Photo of Melanie J. Chico

Melanie J. Chico Member

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 2007

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois

Education

University of Chicago, J.D.

Duke University, B.A.

Melanie Chico concentrates her practice on complex business and commercial litigation matters. She uses her industry knowledge and client-focused approach to tailor litigation strategies that resolve disputes with minimal impact on business operations and the bottom line. Ms. Chico has successfully litigated cases involving breach of contract, business torts, construction defects, fraud, employment discrimination, restrictive covenants, antitrust, intellectual property, and class action defense. She represents real estate developers, trading companies, employers, manufacturers, retailers, insurance carriers, financial institutions, voluntary associations, and local governmental units. Ms. Chico also has extensive experience handling a broad range of cases impacting the automotive industry. Examples include product liability, breach of warranty, consumer fraud, subrogation, premises liability, technology and intellectual property, and dealer claims. 

Ms. Chico has tried cases in federal and state courts and has significant experience litigating temporary, preliminary and permanent injunctions. In addition to her trial work, Ms. Chico has defended and prosecuted multiple appeals before the Illinois Appellate Court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She also regularly handles mediations and arbitrations.

Ms. Chico actively contributes to the firm and the community. She is the Hiring Member for Dykema’s Chicago office and participates in training programs for associates. Ms. Chico dedicates her time to pro bono cases, particularly those involving vulnerable populations and civil rights violations.

Experience

Significant decisions include:

  • Better Government Ass’n. v. Illinois High School Ass’n et al., 2017 IL 121124 (2017). The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously held that the IHSA, a voluntary association governing high school athletics and activities in Illinois, is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Obtained arbitration award in favor of school district for full amount of damages sought against roofer in negligent construction case where high school had suffered significant water damage.
  • Obtained favorable arbitration award on behalf of financial institution in claim against condominium association regarding how the cost for a multi-million dollar garage repair project should be allocated.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of clothing retailer in counterclaim against landlord for constructive eviction. Summary judgment was also entered in favor of the client on the landlord’s claim for breach of lease.
  • Berry v. Ford Motor Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48545 (E.D. Mich. April 14, 2015). Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of plaintiff’s claims for inventorship and unjust enrichment relating to Ford’s SYNC technology. Summary judgment was affirmed by the Federal Circuit on appeal. 
  • Friend v. Valley View Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist. 365U, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9893 (7th Cir. June 12, 2015). The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the IHSA on plaintiff’s constitutional rights claims relating to athletic eligibility determination.
  • Achieved dismissal of claims against apartment management company and its individual officers brought by terminated employee for breach of contract.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of mortgage lender in a matter alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment in breach of commercial guaranty action on behalf of banking client, enabling client to recover all damages requested and attorneys’ fees.
  • Successfully defended against motion to dismiss prison administrative officials in pro bono case on behalf of prisoner who was denied treatment for serious medical conditions.

Memberships & Involvement

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Dykema Women's Business Initiative

Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service from the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, and the Federal Bar Association

Margaret A. Costello Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

Edwin F. Mandel Award for Exceptional Contributions to the University of Chicago Law School's Clinical Program