Skip to content »

Scharf Banks Marmor

In the News

Deirdre Fox Is Promoted to Partner

 We are pleased to welcome Deirdre A. Fox as a Partner with the firm. Deirdre concentrates her practice on complex litigation, intellectual property and employment.  She has represented companies in federal and state courts nationwide in a variety of industries including food, consumer products, building and manufacturing products, pharmaceuticals and health insurance. She manages al facets of large, complex cases including high stakes, multi-jurisdictional litigation involving novel legal theories, and has first-and second- chaired trials. 

 With a background in both science and the arts, Deirdre creatively and effectively serves clients from start-up companies to larger enterprises.  She received her B.S. from Northwestern University in Materials Science and Engineering and her J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.  Deirdre maintains an art studio presently at Hyde Park Art Center where she exhibits her art  work.  She has received numerous awards and grants for her work. 

 With a focus on solving client’s problems and protecting their rights efficiently, Deirdre’s commercial and intellectual property litigation practice encompasses a wide array of disputes, claims and risk management. She regularly writes and speaks on intellectual property issues.  Deirdre is Immediate Past Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section and serves on the llinois State Bar Association Professional Conduct Committee. She is also Co-Chair of in-person programming for the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in the Law. 

Corinne Heggie Named Second Vice President of the WBAI

On June 8, 2017, Corinne C. Heggie was sworn in as the Second Vice President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI), putting her in line to be President in 2019. The WBAI is one of the oldest and largest bar associations in the state, established in 1914 by nine female attorneys practicing in the Chicago metropolitan area. WBAI’s mission is to promote, foster and advance the interests and welfare of women lawyers. Scharf Banks Marmor LLC’s founding partner Stephanie A. Scharf commented that “the nomination is at tremendous honor for Corinne and for the Firm, and shows how highly regarded she is by her peers in the legal community.” Information about the WBAI Board be found here.

Founding Partner Stephanie Scharf Featured in Chicago Lawyer Magazine

Partner Stephanie A. Scharf is profiled in the Chicago Lawyer June 2017 cover story on “The Certification Question.” The article features a number of women-owned firm leaders discussing the benefits of certification through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). 

As the article highlights, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC is the only Chicago firm certified by both organizations, and the Firm “provides Big Law quality with fewer hurdles.” Ms. Scharf discussed that certification may help to attract large corporations looking to hire diverse outside counsel but "we do not get the business because we are women-owned.  We get the business because of the quality of our lawyering and what we can do.”  To read the full article click here.




Cover photo (left to right): Jennifer L. Kobayashi, Julie A. Beyers, and Stephanie A. Scharf

George Sax Receives N.D. Illinois Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service

Judge Joan B. Gottschall and George D. SaxCongratulations to George D. Sax for receiving an Excellence in Pro Bono Service award from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Federal Bar Association. The Award was presented on May 24, 2017 at the District Court’s Eighteenth Annual Awards for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service. The Award honors attorneys for their contributions toward helping those most in need of assistance in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including by representation as a Court-appointed attorney. The Award ceremony was sponsored jointly by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and featured a keynote speech from Hon. Michael J. Newman, the National President of the Federal Bar Association, and remarks from Chief Judge Rubén Castillo, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and Sheri H. Mecklenburg, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Judge Joan B. Gottschall and George D. Sax

Scharf Banks Marmor Recognized in the Wall Street Journal

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC was among the prominent Chicago firms featured in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, April 24, 2017 for their participation in the Chicago Bar Foundation’s 11th Annual Investing in Justice Campaign. The Campaign provides grants for critical legal assistance to more than 30 pro bono and legal aid organizations across the city. To learn more, visit the Chicago Bar Foundation.

Corinne Heggie Named One of Best Lawyers’ Women of Influence

Congratulations to counsel Corinne Heggie for her inclusion on the “Women of Influence” list curated by Best Lawyers Spring 2017 Business Issue and the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. The awards were peer nominated and endorsed for those committed to outstanding work in their areas of expertise. Katherine Minarik, Immediate Past-President of the Coalition, wrote of those awarded: “Every women lawyer faces obstacles in her career. Sometime because we are unlucky. Something because we are women. Sometimes just because the career path we’ve chosen is not easy. We women lawyers know this because we live this… Surrounded by these women, I’ve seen some of those big obstacles we all face start to shrink as we tackle them together.” 

Partner Stephanie Scharf Honored with NAWL 2017 Public Service Award

Congratulations to partner Stephanie Scharf for receiving the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) 2017 Public Service Award for her career-long commitment to exemplary public service and social responsibility. Scharf was honored at the NAWL Mid-Year Meeting and Awards Luncheon on March 10 in Chicago, the subject of which was Shaping the Future of the Profession: Partnering for Progress. In her acceptance speech, Scharf encouraged women to step out of line and take chances, and that in doing so they not only benefit others, they will no doubt find like-minded lawyers with whom they can grow their own personal network and practice. Scharf also spoke about the influence on her own career of women from earlier generations who paved the way for change and success of others.

Christian Liipfert to Discuss Information Governance at ARMA Spring Conference

Christian Liipfert will be speaking on Information Governance at the ARMA Houston Spring Conference coming up on April 25-26, 2017. The annual conference seeks to give ARMA members the opportunity to build core skills, share best practices, and showcase industry trends and innovations.

Mr. Liipfert's session is part of the Advanced Records and Information Management series and will focus on using information governance initiatives to find your natural allies within your organization to better manage your organization's information assets. He will examine the roles of several different disciplines and functions, from records managers, to litigation lawyers, to security teams, and how they contribute to information governance, with the goal of building a coalition of the multiple stakeholders in your company by recognizing their interests in information as well as your own.

Deirdre Fox Speaks on Employment Agreements, NDAs, and Data Security at ISBA

Counsel Deirdre Fox spoke on February 1, 2017 as a part of the Illinois State Bar Association’s live Continuing Legal Education program on Cybersecurity. The ISBA’s full-day seminar was designed to help attorneys learn how to best protect their firm and their clients from data breaches and cyberattacks.

Ms. Fox’s presentation, “Employment Agreements, NDAs, and Data Security,” outlined how businesses can safeguard themselves against data leaks through effective employment agreements. She also laid out additional measures businesses can take to bolster cybersecurity in regards to employees and independent contractors.

Ted Banks Examines the Implications of Internet of Things Products in “Compliance Week” Article

Partner Ted Banks was quoted in an article from Compliance Week about the ‘Internet of Things’: products and services that allow devices to communicate with each other and can include anything ranging from computer routers to baby monitors. In the article, Mr. Banks noted that every time a company powers some device with an Internet connection, it becomes a compliance issue. For instance, if a product crashes because of Internet trouble, that could constitute a breach of contract. “So part of the risk assessment by management should be examining what’s in the contract. Are you protecting yourself from the legal implications of a failure like this?”

At the upcoming Practising Law Institute (PLI) conference on Compliance and Ethics, Mr. Banks will be organizing a session on this topic. “What we’ll be doing at the PLI program is trying to go through every type of technology and say, ‘here are the compliance implications of that technology,’ ” says Banks. “If you’re using some sort of app that relies on what we lump together as Big Data, have you considered all the implications and what might those be as far as compliance risks are concerned?”

Read the full article.

Stephanie Scharf, Ted Banks, and George Sax Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to Stephanie A. Scharf and Theodore L. Banks, who have been selected to the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers list by Super Lawyers Magazines. Ms. Scharf was listed in the practice area of Civil Litigation: Defense and Mr. Banks was listed in the practice area of Business/Corporate. Each year, no more than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.   This is the thirteenth year in a row that Ms. Scharf has received the honor and the fifth year that Mr. Banks has received the honor. 


Congratulations also to George D. Sax, who has been selected to the 2017 Illinois Rising Stars list in the practice area of Business Litigation. Each year, no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in Illinois are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Attorneys named to the Rising Stars list must also be under 40 years old or have fewer than 10 years of legal experience.  This is the seventh year in a row that Mr. Sax has received the honor.  


Ted Banks Discusses Compliance Law Trends on “Compliance Beat” Podcast

Partner Ted Banks was a guest on a recent “Compliance Beat” Podcast where he discussed a number of issues related to compliance.

Mr. Banks, the former Chief Counsel for Global Compliance Policy at Kraft Foods, discussed his early years giving compliance presentations to employees – and the need to remember that a compliance presentation is not the same as writing a court brief.. “The most important lesson I learned the hard way is that, whatever you’re doing, you have to always do it from the point of view of your target audience,” he said.

As adjunct professor of law at Loyola University, he’s challenged his law students to do the same. He asks them to take a step back from the law and instead craft policies that will work in the real world. “If I give them an assignment to write a policy about business gifts and entertainment, they come up with lots of language that they think should be in the policy,” said Banks. “I ask them, ‘At the end of the day, if you’re an employee and someone handed this (policy) to you, would you know what to do?’”

When asked about compliance trends of the future, Mr. Banks predicted that technology advances from new social media platforms to autonomous cars will introduce a whole new area of compliance risk and compliance problems. “As you roll out this new technology, you have to consider not just the coolness of it but all the things that may happen based on the way people behave and interact with this technology,” he said.

Three Questions with Ted Banks is featured after the first 15 minutes of the show. Listen to the podcast.

Rebecca Ford Selected As Judge On New MacArthur Competition Panel

Attorney Rebecca L. Ford, counsel at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, was chosen to serve as a judge for the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition, which will award a $100 million grant to a single proposal designed to help solve a critical problem affecting people, places, or the planet.

“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch.“Potential solutions may go unnoticed or under-resourced and are waiting to be brought to scale. Every three years, we plan to award $100 million to help make one of these solutions a reality. Through 100&Change, we want to inspire, encourage, and support other people’s ideas, here in our hometown Chicago, across the nation and around the world, about how to address major challenges and enable real progress toward a solution.”

The competition, open to organizations working in any field or endeavor anywhere in the world, received 1,904 applications, and 800 proposals will move to the next stage.

As a judge for 100&Change, Ms. Ford will evaluate proposals randomly assigned to her according to a strict set of criteria that is available on the competition’s website. In the summer of 2017, five finalists will be selected to present their solutions during a live event in the fall of 2017.

Ted Banks, Corinne Heggie And George Sax Moderate Today’s General Counsel Compliance And Ethics Forum

Partner Ted Banks served as co-moderator of an October 20, 2016 Today’s General Counsel Institute compliance and ethics forum in Chicago, backed up by Corinne Heggie and George Sax as discussion leaders. Mr. Banks and his fellow panelists engaged with over 80 practicing corporate compliance attorneys and administrators in a wide-ranging, all day discussion of compliance structures, special compliance problems, and best practices for compliance training, monitoring, and internal investigation.

Ms. Heggie led a discussion about training and challenges corporations face when reducing practices into a written format that is practical and manageable for employees to use.

Mr. Sax, speaking from a litigator’s perspective, discussed best practices for document preservation and anticipation of discovery, and compliance with state social media laws. Scharf Banks Marmor LLC will continue to monitor developments in corporate compliance and ethics and related litigation, including any amendments that may arise from this or other roundtable discussions.

Corinne C. Heggie To Discuss Vicarious Liability At January 19 Webinar

Attorney Corinne C. Heggie is a featured speaker during the live webinar, Vicarious Liability and Collections, on January 19. Ms. Heggie will discuss principles of vicarious liability and recent trends in collection industry litigation that can significantly impact your clients and your practice. This webinar, sponsored by Lorman Education Services, Inc., is designed for collection agencies, attorneys, controllers, accountants, business owners and managers, banking professionals and others involved in the collection process. Learn more about this webinar.

Ted Banks Talks To Compliance Week About Meeting eDiscovery In Wake Of Plantronics Decision

Partner Ted Banks, along with other compliance attorneys, weighed in on the significance of the Plantronics decision as well as precautions to ensure compliance with e-Discovery demands in a recent Compliance Week article. On July 12, 2016 the U.S. district court in Wilmington, Delaware issued a $3 million sanction because of findings that thousands of emails potentially relevant to the plaintiff had been deleted. The decision highlights the challenges of meeting demands even under new federal rules that were supposed to ease the burdens of eDiscovery.

Mr. Banks outlined important steps that a company should take once a lawsuit is filed or anticipated. A company should not only send a memo warning employees who have relevant information to save it, but should start collecting this information, he said.

Even better is to institute protective measures such as an organized, electronic record-keeping system or use of a unified storage system such as a cloud-based service. Mr. Banks cautioned that, “If a lawsuit is filed, you have to get around to people who have documents or may be witnesses and start to collect them right away and not let too much time pass.”

Rebecca Ford launches inaugural movie review column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Rebecca L. Ford is the new film critic for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.  Her column was launched with a review of the film Loving, based on the 1967 US Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia and will appear in the paper weekly in the “Non-Billable Hours” section.

Ms. Ford, a former theater critic for the Chicago Reader and entertainment critic for the New York Law Bulletin, has also written for the Chicago Tribune, The Milken Institute Review, The Chicago Reader and The American Lawyer.  Ms. Ford is the former Executive Vice President for Litigation and Intellectual Property at MGM movie studio.

'Loving' Less About Landmark Case, More About Couple Behind It

Born From a Satirical Novel, 'Billy Lynn' Becomes a Sincere Film 

'Manchester' Lets the Other Affleck Brother Shine 

'Nocturnal Animals' Effectively a Movie Within a Movie 

First Lady's Private Grief Becomes Public in New Larrain Film 

'La La Land' Revives a Musical Film Genre 

'Fences' Makes Graceful Leap From Stage to Screen 

'HIdden Figures' Tells an Inspiring History Left Untold 

Indie Film 'Paterson' Parallels Pee-Wee

Golden Arches, Golden Archetypes in 'The Founder' 

George Sax Discusses Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution at American Arbitration Association Roundtable

George Sax was invited to speak at an American Arbitration Association (AAA) roundtable luncheon held in Chicago on October 13, 2016. Mr. Sax, along with the other participants, weighed in on a number of pressing issues affecting the arbitration of large, complex cases, including the advantages of arbitration over litigation and potential amendments to the AAA rules for complex case arbitration. The roundtable participants comprised approximately 20 lawyers and AAA arbitrators with significant recent experience handling complex arbitration cases. Scharf Banks Marmor LLC will continue to monitor developments in the AAA rules, including any amendments that may arise from this or other roundtable discussions.

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC Launches Pay Equity Practice

The Firm is pleased to announce that it now offers corporate clients a full service pay equity practice, designed to counsel national and global corporations and professional services firms on a panoply of pay equity matters.   For a news report on the new practice click here

Our pay equity team advises about strategies and best practices for implementing or enhancing existing programs, the strategic use of data analytics, potential legal risks and methods of risk mitigation, effective multi-media training and formats for multiple levels of the company, and targeted corporate policies and practices to increase recruitment, retention and promotion of women and minorities in management and senior positions.

Please meet our pay equity team by clicking here.

For more about the pay equity practice, please click here.

Sarah Marmor Discusses Employment Law Under the New Trump Administration in Law360

Partner Sarah Marmor offered insights about 4 Questions Employers Should Ask About Trump Plans in a recent Law360 article.  Marmor, along with other employment lawyers, weighed in on a number of pressing issues that could impact employment law, ranging from changes in enforcement efforts to potential reversal of pending and recently established regulations. 

“There will not necessarily be a sea change in employment law,” Marmor said. “The shift will be in smaller, technical issues that may not be high on the radar of the general public but that management attorneys watch closely.”  The impact on businesses of changing regulations for which companies already had prepared also could limit the extent to which reversals will be pursued: “Lots of employers have spent many months preparing for the changes.  American businesses have already adjusted [to the new rules], and an unraveling of that within large organizations would be substantial and costly.” 

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC will continue to monitor developments in employment law under the new administration.

Stephanie Scharf’s “First Chairs At Trial” Research The Focus Of CLE Meetings

Partner Stephanie Scharf was an invited panelist at two conferences in November 2016, where she discussed her innovative research, First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table, the first empirical study of the role women play in the courtroom.  Written with co-author Roberta Liebenberg, the study was funded by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and the American Bar Foundation.  

On November 3, Stephanie spoke at the annual Women in Product Liability (WIPL) conference, held this year in Philadelphia under the auspices of the ABA’s Product Liability Committee, Section of Litigation. Stephanie’s co-panelists were the Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Hon. Arnold L. New, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia; Roberta Liebenberg, Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C., Philadelphia; and moderator Connie Mateo, Assistant General Counsel, Pfizer Inc.  

Ms. Scharf also spoke at a November 17, 2016 webinar held by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women.  The speakers included Michele Coleman Mayes, co-chair of the Commission and General Counsel for the New York Public Library.   

Download the First Chairs Report.

The Day-After: Sarah Marmor Discusses the Election Results on

Scharf Banks Marmor Partner Sarah Marmor was a guest on public radio station Vocalo the day after the 2016 presidential election to discuss the surprising results and what may happen next.

Marmor and others talked about the results of the presidential election and what those results mean for issues affecting women. They also discussed how the country will move forward as one after such a divisive campaign. 

In uncertain times, Marmor put forth a voice of reason with a “take positive action” sentiment.

We can’t demonize the people who voted for Donald Trump, Marmor said. We need to offer solutions, rather than reject the people who voted him in. It’s up to us to come up with positive solutions that will gain some traction.

Listen to the entire Vocalo interview here.

Chicago Lawyer Magazine Lauds Firm’s High Quality of Client Service

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC is featured as the cover story in the November 2014 issue of Chicago Lawyer magazine. The Firm was highlighted for the quality of its legal services, its continuing attention to client business needs, and its unique position as the largest certified women-owned firm in Chicago. Partners Stephanie Scharf, Ted Banks and Sarah Marmor spoke about the ways in which they have developed their careers and their approaches to managing legal services. 

The Firm’s clients spoke about our approach to client services, including that the Firm offers “very talented people, all of them,” “the quality of the work is unique,” and Scharf Banks Marmor serves as “a model for . . .  women- and minority-owned firms.”

The article explains how the Firm has become one of the few sizeable majority women-owned law firms in the country, by hiring experienced and talented lawyers, creating a culture of teamwork and sharing, and networking with and mentoring other women in the profession. The article also highlights the major renovation and expansion of the office that is underway as well as the Firm’s focus on technology as a competitive advantage.

Read the full story by clicking here.

Corinne C. Heggie Appointed Co-Chair of WBAI In-House Committee

Corinne C. Heggie has been appointed Co-Chair of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois In-House Committee for 2016-2017 bar year.  The In-House Committee focuses on needs unique to attorneys that practice in corporate legal departments.  On October 6, 2016, the In-House Committee conducted a panel entitled “Strategic Considerations for In-House Counsel Regarding the Attorney-Client Privilege.” The panel discussion addressed the application of the attorney-client privilege to the in-house counsel environment and best practices for in-house counsel and their clients.  The panel was comprised of two in-house attorneys, Deborah G. Solmor, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Chief Compliance Officer for Career Education Corporation and Monika J. Machen, Senior Counsel Litigation for General Electric Capital Corporation.  Terance Gonsalves and Carrie Stickel, both of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, also served on the panel.

Click here for Ms. Heggie’s summary of the panel’s discussion. 

Stephanie Scharf Is Featured Alum in University of Chicago Law School Record

Stephanie Scharf, founding partner, was featured in the recent University of Chicago Law School Record as one of 8 lawyers in the Class of 1985 who took varied career paths. Stephanie was highlighted for her role in developing Scharf Banks Marmor as a successful women-owned law firm representing businesses of all sizes.  Other featured classmates included James B. Comey, Director of the FBI; Amy Klobuchar, US Senator from Minnesota; Kim Sinatra, Vice President and General Counsel at Wynn Resorts; Adam Emmerich, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and Colette Holt, Founder, Colette Holt & Associates, a legal and consulting services firm.  Read full article here.

Rebecca Ford Joined the Firm as Counsel

We are pleased to announce that Rebecca L. Ford has joined the Firm as Counsel.  Rebecca concentrates her practice on complex litigation (including commercial disputes and intellectual property), compliance, board governance and specialized employment issues. Rebecca has extensive public and private entity experience advising senior level executives and boards on administrative, legal and corporate governance matters.  She is the former Executive Vice President for litigation and intellectual property at the MGM movie studio where she oversaw all domestic and international litigation, as well as intellectual property matters, involving MGM, United Artists and other MGM subsidiaries.

As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary to Draper and Kramer, Inc., a major Chicago real estate and financial services institution, she was responsible for the corporation's legal matters, board relations and corporate governance; and was liaison to the City, MacArthur Foundation and other stakeholders for an innovative urban development.

She has also supervised legal services for a seven-college community college district, for which she managed major litigation, acquired and disposed of real estate, negotiated contracts, and counseled senior management on legal, regulatory compliance, and Institutional Review Board issues.

Rebecca has been a Trustee to a number of civic and cultural institutions including the Goodman Theatre, the Field Museum, the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Art Institute of Chicago. She has published articles in The Milken Institute Review, The American Lawyer, The Chicago Reader, The New York Law Journal, The Chicago Tribune and the Illinois Institute for Continuing Education.

Corinne Heggie Congratulates Meredith Ritchie for Receiving Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award

Corinne Heggie presented Meredith Ritchie, Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of Alliant Credit Union with the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award on October 20, 2016.  The Award emphasizes the accomplishments and diverse backgrounds of women lawyers  who are making professional contributions through their service in a leadership role.  Past award winners have included leading women lawyers in business, government, public office, academia, trade, and private practice. 


Ms. Heggie, a member of WBAI’s Board of Directors, nominated Ms. Ritchie for WBAI’s Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award. Ms. Heggie stated, “Meredith embodies the Women’s Bar Association’s mission which is to advance and promote the interest of female attorneys within the legal profession. The legal community, in Chicago especially, is lucky to count Meredith within its ranks because she walks the walk, and talks the talk without even thinking about it.”  A link to the awards video is below.

Watch full video here.

The WBAI honored four other female attorneys in addition to Ms. Ritchie.  The award recipients are pictured from left to right as follows:  Geri Pinzur Rosenberg, Chief Attorney, Tort Litigation, Chicago Transit Authority; Kathy Byrne, Trial Attorney, Cooney & Conway; Meredith Ritchie; Katherine Miniark, Partner, Barlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, and Chasity Boyce, Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Corinne C. Heggie Installed as Third Vice President of the NSBA

On September 20, 2016, Corinne C. Heggie was installed as the Third Vice President of the North Suburban Bar Association (“NSBA”) for the 2016-2017 bar year. The event was well attended by members of the judiciary. At the installation, the NSBA honored two judges, Hon. Jeanne Cleveland Bernstein and Hon. Steven J. Bernstein, with the Sanford Blustin Award for their significant contributions to the legal community. Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County (pictured lower left) installed the NSBA officers and directors. Ms. Heggie is pictured below with Judge Kathleen Burke (center) and Judge Jeanne Reynolds (right).  For more information on the NSBA, please see


Deirdre Fox Speaks at ISBA Event

Deirdre Fox spoke about Employment Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, and Data Security as part of the Illinois State Bar Association’s live Continuing Legal Solutions Program on Cybersecurity, “Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm," on Wednesday October 5, 2016 at the ISBA regional office. For more information, see

Corinne C. Heggie Speaks at NARCA’s Fall Conference in Las Vegas

On October 27, 2016, Corinne C. Heggie spoke at the National Creditors Bar Association’s Fall 2016 Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ms. Heggie participated in a panel discussion entitled “Life After Pressler and the Bar on Pre-Judgment Discovery.” The panel spoke to a standing-room only crowd when it examined the prohibition on pre-judgment litigation discovery articulated in the consent order entered in the spring between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the law firm of Pressler & Pressler LLP. The panel’s discussion of cases pre- and post- consent order that bear on collection litigation, the significance and use of pre-judgment litigation discovery, and compliance considerations for the industry prompted many questions after the presentation.

Copies of the presentation materials are available. Please contact Corinne Heggie at An audio recording of the panel’s presentation can be found here.

Corinne C. Heggie Joined the Firm as Counsel

We are pleased to announce that Corinne C. Heggie has joined the Firm as Counsel.  Corinne represents corporate clients from the consumer financial services sector in federal and state courts.  She has defended clients against individual and class action claims brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, The Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Truth in Lending Act.  Corinne was honored to be selected as a 2014 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.   Active in many bar and community organizations, Corinne serves on the Board of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, is a Vice President of the North Suburban Bar Association, and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee.  

Stephanie Scharf Completes Service as an Advisor to ABA Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission

Stephanie Scharf just completed her service as an Advisor to the ABA Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission, a special ABA Presidential Commission formed by 2015-2016 President Paulette Brown.  The Commission conducted a comprehensive review of where the legal profession stands on diversity and inclusion and developed a broad, sustainable plan for the future.  Among the activities completed by the Commission were a model diversity survey for use by corporations to gather uniform and consistent diversity data from law firms;   implicit bias videos and a toolkit;  continuing legal education policies; and a diversity and inclusion web portal.   Ms. Scharf has “enormous admiration for the work of the Commission, which was unusual for its breadth and concrete results within a short one year period.”  More about the Commission and its rich array of tools, policies and solutions can be found at its website,

Ted Banks Quoted in Law360 Article, "How Buffet's Compliance Guide May let GCs Down"

Partner Ted Banks was recently quoted in a Law360 article, “How Buffett’s Compliance Guide May Let GCs Down.”   Banks noted that the recently released Commonsense Corporate Governance Principles made sense, but should have gone further.  “I was struck by the absence of any reference to providing any sort of compliance oversight or recognizing the importance of following the law," Banks said.  He would have liked to see a recognition that it's the director's job to guide the corporation in an ethical way and to keep it in compliance with the law.  For a copy of the complete article, contact

Deirdre Fox Featured at Two Local Art Centers

Counsel Deirdre Fox’s art installation, This Was Not A Fishing Line, was featured in New Business at Hyde Park Art Center through October 16, 2016.  Ms. Fox and the other exhibiting artists discussed their work at a reception on September 11, and at a Forum Discussion on October 2.  In conjunction with the exhibit, Ms. Fox presented a short animation, A Constructed Poem, on October 8 at The Hyde Park Art Center.  This animation project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.  Ms. Fox maintains a studio at Hyde Park Art Center.  For more information, click here.


                                       This Was Not a Fishing Line by Deirdre A. Fox 

Counsel Deirdre Fox’s sculptural drawings made with repurposed plastic bags were selected by curators Lela Hersh, President of Museum and Fine Arts Consulting and Lecturer in the Graduate Department of Arts Administration and Policy at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Monique Meloche, Owner, Monique Meloche Gallery and Lorelei Stewart, Director, Gallery 400 at University of Illinois at Chicago for inclusion in the 2016 Evanston & Vicinity Biennial.  The Biennial is one of the Midwest's largest and most prestigious juried exhibitions. Ms. Fox’s work was on view at Evanston Art Center through August 28, 2016.  For more information click here.

Ted Banks Featured Twice in Business Law Today on Compliance Issues

Partner Ted Banks was featured twice as an author in the June issue of Business Law Today, published by the American Bar Association Section of Business Law, as part of its mini-theme: The Many Faces of Compliance.  His article “Five Things to Think About Before You Give That Compliance Presentation,” discusses the importance of doing live compliance presentations well – and the damage that can be done as a result of poor preparation.   He was co-author with James Lord on the article, “Compliance Programs, Individual Liability, and the Yates Memo: Has Anything Changed?”  This article discusses the implications for compliance programs of the memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates that called on federal prosecutors to focus on individual prosecutions, and not allow culpable individuals to hide behind a company conviction or plea agreement.   Copies of the articles are available by contacting Ted Banks at

Ted Banks Moderates ABA Food & Supplements Workshop in NY

Partner Ted Banks moderated a session at the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Food & Supplements Sixth Annual Workshop in Purchase, New York on June 14, 2016.  The session, “Ethical Considerations in Consumer Fraud Class Action Settlements,” addressed the ethical issues that can arise when attempts are made to settle class actions, and problems arise that pose ethical dilemmas for lawyers on both sides.  For more information, visit the ABA website here.

Partner Sarah Marmor Quoted in Reader About Abuses at a Chicago Theater

Chicago newspaper, The Reader, has published a penetrating investigative report about abuses at Profiles Theatre in Chicago, including claims of workplace harassment and violence.  Partner Sarah Marmor, has been providing pro bono representation to four of the women referenced in the article, and that work is acknowledged by The Reader along with a statement from Ms. Marmor:  "Sara, Benson, Kim, and Allie all receive pro bono legal representation from attorney Sarah Marmor, a partner at the Chicago firm Scharf Banks Marmor. 'We have seen a lot in the news about how far behind the creative world can be on these issues,'" she says in a statement, "'and hopefully the impact of so many women and men coming forward in this matter, as well as the other high-profile stories we have seen in the last year, will be positive change and real, enforceable rules that make creative spaces a little safer.'"  For the complete article, click here.

Firm Launches "Beyond the Law" Event Series

Friends of the Firm gave rave reviews to Scharf Banks Marmor’s new “Beyond the Law” event series. On April 5, 2016 Tiphanie Spencer, Director of The Arts Palette, provided an insider’s view into the fascinating world of art collecting. The crowd, which ranged from aspiring collectors to experienced investors, enjoyed Tiphanie’s fresh and personal approach to art and her tips on investing. Over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on June 9, 2016 Scharf Banks Marmor guests learned “How to Pick the Perfect Tie” from Lee Allison, Founder of the Lee Allison Company. Lee's unique presentation about this age-old fashion accessory and the recent bow tie renaissance delighted the crowd. On October 28, 2016 Chef Malika Ameen, author of Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice and contestant on Bravo's Top Chef, shared her culinary insights at our "Sweets and Champagne" event. Malika's remarks on sweet and spicy baking and delicious creations were a treat to all in attendance.

Deirdre Fox and Jamal Edwards Speak to Legaltech News about Huawei’s Patent Suit Against Samsung

Counsel Deirdre Fox and Jamal Edwards spoke about Huawei Technologies’ recently filed patent infringement suit against Samsung and explained standard essential patents in smartphone conflicts for the ALM publication Legaltech News.

Fox noted that areas involving standard technology “are ripe for increased litigation” because of the sparseness of court guidance on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) royalty and filing suit is “one way back to the negotiating table” when would be licensees disagree over what constitutes a reasonable licensing fee.

Edwards explained that “when disputes aren’t trending toward a license” filing of a patent case “can provide the necessary impetus to revisit a licensing discussion, pointing out that “most patent infringement suits are resolved by settlements, which typically includes a license of some sort, or covenant, not to sue.”

Read the full article by clicking here.

George Sax and Eric Quandt Win Daubert Motion for Pro Bono Client

In a victory for one of the Firm’s pro bono clients, attorneys George Sax and Eric Quandt won a Daubert challenge in an action filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  See McDonald v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47286.  In a written opinion, the federal court held that the death of a defense expert whose report and deposition testimony rested on uncertain ground does not entitle the defense to a do-over with a new expert.  Thus, the court  denied a defense motion to reopen expert discovery in a lawsuit that accuses the defendants of providing substandard care to an inmate of a state prison.  The decision was reported in legal media, in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.  Read Full Article Here

Stephanie Scharf Featured in American Lawyer

In the May 2016 issue of The American Lawyer, Partner Stephanie Scharf was featured in the article, “Too Few Women in Court” which focused on Ms. Scharf’s innovative report, “First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table.”  Ms. Scharf’s positive experiences as first chair at trial, and the recognition that many other women have been stymied in that role,  inspired her to conduct the research.  The study, written with co-author Roberta Liebenberg, was published by the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession.  Drawing on a random sample of all cases filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, the study generated first-ever data about the role that women play as trial attorneys and lead counsel in civil and criminal cases. Since its publication in Summer 2015, the research has received widespread acclaim from a national array of public and private sector bar groups, and was the subject of a standing-room only symposium in April 2016 sponsored by the United States District Court of Northern Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association.  For a copy of the First Chairs report, please click here.

Partner Ted Banks Authors Article on Smartphone Compliance App

Partner Ted Banks, along with Andy Hinton, Vice President, Ethics & Compliance at Google, Inc., have written an article in the In-house Access newsletter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.  The article, “Compliance via Smartphone – Stop Fighting It!,” discusses the importance of using the most up-to-date technology tools as part of a compliance program.  Suggestions are given as to what should be included in a smartphone compliance app.  The article can be found here, or a copy can be obtained from Ted at

Stephanie Scharf Speaks About Women Trial Lawyers at Special Federal Court Symposium

"First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table," the highly regarded research  conducted  by Partner Stephanie Scharf and co-author Roberta Liebenberg on the topic of women as lead counsel,  was the subject of a special Symposium held at the United States Courthouse in Chicago on April 21, 2016.  The Symposium, Women Lawyers in the Courtroom, was sponsored by the United States District Court as well as the Chicago Bar Association.  As the lead-off speaker, Ms. Scharf explained the design and results of the research and then joined Ms. Liebenberg, in a discussion moderated by Sharon Jones, about the recommended best practices for law firms, law schools, judges, bar associations and individual lawyers to increase the number of women trial lawyers.   Other panels at the Symposium addressing these topics included a group of nationally prominent chief legal officers, a panel of  federal district court and state court judges, a panel of jury specialists, and a panel of trial lawyers.   The Symposium was hosted by Chief Judge Ruben Castillo and co-hosted by Judge Amy St. Eve of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Patricia Holmes, President of the Chicago Bar Association. 

Stephanie Scharf Highlighted by University of Chicago Women’s Mentoring Group

Partner Stephanie Scharf was the featured speaker at a reception held by the Women’s Mentoring Program of the University of Chicago Law School on April 7, 2016 in downtown Chicago.  Ms. Scharf, who received both a doctorate and law degree from the University, spoke about ways for women lawyers to frame positive and satisfying careers.  As part of her remarks, she reviewed the substantial progress that has been made by women in the law and also looked ahead to the changes she sees on the horizon.  Ms. Scharf is one of the nation’s leading lawyers for advancement of women in the law and is well known for her publications and research about advancement of women.  Pictured (left) is Ms. Scharf with the 2015-2016 student leaders of the Women’s Mentoring Program.

George Sax and Eric Quandt Win Daubert Motion Excluding Any Medical Expert

The death of an expert witness whose report and deposition testimony rested on uncertain ground does not entitle his clients to a do-over with a new expert, a federal judge held Thursday.

In a written opinion, U.S. District Judge Joan B.Gottschall denied a defense motion to reopen expert discovery in a lawsuit accusing Wexford Health Sources Inc. and two physicians of providing substandard care to inmate Donald Lee McDonald.

Read Full Article Here

Partner Ted Banks Speaks at CLE Webinar

Partner Ted Banks was a featured speaker at a webinar on April 21, Designing and Implementing Competition Law Policy and Training. This CLE webinar provided guidance to business counsel regarding competition law practices in business transactions, particularly for sales personnel training and business guidance in communications. The panel discussed ways to meaningfully convey the significance of compliance, provide guidance to different types of employees, and maintain awareness of the importance of compliance within an organization.  The program was presented by Strafford Publications. 

University of Chicago Law School Magazine Writes About Firm and Partner Stephanie Scharf

Partner Stephanie Scharf has been featured in the University of Chicago Law School Online Magazine for the innovations she has brought to the practice of law and for advocating for the advancement of women in the law.  With both a law degree and doctorate from the University of Chicago, Stephanie explained the University’s influence on her own career, especially its interdisciplinary approach to solving problems and its respect for innovation, whatever the source.    She has tried to translate those values into the growth of Scharf Banks Marmor: “We are bringing on great talent, enjoying the luxury that a small firm has to hire experienced lawyers. Technology enables us to work more efficiently, minimize layers, and partner effectively with other firms to staff some larger projects,  We will only grow as fast as we can retain our core values.”   To read the full article, please click here.

Ted Banks Published in Newsletter for Compliance Committee of ABA

Partner Ted Banks published “5 Things to Think About Before You Give that Compliance Presentation” in the newsletter of the Compliance Committee of the American Bar Association Section of  Business Law.  A copy can be found here.

Partner Sarah Marmor Discusses the Legacy of Justice Scalia and the Senate Battle Over His Replacement

Partner Sarah Marmor was back on Vocalo’s Morning AMp on President’s Day to talk about the battle brewing between President Obama and the Senate over replacing Justice Antonin Scalia.  She discussed some of the reasons why the GOP might not allow a nominee to be considered, and nominated her own “dream candidate” for the position. You can listen here

Partner Sarah Marmor Discusses “Superdelegates” on Vocalo’s Morning AMp

Sarah Marmor appeared on Chicago’s Morning AMp radio show to explain who the DNC’s “Superdelegates” are in the wake of questions that arose after the New Hampshire primaries. She discusses the historical reasons why superdelegates were created, and the likely minimal effect they will have in choosing the nominee at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

Listen to the lively discussion here

Firm Attorneys Scharf, Banks, Edwards and Sax Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to Stephanie A. Scharf and Theodore L. Banks, who have been selected to the 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers list by Super Lawyers Magazines.  Ms. Scharf was listed in the practice area of Civil Litigation: Defense and Mr. Banks was listed in the practice area of Business/Corporate.  Each year, no more than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.   This is the twelfth year in a row that Ms. Scharf has received the honor and the fourth year that Mr. Banks has received the honor. 

Congratulations also to Jamal M. Edwards and George D. Sax, who have been selected to the 2016 Illinois Rising Stars list.   Mr. Edwards was listed in the practice area of Health Care and Mr. Sax was listed in the practice area of Business Litigation.  Each year, no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in Illinois are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.  Attorneys named to the Rising Stars list must also be less than 40 years old or have fewer than 10 years of legal experience.  This is the fourth year that Mr. Edwards has received the honor and sixth year in a row that Mr. Sax has received the honor.  

Partner Ted Banks Discusses In-House Counsel Promotions with Law360

Scharf Banks Marmor Partner Ted Banks, who spent 33 years rising to different in-house roles at Kraft Foods before co-founding the Firm, offered insights to Law360 readers about ways in-house counsel may position themselves for promotions.

Discussing what makes clients happy, Banks said, ““What you need to be able to do is create a reputation that you’re the person that helps get things done. Very often that will mean saying, ‘You can’t do it that way, but why don’t you try doing it this way?’ Don’t just say no.”

Banks also said in-house counsel should work hard to support their managers and senior leadership within the company.

“What you want to do is make your superior look good,” Banks says. “Make sure you listen to what he or she says. Unless it’s so dramatically bad you can’t deal with it, do what they say, and never let them be surprised by something you do. Being a good team player is your best chance to have your superior have confidence in you and support you for a promotion.”

Read more insights from Banks and other lawyers in the Law360 article, “How to Nab an In-House Promotion.”

Law360 Quotes Partner Sarah Marmor in Article About Lawyer Mistakes

As any practitioner should know, lawyers can and do make mistakes. The question is: What do they do when—in the classic passive voice—a mistake is made? Law360 interviewed Partner Sarah Marmor about that question and the value of making mistakes in becoming a better lawyer.

“The lesson here is you always own up to your mistakes,” Marmor says. “I’m amazed at the amount of cases where the mistakes don’t result in draconian consequences, and I think it’s in part because I don’t think there’s a lawyer who has not made them.”

See the full Law360 article, “Yes Virginia, Lawyers do Make Mistakes”. 

Stephanie Scharf Moderates Panel For Women Lawyers And Corporate Board Directors

On November 17, 2015,  Partner Stephanie Scharf moderated a special program sponsored by DirectWomenin Chicago.  DirectWomen is a national organization whose mission is to increase the number of qualified women attorneys on the boards of public companies. Ms. Scharf is a member of the Board of DirectWomen, which since its formation, has seen 22% of alumnae join corporate boards.  

The Chicago program, “Breaking Into The Boardroom: The Pathways And The Process,” addressed the ways in which women lawyers can position themselves to become members of corporate boards.   Program panelists included Kelly McNamara Corley, General Counsel, Discover;  Sheri H. Edison, General Counsel, Bemis Company and Director, AK Steel; E. Thames Fulton, Managing Director, RSR Partners;  Deborah A. Golden, General Counsel, GATX; And Mary Ann Hynes, Director, GHD Group Pty Ltd.  For more information about DirectWomen, please visit

Art Work of Deirdre Fox Featured at Hyde Park Art Center

An artist as well as a lawyer, Counsel Deirdre Fox showed a large scale 3-dimensional drawing, which repurposed plastic convenience store and produce bags, as part of In Bringing Forth, an exhibition curated by Jeannette Tremblay, at Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Avenue, Chicago, from October 18, 2015 through December 13, 2015.  Ms. Fox and other artists opened up their art studio practices to critical dialogue. For more information about art exhibitions at Hyde Park Arts Center, please visit

Crain’s Quotes Sarah Marmor on the Business of Labor & Employment Law

On October 10, 2015, Crain’s Chicago Business published an article about the resurgence of traditional labor law as a result of recent NLRB rulings and positions.  Partner Sarah Marmor, who heads Scharf Banks Marmor LLC’s Employment practice, frequently writes and speaks about the NLRB’s expanding reach, particularly in the area of social media law and policies.  Crain’s quotes Ms. Marmor in the attached article, concerning the interesting pricing issues that face big employment law firms and their clients, especially as some firms expand into mega-practices. Read the full story by clicking here.

Ted Banks Co-Chairs Compliance & Ethics Forum in Chicago

Partner Ted Banks co-chaired the Today’s General Counsel Institute’s Compliance & Ethics forum,  held in Chicago on Oct. 22, 2015 at the Metropolitan Club. The program provided an excellent opportunity for Chicago-area in-house counsel and compliance professionals to ask questions and share insights with their peers through a unique moderated discussion format that did not include slides or lectures. All attendees received a summary of the discussions. 

Forum presenters discussed—among other relevant topics—compliance structure, best practices for internal investigations, compliance monitoring, compliance training, compliance and ethics in performance reviews, communicating compliance, and how to create a culture of compliance.

Scharf Banks Marmor Welcomes Two New Senior Attorneys

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC has announced that Jamal M Edwards and James Fuller have joined the Firm, expanding and strengthening our core business and employment practice areas. Edwards, who has joined as counsel, was previously partner at the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Fuller, who also has joined the firm as counsel, previously served as Chief Counsel, Labor & Employment at Kraft Foods.

Earlier this summer, Suzanne Milne Alexander also joined the Firm as counsel. Formerly a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, she concentrates her practice on complex litigation with an emphasis on business, employment and catastrophic tort litigation. 

Deirdre Fox Speaks About Data Security at Recent ISBA Program

At a September 10, 2015 Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) program titled “Mining Data and Privacy: A Primer,” Scharf Banks Marmor Counsel Deirdre A. Fox spoke on a panel about data security and privacy concerns, as well as the myriad federal and state laws that govern data and privacy. She focused on tracking and targeting online and offline behavioral advertising. Read more about the event.

Stephanie Scharf Appointed to ABA Presidential Commission on Diversity

Firm partner Stephanie A. Scharf has been appointed as Advisor to the American Bar Association’s new Presidential Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360.  Ms. Scharf has been asked to focus on the Commission’s implicit bias projects. The Commission was formed in August 2015 by ABA President Paulette Brown, with the mission of reviewing and analyzing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, the judicial system and the American Bar Association with a goal of developing sustainable action plans. Read the full story by clicking here.

Ted Banks' Work as Compliance Monitor Lauded by FTC

The work done by Ted Banks, who serves as a compliance monitor for the Federal Trade Commission, was recently lauded in the “Competition Matters” blog from the FTC.  The newsletter mentions the challenges in ensuring that the compliance obligations of the Coca-Cola Co. with regard to confidential information are protected behind an internal firewall, with oversight by the monitor. To read full article, click here.

Firm Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers

Law Bulletin Publishing Company and its Leading Lawyers division announced that six attorneys at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC were named as 2015 Leading Lawyers or Emerging Lawyers, based upon a survey of their peers.   The attorneys named were:

Stephanie Scharf - Leading Lawyer, Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Law, Commercial Litigation, and Products Liability Defense Law

Ted Banks - Leading Lawyer, Antitrust and Publicly Held Corporations Law

Sarah Marmor - Leading Lawyer, Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Law, Commercial Litigation, and Products Liability Defense Law

Nina Stillman -  Leading Lawyer, Employment Law: Management (ranked No. 1 among women in this practice area) and Labor Law: Management

Eric Quandt - Leading Lawyer, Medical Malpractice Defense Law and Products Liability Defense Law

George D. Sax - Emerging Lawyer, Commercial Litigation (rated in  the top two percent of lawyers who are 40 years old or younger or practicing law 10 years or less).     

The Firm congratulates Stephanie, Ted, Sarah, Nina, Eric and George  on receiving these honors.  

Stephanie Scharf Authors First-Ever Study of Women as Lead Trial Counsel

A first-of-its-kind empirical study about the significant disparities between women and men as lead trial counsel in civil and criminal litigation has been written by Stephanie A. Scharf, partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, and Roberta D. Liebenberg, senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.  The study was conducted under the auspices of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession and the American Bar Foundation. The study report, “First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table”, is posted at the home page of the Commission on Women website.

The research received wide recognition as shown by articles in these publication: Wall Street Journal Law BlogPhiladelphia Business JournalBloomberg BNALegal IntelligencerLaw Bulletin 

Based on a random sample of all cases filed in 2013 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the report provides data concerning the uneven level of participation by men and women in civil and criminal litigation and identifies characteristics of cases, practice settings, type of client and other characteristics that impact the extent to which men are far more likely to serve in lead counsel roles.  The study provides benchmark data to make the case and offer strategies for increasing the number of women as lead trial counsel.   The authors believe that the data are typical of courts across the U.S.

The report points to some determining factors that explain why women are consistently underrepresented in lead counsel positions and in the role of trial attorney. The type of case, nature of the parties, and type of legal employer show gender disparities:

  • Women are far less likely than men to be lead counsel in contract, tort, labor and intellectual property cases.
  • In civil cases, men are three times more likely than women to appear as lead counsel and trial attorneys.
  • Men are nearly four times more likely to appear as trial attorneys in criminal cases.

The gender gap is also affected by the type of client:

  • The majority of male lead counsel in criminal cases (66%) appeared for defendants.
  • The majority of women lead counsel in criminal cases (69%) appeared for the government.
  • In civil cases, there is a higher percentage of women lead counsel representing federal, state and local governments than representing individual litigants and businesses.
  • Class-action cases were overwhelmingly dominated by male lead counsel, as 87% of attorneys appearing as lead counsel were men.

Best practices are offered to address these findings, including ways that law schools, law firms, clients, judges and individual lawyers can increase gender diversity among trial lawyers.

Scharf and Liebenberg are well known for their contributions to advancing women in the law. The authors both concentrate their law practices in the area of complex litigation. The study was inspired by the authors’ personal observations that they were typically among the few women who were in lead roles at trial. Scharf is a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and a former President of the National Association of Women Lawyers.  Liebenberg is Chair of DirectWomen and immediate past chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Sarah Marmor Discusses SCOTUS Decisions on Vocalo’s Radio Show

Partner Sarah Marmor appeared on The Morning Amp on Chicago radio Station Vocalo to discuss some of the most significant rulings from the Supreme Court in its last term.  Among the cases discussed were Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage), King v. Burwell (the ACA) and Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. (confederate flags on Texas license plates).  

Stephanie Scharf Awarded the 2015 Founders Award

Annual award presented by the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women

The Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women has named Scharf Banks Marmor LLC founding partner Stephanie A. Scharf the recipient of its prestigious Founder’s Award for 2015. The award was presented on May 22, 2015, at the Alliance’s Annual Award Luncheon at the Standard Club in Chicago.   

The prestigious Founder’s Award was established in 1994, and is given once a year to honor a lawyer who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession and whose career reflects the highest level of professional achievements, ethics and excellence. 

“As a leader, advocate and entrepreneur, Stephanie has been a champion for advancing women in the legal profession throughout her career,” said Theodore L. Banks, partner at Scharf Banks Marmor. “She also is a devoted wife and mother, and raised two successful children while rising to partnership at two of Chicago’s largest and most vaunted law firms. Three years ago, we formed Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, and today we are the largest majority-women-owned law firm in this city, and one of the largest in the country. 

Banks continued, “as one of her children noted, one of Stephanie’s great skills is making others around her better. She demonstrates this every day, and we are honored to have her as a partner and thrilled that she is this year’s recipient of this distinguished award.”

Sarah R. Marmor, partner at Scharf Banks Marmor, lauds Scharf for being unfailingly supportive of women lawyers, both at the firms where she has worked and more broadly through the many organizations, commissions and boards on which she has served. 

“Stephanie has demonstrated great courage in her career and has served as a voice for women in the working world,” says Marmor. “She has spoken up, asked the hard questions, and crunched the numbers at every stage of her career – challenging the status quo in the big firms, running annual surveys for a variety of organizations, and revealing to the world the dispiriting fact that women do not advance in the law in the numbers and in the way that they should. But for all that, she also maintains the positive belief that the future will be better for women as they take the reins of their work lives and strike out in ever braver ways.”

Scharf focuses her legal practice on representing corporate clients on a wide range of complex matters, including contract disputes, insurance coverage for corporate policyholders, class actions, collaboration agreements, distribution and supply agreements, indemnity agreements, product liability defense, environmental torts and employment defense.   

In three decades of representing clients in U.S. federal and state courts, Scharf has tried civil and criminal jury and bench trials, has taken the lead in the pre-trial, trial and appellate phases of litigation, and has overseen the settlement of multiple commercial disputes and complex tort litigation. She frequently counsels companies on ways to avoid litigation and mitigate risks at the product or enterprise level.   

Scharf is one of the nation's leading lawyers for the advancement of women in the profession. A former President of the National Association of Women Lawyers, a current Commissioner of the ABA Commission on Women and a member of the Advisory Board of DirectWomen, she founded the NAWL Annual Survey of Women in Law Firms, the National Survey of Women's Initiatives, and the first-ever Survey of Women as Lead Counsel in Litigation. Among many other activities, she designed and chaired NAWL' s first General Counsel Institute, its Supreme Court Committee, and its Summit for Best Practices for Advancing Women in Law. For a copy of Stephanie's remarks, click here. 

Ted Banks Published in the June 2015 Issue of Competition Policy International

Partner Ted Banks published “Why You Should Love Your Antitrust Compliance Monitor” in the June 2015 issue of Competition Policy International. The article discusses the pros and cons of the use of monitors to resolve antitrust disputes with government enforcers. (Banks serves as a compliance monitor for the Federal Trade Commission and the Competition Bureau of Canada, but the opinions expressed in the article are his alone). To read full article click here.

Deirdre Fox Named Chair ISBA Intellectual Property Section Council

Counsel Deirdre Fox has been appointed to serve a Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

The 33,000-member association, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public.

Section councils provide continuing education and legislative services to lawyers who practice in a specific area of law. Each section is governed by a council appointed by the state bar president. Judges and non-lawyers also serve on committees and section councils.

The Intellectual Property Section Council has responsibility for enhancing the professional capabilities of Illinois lawyers who devote time to the practice of patent, trademark and copyright law and associated areas concerning trade secrets, unfair competition and antitrust law; to disseminate information about these areas of law to other lawyers and to interested business owners, authors and inventors, to promote improvement in the applicability of the principals of these areas of law, including through legislative efforts; and to facilitate communication among Illinois lawyers concerned with intellectual property law.

Ms. Fox was also appointed to serve on the Professional Conduct Subcommittee.

Inside Counsel Interviews Stephanie Scharf on Securities Class Actions

The June 2015 edition of Inside Counsel interviews several lawyers, including partner Stephanie Scharf, about the prospects for securities class actions.  Scharf covered a range of topics, among them that companies can take steps to minimize the risk of suit.  Noting that “good compliance policies are good business,” Scharf enumerated the various ways in which corporate programs can provide buffers against legal liabilities.  She also commented about how recent changes in the law provide more options to be dismissed early in securities fraud litigation.  For the full article, please click here.

Firm Co-Hosts NAMWOLF Reception for Chicago Bar Foundation

On May 11, 2015 the Firm co-hosted a NAMWOLF event featuring Brett Hart, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, United Airlines and Chair of the 2015 Chicago Bar Foundations Investing in Justice Campaign. Mr. Hart gave remarks about the importance of pro bono legal activities and the ways in which lawyers can contribute to the advancement of justice.

This special networking event was co-hosted by NAMWOLF firms Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP, Green and Letts and Wang Kobayashi Austin, LLC.

Stephanie Scharf Serves on the Faculty of the Missouri Bar Diversity Summit

Stephanie Scharf was an invited faculty member for the Diversity Summit held  by the Missouri Bar Association on May 20, 2015 in St. Louis.   The Summit was chaired by the President of the Missouri Bar Association, Ruben Shelton, Lead Counsel-Litigation for Monsanto.  Ms. Scharf spoke in the session,  Solutions and Best Practices for Diversity in the Legal Profession.  Among the points she made was the power of diverse teams, including teams that cut across various practice settings.   Ms. Scharf’s remarks draw on her well known for advancing women in the legal profession, including her role as founder and director for 8 years of the NAWL Annual Survey of Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, creation of the NAWL General Counsel Institute and, most recently, statistical research on gender diversity in the trial bar, which will be published in July by the American Bar Association and American Bar Foundation.    

Deirdre Fox Speaks about Art in Public Places and the Law

On June 9, 2015, at the Copyright Society of the United States Annual Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island, Counsel Deirdre Fox spoke on a panel that addressed the intersection of copyright, the Visual Artists Rights Act and art in public space, “Copyrights on the Street: Creating and Preserving Graffiti and Other Art in Public Spaces”. To read about the program click here

Partner Ted Banks Chairs PLI Compliance Institute

Partner Ted Banks chaired the PLI Compliance & Ethics Institute in Chicago on May 4-5, 2015.  As part of the comprehensive curriculum, partner Sarah Marmor spoke on compliance requirements for social media.  Programs are available by e-mailing Ted Banks here.

Partner Ted Banks Blogs for ACC about Compliance Mistakes

On April 4, 2015  partner Ted Banks, along with Eric Hinton, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer at 7-Eleven, Inc., published an article, ‘The Biggest Compliance Mistake That Lawyers Make,’ in the In-House Access blog of the Association of Corporate Counsel.  The article discusses ways to make certain that compliance programs actually reach employees by focusing on the employee, rather than trying to re-teach law school.  If you have any questions about compliance programs, contact Ted Banks at

Justice Michael B. Hyman Speaks at Spring 2015 CLE Event

On April 1, 2015, the firm hosted a program of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, featuring Ilinois Court of Appeals Justice Michael B. Hyman.  The topic of Justice Hyman’s presentation was “Perception of Justice in Black and White.” 

University of Denver Honors Partner Ted Banks

Partner Ted Banks was honored at with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2015 International Law Gala Reception of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on March 25, 2015.  While in law school, Banks served as Editor-in-Chief of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, and throughout his legal career he was involved in numerous international transactions.  In recent years he has been involved in developing compliance programs that address risks that arise from doing business outside of the United States.  As part of the March 25 proceedings, Banks delivered a talk entitled “Establishing a Universal Compliance Program for Multinational Corporations.”

Ted Banks Comments on Compliance in Inside Counsel Magazine

On March 2, 2015 Ted Banks wrote in Inside Counsel, Compliance Officers have complicated jobs. They need to manage expectations of government regulators, top-level executives and the rank and file employees. At the same time, a large number of different concerns — from privacy to corruption and more — fall under their purview. As a result, compliance officers must be aware of what is happening in their organizations and in the world, and be agile enough to adjust policies and programs to meet these disparate demands. Read full story by clicking here.

Stephanie Scharf Interviewed on Future of Securities Class Actions

On February 27, 2015, Inside Counsel published an interview with partner Stephanie Scharf regarding the future of securities class actions.  Stephanie noted several potential trends, including the targeting of foreign corporations with business in the U.S., the more complicated evidentiary issues that stem from the recent s Supreme Court decision, and a growing skepticism in the judiciary about the fees awarded to plaintiffs’ counsel in settled cases.  Read the entire interview at

Compliance & Ethics Professional Magazine Features Ted Banks

The March 2015 edition of Compliance & Ethics Professional, the magazine of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, features an article by Firm Partner Ted Banks.   The article compares the management styles of Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs, and how each contributed to the business success of their companies, and occasional failures of the their compliance programs.  Read the full text of the article here.

Deirdre Fox Speaks on Intellectual Property and Executive Agreements

On March 26, 2015, Counsel Deirdre Fox was the featured speaker on the topic of “Negotiating Executive Employment Agreements: Intellectual Property and Other Tips and Traps for the Unwary.”   Ms. Fox spoke at the American Bar Association’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Labor and Employment Section, that took place in Naples, Florida.   The program discussed pitfalls and traps in the drafting and negotiation of clauses regarding intellectual property, confidentiality and other rights and remedies in executive employment agreements, with particular focus on the intellectual property issues that typically arise in executive contracts in the creative, technology and financial services industries.  For more information about the program and conference click here.

Firm Hosts "Hot Topics for Food Industry/Consumer Packaged Goods Entrepreneurs" Seminar

On February 5, 2015, the Firm hosted a seminar entitled “Hot Topics for Food Industry/Consumer Packaged Goods Entrepreneurs.”    Co-hosted by the Women’s Business Development Center, the seminar offered insights from leading members of the food industry on cutting edge legal and business issues. 

Ted Banks, Scharf Banks Marmor Partner and Seminar Chair,  led the presentations with targeted advice on “Avoiding Legal Problems in the Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Businesses.”    Partner Nina Stillman and Senior Associate Virginia Kim explained legal issues regarding ”The Contagious Employee” and what employers can and should do when faced with that situation.   

Donna Bunch Coaxum, Sr. Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at OSI Group, LLC, a $6 billion privately-held food company, and Scott Dickinson, founder of Natural Direct LLC, covered “The Exciting World of Natural and Organic Foods.”  Ellen MacGran, a chemist and food industry consultant, joined by Lois Moss-Barnwell, professional nutritionist, explained “Food Safety, Accurate Labeling and Recent Legislation.” Tom Sampson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peacock Engineering Company, discussed “Opportunities in Private Label Food and Consumer Packaged Goods.”

For further information, including written materials, please contact Food Practice Chair Ted Banks.

Firm Attorneys Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to Stephanie A. Scharf and Nina G. Stillman, who have been recognized as 2015 Illinois “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers Magazine.  Ms. Scharf was recognized in Civil Litigation: Defense and Ms Stillman was recognized in Employment & Labor.  Selection as Super Lawyers placed these lawyers in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers as reviewed by peer attorneys.  This is the eleventh year in a row that Ms. Scharf and Ms. Stillman have received these honors. 

George D. Sax was named an Illinois “Rising Star” in the practice area of Business Litigation.  Mr. Sax was ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois who are less than 40 years old or have fewer than 10 years of legal experience.  This is the fifth year in a row that Mr. Sax has received this honor.  

Firm Represents Product Liability Advisory Council in Amicus Brief to Illinois Supreme Court

On January 21, 2015 the Firm filed one of  two amicus briefs accepted by the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of the manufacturer-defendant in Price v. Philip Morris, an Illinois consumer fraud case that awarded class plaintiffs $10.1 billion (including $1.8 billion in fees to the plaintiffs’ trial lawyers)--the largest judicial award in Illinois history.  The award rests on the claim that labeling of the defendant’s “light” cigarettes violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.  The amicus brief, written on behalf of  the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), criticized  the Price judgment for lacking the required legal elements of deception, causation and commonality, contrary to Illinois legal requirements and consumer fraud law in most other states.  The brief also showed how the judgment, if left in place, would lead to deleterious effects on Illinois consumers, Illinois businesses and the courts. 

A copy of the brief is attached here. For further information please contact Stephanie Scharf, Sarah Marmor or George D.Sax

Firm's Defeat of Illinois Consumer Fraud Class Action Affirmed On Appeal

On September 30, 2014, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of an alleged consumer fraud and breach of contract class action that had been filed against our client Stratford Career Institute. Attorneys Stephanie Scharf, Sarah Marmor, George Sax and Virgina Kim, assisted by paralegals Jean Casserly and Ursula Forhan, represented Stratford at the trial level and on appeal. The gist of the complaint was that Stratford’s marketing of its distance learning program violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and also constituted breach of contract. The trial court’s dismissal was based on various grounds, including plaintiffs’ failure to allege common questions of law and fact. In affirming dismissal, the Appellate Court held that the plaintiffs were inadequate class representatives and did not have viable individual claims against Stratford as a matter of law. A copy of the Appellate Court’s opinion is attached here

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC Adds Partner Nina G. Stillman

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC has announced that Nina G. Stillman has joined its Chicago office as a partner, expanding and strengthening the firm’s Employment as well as its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) practices. Chicago’s largest women-owned law firm, Scharf Banks Marmor has now grown to 13 lawyers. 

Stillman most recently was senior counsel for the Chicago office of Morgan Lewis, where she specialized in labor and employment, particularly in issues such as equal employment opportunity and occupational safety and health law matters.

"We are thrilled and honored to have Nina join Scharf Banks Marmor. She brings tremendous skills and energy to the Firm’s employment and OSHA practices, which will be of great benefit to our clients and to the Firm,” said Partners Stephanie Scharf and Ted Banks.

Stillman has successfully represented corporations and institutions in large employment class actions and individual employment, restrictive covenants, and health and safety-related cases. Her work has included counseling employers nationwide on cross-border workplace issues and international clients on U.S. employment and workplace safety and health law. 

“While our existing employment practice is robust, the addition of Nina allows us to further expand and grow this practice area,” said Partner Sarah Marmor. “Nina is a nationally renowned employment and OSHA lawyer who has worked with many large companies and institutions on the most critical employment issues facing companies today. Having her on our team will give our Firm and clients a tremendous edge.”

Stillman added, “I’m delighted to join this group of sophisticated, technology-savvy and widely respected lawyers at Scharf Banks Marmor. Their smart-staffing and results-oriented approach to serving clients was a major draw for me, as was the focus on diversity with so many senior-level women at the helm. I look forward to further building and expanding on my practice here.”

From 2004 through 2014, Stillman was named one of the leading U.S. lawyers for employment law by Chambers USA, based on the views of clients, peers and other industry professionals. She is the past chair of the Chicago Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Committee; a past board member of the University Club of Chicago; and a board member of the Merit School of Music and the Northwestern University Law Board. Stillman has written numerous articles and is a frequent lecturer on labor, employment, and workplace health and safety law issues.

Stillman earned her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and her A.B. from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Stephanie Scharf Leads Plenary at ABA National Conference on Litigation

Partner Stephanie Scharf moderated the opening plenary session of the first-ever American Bar Association Section of Litigation conference directed to women trial lawyers.  Stephanie led a panel that included other well-regarded trial lawyers Kim Askew (Dallas), Trish Refo (Phoenix), and Hilarie Bass (Miami),  and Judge Nancy Atlas, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston).  The panel reviewed new statistics about the role of women in litigation and then had a far-ranging discussion about how to achieve first chair roles at trial, the hard skills and soft skills that are needed, and how to recover from victories and defeats. 

Ted Banks Speaks at Fordham Law School Antitrust Compliance Program

On October 30, 2014, Partner Ted Banks spoke at the special program of the Fordham Corporate Law Center, "What You Need to Know Today in Dealing with the DOJ". Ted addressed the ethical issues facing antitrust compliance programs.

Partner Ted Banks Discusses General Counsel's Skill Set

On August 4, 2014 Partner Ted Banks authored the article What Really Should be in General Counsel's Skill Set in Law Technology News, published by American Lawyer Media. The article discusses the technology knowledge that is essential for a general counsel's job for managing legal risks of the enterprise. Among the advice offered is a list of the technology tools and concepts that general counsels should review including technology concepts in substantive law, e-business, compliance and risk.

To read more, click here

Stephanie Scharf Recognized for Founding NAWL General Counsel Institute

October 6, 2014. In a story recapping the founding of the General Counsel Institute (“GCI”) held annually by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), attorneys Mimi MacDonald, Vivien Naim and Caitlin Kepple described the central role played by partner Stephanie Scharf, a former President of NAWL, who conceived and then chaired the first GCI, held in New York City in 2005.  As described in an article posted on Above the Law:

Stephanie Scharf, now a partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, founded the General Counsel Institute (“GCI”).  Scharf targeted the meeting to senior corporate counsel who had the goal of advancing to the role of chief legal officer.  She recognized the need for in-house attorneys to build top-tier professional and management skills in a supportive and interactive learning environment and to learn from experienced officers and directors about the points of pressure and success for general counsels. 

Together with NAWL President Lorraine Koc, then General Counsel and EEO Officer at Deb Shops, Inc. (now Senior Counsel at SugarHouse Casino) and NAWL President Elect, Cathy Fleming, then a partner at Edwards and Angell, LLP (now a partner at Hodgson Russ, LLP), Scharf quickly formed a planning committee which consisted of themselves, as a well as Carol Basri, then adjunct professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Law (now adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law), Caroline K. Cheng, Management Principal and Associate General Counsel at Deloitte LLP, Dorian Denburg, then Chief Rights-of-Way Counsel for BellSouth Corporation (now General Attorney for AT&T Services, Inc.), Michele Speller-Thurman, then a partner at Jenner & Block (now Senior Counsel at Abbott Laboratories) and Betty-Lynn White (now an Adjunct and Area Chair for the University of Phoenix and Adjunct Professor at Albertus Magnus College). 

The Committee arranged plenary and workshop sessions to foster frank discussions about what it takes to be promoted and provide the means to improve skills and knowledge in a collegial atmosphere.  They developed an innovative CLE program with opportunities to learn and network with other senior legal and business professionals and featured speakers Peter Harvey, then Attorney General of New Jersey, Catherine R. Kinney, then Co-Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange, and Carol Robles-Román, Deputy Mayor, New York City.  GCI met with rave reviews!

For more about the history of GCI and NAWL’s mission, click here.

Partners Lead Seminar at the North Shore Labor Counsel

Sarah Marmor, Stephanie Scharf, and Ted Banks presented a seminar to the North Shore Labor Counsel meeting June 13, 2014. Topics discussed were the implications for employment lawyers of the recent repeal of the Illinois' anti-eavesdropping law; notable decisions from the 2014 season from the US Supreme Court, including the anticipated ruling in NLRB v. Noel Canning and its potential effects on employer social media policies and procedures. The presentation also addressed the admissibility of Social Media evidence, which is becoming increasingly important in employment cases. The seminar ended with a discussion of ethical rules for in-house counsel, particularly in the context leading compliance programs and investigations. For more information on any of these subjects contact Sarah Marmor at

Sarah Marmor Serves as Editor of New DRI Book

Partner Sarah Marmor is the lead editor of a new book, Law Firm Practice Management.  Published by DRI as part of its Defense Library Series, the book provides insights about how small and medium-sized firm should be formed and managed to thrive in these challenging times. Far from a doom and gloom assessment, though, the book highlights ways in which small and medium sized firms increasingly can compete for the best legal work as efficient and skilled alternatives to sometimes unwieldy and expensive larger firms.  Ms. Marmor is one of three editors of the book, along with two other partners in smaller firms in California and Louisiana.  The book covers several topic areas, including Structuring Small and Mid Size Firms, Marketing, and Firm Culture. In addition to her editing duties, Ms. Marmor also contributed a chapter that discusses a topic close to home for Scharf Banks Marmor LLC: "Taking the Reins in Your Own Hands: Establishing a Minority or Women-Owned Law Firm."

Chicago Lawyer Interviews Stephanie Scharf About Strategies for Diversity

Chicago Lawyer interviewed partner Stephanie Scharf in its July 2014 issue about the challenges that firms face to enhance diversity in the workplace.  Among the comments made, Ms. Scharf observed that the biggest challenge is for a firm to settle on and develop a strategic approach with concrete goals so that they can map out the way their goals can be achieved consistent with the culture of the firm. Read the full article in Chicago Lawyer by clicking here.

Stephanie Scharf Interviewed on Law Firm Costs by Law360

On May 28, 2014 as part of a series of articles on the changing paradigm for outside legal services, Law360 interviewed partner Stephanie Scharf about law firm rates, especially at the partner level.  Ms. Scharf observed that law firms have had to make major adjustments to meet client demands for reasonable pricing of legal services, and those firms that provide value-based pricing are much more attractive to corporate clients. For the full text of the articles click here and here.

Marilyn Chimes Authors Chapter on Confidential and Proprietary Information

Marilyn Chimes, Counsel with the Firm and Board-certified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has authored a chapter in "the Bible" for federally required animal welfare oversight committees within research institutions in the U.S. -- The IACUC Handbook 503 (CRC Press, 3rd ed. 2014), published on behalf of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Her chapter is entitled "Confidential and Proprietary Information" and was written with co-author Priya Sankar.  For more information about the handbook, click here

Sarah Marmor Appointed Chair of Fundraising Committee of LCA

Partner Sarah Marmor was appointed the Chair of the Fundraising Committee of Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA), an organization that provides pro bono legal services and educational programs for artists. Ms. Marmor has been a member of the Board of Directors of LCA for the past year, and will now be chairing LCA's annual benefit in October, which will honor supporters of the LCA as well as leading lights in the Chicago arts world.

To learn more about LCA, go here.

Anti-Poaching Agreement Costs Apple, Google, Intel & Adobe $324.5 Million

By Ted Banks and Sarah Marmor

For many years, many people thought that agreements regarding employees were not covered by the antitrust laws.   Four major hi-tech companies have just learned that this is not necessarily so.  A deal among the major Silicon Valley employers -- Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe -- not to “poach” one another’s top employees has just resulted in a large payment to settle a class action lawsuit days before trial was to begin.  In re High-Tech Emp. Antitrust Litig., No. 5:11-cv-02509, (N.D. Cal.  May 22, 2014) (motion for preliminary approval of settlement).

The companies’ agreement first came to light after an investigation and then prosecution by the Department of Justice for violation of both antitrust and labor laws.   A class action then was instituted on behalf of 64,000 technical employees seeking $3 billion.  The problem?  If companies agree not to hire a class or group of employees, they are limiting competition for those employee’s services, and (at least in theory) reducing or controlling the salary that the employees can command due to the reduced demand.

Employers should be sensitive to any agreement with another company about employees, their salaries, or their benefits.  There is a very specific exception for employers to work together to jointly negotiate a union contract, but in the absence of a union situation, employers cannot work together without creating antitrust issues.   Employers should also be very careful about sharing information with competing employers, even if there is no formal agreement among them to use that information to control wages or the like.  HR departments often send out surveys of wages or benefits, and even if there is no agreement regarding the results of the survey, the mere fact that the employers communicated creates the inference that there was a tacit agreement to align their salaries and benefits.

There are ways to protect and preserve your employees – through appropriately tailored noncompete agreements.  And there are ways to obtain information about prevailing wages and benefits.  But these need to be done in consultation with counsel lest you inadvertently run into antitrust buzz saws from the government and private plaintiffs.

Ted Banks is head of the firm’s antitrust practice.

Sarah Marmor is head of the firm’s employment law practice.

National Law Journal Honors Stephanie Scharf

Partner Stephanie Scharf was honored on May 13, 2014 by the National Law Journal, who awarded Ms. Scharf and four other lawyers NLJ's first-ever Two Steps Ahead Award for contributions to advancing women in the law. At the award dinner in Chicago, Ms. Scharf thanked the “many people–including a number of you here tonight–who have touched and inspired me to focus on diversity in the legal profession.  I am especially grateful for the support I have received for my research on the ways in which women advance in their legal careers and how law firms can help that advancement.”  Ms. Scharf was featured in the April 24, 2014 National Law Journal  for helping to improve the status of women in corporate departments, in law firms, at law schools and in the business community. Stephanie’s work was described as “pathbreaking” especially her design and oversight of an annual national survey of the retention and promotion of women in law firms and the first-ever survey of women’s initiatives at law firms.  Click here to read the article. 

Wall Street Journal Interviews Stephanie Scharf

Partner Stephanie Scharf was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about law firm billing rates, and WSJ’s findings that male partners are typically billed at higher rates than female partners.  As a former BigLaw partner in two AmLaw 100 firms, and founder of an annual survey of how women advance in firms, Ms. Scharf observed that partner billing rates often reflect the lawyer’s stature within the firm, which is not necessarily a direct consequence of their ability as a lawyer or marketability to clients.  Women lawyers are not promoted as often as men into law firm leadership roles, which means that billing rates and compensation for women partners are lower.  For more on the topic, go to the Wall Street Journal,  May 5, 2014 article. 

Sarah Marmor Comments on Illinois' Overturned Eavesdropping Act

See partner Sarah Marmor's appraisal of the decision in "Controversial Eavesdropping Law Stuck Down" published by the Columbia Chronicle on April 7, 2014. 

Illinois Anti-Eavesdropping Law Held Unconstitutional -- Why It Matters to Your Business

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday that Illinois’ anti-eavesdropping law, which prohibited recording conversations without consent of all involved, was unconstitutional.  In The People of the State of Illinois v. Melongo, Docket No. 114852 (March 20, 2014), Annabel Melongo was prosecuted under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act for recording her conversations with a Cook County court reporter and posting the recordings on her personal website.  The Supreme Court found that the law criminalized a wide range of innocent conduct and burdened “substantially more speech than was necessary to serve a legitimate state interest in protecting conversational privacy.”  The court also held unconstitutional a provision of the Act criminalizing publication of recorded conversations where all parties to the conversation had not consented to the records.

Illinois’ anti-eavesdropping law was one of the strictest in the country.  Most other state laws permit recording conversations so long as one party – even the party making the recording – consents and/or is aware that a recording is being made.  The implications of this ruling are wide-ranging.  Employees now will be free to record their employers and potentially use the recordings in disputes over discrimination, harassment, overtime and the like.  Domestic disputes can now be recorded and used in family law matters.  There likely are applications to any number of commercial claims, and certainly to criminal matters.

Some will see the ruling as a further erosion of spheres of privacy in our technological age.  However, the very fact that recording devices are so prevalent in our society made Illinois’ law seem antiquated and out of date.  Indeed, at oral argument, the State conceded that the Illinois Eavesdropping Act “could need an update in light of technology” that makes it easier to record people, but argued "that is a policy question for the Legislature.  Requiring consent is the surest way to protect privacy."  It remains to be seen whether the legislature will try to recraft the law to pass Constitutional muster.  In the meantime, Illinois companies should take this opportunity to alert their employees to this important change in the law.

For further information please contact Sarah Marmor at 

Is Your Antitrust Compliance Program Effective?

On March 20, 2014 Ted Banks has written a new article for the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Compliance & Ethics Sportlight, "Is Your Antitrust Compliance Program Effective?".  The article outlines how to make an antitrust compliance program work, and lists 30 questions you should ask about your program. For a copy of the article contact

Attorneys Stephanie A. Scharf, Theodore Banks and George D. Sax Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to partners Stephanie A. Scharf and Theodore Banks, who have been recognized as 2014 Illinois “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers Magazine.  Ms. Scharf was recognized for her work in the Civil Litigation: Defense practice area and Mr. Banks was recognized for his work in the Business/Corporate practice area.  Both Ms. Scharf and Mr. Banks placed in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers in reviews by peer attorneys. This is the tenth year in a row that Ms. Scharf has received this honor and the third year in the row that Mr. Banks has received this honor.

Counsel George D. Sax was also named an Illinois "Rising Star" in the practice area of Business Litigation. Mr. Sax was ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois who are fewer than 40 years old or have less than 10 years of legal experience.  This is the fourth year in a row that Mr. Sax has received this honor. 

Firm Defeats Consumer Fraud Class Action, Obtains Dismissal with Prejudice

On December 16, 2013, the Firm obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all claims filed against client Stratford Career Institute, Inc., in a purported class action pleading a statutory consumer fraud count and a common law breach of contract count.  DeWeese et. al. v. Stratford Career Institute, No. 12 CH 18713, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  The gist of the allegations was that the defendant had purportedly misrepresented the benefits of a distance learning program purchased by the plaintiffs.  In dismissing the action with prejudice, the court ruled that the requisite commonalities for a class action had not been shown,  and that the allegations on behalf of the named individuals did not rise to the level of a properly pleaded consumer fraud claim or breach of contract claim.  The defense team was headed by partner Stephanie Scharf and included partner Sarah Marmor, counsel George Sax, and paralegal Jean Casserly.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Scharf

Firm’s Philanthropy “With a Twist” Featured in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin headlined the Firm’s December 11 holiday party, featuring the event’s unique twist. Guests chose an ornament representing one of three charities and then decorated a holiday tree with their choice. At the end of the evening, the respective charities received a contribution from the Firm based on the number of ornaments placed on the tree for a given charity. The three charities receiving contributions are Midwest Dachshund Rescue, Keep Chicago Beautiful, and KT’s Kids – all of which the Firm’s partners are active participants in. Click here to read the full article.   

Ted Banks Authors "Why Your Organization Needs a Cybersecurity Compliance Plan" in Law Technology News

Ted Banks discusses the case brought by the FTC against Wyndham Hotels for failing to protect credit card information, and its implication for corporate compliance programs.  The article appeared in the December 10, 2013 edition of Law Technology News.  Click here to read it in full.  

Ted Banks Comments on Food Industry Developments

Ted Banks was interviewed in November 2013 about developments in the food industry on the Internet radio program, "Money for Lunch", which is available at

Sarah Marmor Leads Panel on Social Media Law at NAMWOLF’s Minneapolis Regional Conference

On September 24, 2013, Sarah R. Marmor led a panel of in house and law firm lawyers discussing the current and anticipate state of social media law in a variety of contexts: employment, marketing, third party vendor contracts and litigation discovery.  Along with lawyers from Accenture, Wells Fargo and a San Francisco law firm, Ms. Marmor identified emerging concerns and opportunities in this evolving area of the law.

Ted Banks Speaks at 2013 SCCE Compliance & Ethics Institute

Partner Ted Banks was a featured speaker at the 2013 Compliance & Ethics Institute of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, held in Washington, D.C. on October 6-9. Mr. Banks spoke on the topic of Automating Your Compliance Program, and addressed cutting edge techniques for implementing an efficient compliance program. For a copy of the outline from the program, please contact Ted at

Stephanie Scharf Speaks at ISBA "30 Women Blackstones" CLE Event

Stephanie Scharf was a featured speaker at the “30 Women Blackstones” seminar held on August 22, 2013 in Chicago and hosted by Illinois State Bar Association President Paula Hudson Holderman.   Ms. Scharf spoke about the advancement of women in law practice including research from NAWL Foundation studies and personal perspectives on the challenges and successes of a law practice in today’s environment. The other panelists and seminar hosts (pictured here from left to right) included  Deane Brown, Immediate Past President of the WBAI; Hon. Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court;  Hon. Virginia Kendall, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;  Hon. Rita Garmin, Illinois Supreme Court;  Winston & Strawn Partner Julie Bauer; Ms. Holderman;  Hon. Ann Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit;  Dean Nina Appel, Dean Emerita, Loyola University School of Law;  Schiff Hardin & Waite Partner Patricia Brown Holmes; Hon. Diane Wood, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; and Scharf Banks Marmor Partner Stephanie Scharf. 

30 Women Blackstones 

Firm Co-Hosts NAMWOLF Reception for In-House Counsel

On July 31, 2013, over 70 guests attended a Networking Reception for In-House Counsel held at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC’s offices.  The reception was co-sponsored by the Firm and 12 other Chicago area law firms, all members of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). NAMWOLF is a nonprofit trade association comprised of leading minority and women-owned law firms. NAMWOLF’s Law Firm Membership is comprised of AV-rated firms across the nation which represent major corporate clients. For more information, go to

Stephanie Scharf Appointed to Board of Chicago Bar Foundation

Stephanie Scharf has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Chicago Bar Foundation, effective July 22, 2013.  “I am honored to have been selected by the CBF as a Board member and will work hard to provide the deep support that the Foundation deserves.”  The Chicago Bar Foundation is one of the country’s leading bar foundations, whose mission is to ensure that everyone in the Chicago area has equal access to justice, particularly the low-income and disadvantaged people who most critically need the protections of the legal system.  Through grants, advocacy, pro bono and partnerships, the CBF takes a system-wide approach to improving access to justice and focuses on objectives that are best achieved by the legal community working together.  For more information, go to

Sarah Marmor Named YWCA Ambassador

Sarah R. Marmor has been named to the Chicagoland YWCA Board of Ambassadors.  The YWCA will be celebrating its 137th year of service to the community and Ms. Marmor is proud to be a member of the Board of Ambassadors for this worthy organization.

Sarah Marmor Joins the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts

Sarah R. Marmor has been elected to the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts.  A passionate supporter of the arts, Ms. Marmor is honored to serve this important organization.  The LCA provides free legal service to financially eligible clients in all areas of the arts – the visual, performing, entertainment, literary, arts education and more.  The LCA helps individuals as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with business issues, contracts, copyrights, trademarks and many other legal areas. To learn more, please visit 

Ted Banks Speaks on "Discrimination in Price and Promotions"

Ted Banks spoke on "Discrimination in Price and Promotions" as part of the Practising Law Institute Antitrust Institute 2013 program that was held in Chicago on June 10-11.  The panel discussed the basis elements of the price discrimination violation, the concept of injury in primary, secondary, and tertiary lines of competition, the different rules applicable to advertising and promotional allowances, and new developments in the courts and FTC.  For more information go to

Firm Hosts Reception Featuring Author of "Politics, Health & Health Care"

On April 9, 2013, the Firm held a reception featuring "Politics, Health & Health Care" by Theodore R. Marmor and Rudolph Klein.  From Yale University Press:  "Two towering figures in the field of health care policy analysis, Theodore R. Marmor and Rudolf Klein, reflect on a lifetime of thought in this wide-ranging collection of essays published in the wake of President Obama's health care reform.  The book offers their recent writings on the future of Medicare; universal health insurance; conflicts of interest among physicians, regulators, and patients; and many other topics."  The Firm was delighted to welcome Theodore R. Marmor, professor emeritus of public policy, management, and political science at Yale University.

Ted Banks Chairs PLI Corporate Compliance and Ethics Institute

Ted Banks was the chair of the Practising Law Institute Corporate Compliance and Ethics Institute 2013,held in Chicago on May 9-10.  Attendees learned the essentials of compliance and ethics programs, the latest legal developments and new technological tools to make implementation of a compliance program more efficient, while having an opportunity to interact with colleagues and faculty members.  For more information go to

Stephanie Scharf Speaks at DRI Jury Selection Seminar

On March 14, 2013, Stephanie Scharf spoke at a DRI Seminar in Miami on "Jury Selection: How to Find the Needle in the Haystack."  Dr. Scharf spoke on various aspects of jury selection, including the use of jury questionnaires, voir dire, and impact of unconscious bias in selecting jurors.

Ted Banks Speaks on ABA Antitrust Section Webinar

On March 15, 2013, Ted Banks was a speaker on a webinar presented by the ABA Antitrust Section - Compliance & Ethics Committee, "Antitrust Programs and the AU Optronics Case."  In this case, the judge not only imposed a record-tying $500 million fine, but also honored the Division's recommendation to require an independent third-party antitrust compliance monitor - a first for an antitrust case.  The judge also mandated the implementation of an effective compliance and ethics program. Some of the issues discussed were: Are independent compliance monitors the wave of the future for antitrust enforcement?  What role should a compliance program play in an enforcement proceeding?  What concerns unique to antitrust should companies consider as they implement a compliance program?

Stephanie Scharf Speaks at NYU Law School

Partner Stephanie Scharf spoke on March 1, 2013 at the New York University School of Law Symposium, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling" on the topic, "Gravel to the Glass:  Strategies for Reform."  Ms. Scharf's comments drew from her experience as a partner in large national law firms as well as starting a women-owned firm, and her role as a founder of NAWL Surveys regarding advancement of women in the legal profession.  Ms. Scharf is currently a member of the ABA Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Firm Hosts Meeting of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce

Scharf Banks Marmor hosted a meeting of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce featuring Professor Mordechai Shechter on March 5, 2013.  Professor Shechter spoke on the Adaption of Climate Change in the Water Resource Sector - The Israeli Experience.  Professor Mordechai Shechter is the Founding Dean of the School of Sustainability at the Interdisciplinary Center and Chairman of the Research Committee in Economics at the Water Authority.  For more information, please contact Ted Banks at

Firm Hosts Reception for PLI's Compliance & Ethics Institute

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC hosted a special reception for attendees at the Practising Law Institute's Compliance & Ethics Institute in Chicago on May 9-10, 2013.  Partner Ted Banks was chair of the program, and Partner Sarah Marmor assisted with the planning of the program, including preparation of materials on compliance issues related to social networking.  If you have any involvement with corporate compliance and ethics programs and would like more information on this course, please contact Ted Banks at

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC Attorneys Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to Stephanie A. Scharf, who was recognized as a 2013 Illinois "Super Lawyer" (for Civil Litigation Defense).  Ms. Scharf placed in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers in reviews by her peer attorneys.  This is the ninth year in a row that Ms. Scharf has received this honor.

Theodore L. Banks was recognized as a 2013 Illinois "Super Lawyer" (for Corporate Governance & Compliance).

Counsel George D. Sax was named an Illinois "Rising Star" in the field of Business Litigation.  Mr. Sax was ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois who are less than 40 years old or have less than 10 years of legal experience.

Ted Banks Named as Compliance Monitor by the Competition Bureau of Canada

Ted Banks was recently named as Compliance Monitor by the Competition Bureau of Canada to oversee compliance with a Consent Agreement issued in connection with a proposed joint venture between Air Canada and United Airlines.  According to the Agreement, the airlines are not allowed to share commercially sensitive information on 14 key routes between Canada and the United States where the Competition Bureau was concerned that the combined market share of the two carriers might lead to significant price increases.

Ted Banks Featured in Legaltech News

The October 23, 2012 issue of Legaltech News features attorney Ted Banks speaking his mind on the new iPad Mini and similar devices.  Read the article here.

ABA President Appointed Stephanie Scharf to Presidential Task Force and Commission

American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows has appointed Stephanie Scharf, effective August 8, 2012 to the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession as well as a special ABA Task Force to make recommendations for improving gender differences in lawyer compensation.  Ms. Scharf is well known for her statistical analysis of the progress of women in private practice, under the auspices of research conducted by the NAWL Foundation.  Commenting upon her appointment, Ms. Scharf stated: “I am deeply honored to be able to work with many distinguished lawyers involved with the Commission and the Task Force, and participate in moving the ABA forward in addressing these important issues."

Deirdre Fox Selected as Vice Chair of ISBA Copyright Subcommittee

Counsel Deirdre Fox was selected to be Vice Chair of the Copyright Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Section of the Illinois State Bar Association for 2012-2013.  The Copyright Subcommittee disseminates information about this area of law to other lawyers and to interested business owners, authors and inventors, promotes improvement in the applicability of the principals of these areas of law, especially through legislative efforts, and facilitates communication among Illinois lawyers concerned with this area of law.  Deirdre will put a special focus on helping to develop informative programming.

Stephanie Scharf Gives Keynote about Women’s Initiatives

Partner Stephanie Scharf spoke to an invitation-only group of law firm leaders in New York City on July 18 on the effectiveness of Women’s Initiatives for advancing women in law.  Ms. Scharf spearheaded a recent first-ever national survey of legal initiatives, under the auspices of the NAWL Foundation, and presented the results and implications as part of her remarks.  To learn more about the survey, please go to

Ted Banks Authors Update on Corporate Compliance: New Statutes and Technology

Firm partner Theodore L. Banks has written an article called "Preventive Measures in a New Age: Preparing for New Technology and New Statutes."  The article's topics range from issues of employer liability as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act, to the trend of social media in the workplace.  The article is an effective guide for developing compliance programs that meet the new challenges of today.  For a copy, please contact Ted at

Ted Banks Co-authors Article on Antitrust Compliance

Partner Ted Banks co-authored an article in the Denver Journal of International law & Policy, "The International Law of Antitrust Compliance."  The article discusses the need for a global standard for antitrust compliance, just as there is for the substantive law of antitrust.  For a copy, please contact Ted at

Firm Welcomes Summer Interns

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC is delighted to welcome its Summer Interns, all from the University of Chicago Law School.  Please meet our interns by clicking here: Paxton Williams (2L), Joshua Chow (1L) and Zach Mayo (1L).

Firm Featured for its Innovations in Law Practice Management

Several publications have featured the Firm’s innovative approach to law practice management, including use of state-of-the-art technology and flex-time hiring.  See recent articles published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Law Technology News describing the goals and culture of the Firm.

View Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article | View Law Technology News article

Sarah Marmor Appointed Ambassador for ALCC

Sarah R. Marmor has become a member of the Board of Ambassadors of the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago.  Ambassadors work to increase awareness of the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and raise funds to support its services for low-income people with HIV. Ms. Marmor was a member of the Board of the AIDS Legal Council from 1998-2006.

Eric Quandt Appointed Course Director for National Sports Medicine and Sports Law Conference

Eric Quandt was Course Director of the 2012 National Sports Medicine and Sports Law Conference, hosted by the Big East Conference Sports Medicine Society, in Clearwater, Florida, on May 14 and May 15.   The conference featured leading experts on controversial medical and legal topics involving team physicians, athletic trainers, risk managers, athletic directors, and in-house counsel at colleges and universities. Mr. Quandt was interviewed by the Daily Law Bulletin about the conference and the emerging legal issues.

Stephanie Scharf Interviewed by Today's Chicago Woman

In May 2012, Partner Stephanie Scharf was interviewed by Today's Chicago Woman for the article “Women in Law: The Path to Partner.”   Ms. Scharf, current President of the NAWL Foundation and founder of the NAWL Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women, is well known for her leadership on initiatives to advance women in the legal profession.  The NAWL Survey is the only research that annually tracks the role of women in the highest levels of law firm practice and leadership. Read the interview here.