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Alyssa M. Reiter - Partner
Alyssa M. Reiter is a partner of Williams Montgomery & John Ltd. and heads the firm's appellate practice group. She focuses her practice on appeals, litigation support and insurance coverage matters. She is "AV Preeminent" peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. Ms. Reiter has been selected by her peers for inclusion in Illinois Leading Lawyers for civil appeals.
Ms. Reiter has more than 20 years of appellate experience. She has briefed and argued dozens of cases in state and federal appellate courts throughout the United States. She also works closely with the firm's trial lawyers, assisting with motions in limine, instructions conferences, briefing of critical motions and other matters.
Ms. Reiter has been the lead attorney in dozens of reported decisions involving a range of issues, including secured transactions, trial error, privilege, evidence, civil procedure and tort law.
Ms. Reiter also has handled numerous insurance coverage matters. This work has included rendering opinions and preparing reservation of rights letters and declination letters for commercial general liability (CGL), auto and professional liability policies, as well as litigating declaratory judgment and bad faith actions.
Ms. Reiter received a B.A. in mass communications, with honors, in 1984 from the University of South Florida. She received her J.D., cum laude, in 1987 from the University of Florida College of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Ms. Reiter was admitted to the Florida bar in 1987 and the Illinois bar in 1997, and also has been admitted to the following federal trial and appellate courts:
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Ms. Reiter is an active member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association. In 2012, she was elected, for the third time, to the Board of Directors. She has chaired its Rules Committee since 2005. As chairperson, she has testified before the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee regarding proposed rule amendments. She also is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Ms. Reiter contributes on a regular basis to the "Quick Takes" feature of the Illinois State Bar Association's Illinois Lawyer Now on-line publication. The "Quick Takes" columns report on Illinois Supreme Court decisions within hours of their issuance by the court. Ms. Reiter has published articles on appellate practice and is co-author of a chapter of the IICLE Illinois Product Liability Practice Handbook. She has presented on appellate practice at CLE seminars.
Past Speaking Engagements
AAR Aircraft & Engine Group, Inc. v. Edwards
272 F.3d 468 (7th Cir. 2001)
Secured reversal of adverse trial court decision in secured transaction lawsuit involving client's personal guarantee of a $1.3 million sale of an aircraft engine. Although defendant had signed an "unconditional" guarantee, he had not waived a commercially reasonable disposition of the collateral securing the sale. Seventh Circuit rejected adverse decisions within this circuit and followed case law favorable to client.
Alcala v. Emhart Industries, Inc.
495 F.3d 360 (7th Cir. 2007)
Seventh Circuit affirmed jury verdict for defendant manufacturing client in a lawsuit brought by a seriously injured machine operator. The issues on appeal involved the sufficiency of the jury voir dire and whether the jury instructions, particularly regarding the issues of negligence and duty, were proper.
American Automobile Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 97 C 6613
Represented primary insurer in suit by excess insurer asserting bad faith failure to settle underlying case within policy limits. Matter resolved through arbitration.
Angrand v. Key
657 So. 2d 1146 (Fla. 1995)
Secured reversal of substantial judgment in medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit based on trial court's admission of expert testimony on grief. Supreme Court narrowed the use of such expert testimony in future cases.
Conn. Specialty Ins. Co. v. Loop Paper Recycling
824 N.E.2d 1125 (Ill. App. 2005)
Obtained affirmance of summary judgment for Connecticut Specialty, upholding pollution exclusions in CGL policy.
Dumas v. Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
416 F.3d 671 (7th Cir. 2005)
Obtained affirmance of summary judgment in favor of Chicago radio station owner in lawsuit brought by radio personality alleging breach of contract and promissory estoppel.
Estate of Bradley ex rel. Sample v. Royal Surplus Lines Ins. Co., Inc.
647 F.3d 524 (5thCir. 2011)
Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for insurer client in bad faith suit.
Household Inter., Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co.
749 N.E.2d 1 (Ill. App. 2001)
Affirmed summary judgment for client based upon insured's violation of late notice condition of CGL policy in environmental coverage case.
Jackson v. Illinois Medi-Car, Inc.
2001 WL 1286804, aff'd 300 F.3d 760 (7th Cir. 2002)
Affirmed summary judgment on behalf of medi-car company and driver against claims that defendants violated plaintiff's constitutional rights.
Mesman v. Crane Pro Services
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
Obtained defense verdict for an international crane manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit alleging defective design of an overhead crane. Plaintiff's left leg was traumatically amputated and his right leg was crushed when a 20,000 pound load of steel fell from the crane. The case originally was tried in 2003 by another defense firm, and plaintiff obtained a verdict of $16 million. The decision was reversed on appeal. In the second trial, we obtained a defense verdict.
Progressive Universal Ins. Co. of Ill. v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co.
828 N.E.2d 1175 (Ill. 2005)
Obtained Illinois Supreme Court decision affirming summary judgment for and reversing adverse appellate court opinion against client Progressive. Court upheld food-delivery-for-a-fee exclusion in Progressive's automobile policy. Court rejected appellee's contention that, because of Illinois' mandatory automobile insurance scheme, no exclusions in automobile liability policies may be enforced without legislative authority.
Riemer v. KSL Recreation Corp.
807 N.E.2d 1004 (Ill. App. 2004)
Secured reversal of adverse trial court order holding that the court could exercise personal jurisdiction over a parent company that had no connection with Illinois other than the stationing of an employee of a subsidiary of the company in the State of Illinois.
Santiago v. E.W. Bliss Co.
Santiago v. E.W. Bliss Co., 941 N.E.2d 275 (Ill. App. 2010)
Persuaded the appellate court to reverse the trial court and dismiss a suit that had been filed by a plaintiff using a false name. (Reversed on appeal to Supreme Court after our client settled out of case.)
Taurus Holdings, Inc. v. U.S.F.&G.
913 So.2d 528 (Fla. 2005)
Because the case involved unsettled issues of Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit certified to the Florida Supreme Court the question of whether there was coverage under CGL policies for lawsuits brought by municipalities against a gun manufacturer to recover for costs of medical services incurred as a result of gun violence. Florida Supreme Court found that the damages sought "arise out of" the use of guns and thus are excluded from coverage under the products-completed operations hazard exclusions.
U.S. Bank Nat. Ass'n v. Clark
216 Ill.2d 334 (Ill. 2005)
Prevailed in the Supreme Court over both the mortgagors and the Illinois Attorney General on the issue of whether a mortgage violated the Illinois Interest Act. Persuaded the court that the Illinois statute had been preempted by the Federal Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act.
Wakehouse v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
818 N.E.2d 1269 (Ill. App. 2004)
Secured reversal of adverse trial court order on interlocutory appeal. Appellate court held, in an issue it deemed of "first impression," that dismissal of a case filed in one county in Illinois on grounds of interstate forum non conveniens precluded plaintiff from re-filing suit in any other county in Illinois.
Westchester Fire Ins. Co. v. ATC/Vancom, Inc.
U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, No. CV-S-99-0541-JLQ
Represented primary insurer in lawsuit brought by excess insurer asserting bad faith failure to settle underlying case within policy limits. Matter settled.