Fred Mendelsohn’s practice focuses on multiple interrelated areas: complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution; litigation involving fiduciaries, wills and trusts; labor and employment law; market channel matters involving dealers, distributors, and sales representatives; and the general representation of middle market businesses. Mr. Mendelsohn is the co-chair of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella’s Business Partner and Shareholder Dispute group, which represents individuals and businesses in disputes arising out of their relationships as shareholders, partners, members, and/or venture partners. He appears before state and federal courts and in other forums across the country on a regular basis.
Mr. Mendelsohn represents clients in a wide range of complex, commercial litigation and dispute resolution matters, from shareholder and other ownership and governance disputes, to complex patent and international customs litigation, antitrust cases, and matters arising from financial transactions and intellectual property concerns (including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, covenants-not-to-compete, licensing, and other protective agreements). Mr. Mendelsohn has also been involved in a number of construction cases, ranging from construction defects (including latent defect cases) to contract disputes and disputes involving the design professionals and related subcontractor disputes.
The diversity of Mr. Mendelsohn’s practice extends beyond those described above. He has, for example, handled a significant number of complex professional negligence cases and has represented attorneys in malpractice suits and professional misconduct proceedings. This aspect of his practice also extends to representing individual attorneys and law firms regarding separation of attorneys from their firms and the winding down of law practices.
Mr. Mendelsohn also has extensive experience in litigation involving wills and trusts, focusing primarily on the representation of individual and corporate fiduciaries. These matters arise from issues including the construction and validity of wills and trusts, undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty, and seeking instructions and accountings and can involve the interpleader of assets subject to interest, rights, and ownership disputes. Mr. Mendelsohn’s work in this area intersects with his regular representation of life insurance companies with regards to death claims, beneficiary contests, contested payments and contract rights.
Mr. Mendelsohn has also, for nearly three decades, represented parties involved in labor and employment matters before administrative, state, federal and appellate courts. He has represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board and multiple state and federal administrative agencies, such as the Department of Labor, and the EEOC, and numerous state investigative and adjudicatory agencies that administer labor and employment laws. This work includes all legal aspects of union organization efforts, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, conducted labor arbitrations (interest and alleged labor agreement disputes), and participated in litigation relating to union organizational and decertification elections.
For more than ten years, Mr. Mendelsohn has regularly served as a volunteer adjunct faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA), teaching younger attorneys the art and skill of trying cases. NITA is a leading and highly reputable provider of legal advocacy skills training, having pioneered the learning-by-doing methodology for legal skills in the 1970s.
Mr. Mendelsohn has served on ad hoc committees for several not-for-profit ventures and has contributed to the programs sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Professionalism.
Mr. Mendelsohn has presented at the National Business Institute, on topics such as “Business Partner and Shareholder Disputes.” He speaks and writes on legal topics related to his practice, and he authors a regular column, “Legal Watch,” for Industrial Distribution Today, a bimonthly business magazine serving the industrial distribution market.
Prior to joining Burke, Warren, Mr. Mendelsohn was a partner in a mid-sized commercial law firm, where he practiced for fifteen years, and prior to private practice he served as an assistant state’s attorney in the Financial and Government Fraud Task Force of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.