Attorney David Cates, son of Presiding Justice Judy Cates of
the Fifth District appellate court, has filed a suit in St. Clair County that
mirrors class action litigation crafted by controversial Chicago attorney David
Their target: Health Care Services Corp. as owner of Blue
Cross and Blue Shield on behalf of 16 million policy holders.
Novoselsky just spent six months on suspension for
According to records of his discipline at the Illinois
Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission (ARDC), Novoselsky constantly
called a female adversary “bitch” and “whore,” among other epithets.
In open court he falsely accused an adversary of snorting
He threatened to have the job of a sheriff’s deputy who told
him to lower his voice.
Novoselsky pointed him out to the judge and said,
“Apparently every time I walk through a courtroom, I’m going to have to deal
with a platoon of sheriff’s deputies who seem to think they run the
The judge asked him to proceed on his motion.
“I don’t know how we can, your honor, because if I don’t
argue properly maybe they’ll haul me off in cuffs because they decide they
don’t like my argument,” Novoselsky said.
He asked for transfer and said, “I will probably be in on a
federal civil rights action to find out why I have to deal with garbage like
this every time I walk in because your sheriff’s upset.”
The judge said that was an insult and Novoselsky said, “It
should be, your honor.”
Novoselsky faces further discipline on a separate complaint
at the ARDC.
The commission alleges he pursued barred claims, failed to
investigate claims in a complaint, removed a case to federal court without
merit, misrepresented facts at a hearing on sanctions, and filed meritless
pleadings in a guardianship proceeding.
Court records identify Novoselsky as a Wisconsin citizen
with an Illinois law license and an office in Chicago.
In 2014, when he sought protection from creditors at
bankruptcy court in Milwaukee, bankruptcy judge Pamela Pepper quelled a verbal
She later wrote that many creditors were former clients who
“felt that the debtor had engaged in misconduct and was not a good person.”
“The court reminded the parties, however, that the Code
allowed people to file for bankruptcy protection regardless of whether they
were ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys,’ and that it contained no provision for
preventing ‘bad guys’ from filing bankruptcy petitions,” Pepper wrote.
She wrote that she understood that creditors were angry and
felt Novoselsky had done bad things, but she cautioned them to maintain a
For years Novoselsky specialized in citizen suits claiming Cook
County politicians rob taxpayers.
He often sued former circuit clerk Dorothy Brown over her
collection of fees, and he sued her for defamation after she said unpleasant
things about him.
On May 10, appellate judges of the U.S. Seventh Circuit in
Chicago granted Brown immunity against the defamation claim.
In 2012, in Lake County court at Waukegan, Novoselsky filed
suit on behalf of Harlan Berk against Health Care Services Corp. as owner of
Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and
Seeking $25 million in damages, the suit claimed that Berk
made coinsurance payments that did not reflect the actual rate of repayment to
Novoselsky called for appointment of a receiver to replace
the corporation’s board, claiming the directors approved the unlawful conduct.
Michael Noonan of Waukegan also put his name on the
Health Care Services removed the action to federal court in
Chicago, and moved to dismiss it for failure to state a claim.
Top class action lawyers Robert Clifford of Chicago and
George Bellas of Park Ridge joined Novoselsky on the case in 2013, but they
could not save it.
District Judge Charles Norgle dismissed it with prejudice in
2014, finding Berk sought relief contrary to the express terms of the insurance
plan for which his employer bargained.
“While plaintiff may prefer to have his benefits calculated
in another manner, it is simply not the agreement that his employer reached
with defendant,” Norgle wrote.
“Plaintiff has had numerous opportunities to properly plead
his case in the last two years, but he has failed to do so.”
Last September, Noonan filed suit in Lake County for Daryl
Hedlin, claiming Health Care Services Corp. improperly benefited from transactions of
James Hortsman of Chicago and Jonathan Novoselsky of
Waukegan, son of David, placed their names on the complaint.
David Novoselsky entered an appearance after completing his
term of suspension.
Circuit judge Luis Berrones plans a July 15 hearing on a
motion to dismiss.
Meanwhile, on Oct. 8, Cates filed a complaint with similar
allegations in St. Clair County chancery court, on behalf of Chet Kelly.
The first page and the last page identified Jonathan Novoselsky
as plaintiff’s counsel.
The first page identified Noonan’s firm and Horstman’s firm
as plaintiff’s counsel, but their names didn’t appear on the last page.
The day after the case was filed, Cates amended the
complaint to remove their firms.
In December, Health Care Services moved to substitute
Circuit Judge Robert LeChien and Chief Judge John Baricevic assigned the case
to Associate Judge Christopher Kolker.
Cates amended the complaint in March, and Health Care
Services counsel Michael Nester of Belleville moved in April to dismiss it.
“The same parties have begun litigating the same issues
related to the same set of facts in Lake County, and that litigation was filed
first,” Nester wrote.
On April 29 Baricevic entered an order telling the parties
the court would hold oral argument at their request.