Core Values in Action

“T.J. exudes respect, professional integrity and confidence. His clients are lucky to have him.” - another satisfied client

T.J. represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial matters and business disputes including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, tortious interference, fraud, trade-secret and non-compete disputes, defamation, partnership wind-ups, insurance coverage and other multi-million dollar disputes in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. He also has experience in class action litigation and civil rights defense including cases relating to malicious prosecution, conspiracy, municipal liability and constitutional law.

Before joining Freeborn, T.J. served as a Prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Narcotics Special Prosecutions Bureau. 

Throughout his career as a trial lawyer, T.J. has tried to verdict more than 150 civil and criminal bench trials, 14 civil and criminal jury trials and handled several appeals before both the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court. In addition to his courtroom experience, he routinely represents business clients in arbitrations and mediations.

Representative Matters

  • Co-lead counsel who won summary judgment in defense of a patent infringement case brought against a group of publishers and manufacturers. Just prior to the commencement of a jury trial, the district court invalidated the patent at issue and entered summary judgment in favor of all of Freeborn’s clients. Sonix Technology Co., Ltd. v. Publications International, Ltd., et al., 2015 WL 8153600 (N.D.Ill Dec. 8, 2015).
  • Co-lead counsel in an arbitration against a nationwide retailer on multiple claims, including breach of contract relating to the creation and operation of a national retail-marketing database. The arbitration spanned eleven-day and included five expert witnesses. The arbitration panel found in our client’s favor and awarded Freeborn’s reasonable attorneys’ fees on the successful breach of contract claims.
  • Lead drafter of amici curiae brief to United States Supreme Court in Friedrichs, et al., v. California Teachers Association, et. al., Case No. 14-915 (filed November 2015).
  • Co-lead counsel in an eight-day jury trial on claims against a financial services company for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation. The jury entered a verdict in favor of F&P’s client on all counts, which resulted in seven-figure settlement payment to F&P’s client.
  • Lead counsel in a bench trial on claims for breach of contract relating to a 17-acre real estate development dispute. The court entered a verdict in favor of F&P’s client on all counts.  
  • Member of Freeborn Team (and one of the attorneys who presented witness testimony and oral argument at the Preliminary Injunction hearings) in two lawsuits that that challenged two Illinois pension reform laws. In both cases, Freeborn won on summary judgment and obtained rulings that both pension reform laws violated the Illinois Constitution. Both cases were affirmed on appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. See, In Re Pension Reform Litigation, 2015 IL 118585 (2015); Jones, et al., v. Municipal Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, 2016 IL 119618 (2016). 
  • Represented plaintiff bank in a legal malpractice action against its former counsel in connection with a portfolio of SBA loans resulting in substantial seven-figure settlement.
  • Lead counsel who drafted briefs and presented oral arguments in business litigation and defamation cases before the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court, including a case involving a matter of first impression in the Illinois Supreme Court. Wright Development Group, LLC v. Walsh et al., 238 Ill.2d. 620, 939 N.E.2d 389, (2010).
  • Lead counsel who obtained a dismissal of a $30 million tortious interference with contract and tortious interference with business expectancy lawsuit against an international information technology services and solutions company.
  • Lead counsel who obtained a multi-million dollar settlement in favor of global supplier of uniformity, dynamic and geometric products in a breach of contract claim in federal court.
  • Co-lead counsel who won summary judgment in a federal civil rights class action lawsuit, defending the City of Chicago and over 50 individual police officers in Vodak v. City of Chicago, et al., 624 F.Supp.2d 933 (N.D. Ill. 2009).
  • Lead counsel who secured dismissal of the City of Naperville in a First Amendment federal civil rights lawsuit brought by a sitting City Council member in Furstenau v. City of Naperville, et al., 2008 WL 5412872 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 23, 2008).
  • Lead counsel who prosecuted a breach of employment contract and breach of fiduciary duties lawsuit on behalf of an international software solutions and graphic communications company.
  • Secured a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and defended against a TRO in a state court lawsuit involving breach of employment contract, non-compete and conversion claims.
  • Defended a large financial institution relating to a claimed breach of its duties as the guardian of an estate.
Honors & Awards: 
  • Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer – 40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch – 2011
  • Illinois Super Lawyers - Business Litigation - 2017 (cited multiple years)
  • Leading Lawyers - Commercial Litigation - 2016 (cited in multiple years)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - 2017 
Professional Activities: 
  • Chicago Bar Association
Publications: 
  • Author, "Prejudgment Interest Under The Illinois Interest Act: A Category of Damages Not To Be Overlooked In Commercial Disputes," Civil Litigation FlashPoints, May 2016.
  • Author, "The Illinois Appellate Court Finds the Absolute Litigation Privilege Applies to Claims of Invasion of Privacy, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress and Breach of Contract," Civil Litigation FlashPoints, March 2014.
  • Author, "The Illinois Business Corporation Act: The Survival Provisions of 805 ILCS 5/12.80 Do Not Apply to Claims That Accrue After a Corporation Dissolves," Civil Litigation Flashpoints, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, May 2013.
  • Author, "Compelling An Officer, Director, or Employee of a Party To Appear at Trial: Exploring the Limits of a Notice To Produce Under Supreme Court Rule 237(b)," Civil Litigation Flashpoints, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, March 2010.
  • Author, "The Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies the Pleading Requirements Under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and Reaffirms an Absolute Privilege Under Illinois Defamation Law," Civil Litigation Flashpoints, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, July 2009.
  • Author, "Special Interrogations in Defamation and Wrongful Death Cases: How They Can Make or Break Your Case," Civil Litigation Flashpoints, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, November 2008.

Education

J.D., DePaul University College of Law
B.A., Indiana University

State Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Admitted pro hac vice in other states including California and Massachusetts

Federal Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Federal Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (General and Trial Bar)
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • Admitted pro hac vice in several United States District Courts including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas

Teaching experience

  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Law School, Introduction to Trial Advocacy, Fall semester 2010 - present
  • Periodic guest lecturer for trial advocacy courses at several Chicago law schools
  • Team coach and judge for several Moot Court competitions

Community Service

  • Active in fundraising for Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children's Charities and Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL)
  • St. Joan of Arc School Board - President (2014-2015); Member (2012-2015)
  • Coach, Youth Baseball, Basketball, and Football
http://www.leadinglawyers.com/atty_profile.cfm?TOCUID=1086583http://www.superlawyers.com/illinois/lawyer/Terrence-J-Sheahan/b841e5b6-ecf5-4921-b727-eacc2cb32931.html