John Haarlow
Novack and Macey LLP
Commercial litigation

John Haarlow has never hesitated to take on the most complex of cases. And when he does? He has an enviable track record of earning top results for his clients. He is well known for his quick wit, professionalism and client service delivery.

Henry Merens, partner at Chicago’s Adelman & Gettleman, said Haarlow has a unique ability to think quickly on his feet, while possessing a demeanor that is forceful without being overly aggressive. Merens said, “John exudes professionalism in all he does.” He explained, “Haarlow’s written work product is pristine, his oral communications are effective and clear. Regardless of the circumstances, he remains calm and courteous at all times.” He is “stunningly effective.”

Steven Ciszewski, now a California attorney, has also seen this firsthand. He worked with Haarlow on the defense of an eight-figure legal malpractice claim against a top law firm. According to Ciszewski, Haarlow joined the defense team while the litigation was ongoing, but quickly mastered the history and details. He proved key in developing and pursuing a theory that led the federal district court to grant summary judgment for their client even before it considered the merits of the underlying malpractice allegations.

Haarlow was responsible for handling several key portions of the defense team’s successful appellate briefing in the Seventh Circuit. Ultimately, and thanks in part to Haarlow’s work, the Supreme Court denied the opponent’s request for certiorari. “John displayed an excellent ability to analyze the unique issues at the heart of the case and adapt legal theories to our unique situation,” Ciszewski said. “He often tackled difficult research projects regarding complex points of law and delivered workable conclusions. He then built on that by drafting major substantive portions of our successful legal briefs.”

Stephen D. White, former Chief Judge of the Will County Circuit Court and now private practicing attorney, worked with Haarlow on several related cases. He noted, “After 20 years on the bench, it is easy to detect Haarlow’s excellent legal skills.” In their cases, the other side filed an aggressive emergency motion for prejudgment attachment against millions of dollars of their client’s assets. Haarlow quickly learned the case, prepared a written response and participated in the oral argument where the motion was defeated. They achieved a huge win for their client, and others as the cases continued.

Judge White observes, Haarlow’s oral advocacy is very strong and he was always prepared to respond to new issues – whether raised by the other side or by the Court. “As a former judge, these qualities immediately drew my attention and helped me to form my opinion that he was destined to be a prize litigator.”

Haarlow is a Chicagoland native and father of two girls and a boy, including a set of twins. His love for children inspires him to give back to his community when he’s not in the courtroom. Haarlow has been a long-time board member of the Sue Duncan Children’s Center, an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for at-risk youths. Haarlow’s firm, Novack and Macey, has sponsored the Center’s annual fundraiser for many years, and Haarlow, an accomplished chef, frequently auctions off a dinner party at the event.