Jeffrey Alperin is a trial attorney based in the firm’s St. Louis office, where he focuses on defending property owners and product manufacturers in toxic tort and environmental actions. With a comprehensive background including insurance coverage and defense, environmental law, product liability, and construction, as well as local government, school, and employment law, Jeff represents clients in trials and appeals in state courts, federal district courts, and circuit courts of appeals.
With over 20 years of trial experience, Jeff has litigated toxic tort and product liability cases on a nationwide basis, representing manufacturers of packing, gaskets, and boilers, as well as raw asbestos manufacturers and suppliers. He has served as lead trial attorney in matters venued throughout Illinois, taken successful appeals to the Illinois Appellate Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and cross-examined witnesses in depositions around the country.
Jeff earned his B.A. and J.D. at the University of Michigan before spending three years as a judicial clerk for Hon. Robert McLaren of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District. Working closely with Judge McLaren and other current and former Illinois Supreme Court justices, Jeff drafted over 70 appellate court opinions, including 11 published precedential cases.
Jeff’s comprehensive litigation background includes a broad range of complex commercial, municipal, and personal injury matters, including those involving wrongful death, employment, construction defects, insurance coverage, breach of fiduciary duties, flooding, easements and property rights, contracts and breach of oral contracts, trade secrets, attorney malpractice, premises liability, intellectual property theft, and false advertising. With particularly deep experience in representing condominiums and homeowners’ associations, Jeff has successfully defended his clients in litigation over responses to flooding, alleged negligent construction, association turnover and reserves disputes, and other matters. He has also represented associations, developers, and individual property owners in cases involving easement rights, burst underground pipes, mold, and the Illinois “economic loss doctrine.” Representative matters include:
- Successfully litigated a sophisticated $75 million scaffolding case, including developing strategy, analyzing expert opinions, conducting interviews and depositions, and coordinating the defense team
- Successfully defended client in a large permanent brain injury case involving a shooting range accident at a fraternal organization
- Actively involved in aggressively and cost-effectively representing toxic tort defendants in mesothelioma cases
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a land developer against FEMA with respect to whether certain properties fell within a flood plain
- Represented a homeowner association in an injunction case concerning actions taken to respond to river flooding
- Represented a car wash corporation and inventor of a wax product in a federal court action involving false advertising allegations against other companies marketing wax products
Municipal and government entities — including towns and villages, schools and school boards, law enforcement departments, and park districts — have relief on Jeff for counsel in a full range of municipal law matters. Jeff has counseled municipal clients on compliance with the Illinois Municipal Code and School Code; the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Civil Rights Act, and Public Labor Relations Act; and the Illinois Citizen Participation Act (CPA) or “Anti-SLAPP Statute.” He has also counseled municipal clients on code enforcement, employment matters, business license issues, liquor license matters, police policies, and zoning laws. He has successfully obtained state and federal trial verdicts for municipal clients in matters involving excessive force and false arrest allegations, rejection of business licenses, and employment discrimination claims. Jeff has also served as Village Attorney and School District Attorney for various municipal bodies, with responsibilities including negotiating and drafting contracts, ordinances, and employee manuals. Representative matters include:
- Advised one of the largest school districts in Illinois on employment issues, board policies, student matters, union contract negotiations, and Workers’ Compensation Act settlement authority requests; also drafted ordinances and school board policies in compliance with Illinois law
- Obtained summary judgment on tort immunity grounds in a false arrest and excessive force case against police officers
Jeff’s experience includes serving as account manager for the world’s largest insurance claims runoff company. In that role he analyzed and managed complex claims on a nationwide scale, with a focus on high exposure asbestos and environmental claims. Jeff developed case-resolution strategies, selected and oversaw outside defense counsel, and took a primary role in negotiating settlements and handling mediations. He also analyzed and drafted insurance coverage positions on commercial general liability policies, especially pertaining to environmental issues. In private practice, Jeff has analyzed and litigated complex insurance coverage matters for major insurers and governmental clients, primarily under commercial general liability, law enforcement liability, and commercial auto policies. Jeff is also a licensed insurance adjuster in several states. Representative matters include:
- Represented a major insurer in upholding summary judgment of a denial of coverage for a $9 million verdict for false arrest and malicious prosecution before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- Represented a major insurer in a case involving a municipality’s liability for a fence around a construction project related to a personal injury matter as well as the alleged negligent issuance of insurance certificates
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1993
- University of Michigan, B.A., with highest honors, 1990
- Defense Research Institute
- Chicago Bar Association: Former Chair Continuing Legal Education Committee
- Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Attorneys Committee
- National School Boards Association, Illinois Council of School Attorneys
- Community Associations Institute, Illinois Chapter
Publications & Events
- “The Next Big Thing? Vaping Deaths and Analysis of Potential Litigation Issues,” American Bar Association Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2019
- Co-Author, Chapter 4, “Municipal Litigation,” IICLE, Municipal Law (Illinois), 2015 ed.
- Presenter, “Living Without Your Police Department,” Illinois Municipal League 98th Annual Conference, 2011