Matthew R. Henderson concentrates his practice in the representation of attorneys in all aspects of professional liability and ethics including the defense of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty actions, providing risk management and ethics advice, defending lawyer disciplinary proceedings, and litigating attorney fee disputes.
Mr. Henderson’s practice also includes representing employers in litigated matters, including the defense of discrimination and wage withholding claims. He regularly represents real estate professionals, accountants, and technology companies in negligence cases.
He likewise has extensive experience in consumer class action cases, including actions brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Mr. Henderson regularly speaks and writes on attorney malpractice, legal ethics, attorney discipline, and risk management.
He serves on the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Attorney Malpractice and also on the Professional Responsibility Committee. Mr. Henderson is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Mr. Henderson was an author of the American Bar Association’s Amicus Curiae Brief filed in the United States Supreme Court case, Williams-Yulee v. the Florida Bar,135 S.Ct. 1656 (2015). The brief, which argued the ABA Model Rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions does not violate the First Amendment, was cited twice in the decision.
He was featured in the national and local news coverage of the murder of the family of The Honorable Joan H. Lefkow, including, “World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings; ABC 7 News, Chicago; CBS 2 News, Chicago; the New York Times and the Chicago Sun Times.
Mr. Henderson appeared on NBC Channel 5 news and was quoted in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times regarding his representation of Trinity Services, Inc. in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a patient seeking the entry of an injunction requiring Trinity to administer electric shocks to prevent the patient from injuring himself and others.
Representative Matters :
- Obtained dismissal of two companion cases in the Northern District of Illinois alleging violations of plaintiffs’ civil rights, due process, equal protection, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against attorneys and law firm who represented school district in an investigation of academic dishonesty arising from alleged cheating on geography bee competition.
- Successfully represented high-profile personal injury law firm in legal malpractice action in Circuit Court of Cook County brought by adult children of deceased client seeking to recover $7 million in annuities as part of the structured settlement of an underlying medical malpractice case. Obtained dismissal of action on the initial motion on the basis that is was not filed within the statute of limitations for alleged estate planning malpractice.
- Obtained summary judgment in legal malpractice action for lawyer’s alleged failure to timely file a claim against a financial institution to recover $500,000 that was misdeposited by corporate controller. The Cook County Circuit Court ruled that plaintiff could not satisfy the actual damage requirement because the funds were ultimately accounted for albeit in different corporate accounts.
- Circuit Court of Rock Island County entered summary judgment in favor of estate planning attorney who allegedly failed to prevent a trust beneficiary’s sister from converting trust assets on the basis that he did not owe a duty of care to the beneficiary.
- Bianchi v. McQueen, 2016 IL App (2d) 150646. Second District Appellate Court affirmed in part and reversed in part dismissal of McHenry County State’s Attorney’s claims against special prosecutor finding that claims were stated for malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
- In a nonprecedential disposition, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of legal malpractice and civil RICO claims against a lawyer for supposedly conspiring with the City of Chicago, other law firms and attorneys, and a Cook County judge on the basis that the allegations were legally frivolous and for lack of diversity jurisdiction.
- Nelson v. Cascino Vaughan Law Offices, Ltd., 2015 IL App (1st) 141710. First District affirmed dismissal of legal malpractice action against attorneys for failing to conduct sufficient discovery in underlying asbestos wrongful death action on the basis that the claim was not filed within the applicable statute of limitations and statute of repose.
Professional Affiliations :
- Chicago Bar Association
- Committee on Attorney Malpractice, Member
- Professional Responsibility Committee, Member
- Illinois State Bar Association
- J.D., cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1992
- B.A., cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1989
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
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