Michael I Rothstein



Michael I Rothstein concentrates his practice in complex business and governmental litigation in federal and state courts. His clients include multi-national corporations, other foreign and domestic business entities, national banks, investment companies, developers, mid-sized and family-owned businesses, high-net-worth individuals, and state and local governmental entities. In addition to trying cases in court and before private arbitrators, Mr. Rothstein is an accomplished appellate advocate, having represented clients before the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Typical disputes handled by Mr. Rothstein involve contract rights and obligations, corporate governance, Delaware LLC law, minority shareholder oppression, mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary duties, fraud, misrepresentation, defamation, trusts, unfair competition, real estate development, banking and mezzanine lending, commercial foreclosures, mortgage servicing, commercial mortgage-backed securities, leasing, joint ventures, partnerships, trade shows and expositions, consumer protection law, class actions, injunctions, governmental regulation, employment, non-competes, trademarks, trade secrets, accounting, legal malpractice, civil rights, and state and federal constitutional provisions, claims, and defenses.

Representative Experience

Throughout over three decades of practice, Mr. Rothstein has guided his clients through a wide variety of difficult cases in the trial and appellate courts. As a small sample of specific cases, Mr. Rothstein has:

  • Defended an online service provider in a putative class action alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act
  • Defended a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund in a challenge to a merger under the Delaware LLC Act
  • Defended a national retail tax preparation firm in an action alleging federal antitrust violations
  • Defended a national movie theatre chain in COVID-related lease disputes
  • Defended a large national bank in an action alleging misrepresentations in the sales of interests in commercial-mortgage-backed-security pools
  • Defended one of the world’s largest trade show companies in a contract dispute with a major sponsor
  • Defended a major credit card processing service in a challenge to a governmental competitive bid process
  • Defended a state university against jurisdictional challenges raised by a governmental entity
  • Defended a county water reclamation district against claims of unconstitutional regulation of heavy metal producers
  • Defended a governmental entity in an easement dispute
  • Submitted testimony as an expert witness regarding attorney malpractice
  • Submitted testimony as an expert witness regarding the reasonableness of attorney’s fees
  • Represented U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee in its investigation of Speaker of the House James C. Wright, Jr.


Mr. Rothstein is a member of the Illinois bar, as well as the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Mr. Rothstein graduated from the Boston University School of Law where he competed on a national moot court team. Mr. Rothstein earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. A registered certified public accountant, Mr. Rothstein worked as a senior auditor at an international public accounting firm prior to attending law school.


  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, 2020 to present
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney, 2009 through the present
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s AV-Preeminent Peer Rating

Professional Activities

  • Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee: vice chair, 2021; member, 2012-2020
  • Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis’s Judicial Screening Committee: member, 2012 to present
  • Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter: president, 2018-2019; officer, 2014-2018, board member, 2011 to present
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association: president, 2008-2009; officer, 2005-2008, board member, 2002-2005
  • Chicago Bar Association Special Committee on Appellate Practice: 2013-present
  • Boston University School of Law Alumni Association Executive Committee: president-elect, 2022-present; member, 2015-present
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow: 2014-present

Community Affairs

  • Anti-Defamation League: national commissioner, 2004-present; regional board chair, 2012-2013; regional board member, 2002-present
  • Center for Enriched Living: emeritus board member, 2000-present; board member, 1991-2001