Companies and individuals trust Matt Tanner’s 30 years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer to develop and implement effective strategies for their most critical commercial litigation and employment matters.

As a recognized leader in trial and appellate litigation, Matt understands that alternative resolutions often better suit clients’ broader business concerns. He and the Roeser Tanner & Graham team know that many conflicts can be avoided with careful planning and a thorough understanding of the pressure points unique to the businesses they serve. And when conflict does arise, they understand the need to identify and work toward early and cost-effective solutions. No matter the end goal, Matt advocates for his clients and identifies opportunities for early resolution.

The scope of Matt’s practice is reflected in his recent representations, which include:

  • Successfully pursued a claim for unpaid “success fees” on behalf of an international alternative energy firm ­– winning at trial and again on appeal.
  • Represented multiple manufacturers and service providers on claims of copyright and trademark infringement, as well as false advertising.
  • Obtained multi-million-dollar compensation for an owner of a chain of cell phone stores whose partner sold the partnership’s assets to a third party.
  • Successfully defended a law firm and its partners on claims brought by a litigation funding company.
  • Successfully defended numerous federal agents sued for alleged civil rights violations.
  • Represented governmental and private-sector employees terminated for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

Matt began his career as a litigator at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons) after serving as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Harry W. Wellford on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Matt sharpened his trial and appellate skills as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.

Matt is a member of the Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has handled appeals in the appellate courts of Illinois, Maryland and Florida and in numerous federal courts of appeals.

Representative Cases

  • Unfair Competition Claims – Obtained jury verdict on claims of unfair competition and violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act on behalf of multinational distributor of cigarette rolling paper in dispute with competitor (2021 Illinois Federal Court).
  • Breach of Contract Claim – Obtained jury verdict and appellate affirmance on behalf of international alternative energy consultant for contractual success fees owed because of development of European wind farm (2018 Circuit Court of Cook County and Illinois Appellate Court).
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Shareholder Claims – Defeated claims against the majority shareholder and president of an internet company in which the plaintiff, the minority shareholder, attempted to force the sale of the company alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and violation of the Illinois Business Corporation Act.
  • Product Recall, Manufacturing and Warranty Claims – Represented various global industrial manufacturers and regional manufacturers in claims concerning breach of warranty, product recalls and breaches of contract.
  • Officers, Directors, and Executives – Counsels high level officers, directors, executives and employees on corporate and personal legal matters including fiduciary obligations, severance agreements, trade secret enforcement and non-compete agreements.
  • Employer Counseling – Represented companies in the greater Chicagoland area regarding employment matters including terminations, internal investigations, breaches of fiduciary duty, separation and release agreements, and claims of discrimination and retaliation.
  • Employee Litigation – Prosecuted employment discrimination claims on behalf of former employee against multinational corporation; prosecuted sexual harassment and retaliation claims against state employer (Illinois Federal Court).
  • Non-Compete and Other Post-Employment Disputes – Successfully represented both businesses and individuals in cases involving non-compete agreements and other post-employment matters. Obtained temporary restraining order preventing former employee from breaching the non-compete and non-solicitation provisions of a covenant not to compete in which the employee allegedly obtained confidential customer information used to launch a competitive business.

Prior Experience

  • Clerk to Hon. Harry W. Wellford, U.S. Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit
  • Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons)