We are continuing to expand our capabilities for our clients. If you are an experienced associate with a sincere desire to succeed in a team environment that focuses on putting the client’s interest first, then visit our Careers Page and contact us now.
Articles under Firm News
Matushek Nilles attorneys Mike Martinez and Vincenzo Chimera recently prevailed in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a case alleging their client, a national telemarketing firm, illegally solicited donations on behalf of a “sham charity” in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”). Spiegel v. Associated Community Services, Inc., 733 Fed. Appx. 311 (7th Cir. 2018).
Plaintiff Marshall Spiegel had sued telemarketing firm Associated Community Services, Inc. (“ACS”) in an attempted class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the “Do Not Call” provision of the TCPA, which prohibits businesses from calling numbers listed on the national Do Not Call Registry to solicit “the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services,” unless the call is made by or on behalf of a “tax exempt nonprofit organization.” 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(4); 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(f)(14)(iii).
Summary judgment was entered on behalf of ACS because ACS’ telephone calls to Spiegel’s residence were made on behalf of BCS, which the district court found was recognized at all relevant times as a § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Spiegel appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the district court erred in granting summary judgment to ACS because was BCS not a true “nonprofit” organization but rather a “sham charity” not subject to the exemption.
Mike Martinez was retained to defend ACS on appeal and, with the assistance of associate Vincenzo Chimera, successfully argued that the district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of ACS should be upheld because district courts lack authority to overturn IRS tax-exempt designations and because plaintiff Spiegel failed to properly preserve his arguments for appeal. Following oral arguments on July 6, 2018, the Seventh Circuit panel issued a unanimous decision affirming summary judgment in favor of ACS. Spiegel v. Associated Community Services, Inc., 733 Fed. Appx. 311 (7th Cir. 2018).
Despite this victory, litigation under the TCPA continues to spin out of control, having “blossomed into a national cash cow for plaintiff’s attorneys specializing in [such] disputes.” Bridgeview Health Care Ct., Lt.d. v. Clark, 816 F.3d 935, 941 (7th Cir. 2016). Due largely to the prospect of uncapped statutory damages, TCPA litigation has spiked in recent years, particularly actions against small businesses not engaged in the telemarketing industry. The risk of TCPA liability has intensified in recent years with the emergence of new communications technologies, such as text messaging, which did not exist when the TCPA was enacted in 1991.
Although we succeeded in preventing the plaintiffs’ bar from further expanding the scope of liability in this Seventh Circuit case, it is expected that TCPA plaintiffs will continue seeking to expand TCPA liability by re-litigating the issue of whether district courts can overturn IRS designations of tax-exempt nonprofit status in cases where waiver cannot be claimed as a defense. If your business is facing the prospect of harassing TCPA litigation, or is uncertain of its exposure in this area of law, the attorneys at Matushek Nilles are available to discuss your options and defenses.
For additional information on this decision, the TCPA or appellate practice in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and appellate courts of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri, please contact Mike Martinez or Vincenzo Chimera.
Matushek Nilles LLC is again co-sponsoring Perrin Conference’s Fall Seminar: “A National Overview and Outlook” in Asbestos Litigation, an acclaimed, neutral forum showcasing thought leaders from all perspectives within the legal industry, including Plaintiff and Defense attorneys, in-house counsel, insurance professionals, consultants, experts, and judges. This year’s program will be held October 1-3, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Matushek Nilles LLC was proud to actively participate in the 2018 Race Judicata, a 5K Run/Walk benefiting Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation. This was the 24th anniversary of the run, and all proceeds from Race Judicata went to the general operating costs of CVLS. Thousands of Chicago’s most active judges, lawyers, paralegals and other professionals joined us this year on September 13, 2018 to continue the important work of ensuring that the law works for everyone, not just those who can afford it. Read More »
Matushek Nilles LLC is proud to again support the National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (“FETTI”) as a Gold Level Sponsor. This year’s conference will be held from September 26 through 28, 2018 at the Union League Club in Chicago, Illinois. FETTI is a world-class seminar on a broad range of environmental issues with nationally recognized speakers, including Danielle Luisi, senior associate at Matushek Nilles LLC, who is a featured speaker on “Overview of Legionnaire’s Disease Litigation.”
Matushek Nilles LLC was pleased to again sponsor Perrin Conference’s Spring Seminar: Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation, held March 8-9, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. The Conference is a national forum showcasing thought leaders from all perspectives within the legal community.
Mike Martinez advanced to the partnership at Matushek Nilles LLC on January 1, 2018. Previously, Mr. Martinez had several years experience as an associate with Matushek Nilles LLC, successfully defending manufacturers, contractors and distributors in asbestos litigation in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Mr. Martinez was also recently selected as a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyer.
The firm recently welcomed Danielle Luisi, a seasoned associate with a wealth of experience in defending asbestos claims, to Matushek Nilles LLC’s toxic tort team.
The Partners of Matushek Nilles LLC are pleased to announce that Vincenzo Chimera joined the firm as associates in the Spring of 2017. Mr. Chimera previously worked as an associate in a Chicago area insurance defense firm and adds his talents to our team.