ERIC J. MUÑOZ
Eric Muñoz joined Scandaglia & Ryan in September 2001 after serving a two-year clerkship with the Honorable Robert W. Pratt of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Muñoz taught middle school with the Long Beach Unified School District in California.
Mr. Muñoz regularly counsels clients involved in insurance coverage litigation, transportation lawsuits, complex contract and commercial disputes, real estate litigation, commercial development disputes, commercial foreclosures, mechanics liens, patent and trademark litigation, federal and state tort claims, municipal liability, and labor and employment disputes.
Cases in Point
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of a freight broker in a personal injury/wrongful death action brought by the estate of a Peoria, Illinois woman. After a tractor trailer accident, the plaintiff asserted claims against the broker for agency liability and the negligent hiring of the motor carrier and truck driver. In its written ruling, the court agreed there was no agency relationship between the broker and motor carrier (and its driver) and no negligent hiring liability for merely contracting with an independent contractor trucking company.
- Secured summary judgment on behalf of a national transportation broker in two consolidated personal injury lawsuits brought in connection with a multi-vehicle trucking accident on Interstate 294 in 2007. Finding in favor of the client and against the plaintiffs, the Court rejected all claims of vicarious liability and all claims of liability based on an alleged negligent hiring of the truck driver.
- Successfully defended a logistics service provider and obtained dismissal of personal injury lawsuit brought by injured motorist based on flawed theories of agency and joint venture liability.
- Represented a national transportation broker and obtained dismissal with prejudice of all broker liability and wrongful death claims arising from the off-loading of an international shipment of granite.
- Successfully defended a transportation broker and obtained dismissal of claims of negligent securement and bracing of cargo containers.
- Advised on-line transportation broker in the preparation of its shipper agreements in order to minimize exposure to broker liability claims.
- Successfully defended against and obtained dismissal of plaintiff's claims of fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty on behalf of a global financial services company brought by a former policyholder.
- Successfully defended against and obtained dismissal of plaintiff's claims for breach of contract, negligence and public disclosure of private information on behalf of insurance company.
- Represented commercial building owners in defense of an action seeking recovery of rents by retail tenant. Successfully prosecuted counterclaims for breach of lease agreement, and negotiated a financial settlement resulting in the dismissal of the underlying claims and recovery of our client's litigation costs.
- Represented investment fund and successfully defeated claims for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage brought by owners of a Colorado shopping center.
- Litigated a million-dollar breach of contract action for an environmental remediation firm. Defeated plaintiff's challenge to Illinois venue and fraud counterclaim. Successfully negotiated a favorable settlement for the client.
- On behalf of Chicago-based valet services firm, successfully defended and negotiated dismissal of federal and state law claims of trademark infringement, and defeated plaintiff's request for damages.
- Represented a Chicago Loop office building in a lease dispute arising out of a multimillion-dollar redevelopment and condominium renovation plan.
- Represented a Chicago-based shopping center development in prosecution of claims for specific performance and breach of contract against national franchisor/lessee. Successfully defeated contract counterclaims brought by lessee, and thereafter negotiated recovery of a substantial portion of the value of the parties' 10-year lease.
- Represented a California-based development group in the acquisition of a $62 million shopping center from a debtor entity whose holdings were the subject of both Illinois foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings.
- Represented a secured party/bond holder in an Illinois foreclosure action. Litigated the foreclosure judgment, judicial sale and confirmation, and secured title to a $64 million commercial property.
- Defended a California-based hotel and spa in multimillion-dollar litigation brought by a management company over issues involving breach of contract and fiduciary duties.
- Defended a hotel management company and hotel owner in $30 million litigation brought by defendants arising out of the purchase and sale of a $101 million luxury hotel in Mexico.
- Represented a City of Chicago high school principal and obtained dismissal of federal and common law tort claims brought by a former teacher.
- Represented a leading packaging company in a patent infringement lawsuit related to the use of slider-zipper technology in form, fill and seal processes.
- Successfully defended trademark rights of a famous Chicago restaurant.
- Represented the principal of a global marketing firm in his individual capacity, and successfully defended against claims for fraud and unjust enrichment.
Selected Publications and Speaking Engagements
- "Lawlor: A Roadmap for Limiting Exposure to Punitive Damages," Illinois Bar Journal (June 2013), Author.
- "The Commercial Foreclosure Process in Illinois," DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal (Vol. 2, No. 2), Winter 2004, Co-author.
- "The Internal Corporate Investigation," DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal (Vol. 1, 2002), Co-author.
- "Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986: A Commentary and Annotated Summary" (2002), Co-author.
Admissions, Affiliations and Honors
- Federal Bars: Northern District of Illinois and Central District of Illinois
- State Bars: Illinois and Iowa
- Chicago Bar Association
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
- The World Bank, Washington D.C. (1991), Researcher
- University of Iowa, College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa
- Juris Doctor, with distinction, 1999
- Symposium Editor, Iowa Journal of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 1998 - 1999
- Stanford University, Stanford, California
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 1992
- Departmental Honors
- La Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago Chile
- Overseas Studies Program, 1990 - 1991