William Herbert O'Toole
Upon his admission to the Indiana Bar in 1980, William H. O'Toole set out to create a law firm built upon established business models, with divisions within the firm for select specialties of the law chiefly concentrating upon commerce and the consumer. Before he could populate his nascent firm with attorneys picked for their interest in these specialties, he had to learn the ropes first, and that's when his real education began.
Mr. O'Toole began by developing a thorough knowledge of the many forums in which commercial law is practiced, from state courts to federal courts to administrative agencies — everywhere the law is practiced. He was admitted to the state bars of Illinois, Florida, and Wisconsin. (He retains his licenses for Illinois, Indiana, and Florida.) Over the years, his appearances took him to the United States Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals; the federal district courts for the Northern and Southern districts of Indiana, the Northern and Central districts of Illinois, and the Eastern district of Wisconsin. He became a diplomate of the Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois. He was admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, and the U.S. Court of International Trade. He acquired a facility in trying federal criminal cases, and became a member of the Federal Defenders of Northern Indiana, handling the defense of while collar crimes, among others.
Not all commercial practice entails litigation in state or federal courts. Administrative agencies often exercise control over business dealings too, and Mr O'Toole honed his skills to appear before the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission. It was his practice before these agencies that brought him to the attention of a publicly traded medical diagnostics firm, which tapped him for its Vice-President in 1987, and he served in that capacity until 1993. His principal responsibilities included compliance with federal rules and regulations, and monitoring compliance under the 1961 Hague Conventions for Private International Law, concluding international agreements for the company's products, including copyright and trademark protections.
Some client companies are content to develop only within localities in the United States, while others see themselves some day as players on a multi-state and even an international canvas. The lawyers they retain must be able to share that vision, producing full and enlightened answers for them, and thus illumine the way ahead. The proper role of a good law firm is to assist in planning with an eye for the future, and not merely deal with disputes after they have arisen. Gradually, Mr. O'Toole assembled young attorneys who could bring their education to bed
of actual hands-on experience in the international forum, under his tutelage. Client companies too are given the benefit of teaching and training, so as to head off problems before they happen. Today there is no facet of corporate representation, from formation to development to dissolution, that his firm cannot meet and address successfully.
Diagnosing and treating the needs of business in general necessarily entails the needs of its individuals. A corporation may generate wealth, but every individual connected with it will want to cull that wealth - and preserve it - through estate planning. Our firm provides that assistance for the individual client, with exhaustive scrutiny of tax issues and generational wealth transfers for trusts and estates through its Probate, Estate Planning and Asset Protection Division. Thus does the corporate dimension spill over into individual dimensions, which must be given equal - if not greater - attention.
Whether business or personal, no game plan for growth should be formulated without a careful consideration when things go horribly wrong - a tragic phenomenon that seems to be more the rule than the exception these days, when even best-laid plans come afoul of the vagaries of the market and the economy, doomed (as we have all seen) by the misdeeds of malefactors - those who we expected to know better, but acted only in the service of their own shortsighted greed for short-term gain. Companies and consumers feel betrayed in the wake of job, pension, retirement savings losses, and consequent foreclosures, repossessions, and the shriveling of opportunity in general. Government has done what it can, but we've learned that it is not enough - it is too little and too late. Worst of all, there is psychological damage that tears families apart, another intolerable consequence.
From its inception our firm has grasped that, in order to restore stability to consumer and corporate lives, its mission must be two-fold. First, we must know every strategy for stabilizing the economic side of our lives. Second, we must impart to our clients the psychological strength to lift themselves up from disaster and stay together, as we fix what has been broken. We are a teaching law firm. But perhaps more importantly, we are a counseling law firm: we give our clients hope. We've long recognized that there are two elements to recovery. One is the banishment of fear and disorientation, and the other is a rebuilding, brick by brick, of the structures they need to depend on to return to productive and remunerative lives. This may seem a tall order, because it requires compassion and understanding as well as raw intelligence and seasoned experience. But for more than three decades we've never flinched at the challenge, and for more than three decades, we've brought this type of success to our clients.
What are some of the tools, the mechanisms we employ? Our Bankruptcy, Reorganization, and Asset Protection Division has served our clients well over the years, whether they are small- to medium-sized businesses, or consumers. We defend against
foreclosures, we prevent repossessions, we fight fraud wherever we find it - and fraud is everywhere these days. We stop the loss at once. Then we strike back, furiously and aggressively. Through bankruptcy we lob off all those debts that either shouldn't or can't be repaid. We negotiate with institutional lenders to secure better deals. We dispute tax delinquencies, state and federal. We restructure whole businesses to become leaner and more competitive, and in doing so open the doors to greater employment for those without jobs. We do it all. And we've done it all for decades. But our job isn't finished there. We work with our clients, intimately and consistently along the way, teaching them how to recognize and how to avoid the pitfalls in the future. When we're through, our clients leave us, armed with a healthy dose of wisdom and a good measure of self-satisfaction, reliably optimistic that they can now handle whatever should come their way in the days and years to come.
Our firm offers - and indeed excels - in other areas of the law which are more familiar to everyone, such as our Family Integrity Division, which handles marriage dissolutions, guardianships, adoptions, wills, trusts for children, medical and financial affairs directives, custody matters, and family probate. Our Real Estate Division has members capable of packaging purchases and sales of homes and commercial properties, with special attention paid to feasibility, value, and "highest and best use" evaluations.
We bring the same intelligence, experience, compassion and understanding to all these areas - that is our hallmark.
There is a further advantage to considering our firm as your representatives. We have always co-opted the best talent from other specialties, bringing it to bear upon any problem whose issues need further clarification, explanation, and resolution. No problem, no issue is considered resolved until all dangling questions have been answered to the fullest: we don't want to revisit the same problem twice, and you shouldn't have to. When we deliver you our answers, you may depend on them as complete, and your issue fully covered, with no loose ends left.
Our firm embodies the vision William O'Toole had for it more than thirty years ago; it has come into its own. Our firm is local. We are up-close and personal. We are accessible. We are diligent and determined. We are here.
Do more, do it better, do it faster. This maxim has governed our firm since its inception. it is the key to our perpetuity and to our success. We are William H. O'Toole & Associates, and we're proud of it.
A.B., THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, 1971
J.D., INDIANA UNIVERSITY (Bloomington) , 1980
(LL.M. Program), The JOHN MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL
Jurisdictions Admitted to PracticeINDIANA, 1980
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
CHICAGO BAR ASSOCIATION
Member Since: 1995
THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO
Member Since: 1984
FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF NORTHERN INDIANA
Member Since: 1985
Legal Specialties and Certifications
U.S. District Courtm N.D. Illinois, Trial Bar,. 1990
Liability Negotiation, Litigation, Workouts & Compromises
Business & Consumer Reorganizations Business Turnaround Management Liquidations
Securities & Exchange Commission Food & Drug Administration Federal Trade Commission Copyrights & Trademarks
Corporate Formations Corporate Compliance Direct Public Offerings (DPO's) Mergers & Acquisitions Shares & Shareholders Taxes & Tax Compliance Marketing Counseling for Products & Services
Private, Non-governmental Compliance Counseling Under International Laws & Conventions
INDIANA & ILLINOIS COURTS & ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Civil Litigation Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Consumer Representation Tax Liabilities: Negotiation, Litigation, Workouts & Compromises
MEMBER, THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO, 1984 to present.