

April 19, 2012 Allowing jurors to submit questions can improve juror comprehension of testimony and attention to the proceedings and increase overall satisfaction with jury service. For the litigants, juror questions may provide counsel with the advantage of “real time” glimpses into the jurors’ minds as the evidence is received.

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Wilson Elser’s Argument and Eliminates Wrongful Birth Defendants Exposure for Post-Majority Damages

May 2011

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled as a matter of first impression that parents asserting a claim of wrongful birth may not recover expenses incurred for the care and support of their disabled child after the child reaches the age of majority. Clark v. Children’s Memorial Hospital, No. 108656, 2011 WL 1733532 (Ill. May 6, 2011). This significant victory was won with the amicus curiae assistance of Wilson Elser’s Appellate Practice and its co-chair Melissa Murphy-Petros.

National Appellate Practice Group 2009 in Review

March 2010

Skilled advocates, Wilson Elser’s appellate attorneys have earned the firm a reputation for excellence in post-trial and appellate work. Concentrating on the complex, highly technical, and constantly evolving discipline of appellate procedure, we have the experience needed to plan and execute the most effective post-trial and appellate strategy. In addition to handling appeals, we provide critical assistance at the trial level, including consultation on the preparation of dispositive pre-trial motions, motions in limine, and jury instructions; participation at trial; and attendance at the jury instructions conference.

Illinois strikes down verdict caps

February 2010

On February 4, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court, by a 4-2 ruling, invalidated an Illinois statute which established caps on the amount of non-economic damages such as; pain, disfigurement and loss of consortium, that can be recovered in medical malpractice actions. In reaching its determination in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (Ill. Supreme Court Docket Nos. 105741, 105745), the court determined that the statute violated the separation of power provisions stated in the Illinois Constitution by nullifying the court’s inherent power to correct excessive jury awards.

Appellate Alert

November 2009

Wilson Elser’s Appellate Practice Group has recently made new law in Illinois with respect to pleading causes of action for defamation per se. In Green v. Rogers, --- N.E.2d ---, 2009 WL 3063399 (Ill. Sept. 24, 2009), Group Co-Chair Melissa A. Murphy-Petros (Of Counsel-Chicago) convinced the Illinois Supreme Court to hold, as a matter of first impression, that such claims must be pled with the same specificity and particularity as that required in pleading fraud claims. This ruling not only secured dismissal of the complaint against Wilson Elser’s client, but also established new law favorable to defamation defendants throughout the state.

Additional Publications

“The Insider’s Guide to the Illinois Appellate Courts,” Appeals Across America: An Insider’s Guide to State and Federal Appellate Courts, Dana Livingston, ed., ABA Publishing, 2011.

“Attacking the Quotient Verdict” (co-author with Daniel E. Tranen), Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 97, No. 8, August 2009.

“‘Stream of Commerce Plus’ or Minus? Advancing the Law of Personal Jurisdiction in Product Liability

Cases,” DRI In-House Defense Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2008.

“Negligence and the ADA: Plaintiffs’ Use of ADA Violations as Evidence of Negligence in Premises Liability

Actions,” Real Estate Finance, Vol. 24, No. 1, June 2007.

News

Murphy-Petros and Testa Earn Designation of Certified Litigation Management Professional

October 18, 2013

Murphy-Petros Named to the Executive Editorial Board of the Journal of American Law

9/26/13

Legal Insights Publishes Article by Spolzino and Murphy-Petros

January 17, 2013

Wilson Elser Promotes 16 from 9 U.S. Offices to Partner

January 12, 2012

Wilson Elser promotes 16 attorneys to partner.

Wilson Elser Prevails in Insurance Coverage Case

October 11, 2011

James Thurston and Melissa Murphy-Petros were successful before the Ninth Circuit in rescinding a D&O insurance policy for misrepresentations contained in the policy application.

Murphy-Petros secures Illinois appellate victory

April 28, 2010 Melissa A. Murphy-Petros (Of Counsel-Chicago) obtained an affirmance of summary judgment in favor of a general contractor sued by a construction worker who was seriously injured.

Events

Murphy-Petros to Participate in Strafford Webinar on Product Liability

Seminars/Webinars

September 26, 2011

 
Reported CasesRepresentative Matters: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Theatre Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Dalgliesh, 765 A.2d 986 (D.C. 2001): Question of first impression; use of violation of Americans with Disabilities Act as evidence of negligence in premises liability suit. Appellate Procedure/Commercial Liability Insurance Coverage Norris v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 857 N.E.2d 859 (Ill. App. 2006), petition for leave to appeal denied, 862 N.E.2d 235 (Ill. 2007): Two questions of first impression; palpable error exception to doctrine of law of the case and liability of employer's commercial trucking insurer to employee's estate for both uninsured motorist and workers compensation benefits. Casualty Defense/Workplace Injury Whylie v. ConEd, 911 N.Y.S. 2d 923 (N.Y. App. 2010): Summary judgment for ConEd affirmed on insufficient evidence of proximate causation; plaintiff nurse working in a ConEd mobile x-ray clinic was exposed to a large quantity of accidentally spilled x-ray chemicals and claimed numerous resulting injuries. Wilfong v. L.J. Dodd Construction Co., 930 N.E.2d 511 (Ill. App. 2010), petition for leave to appeal denied, 938 N.E.2d 532 (Ill. 2010): Question of first impression; pedestrian invitee may not invoke distraction exception to open and obvious rule when he creates distraction by talking on cell phone while walking across premises. Brooks v. Judlau Contracting, Inc., 869 N.Y.S. 2d 366 (N.Y. 2008): Question of first impression; partial contractual indemnification provisions between general and subcontractors on construction projects are valid and enforceable under General Obligations Law 5-322.1. Cameron v. Merisel Properties, Inc., 652 S.E.2d 660 (N.C. App. 2007): Question of first impression; mold exposure. Wilson v. City of New York, et al., 775 N.Y.S.2d 527 (N.Y. App. 2004): Workplace injury - lead paint exposure at Grand Central Terminal renovation; negligent supervision. Milne v. Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 168, 755 N.Y.S.2d 632 (N.Y. App. 2003): Workplace injury - fracture; obtained 65 percent reduction in jury-awarded damages. Martishius v. Carolco Studios, Inc., 542 S.E.2d 303 (N.C. App. 2001): Workplace injury - electrocution; contributory negligence. Casualty Defense Doe v. University of Chicago, et al., 2011 WL 6382066 (Ill. App. 2011): Question of first impression; the service of alcohol, without more, does not constitute personal encouragement or assistance of an act of gender-related violence for purposes of civil liability under the Illinois Gender Violence Act. Martinez v. City of New York, et al., 2011 WL 6225159 (N.Y. App. 2011): Denial of summary judgment to defendant school nurse reversed and wrongful death action dismissed; school nurse's duty of care to 10-year-old decedent who died at home from effects of an asthma attack that began at school ended when child's mother picked him up from school and took complete custody of him. Schlindwein v. Carlson Hotels Management, et al., unpublished, No. 3-10-0213 (Ill. App. 2011): Summary judgment for hotel affirmed; injury incurred when plaintiff tripped over bed frame does not invoke four-year construction statute of limitations even though bed was placed in room as part of extensive hotel renovation because placement of furniture in a building is not an improvement to real property. Devecchis v. City of Chicago, unpublished, No. 1-09-2066 (Ill. App. 2011): Summary judgment for Gibson's Steakhouse, a prominent Chicago restaurant, affirmed because Gibson's did not appropriate either Rush Street in Chicago or the sidewalk in front of its entry such that it could be liable for the sidewalk condition that allegedly caused plaintiff's injury. Faust v. Albertson, 178 P.3d 358 (Wash. App. 2008): Dram shop liability; $14 million jury verdict reversed and judgment entered for defendants as matter of law; no evidence of drunk driver's apparent intoxication at time of alleged over-service of alcohol. Gibbs v. Port Authority of New York and Madison Square Garden, 794 N.Y.S.2d 320 (N.Y. App. 2005): Obtained dismissal of entire case with $2 million claimed damages; licensee not occupier of premises. Elliott v. Long Island Home, et al., 784 N.Y.S.2d 615 (N.Y. App. 2004): Wrongful death; no proximate cause. Seegars v. Brunswick Yonkers Bowl, 2003 WL 355435 and 2002 WL 243305 (N.Y. App. 2003): Obtained dismissal of entire case with $1 million claimed damages; assumption of risk; open and obvious condition. Turner v. Williams, 762 N.E.2d 70 (Ill. App. 2001): Multimillion-dollar personal injury jury verdict reversed. Godino v. Madison Square Garden, 708 N.Y.S.2d 102 (N.Y. App. 2000): Constructive notice. Visconti v. 110 Huntington Associates, L.P., 707 N.Y.S.2d 884 (N.Y. App. 2000): Assumption of risk. Moriello v. Stormville Airport Antique Show & Flea Market, Inc., 706 N.Y.S.2d 463 (N.Y. App. 2000): Open and obvious condition. Bezozo v. Town of Hempstead, 686 N.Y.S.2d 489 (N.Y. App. 1999): Assumption of risk. Yager v. Adler, 686 N.Y.S.2d 33 (N.Y. App. 1999): Premises liability; no evidence of defendant's involvement in plaintiff's injury. Civil Procedure/Product Liability Dickie v. Cannondale Corp., 905 N.E.2d 888 (Ill. App. 2009), petition for leave to appeal denied, 904 N.E.2d 979 (Ill. 2009): Scope of stream of commerce test for asserting personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation in a product liability action. Saia v. Scripto-Tokai Corp., 851 N.E.2d 693 (Ill. App. 2006), reh'g denied (Ill. App. 2006), petition for leave to appeal denied, 861 N.E.2d 664 (Ill. 2006), pet. for writ of cert. denied, Tokai Corp. v. Saia, et al., 127 S.Ct. 2252 (U.S. 2007): Scope of stream of commerce test for asserting personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation in a product liability action. Civil Procedure Carolina Casualty Ins. Co. v. Team Equipment, Inc., et al ., 2014 WL 407389 (9th Cir. Feb. 4, 2014): As a matter of first impression, allegations of diversity of citizenship pled on information and belief are sufficient to allow complaint to stand until served and responded to. Hergan v. Pawlan Law, LLC, et al., 2013 IL App (1st) 113812-U: Dismissal of legal malpractice complaint on the basis of same cause pending affirmed. Ghilarducci v. Forrest, unpublished, No. 1-10-0596 (Ill. App. 2011): Complaint filed after voluntary non-suit properly dismissed on res judicata grounds where two counts of plaintiff's initial complaint were dismissed on the merits, he voluntarily dismissed the third count, and the third count was the only claim alleged in the re-filed complaint. McMillian v. Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 567 F. 3d 839 (7th Cir. 2009): Dismissal of personal injury action affirmed; plaintiffs failed to establish damages at or exceeding jurisdictional requirement of $75,000 per plaintiff. Peniston v. Epstein, 780 N.Y.S.2d 916 (N.Y. App. 2004): Medical malpractice; vacation of technical default against defendant doctor affirmed. Commercial Liability Insurance Coverage Carolina Casualty Ins. Co. v. Canal Ins. Co., unpublished, No. 13-3610 (6th Cir. 2014) Secured reversal of district court and obtained summary judgment for Carolina Casualty. A vehicle identified on Canal policy as covered auto you own was deemed owned by vehicle's permissive user for purposes of invoking coverage under Canal policy for underlying lawsuit despite the fact that user did not have legal title to vehicle. Admiral Insurance Co. v. PIF High Yield Fund II, unpublished, No. 10-15830 (9th Cir. 2011): Insurer's rescission of directors and officers liability policy based upon insured's material misrepresentations on the policy application affirmed; stipulated loss of $4.4 million. Preferred Mutual Ins. Co. v. New York Fire-Shield, 880 N.Y.S.2d 744 (N.Y. App. 2009): Summary judgment to insured on late notice defense reversed and remanded for trial. Hytko v. Hennessy, 879 N.Y.S.2d 595 (N.Y. App. 2009): Question of first impression; physicians' professional liability carrier prohibited from obtaining common law indemnification from nurse's professional liability carrier by the doctrine of unclean hands. Essex Ins. Co. v. Young, 796 N.Y.S.2d 204 (N.Y. App. 2005): Assault and battery exclusion. Venture Encoding Service, Inc. v. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co., 107 S.W.3d 729 (Tex. App. 2003): Printers liability coverage. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co. v. Terk Technologies Corp., 763 N.Y.S.2d 56 (N.Y. App. 2003): Advertising injury. Centereach Realty, LLC v. Essex Ins. Co., 759 N.Y.S.2d 664 (N.Y. App. 2003): Insurer's timely disclaimer of coverage. Commercial Property Insurance Coverage Board of Educ. of Tp. High School Dist. No. 211 v. TIG Ins. Co., 881 N.E.2d 957 (Ill. App. 2007), reh'g denied, 2008 Ill. App. LEXIS 119 (Ill. App. Jan. 24, 2008): Notice of loss provision; insured's eight-year delay in notifying carrier of $25 million spent on asbestos abatement violated notice of loss provision and vitiated coverage. Ocean Partners, LLC v. North River Ins. Co., 810 N.Y.S.2d 430 (N.Y. App. 2006): Notice of loss provision. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. Commonwealth Ins. Co., 797 N.Y.S.2d 449 (N.Y. App. 2005): $35 million business interruption claim; September 11 loss. D.R. Watson Holdings, LLC v. Caliber One Indem. Co., 789 N.Y.S.2d 787 (N.Y. App. 2005): Wear-and-tear and faulty/defective maintenance exclusions; obtained 58 percent reduction in jury-awarded damages. AZ Land Trust v. Transcontinental Ins. Co., unpublished, No. 3-05-0013 (Ill. App. 2005): Effect of policy renewal on inflation guard provision. LDLJ Associates, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., unpublished, No. A-1649-03T1 (N.J. App. 2005): Sinkhole exclusion. Chatham Corp. v. Dann Ins., 812 N.E.2d 483 (Ill. App. 2004): Question of first impression; extra expense coverage. Wal-Mart Stores v. U.S.F. &G., 784 N.Y.S.2d 25 (N.Y. App. 2004): $11 million claim; suit limitation provision; res judicata effect of additional insured's prior lawsuit against carrier. Armstrong v. Caliber One Ind. Co., 772 N.Y.S.2d 828 (N.Y. App. 2004): Insured's material misrepresentations on fire policy application; standard mortgagee clause. Tacoma Electric Supply, Inc. v. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co., 40 Fed. Appx. 567, 2002 WL 1378934 (9th Cir. 2002): Earth movement exclusion. Fairlawn Industries, Ltd. v. Gerling America Ins. Co., 775 A.2d 744 (N.J. App. 2001): Insured premises description. National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Country Wide Truck Svcs., Inc., 696 N.Y.S.2d 915 (N.Y. App. 1999): Employee theft exclusion. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance Coverage Ascent Media Group, LLC v. Those Interested Underwriters at Lloyd's, unpublished, No. B199042 (Cal. App. 2008): Strict construction of wrongful termination exception to assured vs. assured exclusion; summary judgment for carrier affirmed. Discovery North Shore Towers Apartments, Inc. v. Zurich Ins. Co., 691 N.Y.S.2d 327 (N.Y. App. 1999): Subpoenas for expert depositions properly quashed. Employment Law/Title VII Robinson v. Sappington, 351 F.3d 317 (7th Cir. 2003), pet for cert denied, 124 S.Ct. 2902 (2004): Title VII, sexual harassment; defendant was an Illinois state court judge at the time of the alleged harassment. Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Defense Berman v. G.C. Services Ltd. Partnership, 146 F.3d 482 (7th Cir. 1998): Question of first impression; FDCPA does not apply to debt collector's efforts to collect delinquent unemployment insurance contributions. Jang v. A.M. Miller & Assoc., 122 F.3d 480 (7th Cir. 1997): Question of first impression; debt collector not required to provide debt validation when requested so long as all collection activities cease after validation request. Life Insurance American General Life Ins. Co. v. Shenkman, Nos. 10-3541 and 10-3640 (3rd Cir. 2011): Time limit provision of life insurance policy's suicide exclusion not ambiguous. Product Liability Sadigh v. Stoughton Trailers, LLC, et al., unpublished, No. 1-08-0150 (Ill. App. 2009): Manufacturer of semi-trailer did not have a duty under Illinois common law to install side under-ride guards on trailer. Professional Liability Defense Matter of Small Smiles Litig ., 109 A.D.2d 1212 (4th Dep t 2013) Secured dismissal of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims against all defendants in dental malpractice / Medicaid fraud coordinated litigation involving 30 plaintiffs, 19 dentists (14 represented by Wilson Elser), and numerous corporate defendants in three separate actions in Onondaga, Schenectady, and Monroe Counties, New York. Kroner v. Deer & Stone, unpublished, No. 1-10-1444 (Ill. App. 2011): Attorney malpractice; alleged actual damages too speculative to support a cause of action. Redmond v. Kogen, unpublished, No. 2-09-0928 (Ill. App. 2010): Attorney malpractice; no proximate cause. Soscia v. Soscia, 829 N.Y.S.2d 543 (N.Y. App. 2006): Attorney malpractice; breach of contract. Vittetoe-Patrick v. Peterson, unpublished, No. 1-03-2571 (Ill. App. 2005): Medical malpractice; abdominal surgery and post-operative infection; jury verdict for defendant surgeon affirmed. Shapo v. Terrizzi, unpublished, No. 1-99-4157 (Ill. App. 2002): Medical malpractice; alleged delay in diagnosis; jury verdict for defendant pediatrician affirmed. Ke v. Hsu & Associates, 752 N.Y.S.2d 42 (N.Y. App. 2002): Engineering firm; no proximate cause. Torts Clark v. Children's Memorial Hospital, 2011 WL 1733532 (Ill. 2011): Represented amicus curiae Fertility Centers of Illinois; wrongful birth plaintiff parents may not recover expenses incurred for the care and support of their disabled child beyond the child's age of majority. Johnson v. Health Port, et al., unpublished, No. 1-10-0399 (Ill. App. 2011): Privacy torts; medical records consultant's inadvertent release of plaintiff's records does not support a claim for intrusion upon seclusion; claim for publication of private facts time-barred by one-year statute of limitations applicable to privacy claims. Green v. Rogers, 917 N.E.2d 450 (Ill. 2009): Question of first impression; claims for defamation per se must be pled with the same particularity as fraud claims. Goldberg v. Moskowitz, 691 N.Y.S.2d 447 (N.Y. App. 1999): Fraud, breach of fiduciary duty.
 
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Where Suicide Is Caused by Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Illinois Now Recognizes Ensuing Actions for Wrongful Death and Survival
Melissa A. Murphy-Petros, August 19, 2014
The Illinois Appellate Court has held, as a matter of first impression in the state, that where a plaintiff can satisfy the elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress and the emotional distress is a substantial factor in causing a decedent’s suicide, causes of action...

The Minefield of Appellate Practice: Notices of Appeal
Melissa A. Murphy-Petros, August 13, 2014
The Illinois Appellate Court’s recent opinion in In re Marriage of Micheli, 2014 IL App (2d) 121245 (filed July 31, 2014), illustrates the necessity of retaining appellate specialists to handle all post-trial and appellate filings, including the deceptively simple notice of appeal.

Seventh Circuit Opinion Demonstrates the Importance of Engaging an Appellate Attorney When the Right to Appeal Is on the Line
Melissa A. Murphy-Petros, June 11, 2014
The recent opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Banks v. Chicago Board of Education, 13-2018, N.D. Ill, E. Div. (April 24, 2014), illustrates the importance of engaging an appellate attorney to properly perfect post-trial motions that affect the right to appeal.

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Melissa A. Murphy-Petros

120 N. La Salle Street, 26th Floor
ChicagoIL 60602-2412




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