Michael J. O'Rourke and Michael C. Moody, former members of the large Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn, originally established O'Rourke in the winter of 1993 with a shared aim: to bring large firm professional legal expertise to the small to mid-size business market at an affordable cost.
That same philosophy endures.
From the outset, the firm enjoyed quick success, leading the representation of a Fortune 500 equipment leasing company in the Chicago-land area in legal proceedings before the federal and state courts. The firm later won dismissal in federal court of allegations of fraud and obtained a successful verdict in state court in a dispute involving a local leasing company’s partnership with a Utah land developer over a ski development.
Success continued. The firm scored other major victories in its defense of asbestos litigation brought against its client, Owens Corning Corporation, which was sued by hundreds of plaintiffs across the United States for injuries allegedly sustained as a result of asbestos exposure. It was during this same period that the firm assumed representation of a class of plaintiffs that was suing the Illinois Central Railroad for fraud in connection with its sales of abandoned land owned by the federal government. The lawsuit would eventually resolve in the certification of a statewide class and the negotiation of a settlement of that class in excess of $10 mm, the largest settlement ever recorded for real estate litigation in central Illinois.
In 1997 O’Rourke welcomed Andrew N. Levine, former Assistant Attorney General, and in so doing added to its breadth of experience. The firm was later retained to represent the Illinois Department of Transportation in its defense of claims of national origin discrimination. The matter was successfully tried to verdict before a jury. The firm's involvement continued in its defense of the appeal. On direct appeal to the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal, the trial verdict was affirmed.
In the early 2000’s, the firm continued its string of successes in diverse representations that included a multi-million dollar settlement in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with a nationwide banking institution on behalf of an insurance company client whose premium payments were stolen only to be cashed by a former company executive.
The firm drew upon these experiences and would later successfully prosecute an action against a Chicago bank for check fraud and obtained a large reward for an Indiana-based engineering firm whose employee defrauded it and laundered its money.
Today the firm continues to successfully represent and advocate on behalf of its traditional financial clients, including AT&T Capital Services, Inc. in lease litigation, bankruptcy, real estate practice and corporate matters and litigates on behalf of our clients in federal and state courts throughout the country.