William T. "Toby" Eveland

Partner

William T.

About

As a partner in Arnstein & Lehr LLP’s Chicago office, Mr. Eveland’s litigation practice focuses on all aspects of business disputes, premises and product liability defense, class actions, and complex insurance matters, in fields such as real estate, manufacturing, higher education, risk management, employment, and governmental law. He is often retained by a variety of clients given his track record and savvy in the courtroom. Many of the clients who seek his counsel are involved in high-profile litigation and complex business disputes. Mr. Eveland also chairs the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Notable Cases

  • Evans, et al., etc. v. Illinois Institute of Technology, et al. As lead attorney representing the IIT Chicago-Kent law school in a class action lawsuit alleging fraud and misrepresentation based upon the school’s compilation and publication of prior graduate employment statistics, Mr. Eveland secured a victory at the trial level, which was unanimously affirmed at the appellate level and, ultimately, denied certiorari by the Illinois Supreme Court.  Though the plaintiffs were seeking in excess of $100 million in damages, Mr. Eveland successfully argued that the numbers in question were not an affirmative misrepresentation and that they did not cause any actual harm to the litigants.  Mr. Eveland was quoted in local and national news regarding this significant victory, especially since lawsuits in other jurisdictions proceeded against law schools while Mr. Eveland was able to obtain dismissal with prejudice in Illinois.
  • Hachem v. Chicago Title Insurance Co., et al. Mr. Eveland defended Chicago Title Insurance Company and its agent against a claim from a home buyer who learned, after completing her purchase, that the residence was included in a historical district with a landmark designation. The plaintiff argued that the designation, which could limit her ability to quickly renovate the property, represented an encumbrance on the title and, therefore, that the title insurance company agent was required to have disclosed it and, further, the insurance company itself must cover any monetary damages suffered because of the landmark designation. As lead counsel, Mr. Eveland achieved victory for his client at the trial and appellate levels, with the courts affirming his arguments that (1) the designation had been a matter of public record since 1982, (2) title insurance specifically does not cover landmark designations, and (3) title insurance exists to protect purchasers against encumbrances to title, not as a more general protection for the property or the purchase of the property.
  • Cohen v. Basil. As lead counsel for the defense in a piercing the corporate veil and fraudulent transfer case, Mr. Eveland successfully represented clients against a plaintiff who sought to collect a nearly $1 million judgment from a business owner personally, after the defendant’s business failed and was unable to pay the original claim.  Mr. Eveland argued that, though the business in question ultimately failed, it was, for 8 of the 10 years of its existence, a successful enterprise, one that kept records and paid expenses and that neither the business’ failure nor its closely help ownership structure were indicative of its being a mere façade or instrument for transferring assets to private ownership.  After a full trial on the merits, the circuit court denied the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety, a decision that was unanimously affirmed at the appellate level.  Mr. Eveland is credited with establishing sound precedent at the appellate court level that is now cited throughout Illinois.
  • Bishop v. Bombardier. Mr. Eveland secured a summary judgment for his client, Bombardier, Inc., the defendant in this matter, on the eve of trial. At issue was the plaintiff’s claim that Bombardier, the manufacturer of Sea-Doo personal watercraft, failed to adequately warn against the danger of attempting to repair its battery and electrical components. The plaintiff, who received burn injuries when he attempted to charge the Sea-Doo’s battery, complained that the content of the “Do not boost battery” label on the watercraft did not explain what specific sort of danger, if any, he might encounter if he attempted to jump-start the battery. Mr. Eveland successfully argued that, in the absence of any evidence that the plaintiff read the warning (which he did not recall seeing), the plaintiff could not make a claim that a differently worded warning would have prompted him to act differently in his maintenance of the watercraft. This was a significant federal court victory for the client.
  • Davis v. Chicago Housing Authority. Mr. Eveland secured summary judgment for the defense in advance of a trial and the plaintiff’s motion to reconsider was denied. The plaintiff was seeking over $1 million in damages following an injury on a CHA property. Mr. Eveland argued that the Tort Immunity Act requires that the CHA be immune from suit when the complaint is founded on the claimed negligence of a “local public entity.” The defendant argued that the provision of such facilities was a governmental function and, as such, any claim connected with the facilities within the protection of the Tort Immunity Act. Mr. Eveland also successfully argued that the defendant had no actual or constructive notice of any alleged defect on the property, thereby soundly defeating plaintiff’s claim.
  • Morrow v. Chicago Housing Authority. In handling the defendant’s appeal of this matter, Mr. Eveland secured a unanimous dismissal of the plaintiff’s attempt to overturn the circuit court’s finding. The plaintiff in this matter, Towanda Morrow, had petitioned for review of an administrative hearing decision that terminated her receipt of rental assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program (commonly referred to as “Section 8”). The appeals court affirmed Mr. Eveland’s arguments that Ms. Morrow’s rights to due process had not been violated in hearing procedures regarding her termination from the rent subsidy program and that the Chicago Housing Authority had acted properly within the guidelines of the applicable state and federal rules governing the program.

Achievements

Mr. Eveland is actively involved in the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Chicago Bar Association. He is a past chair of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council, a past chair of the ISBA’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and a past chair of the CBA’s Committee on LGBT Rights. Mr. Eveland has also served as a board member for the following esteemed organizations: AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Equality Illinois, Test Positive Aware Network, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago.

Mr. Eveland earned recognition as a 2016 Forty Under 40 honoree by Chicago Lawyer magazine and a 2016 “Rising Star” by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). He is the 2015 recipient of Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Advocacy Coach of the Year Award. He also received the National LGBT Bar Association’s annual Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 Award in 2011, recognizing his professional and civic contributions. Additionally, Mr. Eveland is a 2007 recipient of the Windy City Media Group’s annual “Thirty Under Thirty in Chicago” award recognizing his professional achievements and community involvement, and he has been named a 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Illinois Rising Star. Illinois Super Lawyers® “Rising Stars” is a peer review designation published by Thomson Reuters. Prior to joining the practice of law, Mr. Eveland managed a not-for-profit educational foundation that provided insurance and risk management services to colleges, universities and fraternal organizations.

Mr. Eveland served as an instructor for Loyola University Chicago’s ABA Moot Court Team for nine years. While in law school, Mr. Eveland was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, where he garnered the Award for Most Outstanding Advocate of the Year at the National ABA Moot Court Competition. He also won the Intraschool Moot Court Competition, was appointed to the National Moot Court Team, and earned Dean’s List honors, including the Cooney Conway Fellowship. 

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Chicago Bar Association’s 2016 Class of Top Forty Attorneys Under Forty panelist (May 2017)
  • “How to Be Successful in Law: Top Loyola Alumni Under 40,” Loy​​ola University School of Law panelist (March 2017)
  • 2016 “Forty Under 40” list, Chicago Lawyer magazine (November 2016)
  • Legal Symposium on LGBT Equality and Pride Month in Chicago, keynote speaker (June 2016)
  • “Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault,” Higher Education Conference in Ohio (April 2016)
  • “Suicidal Students: Thoughts on Federal Guidance for Colleges and Universities,” Higher Education Conference Webinar (November 2015)
  • “Multi-Cultural and Multi-Generational Issues in Law Firms,” panelist in Law Practice Today’s roundtable discussion (March 2015)
  • “Gay Lawyer to Alabama Judge: Let’s Have a Bourbon and Talk It Over,” op-ed, The National Law Journal (February 2015)
  • “Diversity: Seen and Unseen,” Minority Corporate Counsel Association Diversity & the Bar’s Diversity News (November/December 2014 issue)

Education

Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., 2004)
University of North Alabama (B.S. magna cum laude, 1999)

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois
State of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Federal Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin