Tilghman IV Richard H

Richard H. Tilghman IV

Rich Tilghman assists clients in resolving complex commercial litigation matters. He represents a broad range of clients in state and federal courts and alternative dispute resolution forums throughout the country.

What do you focus on?

Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

I have litigated numerous cases involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, breaches of confidentiality provisions and breach of post-employment restrictive covenants. I also counsel clients on how to avoid the misappropriation of confidential and proprietary data through non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality provisions and restrictive covenants.

For example, I recently represented a client in a case involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, confidentiality breaches and breach of restrictive covenants.  After defeating a request for a preliminary injunction and obtaining a finding that the plaintiff was unlikely to succeed on the merits, we used the favorable ruling to reach a quick and cost-effective resolution of the case.

Commercial Litigation

Throughout my career, I have handled a wide variety of commercial litigation disputes.  I keep the client’s interests at the forefront at all times by looking for efficient, cost-effective ways to avoid or resolve litigation.

When cases cannot be resolved, I act as a forceful advocate to meet my clients’ business and legal objectives. I have tried numerous cases to verdict in various state and federal courts as well as arbitration forums. I have also successfully argued appeals before state and federal appellate courts.

I have represented clients in defending and prosecuting claims for, among other things, professional liability, fraud, employee-whistleblowers, commercial contract disputes, consumer fraud and false advertising, trademark infringement, copyright infringement and patent infringement.  I have handled several litigation matters involving claims against professionals who have advised large employers on benefit-related issues.

Currently, I am actively involved in advising clients on biometric privacy issues, as well as defending several class actions filed under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA).

What do you see on the horizon?

I am currently monitoring the development of cases filed under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, an Illinois statute that is currently subject to hundreds of putative class action cases. The case law on biometric privacy issues in Illinois is likely to continue developing rapidly given the number of putative class actions that are percolating through Illinois state and federal courts.

Representative Experience

  • Currently litigating claims of alleged employee poaching, breach of confidentiality and breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of one of the largest mortgage loan originators in the country.
  • Successfully represented a group of nine defendants in a trade secret misappropriation case filed in federal court by the defendants’ former employer.
  • Represented a manufacturer of in-store advertising displays in a case involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation and breaches of restrictive covenants; we helped the client defeat the plaintiff’s request for preliminary injunction, which would have essentially shut down the defendants’ businesses, by showing that the plaintiff’s employment agreements were likely unenforceable and that there were no protectable trade secrets at issue.
  • Defended an Italian client in an $18 million patent trial involving three patents on load cell weighing technology. After a three-week trial, an Eastern District of Texas jury entered a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that the patents were not infringed and that two of the patents were invalid. In addition to trial work, we successfully deposed the plaintiff’s damages expert and persuaded the court to strike the expert’s reasonable royalty opinion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The plaintiff appealed the jury verdict to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We argued the case before the Federal Circuit panel, persuading the court to affirm the jury verdict in the client’s favor.
  • Successfully prosecuted and resolved third-party professional liability claims on behalf of a client that had been improperly advised by its actuaries regarding the computation of benefits under its ERISA-qualified retirement plan.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a partner in a failed $50 million real estate venture who was accused by his fellow partners of negligence, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented the defendant in a class action case, and subsequent appeal, in which the plaintiff sought over $70 million in damages. After obtaining a dismissal in the trial court, the appellate court affirmed, and the plaintiffs recovered no damages.


Richard H. Tilghman IV



Phone: 312-977-4881

DePaul University College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude; Managing Editor of Notes and Comments, DePaul Law Review; Order of the Coif

Boston College, B.S., cum laude


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2012-2015
Back to top