John M. Fitzgerald is a trial and appellate lawyer. His practice is focused in business and commercial litigation, constitutional and governmental litigation, professional liability disputes, and professional responsibility matters for judges and attorneys. John represents clients in a variety of industries, including public accounting, construction, and manufacturing. He also frequently represents other attorneys in disputes with their partners and law firms.
John served as the 53rd President of the Appellate Lawyers Association (ALA), an association of lawyers who practice in courts of review and judges who serve on those courts. John previously served as the Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of the ALA.
For the past five years, John has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by SuperLawyers magazine, a recognition reserved for attorneys “who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.” In 2015, John was selected as one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forth to Watch” by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company from a field of over 1,200 nominees.
John has authored dozens of articles on current legal topics. He is the author of A Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which was published in 2020 by the Illinois State Bar Association. It is the first published book to examine the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and cases interpreting it. John co-authored the second edition of the Guide in 2021.
Business and Commercial Litigation
John represents businesses and individuals in litigation arising out of contract disputes, business partnership disputes, shareholder oppression claims, professional malpractice claims, construction disputes, real estate disputes, claims of statutory and common law fraud, and trade secret and unfair competition disputes. John represents clients at every stage of litigation, from the initial pleading through trial and appeal, and in arbitration, mediation and negotiations.
John is an experienced appellate practitioner and served as the 53rd President of the Appellate Lawyers Association.
For several years, John co-authored Chicago Lawyer magazine’s regular column on appellate practice, On Appeal, with Hon. Gino L. DiVito. As co-chair of the Appellate Lawyers Association’s Rules Committee from 2013 to 2017, John testified before the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee multiple times concerning proposed amendments to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules governing appellate practice.
Constitutional and Governmental Litigation
John has experience representing individuals, businesses and non-profit associations in constitutional litigation against governmental entities, in other governmental litigation, and in administrative appeals.
Employment and Executive Compensation Disputes
John routinely represents employers and employees in severance negotiations, employment discrimination litigation, retaliatory discharge litigation, and in connection with other claims and disputes involving employment. John has litigated claims under the Illinois Wage Payment & Collection Act, claims for retaliatory discharge, defamation claims in the employment context, employment contract claims, trade secret misappropriation claims, and restrictive covenant enforcement claims. John also routinely represents business and non-profit executives in confidential compensation and severance negotiations.
John served as the 53rd President of the Appellate Lawyers Association.
Selected as a Super Lawyer (2019-present)
Named one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forth to Watch” by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2015)
Certificate of Appreciation, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (2016)
John is a member of the Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and in the United States Supreme Court. John also has been admitted to practice law pro hac vice in several other jurisdictions.
John received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2004, and his B.A. with Honors in Political Science from the College of the University of Chicago in 2001. While in law school, John served as a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge Milton I. Shadur and worked as a research assistant to Professor Richard Epstein.
John is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Memberships & Affiliations
The Appellate Lawyers Association
- President (2020-2021)
- Vice President (2019-2020)
- Secretary (2018-2019)
- Treasurer (2017-2018)
- Co-Chair of Rules Committee (2013-2017)
- Member, Board of Directors (2013-2016)
- Contributor to The Brief, the ALA’s Blog on appellate practice (2011-present)
Illinois State Bar Association
- Author, A Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (first edition, Illinois State Bar Association, 2020)
- Co-Author with Professor Alexandra M. Franco, A Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (second edition, Illinois State Bar Association, 2021)
- Member of ISBA Assembly (2013-2016)
Chicago Lawyer Magazine
- Co-Author of On Appeal column, with Hon. Gino L. DiVito, concerning Illinois appellate practice (2014-2015)
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
- Author of The Bottom Line column concerning business and commercial litigation (2012-2016)
The Chicago Litigation Blog, Contributor
News & Publications
A representative sample of John’s publications include:
- A Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (Illinois State Bar Association, first edition, 2020)
- A Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, co-authored with Prof. Alexandra M. Franco (Illinois State Bar Association, second edition, 2021)
- A Palpable Conflict, Illinois Bar Journal, co-authored with Anthony J. Longo (Nov. 2020)
- Palm v. Holocker: A Study in Legislative Inactivity, Cook County Record (Nov. 13, 2019)
- Carmichael and Ambiguity in Constitutional Law, The Brief: The Blog of the Appellate Lawyers Association (Dec. 27, 2018)
- On Appeal: Twombly’s Limited Influence in Illinois, Chicago Lawyer, co-authored with Hon. Gino L. DiVito (April 2015)
- The Bottom Line: High Court Revisits Tobacco Class Action, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Oct. 28, 2014)
- New Limits on Subject Matter Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege, Illinois Bar Journal, co-authored with Hon. Gino L. DiVito and Brian C. Haussmann (July 2013)