Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC | Melissa Lettiere | Representative Matters
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Melissa  J. Lettiere


Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Business Organizations and Transactions


John Marshall Law School - J.D., 2007

University of Iowa - B.A., 2002


  • Illinois (2007)
Melissa J. Lettiere
Tel: (312) 377-7888
Fax: (312) 423-8174
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  • Melissa Lettiere Representative Matters

    Commercial Litigation:

    • Title Industry Assurance Co., R.R.G. v. First American Title Insurance Company, Case No. 15-3310 (7th Cir., April 10, 2017) (a liability insurer was estopped from invoking policy defenses to the indemnity claims of its insured, a title agent, because the liability carrier breached its duty to defend the insured, thus rendering the carrier liable for a judgment or reasonable settlement in favor of the third party claimants, including a title insurance company, and against the insured title agent).
    • Represented property management/investment group in pursuing claim for breach of license agreement; defeated licensee’s counterclaim for breach of license agreement claiming licensor’s duty to modify conditions of the premises
    • Represented homeowners in case asserting breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and consumer fraud claims against real estate broker who created a fictitious bidding war
    • Lead trial and appellate counsel in matters involving lien priority disputes
    • Represented franchisee in case over wrongful termination of franchise agreement
    • Represented developers and excavation company in breach of contract disputes involving municipal redevelopment and water system improvement projects
    Real Estate/Title Insurance Litigation:
    • Borto v. First American Title Insurance Company, 2017 IL App (1st) 162266-U (complaint against closing agent for failing to obtain a release of a revolving home equity line of credit that was paid down to zero at closing almost 17 years ago was barred by the statute of limitations because the continued existence of, and the failure to release, the mortgage was apparent from the public real estate record).
    • One West Bank v. Cielak, 2016 IL App (3d) 150224: Prevailed at both trial and appellate court levels in case where court held that a mortgage on tenancy by the entirety property executed by husband and wife is enforceable even though only one of them was liable on a promissory note
    • Represented lenders in validating and enforcing mortgage liens, overcoming a variety of challenges raised by borrowers and other lien claimants
    • Defended homeowner in uniform fraudulent transfer act claim involving creditor's attempt to unwind real estate transaction against bona fide purchaser
    • Represented title insurance companies in coverage determination, loss valuation and recovery cases
    • On behalf of a homeowner, prosecuted a claim to quiet title based on invalid conveyance by incompetent grantor and possible fraud 
    Lending Litigation/Services:
    • Represented lender in trial court proceedings in mortgage foreclosure case resulting in confirmation of sale of property sold as directed by bankruptcy court, deficiency judgment in excess of $1,000,000 against guarantors, and order that guarantors pay statutory interest from date of foreclosure judgment as well as attorneys’ fees; decision affirmed on appeal in United Central Bank v. Patel, 2015 IL App (3d) 140863-U
    • Represent financial institutions in all aspects of commercial foreclosure cases, including pre-foreclosure counseling, foreclosure proceedings, short-sales, workouts, post-judgment collection and citation proceeding
    Statutory Claims and Regulatory Compliance:
    • Prosecuted and defended statutory claims under various statutory schemes including the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices, Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law, Illinois Insurance Act, Illinois Property Tax Code, Illinois Notary Public Act
    • Counseled medical services clients on regulatory compliance issues related to billing practices and referral fees under the Illinois Claims Fraud Prevention Act; Illinois Medical Practice Act, Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Act
    Alternative Dispute Resolution:
    • Negotiated favorable settlement for title insurance company resolving third party's vicarious liability and agency related claims seeking in excess of $1,000,000 in damages
    • Favorably negotiated and settled title insurance coverage disputes involving valuation of loss caused by undisclosed easements and denial of coverage claims
    • Mediated and obtained favorable settlement for employee resolving employer's breach of non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality, and fiduciary duty claims
    Probate Administration/Litigation:
    • Represented administrators/executors in probate matters; managed all aspects of case including opening estate, discovery, recovery and distribution of assets, and closing of estate
    • Managed offensive and defensive supplemental proceedings involving claims for constructive trust in suit to recover assets, and creditor claims against estate assets