To better represent their clients, the Firm’s attorneys have developed areas of concentration to complement their general practices. The Firm’s practice is wide and diverse, but generally can be described in 11 categories.
The Firm’s clients include several banks, with Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Vivian and Mr. Gehlbach providing legal advice and transactional support for the banks. Mrs. Kennedy represents the banks in a variety of litigation matters in state courts, and the Firm regularly assists its bank clients in structuring business loan transactions and in addressing non- or under-performing loans.
When businesses are unable to resolve disputes, it frequently becomes necessary for them to seek legal counsel. Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Considine, and Ms. Giesen dedicate significant ortions of their practices to representing businesses and other commercial ventures in such disputes. When disputes cannot be resolved short of litigation, the Firm aggressively represents its clients’ interests from the filing of cases through trial, while at all times remaining sensitive to the economic and other costs associated with such proceedings.
Corporations & Other Business Interests
The Firm represents businessmen and women in a variety of contexts, including business formation, dissolution, and all matters in between. The Firm regularly counsels clients on the requirements of Illinois law regarding corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, possible tax consequences, and other financial and legal issues. The Firm’s business and corporate clients include large and small manufacturers, limited liability companies, not-for-profit corporations, large and small partnerships, and a wide range of service providers.
A burgeoning area of the Firm’s practice is aptly characterized as elder law and involves working with older adults and their families to protect the client’s assets, ensuring that the person’s estate is designed to pass to the designated beneficiaries, and counseling families about the requirements for eligibility for government assistance. Mr. Badger, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, devotes significant time to nursing home related issues.
The relationship between employer and employee is increasingly governed by federal and state legislation that reaches into virtually every aspect of that relationship. Mrs. Kennedy represents both employers and employees when questions or problems arise. She and Mrs. Vivian regularly advise clients about frequent changes in federal and state law.
Estate Planning and Administration
Whatever the size of the estate, the Firm recognizes that the most important aspect of estate planning is to ensure that the estate will be distributed in accordance with its owner’s wishes, with a minimum of federal and state tax consequences. Mr. Gehlbach, Mr. Badger, Mrs. Vivian and Ms. Flessner use wills, trusts, and other documents to assist their clients in structuring individualized estate plans. They have developed expertise in sophisticated estate planning and administration matters. The Firm also is able to assist its clients in recording and preserving their wishes using advanced directives, including health care powers of attorney. The Firm also frequently represents executors and beneficiaries in estates and related matters.
Mrs. Considine and Mrs. Foulker devote substantial portions of their practices to the representation of persons involved in legal separations, divorces, and proceedings involving the modification of existing divorce decrees. The Firm is sensitive to the emotions that typically surround family law matters and strives to ensure that those emotions do not adversely affect its client’s interests. The Firm also regularly handles adoptions, paternity cases, custody, and child support actions. The Firm’s expertise in estate planning also is available to its family law clients, who frequently need to change their estate plans to reflect changes in their marital or family status.
While the appropriate use of financial and health care powers of attorney has significantly reduced the need for guardianships, the Firm nonetheless represents many parents and others in establishing and maintaining guardianships for disabled adults and minor children. Members of the Firm also serve as guardians ad litem for disabled persons.
At almost any time in a given day, one of the Firm’s attorneys is in court representing a client in a litigated matter. The Firm’s litigation practice involves everything from divorces to zoning, and includes commercial and other business disputes, collection cases, and landlord-tenant litigation. The Firm’s litigation clients include businesses arguing over millions of dollars and individuals seeking recovery in small claims court. Should the need arise, the Firm is able to call upon legal experts across the country to assist it in specialized matters.
Mr. Badger, Mrs. Considine, and Mrs. Kennedy regularly represent governmental bodies, including municipalities, fire protection districts, townships, and housing authorities, with Mr. Badger having a significant practice in the representation of fire protection districts and housing authorities.
The Firm is actively involved in representing buyers and sellers of farmland, business property, and residences and negotiates contracts, prepares deeds, and handles closings. The Firm dedicates a large portion of its practice to real estate matters. The Firm also frequently drafts leases and represents both landlords and tenants in lease disputes. In addition, the firm concentrates a significant portions of its practice in representing businesses seeking zoning changes or other permits necessary for expansion and development.