APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE PHILIP BRONSTEIN, JUDGE PRESIDING.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Campbell
Plaintiff, Larry Karchmar (Karchmar) filed an action against defendants, Bernard R. Nevoral and Bernard R. Nevoral & Associate (Nevoral), for breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with economic advantage, in connection with a attorney fee-sharing agreement relevant to the representation of Ronald Marshall. *fn1 The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Nevoral on both claims, and Karchmar appealed. On appeal, Karchmar contends that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether Nevoral breached a fiduciary duty owed to Karchmar. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand this matter to the trial court.
The record reveals the following relevant chronology of events:
1980:Marshall retains Karchmar; Karchmar files five count com-plaint.
June 18, 1981:Marshall enters into attorney-client agreement with Karchmar for 45% of recovery and/or settlement, which includes provision for the engagement of co-counsel at no additional cost to Marshall.
October 20, 1981:Karchmar retains Nevoral as co-counsel; Karchmar and Nevoral enter into oral agreement to split any fees earned 50/50.
September 27, 1988:Marshall settles with one defendant; Nevoral pays Karchmar $131,000, representing 50% of the fee per oral agreement.
May 30, 1989:Karchmar and Nevoral enter into written agreement to split fees 60/40 in favor of Nevoral for settlement prior to trial; two-thirds to one-third in favor of Nevoral if recovery obtained by verdict or settlement after trial.
July 1989:Jury awards Marshall $8.2 million.
September 1, 1989:Marshall, Karchmar, Nevoral and Clausen Miller enter into fee agreement covering defendants' appeal of verdict.
June 30, 1992:Verdict reversed. Marshall v. Taylor-Wharton Co., 234 Ill. ...