University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1991
University of Illinois, B.A., 1988, high honors
Jeff is an advocate for businesses and employers throughout the Midwest. A significant portion of Jeff’s practice is devoted to litigating restrictive covenant, unfair competition and trade secret cases, including prosecuting and defending actions involving emergency injunctive relief in state and federal courts.
Working with the firm’s labor and employment group, Jeff advises employers on compliance with state and federal employment laws; hiring, firing and discipline issues; wage/hour disputes, and employment contracts.
On the commercial side, Jeff represents banks, construction firms, manufacturers, and other businesses in their breach of contract, landlord-tenant, and general commercial litigation matters.
Jeff is active in the Rockford community. He has served as a board member of Transform Rockford, the Rockford Public Library, the Literacy Council of Rockford, and Next Rockford. Jeff regularly gives speeches and webinars to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Rockford Area SHRM, and various business and continuing legal education organizations.
Memberships & Involvement
- Past Trustee: Rockford Public Library
- Past Board of Directors: The Literacy Council of Rockford; Rockford Public Library; Transform Rockford
- Past Strategy Team: Next Rockford
- Past Member: Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rockford Program
- Past Appointment: Rockford, IL City Budget and Finance Advisory Group and Joint Task Force on Intergovernmental Efficiency
Represented employer in wage payment claim brought by former sales representative in California Department of Industrial Relations (Oakland). Claimant sought substantial commissions based on numerous transactions spanning several years and multiple versions of his sales compensation plan. After multi-day hearing and extensive post-hearing briefing, the Department ruled in favor of the employer and awarded the former sales representative nothing.
- Obtained temporary restraining order, followed by favorable settlement, for international direct sales company against former sales representatives and their new employer, based on the improper solicitation and recruitment of the client’s sales representatives
- Represented international direct sales business in suit for breach of restrictive covenant and nondisclosure agreements, and other claims including, trade secret misappropriation and breach of fiduciary duty, against former key manager alleged to have formed similar business while still employed by the client, using its protected work product and intellectual property. Also, defended the company, its affiliates, owners and executives, against eight figure counterclaim for tortious interference and other claims. Summary judgment was awarded on eve of jury trial to client on major counterclaims, leading to favorable settlement.
- Obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on behalf of commercial insurance agency against terminated sales representative who embarked on a campaign to solicit his former customers, in violation of his restrictive covenants
- Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of school photography company against former sales representatives and competitor company who were actively soliciting their former accounts, in violation of their restrictive covenant agreements
- Defeated motion for temporary restraining order brought against auto repair insurer by competitor who claimed client breached provisions of quasi-joint venture agreement
- Represented international custom automation engineering firm in action against former sales manager who resigned and then pursued projects he had worked on at the former employer, and obtained successful settlement despite the fact that he had no restrictive covenants
- Retained by national consulting firm to pursue claims for breach of restrictive covenants, breach of trade secrets statutes, and other causes of action against former managers and their newly formed company, who successfully bid against the client for a major project that they had pursued for the client before they resigned
- Negotiated favorable settlement for physicians’ group after claims of unfair competition brought by employer who sought to terminate their contract and enforce restrictive covenants, which would have severely impacted their practice and livelihoods
- Retained by a financial advisor to defend claims for breach of restrictive covenants brought by a former employer, and negotiated settlement which carved out significant client base for sales representative based on the argument that the former employer could not demonstrate protectable interest in the clients at issue
Defended custom automation sales representative and his employer in restrictive covenant litigation brought by former employer, including defeating motion for temporary restraining order and motion for preliminary injunction
Obtained temporary restraining order on behalf of national Information Technology solutions company against former sales representative who was actively contacting his former customer contacts on behalf of a competitor
Represented ophthalmology start-up and its founder in claim for breach of non-disclosure agreement, and other theories, arising from former CEO’s resignation and formation of a new company seeking to exploit the client’s cutting edge glaucoma treatment and related business information disclosed to the CEO pursuant to NDA
Obtained dismissal of EEOC charge brought by former employee of client staffing agency, alleging sexual harassment by managers of company where she was placed
Contributing Author, SmithAmundsen's Labor & Employment Law Update, a labor and employment advisory blog.
Contributing Author, Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Chamber Dispatch, an HR advisory blog.
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, March 2021
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, 2021
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, 2019
Presentations & Events
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Webcast, June 15, 2021
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce; Webcast, January 28, 2021
- Lorman Education Services, Webcast, January 27, 2021
- Startup Week; Beloit, WI, November 11, 2019
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, December 5, 2018
- SmithAmundsen, Webinar, November 1, 2018
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce; Webinar, June 14, 2017
- Webinar, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, February 9, 2016
- Protecting Your Customer Relationships and Information: Strengthening and Enforcing Non-Compete AgreementsSmithAmundsen, Webinar, February 4, 2016