Some Reported Appellate Decisions

U.S. Supreme Court

Monsanto Co. v. Spray-Rite Service Corp., 465 U.S. 752 (1984) - Mr. Hannafan substantially assisted in the defense of Monsanto during a six-week jury trial of this federal antitrust dealer termination case under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  He was also on the brief before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and was on the brief and attended oral argument before the United States Supreme Court.  Plaintiff Spray-Rite, a former Monsanto herbicide distributor in the Midwest, alleged that Monsanto had illegally terminated its distributorship because it was a price-cutter and sold herbicides outside of an assigned territory.  Mr. Hannafan's client argued that the company had established legitimate business objectives for increasing its sales in a  highly competitive market and that Spray-Rite had not complied with those services, which had disrupted Monsanto's efforts to educate and sell to grassroots agricultural buyers.  Although the Supreme Court held that something more than other distributors' price complaints to the manufacturer is required to find a conspiracy, the judgment below was affirmed in favor of Spray-Rite.


Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals 

The Society of Lloyd's (a/k/a "Lloyd's of London") v. Estate of McMurray and Harris Trust and Savings Bank, 274 F.3d 1133 (7th Cir. 2001) - After the entry of summary judgment in the District Court in Mr. Hannafan's client's (Lloyd's) favor for more than $800,000 against a “Lloyd’s Name,” the Court of Appeals “recognized” the foreign judgment and decided the appeal in Lloyd’s favor.  The Court held that the judgment entered in England was constitutional under the due process clause and was enforceable under the statute of limitations.

The Society of Lloyd's (a/k/a "Lloyd's of London") v. Ashenden, et al., 233 F.3d 473 (7th Cir. 2000) - Following the entry of judgment in the District Court in Mr. Hannafan's client's (Lloyd's) favor for more than $6,000,000 against Lloyd's "Names" under several English judgments, the Court of Appeals "recognized" and affirmed those foreign judgments.  The appeal was decided in Lloyd's favor when the Court held that, on constitutional "due process" grounds, the judgments previously entered against  the Names in England were valid and enforceable.

AM International, Inc. v. Graphic Management Associates, Inc., 44 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 1995) - Mr. Hannafan's plaintiff client, AM International, brought suit against "GMA" in federal court alleging that the defendant had breached a patent royalty contract.  After judgment was entered for the defendant in the trial court, AM International appealed.  Mr. Hannafan argued that there was an ambiguity in the contract which would allow parole evidence in his client's favor.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the adverse judgment below. 

 
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Arachnid, Inc. v. Merit Industries, Inc., 939 F.2d 1574 (Fed. Cir. 1991) - Mr. Hannafan achieved a directed verdict of liability in favor of the plaintiff patent owner Arachnid before a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  After the jury awarded damages in Arachnid's favor, the defendant appealed. On appeal, Mr. Hannafan argued that his client, a patent holder and patent licensor, constructively held patent rights.  However, the Court reversed the jury verdict in Arachnid's favor.

Arachnid, Inc. v. Industrial Design Electronics Associates, Inc. ("IDEA"), 862 F.2d 322 (Fed. Cir. 1988) - Mr. Hannafan obtained a jury award of damages and an injunction in favor of his plaintiff client Arachnid in a patent infringement case.  On appeal by the defendant infringer, the Court of Appeals affirmed Mr. Hannafan's position that the doctrine of equivalents applied to the plaintiff's patent and upheld the jury verdict on damages and the trial court's injunction.


Illinois Supreme Court

Jackson Jordan, Inc. v. Leydig, Voit & Mayer, 158 Ill.2d 240 (1994) - After the Court previously ruled against Mr. Hannafan's client, Jackson Jordan, in a legal malpractice case, a rehearing by the Court was allowed.  On rehearing, Mr. Hannafan argued that the statute of limitations for commencement of his client's case against a major patent law firm had not expired before suit was filed.  The Court reversed its previous adverse decision and ruled in Mr. Hannafan's favor by reversing the trial and appellate courts below.  The Court held that a question of fact existed concerning the statute of limitations.

In re: Estate of H. Earl Hoover (Robert Hoover v. Mary, Elizabeth, and Courtney Hoover), 155 Ill.2d 402 (1993) - Mr. Hannafan's defendant clients in this will contest over the $40 million "Hoover Vacuum Estate" were the disinherited son's former wife and daughters.  The disinherited son, Robert Hoover, claimed that Mr. Hannafan's clients unduly influenced his father to disinherit him by false representations.  The trial court entered judgment in favor of the estate and Mr. Hannafan's clients.  The appellate court reversed and the defendants appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.  Mr. Hannafan argued that even if the allegations of misrepresentations were true, his clients did not unduly influence or overpower the mental "will" of the father.  The Supreme Court partially affirmed and partially reversed the lower appellate court.


Illinois Appellate Court

Michael Jordan v. Karla Knafel, 355 Ill.App.3d 534, 823 N.E.2d 1113 (1st Dist 2005). - Basketball superstar Michael Jordan sued Hannafan & Hannafan’s client, Karla Knafel, for extortion and she counter-sued for breach of a $5,000,000 contract based upon Jordan’s promise to pay her if she did not bring a paternity action against him and if she promised to keep their previous sexual relationship confidential.  The lower court dismissed Knafel’s counter-claim, and she appealed.  Michael T. Hannafan argued the appeal and won a reversal on the ground that not all contracts for silence violate public policy.  The court held that Knafel’s agreement with Jordan was “not inherently extortionate.”


U.S. Bankruptcy Court

In re: Midway Airlines, Inc. v. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smock & Stewart, 180 B.R. 1009 (Bkr. Ct., N.D. Ill.) (1995) - Mr. Hannafan's defendant client, a well-known Atlanta, Georgia, law firm, was sued in federal bankruptcy court by Midway's Chapter 7 trustee in an "adversary proceeding" seeking the return of the alleged preference payment of legal fees previously paid by Midway to its law firm.  After trial, the bankruptcy court ruled in favor of Mr. Hannafan's client because the payment had been made according to ordinary business terms. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  

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