Experienced attorney representing clients in complex business and litigation matters in federal and state court, as well as arbitration and administrative proceedings. Outside of litigation, Barton's practice includes advice and counsel to individuals, businesses, and trustees on a host of matters - always approached with goal of developing practical, reasoned, and efficient strategies and solutions to the issue, risk, or problem at hand. Over the past 17 years, he has developed significant experience in such areas as business emergencies and crisis management, internal investigations, employment and restrictive covenant matters, insurance coverage and fraud cases, trade secret violations, consumer fraud and deceptive practices issues, landlord-tenant disputes, and special remedies. Lately, Barton's primary focus and challenge has been on the representation and defense of municipalities, police departments, and individual police officers against alleged unconstitutional conduct and policies – often brought in a class-wide action.
Barton proudly serves on the Firm’s General Counsel Committee, which includes conflict of interest analysis, assessment and defense of actual and threatened malpractice claims, conduct internal investigations regarding any alleged breach of ethical obligations, ensure compliance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, with primary responsibility for matters originating in the Chicago office.
Barton also represents several Trusts and personally manages hundreds of acres of farmland in Illinois. In addition to negotiating leases, listing agreements, and purchase agreements, and supervising all day-to-day farming operations, Barton has developed substantial experience in complex trust analysis, and a firm understanding of the corresponding and often complicated accounting, tax, insurance, and regulatory issues facing many small businesses and family-owned companies.
Taft Pro Bono Honor Roll Award
Honoree, Leading Lawyers (2017 - present)
All Service Areas
- University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (2002)
- Marquette University (1997)
- Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
- Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - Northern District of Illinois
- State - Illinois
- Significant arbitration, trial and administrative hearing experience, including: investigation and case strategy development and implementation, and performance of all aspects of pre-trial litigation and efficient dispute resolution.
- Significant experience in handling business emergencies involving special remedies such as emergency and permanent injunctive relief.
- Advised and counseled CEOs, board of directors, senior management, and general counsel in pending or threatened litigation matters.
- Recent success in defeating plaintiffs’ class certification motion in a class action lawsuit involving claimed class damages in excess of $1.5 billion.
- Represented municipality in connection with the United States Department of Justice, Special Litigation Section’s multi-year investigation of targeted police department, and similar investigations conducted by independent task force.
- Served as lead counsel on over 100 Chicago Police Department proceedings as special assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago.
- Represented State's gaming facility location board in conducting its competitive selection process for the issuance of gaming facility licenses, including review, assessment, and summary of the several voluminous applications for compliance.
- Represented association of profoundly developmentally disabled individuals and their respective families and guardians under the ADA and civil rights laws relating to forced removal and placement in community residential facilities, and investigated the deficient medical care provided in such facilities in a federal lawsuit against the State of Illinois.
- Represents and counsels well-established, Chicago-based waste management, disposal, and recycling company in multiple business matters.
- Defended national broker/dealers in regulatory matters initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Represented employee-owned corporation in federal ERISA lawsuit stemming from ESOP transaction involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions.
- Represented and served as outside general counsel for Illinois-based trade association of alternative retail electricity suppliers in regulatory matters and in administrative proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission.
- Represented and obtained significant settlement on behalf of a professional sports league in a lawsuit involving insurance fraud and negligence in the procurement of Workers' Compensation insurance.
- Represents and obtained summary judgment on behalf of municipality defeating Section 1983 Monell claims arising out of alleged unconstitutional police detentions.
- Represented and obtained summary judgment on behalf of correctional officers in multiple Section 1983 actions arising out of the death of inmates while incarcerated.
- Represented the interests of a law enforcement agency in a lawsuit involving multiple shootings by off-duty police officers.
- Represented an individual in a breach of finder's fee lawsuit and related federal lawsuit involving Electronic Communication Privacy Act and related claims.
- Defeated a temporary restraining order in a breach of fiduciary duty and trade secret action by an employer against four former employees.
- Represents several Trusts and Management Company of 830+ acre farm, including negotiating listing and purchase agreements, leases for tillable farmland, evaluation of accounting, tax, and trust issues, and supervision of all farm operations.
- Negotiates contracts, and analysis of insurance policies, and competitive bids on behalf of clients, including preparation and prosecution of bid protests before the applicable governmental procurement agency.
- Provides advice to employers and individuals regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants, including non-disclosure provisions, non-solicitation provisions, non-disparagement provisions, and covenants not to compete.
- Develops e-discovery and review protocols, and supervises cost efficient large-scale electronically stored information review, quality control, and production.
Speeches and Publications
- "Chapter 3 — Specific Performance," Chancery and Special Remedies (2021 edition) published by IICLE (May 2021)
- American Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Fenwick Bar Association
- Saint Ignatius College Prep Business Society
- Chicago Diabetes Project
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Chicago Police Memorial Foundation