| Practice Description: |
Mr. Forde founded Kevin M. Forde, Ltd., a five-lawyer office, in 1972. The firm has gone on to lead some of the most important cases in Illinois. Mr. Forde is an elected Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a former president of the Chicago Bar Association. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1993 and is a recipient of the 2002 Amicus Curiae Award for services on behalf of Illinois judges, the 2001 President's Award for service to the federal judiciary, and the Outstanding Service Award, conferred by the Judges of Cook County. Leading Lawyers considers him one of the top ten business lawyers in Illinois. He oversaw the merger of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and successfully defended Mayor Rahm Emanuel during the challenges to his candidacy.
Notable Cases and Results:
- United States v. Will, 449 U.S. 200 (1980). He successfully argued this case in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of federal judges who challenged the constitutionality of attempts by Congress to withhold cost-of-living adjustments due by law to the judiciary. In addition to establishing important precedent, the case produced substantial salary increases for federal judges and back-pay awards totaling $10 million.
- Jorgensen v. Blagojevich, 211 Ill. 2d 286 (2004). He argued a more recent, similar case in the Supreme Court of Illinois on behalf of Illinois judges when they, too, challenged the withholding of cost-of-living adjustments that resulted in a substantial salary increases for Illinois judges and back-pay awards of more than $10 million. As a result, Illinois judges are now among the highest paid in the United States.
- Chicago Board of Trade. He represented the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and its Directors in litigation in the Illinois and Delaware courts and was one of the architects of a 2004 court-approved class action settlement that allowed the CBOT to restructure into a public company. He also played an active role in the historic merger between CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and in certain Delaware litigation resulting from the merger agreement. More recently, he represented CBOT in litigation between its members and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) over CBOT members' claims to ownership interest in CBOE. This case resulted in a settlement, producing benefits to CBOT members valued at $1 billion.
- Price v. Philip Morris, 219 Ill. 2d 182 (2005). He was one of the attorneys for Philip Morris Company in its successful Supreme Court of Illinois appeal of a record $10 billion judgment rendered in a Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act case.
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He acted as trial counsel and appellate counsel for then-candidate Rahm Emanuel in the litigation challenging his qualifications to run for Mayor of Chicago. Objectors to his candidacy claimed that he did not satisfy the City's one-year residency requirement because he had been living temporarily in Washington, D.C. while working as Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. The case was tried before a Hearing Officer of the Chicago Board of Elections and then was appealed to the Cook County Circuit Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Appellate Court and affirmed the Hearing Officer's recommendation that Mr. Emanuel was qualified to run for Mayor. Maksym v. Board of Elections Commissioners, 242 Ill. 2d 303 (2011).
Bar Admissions: Illinois
Year of Birth: 1938
Law School: Loyola University of Chicago Law School, J.D. 1963
Undergraduate School: Marquette University, B.S., accounting, 1960
- Kevin M. Forde, Ltd., name partner, 1970-2012
- Federal Judges Association, General Counsel and Litigation Counsel, 1982-present
- The John Marshall Law School, faculty, 1968-70
- Northern District of Illinois, Law Clerk to the Honorable William J. Campbell, 1966-70
- Cook County, Counsel to President of Cook County (later Illinois Supreme Court Justice) Seymour Simon, 1964-66
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
- Senator Richard Durbin Judicial Screening Committee, 2009-present
- State of Illinois Compensation Review Board
- Review Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, 1997-2005
- Justice Anne Burke Judicial Screening Committee
- Federal Defender Program, Northern District of Illinois
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Bar Association for the Seventh Circuit
- Appellate Lawyers Association
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- 2002 Amicus Curiae Award, Illinois Judges Association, October 2002
- 2001 President's Award, Federal Judges Association, May 2001
- Distinguished Service Award, Illinois Judges Association, 1982
- Outstanding Service Award, Judges of Cook County, Illinois, 1982
- Medal of Excellence, Loyola University Law Alumni Association, 1983
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America, 1993-present, for commercial litigation, appeals and "Bet-The-Company Litigation"
- Illinois Super Lawyers® (published in Chicago Magazine)
- "Top Ten Business Lawyers in Illinois," Leading Lawyers Magazine
- The Wendy Will Case Cancer Research Fund
- The Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois
- The Spencer Williams Foundation for an Independent Judiciary