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   3Matthew J. O'HaraChicago(312) 360-6871mohara@freeborn.commohara@freeborn.comFreeborn & Peters LLPwww.freeborn.comwww.freeborn.comoharamatthew.jpgCommercial LitigationProfessional Malpractice Defense Law: Including Legal/Technical/FinancialAntitrust & Trade RegulationAppellateCommercial LitigationDirectors & Officers LiabilityIntellectual Property
Matthew J. O'
Freeborn & Peters LLP
311 S Wacker Dr Ste 3000
Chicago IL 60606
Ph.(312) 360-6871 Fx.(312) 360-6520
Recommended by peers in:    Extensive Experience in:
Commercial Litigation    Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Professional Malpractice Defense Law: Including Legal/Technical/Financial    Appellate
    Commercial Litigation
    Directors & Officers Liability
    Intellectual Property
County:  Cook
Litigator:  Yes

Practice Description:  
Mr. O'Hara is a business trial lawyer who concentrates his practice in the litigation and trial of complex commercial matters in federal and state courts. He has tried cases involving antitrust, the federal securities laws, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets, trademark infringement, breach of contract, license agreements, executive employment, warranties under the Uniform Commercial Code and criminal defense. He also litigates cases involving private shareholder and partnership disputes, legal malpractice, the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and other commercial matters. He is also experienced in briefing and arguing state and federal appeals.
Before joining Freeborn in 2017, he worked at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP beginning in January 2010, where he was a co-leader of its national Lawyers Professional Liability Practice Group, including its Lawyers for the Profession practice. Mr. O'Hara began his legal career in 1996 at Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., which merged with Reed Smith LLP in 2007. He served as a deputy general counsel to Reed Smith, advising the firm and its attorneys on ethical and risk management issues.

Notable Cases and Results:  
  • Pielet v. Pielet, 2012 IL 112064 (Ill. 2012) - Illinois Supreme Court reversed lower courts' finding that corporate client was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law under corporate survival statute.

  • Harris v. Koenig, 815 F.Supp.2d 12 (D.D.C. 2011) - Granted summary judgment in an ERISA stock-drop class action seeking $360 million in damages, finding that client, a former CFO of a Fortune 250 company, did not fraudulently conceal information from the company's auditors.

  • Akoo International, Inc. v. Harris, No. 10 C 1685, 2011 WL 4007686 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 9, 2011) - Denied motion by seller of digital advertising for preliminary injunction of clients' use of trademark for apparel associated with musical artist, regarding a claim under the Lanham Act for likelihood of causing consumer confusion.

  • Krieger v. Boey, No. 08-L-85 (Cir. Ct. 16th Jud. Dist., DeKalb County, Ill., 2011) - Won jury verdicts finding no breach of fiduciary duty and awarding damages on a counterclaim for breach of contract where a businessman was sued by his former partner in a commercial real estate business for $3 million plus punitive damages before trial, and presented a $2 million damage claim to the jury.

  • Pielet v. Pielet, 942 N.E.2d 606 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist., 2010) - Won reversal of summary judgment against investor and holding company alleged to be liable for debts of a predecessor company invested in through an asset-based transaction.

  • Geneva Int'l Corp. v. Petrof, Spol, S.R.O., 608 F. Supp. 2d 993 (N.D. Ill. 2009) - Granted motion for summary judgment on claim by distributor against manufacturer for anticipatory breach of trademark license agreement.

  • SEC v. Koenig, 557 F.3d 736 (7th Cir. 2009) - Court of appeals remanded to trial court because its calculation of disgorgement and penalties in SEC enforcement action was erroneous.

  • Midwest Theatres, Inc. v. IMAX Corp., No. 08-5823 (DSD/SRN), 2009 WL 649701 (D. Minn. Mar. 11, 2009) - Won dismissal of tort and contract claims against individual executives of corporate client.

  • Midwest Theatres, Inc. v. IMAX Corp., No. 08-5823 (DSD/SRN), 2008 WL 4832598 (D. Minn. Nov. 3, 2008) - Defeated motion for temporary restraining order brought by client's former licensee.

  • Baird & Warner Residential Sales, Inc. v. Mazzone, 893 N.E.2d 1010 (Ill. App. Ct., 1st Dist., 2008) - Reversed dismissal of client's claims under a non-solicitation agreement.

  • People v. Morgan, 817 N.E.2d 524 (Ill. 2004) - Argued appeal in Illinois Supreme Court from denial of successive postconviction petition based on claims of actual innocence.

  • People ex rel. Madigan v. Snyder, 804 N.E.2d 546 (Ill. 2004) - Successful defense of challenge by the Illinois Attorney General under the Illinois Constitution to clemencies issued by the governor to prisoners whose previous death sentences had been vacated in post-conviction or habeas corpus proceedings.

  • Tempco Electric Heater Corp. v. Temperature Engineering Co., No. 02 C 3572, 2004 WL 2931329 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 15, 2004) - Trial court opinion after bench trial awarding lost profits and liquidated damages for breach of distribution agreement and software license agreement.

  • United States v. Taber Extrusions, LP, 341 F.3d 843 (8th Cir. 2003) - Reversing grant of summary judgment to the government under the False Claims Act.

  • Long v. Shorebank Development Corp., 182 F.3d 548 (7th Cir. 1999) - Successfully argued that the federal courts had subject matter jurisdiction even though the parties had opposed each other in a prior state court proceeding.

  • People v. Morgan, 719 N.E.2d 681 (Ill. 1999) - Successfully argued in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of a criminal defendant seeking relief under a post-conviction petition from a death sentence.

Bar Admissions:  
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals
  District of Columbia Circuit
  Eighth Circuit
  Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court
  Central District of Illinois
  Eastern District of Wisconsin
  Northern District of Illinois
  Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)

Year of Birth:  1961

Law School:  Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1996

Law School Honors/Involvement:  Valedictorian; Chicago-Kent Law Review

Undergraduate School:  Northwestern University, B.A., English and economics, 1983

Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:  With honors

Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2012-2013
  • Leading Lawyers, recognized in Commercial Litigation and in Professional Malpractice Defense Law, Legal/Technical/ Financial, 2013-present

    Published Legal Writing:  
    Author, "7th Circuit Opinions on State Corporation Laws Follow Precedent," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Oct. 2012

    Author, "Staying Private Avoids SEC, but Not All Regulation," Business Torts Litigation, Volume 19, No. 3, Spring 2012

    Co-Author, "State Deceptive Practices Laws Accompanying Lanham Act Claims for Likelihood of Confusion - Considerations as to Remedies and Applicable Law," DRI Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Conference, Chicago, April 2011

    Author, "Managing Conflicts in International Law Firms: Can the Oceans Serve as Ethical Screens?" Bloomberg Law Reports, "Law Firm Management," Vol. 1, No. 2, Aug. 2010

    Author, "Ruling Goes Against Minority Shareholder on Costs,"Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Aug. 21, 2009

    Author, "Would a Prudent ERISA Fiduciary Invest in Subprime Mortgage Securities?" First Focus: The Subprime Crisis, Thompson West, 2008. Author, "Justice is Languishing Behind Bars at Guantanamo," Chicago Sun-Times, Dec., 2007

    Author, "New Amendments to the Illinois Business Corporation Act Favor Minority Shareholders," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Oct. 2006

    Author, "Minority Shareholders May Be In For a Better Deal," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July, 2005

    Legal Lectures:  
    "The General Counsel Forum," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, March 2014

    "Defending Disqualification Motions," Chicago Law Firm Management Roundtable, April 2013

    "Consolidation, Collaboration and Competition - An Antitrust Perspective for Today's Healthcare Industry," Hinshaw's Annual Health Care Conference, Nov. 2012

    "Government Investigations - How to, and How Not to, Respond," Chicago Law Firm Management Roundtable, April 2011

    "Illinois' New Rules of Professional Conduct," Abbott Laboratories Legal Department, North Chicago, Ill., Feb. 2010

    Firm Description:  
    For more than 30 years, we've developed deep connections with our clients and their businesses through our services and mutual experiences. Through our legal practices, our goal is to provide premium quality legal services that advance the interests, defend the rights and build a better future for our clients — across industries, service lines and geography. We demonstrate our client commitment by embracing a values-based culture of personal responsibility for quality in everything we do.

    Freeborn now provides services from its five office locations in Chicago; New York; Richmond, Virginia; Tampa, Florida; and Springfield, Illinois.

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