John C. Sciaccotta and Benjamin E. Haskin's Article "Easing the Path Toward an Involuntary Law Firm Break-Up" Published in the CBA Record
Aronberg Goldgehn attorneys John C. Sciaccotta and Benjamin E. Haskin’s article, “Easing the Path Toward an Involuntary Law Firm Break-Up,” has been published in the September/October 2020 CBA Record, a Chicago Bar Association publication.
The article begins by saying that attorney partnerships are often created with the optimism that the partnership will be productive and mutually beneficial. Yet there is no obligation to remain partners indefinitely, and a time may come when it is necessary to part ways with one of the partners.
John and Ben write that the roadmap toward an involuntary separation with a partner, or expulsion, begins at the time of drafting the partnership’s governing agreement, such as a partnership agreement, LLC operating agreement, or other contractual arrangement that dictates the general terms of the partnership. The founding partners must decide the grounds upon which a partner may be expelled and the procedure by which the firm or partners may purchase the expelled member’s interest.
Failure to provide for a specific procedure may cause needless ambiguity if the time comes for an involuntary separation, and opens the possibility for prolonged litigation by the expelled member for breach of the underlying agreement and breach of fiduciary duty.
CLICK HERE to read the full article.
About the Authors
John has nearly 35 years of trial and litigation experience advocating for clients in complex civil litigation, arbitration, mediation and business counseling matters with a special emphasis on complex civil trial and appellate cases brought in federal and state courts and tribunals throughout the United States. In addition, he represents publicly and privately held domestic and foreign business entities, lenders, employers, municipalities, government bodies and individuals in transactional matters and disputes.
John has been appointed as a Neutral Arbitrator and Mediator for many years to resolve and arbitrate business related disputes. He was recently selected as a mediator for the Chicago Bar Association’s newly launched Mediation Service of which John is a co-founder. He also serves on the Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association's National Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators.
Active in the Chicago Bar Association throughout his career, John is a co-founder and former Chair of the CBA’s Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes Committee and is current Treasurer of the CBA. He has also served on its Board of Managers (2017-2019), was Vice Chair of the CLE Committee (2019-2020) and Chairman of the Bench and Bar Committee.
Ben is a business litigation attorney who specializes in assisting small- and medium-sized companies realize practical solutions to business disputes involving contracts, shareholders/members, employees, trademarks and other similar instances of alleged wrongdoing. He works closely with his clients to explore resolutions with the aim of avoiding or minimizing litigation costs while maximizing the client’s return.
A skilled litigator, Ben has successfully represented his clients’ interests in a broad range of complex litigation in state and federal courts as well as private arbitrations centers in shareholder rights, contract disputes, trade secrets, restrictive covenants and other business torts. He has also litigated cases involving the Uniform Commercial Code, ERISA and the Lanham Act.
Ben is also an accomplished appellate lawyer having drafted and argued a number of successful appeals in the Illinois Appellate Courts.