Terrence J. Sheahan


[email protected]

Phone: (312) 360-6728

Fax: (312) 360-6520

The men and women who have the right ideals, are those who have the courage to strive for the happiness which comes only with labor and effort and self-sacrifice, and those whose joy in life springs in part from power of work and sense of duty.

- Theodore Roosevelt



T.J. is Co-Leader of the Litigation Practice Group. He is also a member of the Firm's Insurance/Reinsurance Industry Team and the Private Equity and Venture Capital Team.

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 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 and 17 civil and criminal jury trials (in addition to trying multiple other bench and jury trials that have settled or otherwise ended during trial). He has handled multiple state and federal court appeals, including appeals filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth, Sixth and Federal Circuits, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court. In addition to his courtroom experience, he routinely represents business clients in arbitrations and mediations. For the past decade, T.J. has served as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law teaching Introduction to Trial Advocacy. 

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Co-lead counsel in a nine-day jury trial on claims against our client, a landfill operator, for negligence, trespass and nuisance.  Plaintiffs alleged that odors, noise, dust, birds, and litter emanating from the landfill interfered with the use and enjoyment of their property and they sought a seven-figure award. The jury entered a verdict in favor of F&P’s client on all counts. On appeal, T.J. handled the oral argument and the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the jury verdict in favor F&P’s client. Andrews v. Advanced Disposal Services Zion Landfill, Inc., 2020 IL App (2d) 190278-U.

  • 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-days 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).

  • 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 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). 

  • 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.  

  • 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 Freeborn’s client on all counts, which resulted in seven-figure settlement payment to Freeborn’s client.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer – 40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch – 2011
  • Illinois Super Lawyers - Business Litigation - (cited in multiple years)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - 2020 (cited in multiple years) 

Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
    • Commercial Litigation Committee, Co-Vice-Chairman, 2019-20
    • Judicial Evaluation Committee, Investigator (several campaign cycles)
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association, Member

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









  • Co-Author, Remedies for Non-Compliance, CIVIL DISCOVERY PRACTICE (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, IICLE, 2017).
  • 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.