Since I graduated law school, I’ve been working in commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution, counseling clients on a broad array of cases and business matters in such areas as contracts, employment, distribution, trade secrets, franchising, anti-trust, and more.
I serve as an arbitrator for both the American Arbitration Association and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). In 2010, I was appointed as an arbitrator to hear automobile dealership cases arising under special Federal legislation. In addition to arbitration, I also am a Mediator for the Cook County Major Case Mediation Program and for the Northern District of Illinois Lanham Act Program.
How has your practice evolved in the last few years?
In the next few years, I am expecting to spend less time in court for litigation and take on more cases dealing with ADR. I’ve noticed a shift in more alternative dispute resolution cases and expect the trend to continue.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
Spend time with your colleagues, lawyers and other staff in the office, to broaden your knowledge and awareness. Don’t just eat alone at your desk or spend hours on your smart phone. See what is happening in the real world. Get involved in Bar Association activities to further develop your knowledge and awareness.
What are you most hopeful for about the future of the legal profession?
I am hopeful that there will always be lawyers willing to take on difficult matters and unpopular causes that might otherwise go unattended or unresolved.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
Civility has always enhanced the likelihood of settling disputes or at least getting my opponent to sit down and try to hash things out. It also has allowed me to concentrate more on the issues at hand rather than on the parties or opposing counsel.
I try to make it a habit to be polite to opposing counsel. Some years ago, during a court room appearance in a hard-fought matter I took the time to shake hands with and say a few words to opposing counsel before sitting down on our side of the courtroom. I did not view this as unusual, but rather as a common courtesy. Several years later I had a matter with the same counsel and was reminded of how counsel appreciated the courtesy and time I took for the introduction in the prior matter.
What do you do for fun?
When I am not spending time with my children and grandchildren, I devote a significant amount of my time to a group that funds scholarships for students at the University of Illinois. I also serve as Chair of our local Zoning Board of Appeals.
Learn more about Champ Davis at Davis McGrath, LLC.