Chicago Business Lawyers - Litigation and
Rock Fusco & Connelly LLC is a full-service law firm representing its clients in all facets of litigation and transactional needs.
We are a general practice law firm that provides informed and creative legal representation to our clients. We believe that the touchstone of the attorney-client relationship is a mutual understanding of the client’s goals and objectives at the outset of any engagement.
We provide a realistic appraisal of the prospects of achieving the client’s goals, a reasonable projection of fees and costs expected to be incurred and suggestions for alternative billing arrangements and structures.
Matters are staffed in consultation with the client, providing for a consistent attorney-client team approach. Regular communication and discussion ensure that the client’s goals and objectives remain the consistent focus of professional efforts.
Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC is a full service – general practice law firm. We represent clients within business law and business litigation, business disputes, commercial and corporate law, business formation, business dissolution, employment & labor law, contractor and construction law, contract law, shareholder and partnership agreement law, buy and sell agreements, employment law, tax law, commercial real estate law, franchise law, banking & finance, civil rights litigation, consumer litigation, securities transactions, general tort and product liability, intellectual property and licensing, mechanics lien law, municipality law, outdoor advertising & billboard law, professional liability, licensing and disciplinary action, transportation law and workers compensation defense law.
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LEARN MORE ABOUT COVID 19 AND HOW IT EFFECTS YOUR BUSINESS
COVID 19 UPDATE – While it is undeniable that the continuing spread and fear of COVID-19 throughout the world has caused significant disruptions, Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC is committed to continuing to provide responsive and exemplary service to our clients. In order to protect the health of our clients and our staff, and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 the majority of our attorneys and staff will be working remotely starting Tuesday, March 17.
The attorneys and staff have been equipped with the technology, equipment and training necessary to work remotely without sacrificing the quality of service provided to our clients. Therefore, despite the fact that our attorneys and staff are temporarily working remotely, we are able to communicate with you by telephone and email and have protocols in place to ensure the security of confidential documents and emails. Additionally, accommodations for in person meetings can be made when necessary.
The health and safety of our clients, staff and our communities are of grave importance, so we will continue to actively monitor this matter in order to follow the guidance from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state/local governmental agencies, and will revise plans and make decisions accordingly.
We will continue to keep you informed as this matter evolves. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us as our attorneys and staff are prepared and committed to continue providing responsive and exemplary service to our clients.
We would like to acknowledge the work of Bleeding Disorders Alliance of Illinois (BDAI), a chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation, for its work to raise needed funds to help bleeding disorder families in need. We pledge to contribute and support this organization as it continues to provide advocacy, education, awareness, and consumer support for the BDAI families in our community.
LaPorta v. City et al – 7th Circuit Appeal WIN!
Congratulations to the trial team at Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC. Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reversed the high-profile judgment against the City of Chicago in the amount of $44.7M. We agree with the Court – this case is tragic. But, the City should not have been held responsible for Mr. LaPorta’s injuries. The facts of the case are below:
Late one night in January 2010, Patrick Kelly shot his friend Michael LaPorta in the head during an argument at the end of a night of drinking together, leaving LaPorta severely and permanently disabled. Kelly was an off-duty Chicago police officer and not acting under color of state law at the time of the shooting. LaPorta sued the City and pursued a novel theory, claiming that the City’s policy failures caused Kelly to shoot him. LaPorta identified three general policy deficiencies: 1) the City failed to implement an “early warning system” to identify problem officers; 2) it failed to adequately investigate and disciple officers who engaged in misconduct; and 3) it fostered a “code of silence” that deterred reporting of officers who engaged in misconduct.
At every opportunity, the City moved to dismiss the complaint arguing that it had no constitutional duty to protect LaPorta from Kelly’s private violence. However, the judge denied those motions and, following a jury trial, the jury returned a verdict for LaPorta and awarded $44.7 million in damages, concluding that two of the City’s policies, its failure to implement an adequate early warning system and its failure to adequately investigate and discipline officers, caused Kelly to shoot LaPorta. The City filed many post-trial motions. The judge also denied those motions. The City appealed.
THE VICTORY! On February 23, 2021, the Seventh Circuit Court reversed and remanded for the District Court to enter judgment in favor of the City. The Seventh Circuit, while acknowledging the grievous injuries suffered by LaPorta, concluded that his legal theory was “deeply flawed.” LaPorta claimed that he was deprived of his due process right to bodily integrity. The Court concluded that it has “long been settled that ‘a State’s failure to protect an individual against private violence … does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause,’” thereby rejecting any theory grounded in the Due Process Clause. The Court amongst many reasons for revising the erroneous verdict, explained that LaPorta had the burden to prove a constitutional violation as well as the requirements for municipal liability under the applicable case law. The Court then concluded that applying the long-established legal doctrines, the City had no due-process duty to protect LaPorta from Kelly’s act of private violence. Since LaPorta was not deprived of his due process rights, the City cannot be held liable for his injuries under section 1983.
The reversal of an erroneous $44.7M verdict in favor of our client was a great victory for the client and our trial team.
We are very pleased with the decision by the 7th Circuit. For more information about this case or if you have a legal matter you’d like to discuss, please call us at (312) 494-1000.