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Michael R. Cedillos is a skilled litigator who primarily represents financial services industry clients, including national banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, and broker-dealers in a wide range of claims brought against them. She also handles business dispute litigation for different types of nationwide businesses as well as represents developers and lenders in real estate and real estate financing litigation. Michael has deep experience in class and individual matters in both federal court and arbitration, including over 60 days of arbitration trial experience.

Having worked for a bank prior to becoming a lawyer, Michael’s firsthand experience in financial services allows her to better understand and relate to her financial institutional clients. She regularly defends both class action and individual claims involving checks, wires, electronic funds transfers, negotiable instruments, consumer credit cards, and loan participations and responds to regulatory investigations and inquiries. Her background also allows her to more efficiently work with damages experts and understand their methods of calculation and analysis, including the tracing of assets.

Michael also has prior real estate finance experience that she leverages while representing developers and lenders nationwide in real estate and real estate financing litigation.

Active in the community and committed to promoting diversity as a Hispanic female attorney, Michael has been involved in various legal and community organizations, including by holding leadership positions in diversity-focused organizations.

Concentrations

  • Financial services litigation and arbitration
  • Broker-dealer arbitrations and securities litigation
  • Banking, negotiable instruments and bank collection
  • Real estate financing litigation

Capabilities

Experience

  • Represented leading national financial institutions in matters involving checks, wires and ACH transactions.
  • Represented leading national financial institutions in Electronic Funds Transfer Act matters.
  • Represented leading national credit card issuers in Telephone Consumer Protection Act matters.
  • Represented leading national credit card issuers in Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Credit Billing Act matters.
  • Represented leading national financial institutions in invasion of privacy and defamation matters arising out of furnishing of account-related information.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against insurance producer in suit involving life insurance products used to fund tax-advantaged benefit plans.
  • Obtained tentative summary judgment in favor of insurance producer in California state court action seeking over $20 million for breach of fiduciary duty and deceptive sales practices prior to settlement.
  • Represented financial institution on claims for breach of contract in connection with multimillion-dollar loan participation.
  • Represented primary lender in connection with multimillion-dollar mechanics lien dispute in connection with major condominium conversion in Chicago, IL.
  • Represented construction lender in connection with dispute between the borrower’s partners.
  • Represented national broker-dealer before FINRA in connection with various cases asserting claims for unsuitability, negligent supervision, fraud, and fiduciary duty claims arising out of purchase or sale of investment products.
  • Represented national broker-dealer before FINRA in connection with wrongful termination suit brought by former broker. Obtained dismissal with prejudice.
  • Represented individual brokers in connection with FINRA expungement requests. Successfully obtained expungements.
  • Represented national broker-dealer in court defending claims arising under the Uniform Commercial Code in connection with a Ponzi-style scheme.
  • Represented a publicly traded company in securities class action litigation, SEC proceedings, and bankruptcy proceedings arising out of certain discrepancies and issues identified by auditor as relating to the company and its subsidiaries’ financial records.
  • Represented national broker-dealers and registered investment advisors in connection with responding to inquiries and examinations from regulators, including FINRA and the SEC.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Emerging Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network, 2019-2021
    • Listed, "Top 100 Emerging Women Lawyers in Illinois," 2020
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, "Rising Star," 2017-2018
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Real Estate - Litigation, 2017
  • Recipient, "Corporate Advocate Award," Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Young Professionals Board, December 2015
  • Recipient, "YPB Corporate Ambassador Award," Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Young Professionals Board, December 2014
  • Member, Winning Team, Global M&A Network’s Turnaround Atlas Award, "Insolvency Deal of the Year – Middle Markets," for the Chapter 11 restructuring of ShengdaTech, Inc., 2013
  • Appointed, Associate Judge, American Bar Association's Awards and Subgrants Team, 2010-2011
  • Appointed, Touch 10,000 Ambassador, American Bar Association, 2010
  • Board Member, 18Doors (formerly Interfaith Family), 2013-Present
  • Member, Legal Aid Chicago (formerly Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), Ambassadors Board (formerly Young Professionals Board), 2012-Present
  • Member, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Young Leadership Cabinet, 2012-2018
  • Vice-Chair, Chicago Bar Association, Young Leadership Section, Executive Council, Diversity Committee, 2014-2015
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
  • Member, Hispanic Bar Association

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 2008
    • Executive Editor, First Impressions, Michigan Law Review’s online symposium forum, Volume 106
    • Associate Editor, Michigan Law Review, Volume 105
    • Raymond K. and John R. Dykema Scholarship Award
    • Phi Delta Phi
  • B.A., Rhetoric, with distinction, University of California at Berkeley, 2003
Clerkships
  • Hon. Noël Anketell Kramer, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 2008-2009
Admissions
  • California
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Languages
  • Spanish