“Mr. VanFleet concentrates his practice in business, banking, commercial, real estate, and construction litigation.”
Mr. VanFleet began his career at one of the world's largest law firms, representing banks and Fortune 100 companies in a variety of financial, white-collar, and real estate based investigations and litigation. He left the relative stability of an international firm to form his own boutique law firm where he became a nationally recognized trial lawyer, focused on providing sophisticated cost-effective representation for his broad spectrum of banks and corporate clients. After merging his firm with Howard & Howard in 2016, his practice now ranges from small businesses and community banks to the Fortune 100 publicly traded entities and large-scale lenders he has always represented. Mr. VanFleet brings an innovative, practical, and solution-based approach; has represented clients throughout the country and in numerous complex and multidistrict cases; and has obtained victories in well over 100 trials, appeals, and alternative disputes.
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Law, 1990
- Law Review, Editor
- University of Illinois College of Commerce and Business Administration, 1987
- B.S., highest honors, Finance
- Litigation Counsel of America
- Order of Centurions, Barrister
- Order of Certus, Advocate
- Trial Law Institute
- Diversity Law Institute
- Peoria County Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- The Abraham Lincoln Court
- Illinois Creditors’ Bar Association
- Illinois, 1990
- Supreme Court of the United States, 2012
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2010
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1998
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1990
- Illinois Supreme Court, 1990
- Illinois Leading Lawyers: "Leading Commercial Litigation Lawyers," 2023
- Peoria Magazine, Leading Lawyers, 2023
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- Illinois Leading Lawyers, 2009-2023
- Chicago Lawyer Magazine, “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 Years Old to Watch,” 2000
- Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating
- Eureka College, "Outstanding Lecturer," as voted by students
- University of Illinois, "Outstanding Lecturer," as voted by students
Represented a trustee in its individual and trustee capacity in federal court trust litigation for issues involving potential conflicts between Illinois and New Mexico law, a demand for an accounting, and declaratory judgment over certain estate planning documents. The case resolved amicably at a federal settlement conference before the Central District Federal Magistrate Judge.Edit
Defended an institutional corporate trust department against a demand for an accounting and a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. After over six years of litigation, not only did the bank pay nothing to Plaintiff, but the bank even secured reimbursement for approximately 50% of its own attorneys’ fees incurred in the defense from the filing party.Edit
Represented the two beneficiaries of a GST Trust and the residuary beneficiary trustee in litigation filed by the successor trustee and another residuary beneficiary over claims for an accounting and with respect to certain fiduciary duties. The matter resolved through a negotiated non-judicial settlement agreement.Edit
- After the U.S. Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service served subpoenas and seized computers and documents from a Fortune 100 company, we were retained to represent one of the corporate officers who was concerned that he may be a target of an investigation. No charges were ever filed against the officer. Edit
- Annual Forum for Community Bank Attorneys, "Ten Important Tools Needed to Succeed as Creditors Rights Counsel in the Post PPP World," May 7, 2022, Springfield, IL.
- Illinois Bankers Association, "It Isn't Just Hollywood–Considerations for Banks, Boards, and Executives," September 18, 2018, St. Louis, MO.
- Community Bankers Association of Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan University, "Unprecedented Liability and Exposure for Lenders, Yet Here We Are," July 18, 2018, Bloomington, IL.
- Community Bankers Association of Illinois, "Bank Liability Issues," July 18, 2017, Bloomington, IL.
- Peoria County Bar Association, "Trial Practice Management," March 13, 2016, Peoria, IL.
- The Abraham Lincoln American Inn of Court, "Law Practice Management," October 14, 2015, Peoria, IL.
- Federal Bar Association, "Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," February 16, 2015, Peoria, IL.
“I support numerous child-based charitable organizations because our children are the foundation for our future.”
Mr. VanFleet has served three terms as president of the board for the Heart of Illinois Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He has also served on the United Way Board of Directors and chaired its Distribution Committee for Youth-Based Services. He has been active with numerous other youth-based organizations, frequently serves as a master of ceremonies for area fundraisers, and in 2012, was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Central Illinois Boys and Girls Clubs. Mr. VanFleet also spends substantial time coaching area youth sports teams, focusing on basketball in the winter and baseball in the summer.