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Some of the scariest risks I have helped clients address – in terms of potential claim value, meeting exacting performance requirements, and the inability to transfer risk by contract – relate to “accessibility standards,” like Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA).  Some of the largest dollar value claims I have defended – setting aside those arising from “mega projects” costing north of $500M to $1B-plus, which throw off enormous claims due…
Jeremy has been named among the top 5% of lawyers in Illinois with his inclusion in Thompson Reuters’ 2021 list of Illinois Super Lawyers. Jeremy was recognized for his work in Construction Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, marking his third consecutive year as a Super Lawyer. He was honored by Thompson Reuters five times previously as an Illinois Rising Star – an attorney 40 years old or younger or who has been practicing for 10…
Jeremy has been named a Leading Lawyer in Construction Law for 2021, marking his seventh consecutive year of recognition by Law Bulletin Media. This is the fifth year that Jeremy has been named a Leading Lawyer, which recognizes the top 5% of licensed attorneys in Illinois. Before that, he was recognized for two years as an Emerging Lawyer, identifying him among the less than 2% of lawyers in the state under 40 or have been…
This post is about “designing” the web of contracts for design and construction projects. That web is called a “project delivery method,” and there are many ways to engineer that web of contracts. The article is not about claims or disputes. Not overtly, at least. It does, however, have a decided “dispute resolution” overtone because good project delivery methods and contracts can minimize disputes. Good Project Design Can Minimize Design and Construction Disputes My suspicion?…
The choice between arbitration and court litigation complicated. Arbitration is no panacea. Some disputes are definitely better suited to litigation in a court of competent jurisdiction than arbitration. However, Illinois courts and law are no longer hostile to arbitration, and recognize its many advantages. Illinois law and Illinois Courts Favor Arbitration. Our Supreme Court has characterized arbitration as “an effective, expeditious, and cost-efficient method of dispute resolution.” Salsitz v. Kreiss, 198 Ill.2d 1,…
Private arbitration has several advantages over litigation in a court of law. One is that arbitration takes place mostly in private. Unlike litigation, which is conducted in public and leaves behind publicly-available records, arbitration typically does not leave behind a public record of filings which could embarrass the parties involved in the dispute. Arbitrators Know Design and Construction Arbitration enables parties to use expert decision-makers familiar with construction industry norms to resolve their disputes. Construction…
A version of this article first appeared in the Construction Law Newsletter, Volume 34, Number 3 (January 2018), coauthors Paul M. Lurie and Jeremy S. Baker Want to Resolve Design and Construction Disputes Quickly? Clients have spoken, and their in-house counsel, lawyers, and mediators now understand that clients want their disputes resolved quickly — faster than they typically are in traditional mediation and arbitration. Most construction and commercial disputes settle and are not adjudicated. Early…
There are good reasons for real estate developers and project owners to prefer a “Fixed Fee” approach over a “Cost-Plus-Fee-up-to-Guaranteed-Maximum-Price (GMP)” approach to paying for construction work. But Cost-Plus GMP Contract Agreements have many virtues as well. Which is best? There is no one correct answer. Much depends on the project-specific goals. What does the developer or project owner most highly value? Speed of project delivery and firm pricing are, for example, often in conflict.…
Admission to the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys (SOICA) is by invitation only. Its ranks include distinguished former judges, highly regarded mediators and arbitrators, and attorneys who are widely considered to be at the top of the Illinois construction law bar.  “Joining SOICA has been an important goal of mine for 15 years,” says Jeremy. He is “excited to continue to work with the SOICA members – the highest caliber construction attorneys in Illinois –…