Archive for June 2014

Developer-Condo Association Disputes Face ADR Hurdles as Illinois House and Senate Bills Loom

June 11, 2014

Illinois House Bill 4783 seeks to amend the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Act”) by voiding any provision in a condominium instrument if it limits or restricts the rights of the board of managers by: (1) requiring a condominium board to resolve disputes against the developer first through mediation and arbitration rather than a court of law, and (2) requiring the prior consent of the unit owners in order for the board to take any action in court.  Senate Bill 2892 is an extension of the House Bill and creates a new Section 18.8 in the Act that voids any condition in condominium instruments which restrict the board’s right to represent the association in legal matters affecting the common elements or more than one unit by requiring consent of a percentage of unit owners, or requiring arbitration or mediation prior to the filing of an action in court.

The Act currently empowers a condominium association to sue the developer for any alleged construction defects or face individual liability themselves.  Condominium developers often draft declarations and by-laws that require the unit-owner controlled board to use ADR procedures to pursue claims against the developer.   The pending Illinois legislation allows for ADR procedures to be included in the declaration of the condominium covenants, but only with the prior approval of not less than seventy-five percent of the unit owners.  Neither bill preserves any dispute resolution provisions currently in condominium declarations, so the proposed bills could open the door to developer-unit owner litigation even if mediation or arbitration were previously agreed upon.

Should the proposed legislation pass, the bills may nonetheless be invalid if they are found contradictory to other state law like the Illinois Arbitration Act, and to the extent they conflict with federal law like the Federal Arbitration Act.  The Illinois Senate and Illinois House approved each bill in early March and early April, respectively.  The bills face additional consideration by other committees in the coming months.

This Blog is made available by Laurie & Brennan, LLP for general educational purposes only. The purpose of the Blog is not to provide specific legal advice on any particular matter. By using this Blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and this firm and the authors or members of the firm. This Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Under rules applicable to the professional conduct of attorneys in various jurisdictions, the material on this Blog may be considered advertising material.

Laurie & Brennan Obtains Ruling Entitling General Contractor Client, Harold O. Schulz Company, Inc. To Collect Its Attorneys’ Fees Under The Illinois Mechanics Lien Act From Non-Paying Owner

June 4, 2014

After securing a favorable jury verdict (see prior post here), Laurie & Brennan, LLP obtained additional relief on behalf of its general contractor client, Harold O. Schulz Company, Inc. (“Schulz”).  Specifically,  on February 27, 2014, Judge John Griffin of the Law Division of the Cook County Circuit Court entered an order finding that Astor Street, LLC, the property owner, withheld payment due and owing to Schulz “without just cause or right” in violation of Section 17 of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act.  The Court specifically found that Schulz was entitled to collect its reasonable attorneys’ fees from Astor Street, LLC  (“Astor Street”) because Astor Street’s “refusal to pay Schulz for amounts requested in Schulz’s payment applications was without just cause or right and was not well grounded in fact or warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law.”

Laurie & Brennan’s trial team was comprised of Ty Laurie, Dan Brenner, Erin Krejci, Kendall Woods, and Kevan Carpenter.

For additional information regarding Laurie & Brennan’s victory see Judge Griffin’s February 27, 2014 Order attached here.

This Blog is made available by Laurie & Brennan, LLP for general educational purposes only. The purpose of the Blog is not to provide specific legal advice on any particular matter. By using this Blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and this firm and the authors or members of the firm. This Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Under rules applicable to the professional conduct of attorneys in various jurisdictions, the material on this Blog may be considered advertising material.


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