Overview News Intelligence John T. Brooks Partner jbrooks foley.com Download vCard John T. Brooks is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP focusing his practice in the area of estate and trust controversy and litigation. His practice encompasses all aspects of estate and trust litigation, including breach of fiduciary duty issues, judicial constructions of wills and trusts, will and trust contests, tax litigation, contested heirship, adoption and paternity issues, charitable pledge disputes, guardianship matters, estate planning malpractice, and wrongful death actions. Mr. Brooks also handles appeals of these matters as well. Mr. Brooks began his legal career in estate planning and administration and subsequently transferred the substantive knowledge he acquired in those areas into a successful practice litigating contested estate and trust matters. He represents individuals as well as banks and trust companies. Representative Matters Won an Illinois Supreme Court victory in a case involving a claim by a charity against a decedent’s off-shore asset protection trust. Successfully settled an action for tortious interference with inheritance brought by three sisters against a fourth sister for her alleged mistreatment and undue influence exerted on their elderly and infirm mother. Part of the trial team that successfully litigated an action for wrongful death brought by three daughters against their father for murdering their mother. The case resulted in a jury verdict in excess of $66 million. Successfully defended an action on behalf of a decedent's brother in a hotly contested case involving heirship, paternity and DNA testing. Recovered approximately $2 million from decedent’s caretaker/nurse who had orchestrated large lifetime gifts and joint accounts with decedent. Obtained summary judgment on behalf of charitable plaintiff in off-shore trust fraud case. Numerous favorable decisions reforming or construing will and trusts. Successfully defended regional bank client against allegation of breach of fiduciary duty. Recognition He has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. Mr. Brooks has been elected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2007 in the field of trusts and estates and in 2015, he was named the Chicago Litigation - Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America©. He was also selected for inclusion in the 2005-2016 Illinois Super Lawyers® lists and Leading Lawyer in 2003-2013.* He recently won an Illinois Supreme Court case involving creditors’ rights and off-shore trusts. Thought Leadership Mr. Brooks is a frequent speaker on topics related to estate and trust litigation and fiduciary risk management. He has lectured to the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), ALI-ABA, the Heckerling Institute, the American Bankers Association, Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Chicago Council on Planned Giving. Besides the numerous publications listed below, Mr. Brooks is a contributing author and the general editor of IICLE’s 2009 and 2012 edition of its Handbook for Lawyers: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships and Charitable Bequests. He also authors a monthly e-mail newsletter for and serves on the Advisory Board to Trusts & Estates magazine. Professional Memberships and Admissions Mr. Brooks' professional activities include membership in the Chicago Bar Association and the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. He is admitted to the bar in both Illinois and Florida and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Education Mr. Brooks earned both his B.S. (business administration) and law degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois. Selected Publications General editor of IICLE Book: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships and Charitable Bequests, 2009 and 2012 editions "Fiduciary Litigation Decisions," Monthly Trusts & Estates Magazine e-mail newsletter, January 2006-present "Trust Contests," IICLE, 2001, Updated 2009 "Heirship, Adoption and Paternity," IICLE, 2001, Updated 2009 "Will Contests," IICLE, 2009 "Charitable Litigation," IICLE, 2009 Selected Lectures and Presentations "Contested Estates and Trusts," series of six live, one-hour Web conferences, IICLE, 2010 Host of 2010 annual IICLE seminar on estate and trust litigation, November 19, 2010 "Risk Management for Trustees: Becoming Ill-Suited for Litigation," ALI-ABA Risk Management for Trustees conference, 2010 "The Updated Risk Management Primer," ALI-ABA Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries conference, 2009 *The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.