Our firm has been involved in redistricting since 1990. We represented the Illinois Senate Republicans in the 1990 redistricting cycle, and Phil was and we were the lead lawyers for the Illinois Senate Republicans before the Illinois Supreme Court and in the federal cases arising out of the 2000, 2010 and 2021 Census.
The firm along with co-counsel challenged the redistricting plan enacted by the General Assembly in 2021 on the basis that it violated the United States Constitution. A panel of federal judges agreed and invalidated the redistricting plan. The General Assembly then enacted a new map, and the firm and its co-counsel challenged the new map on the basis that it violates the United States Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting strength of minorities. The Remedial Map proposed by the firm’s clients better affords minorities opportunities to elect candidates of their choice.
We have also been counsel in the redistricting process related to numerous counties. In fact, our firm oversaw drawing and enacting the 2001 and 2011 maps for the County of DuPage. We successfully overturned the Lake County map in 2002 due to flaws in the enacted map and represented Bureau County in the redistricting litigation that arose out of its 2001 map. We continue to provide redistricting advice to municipalities throughout northern Illinois as we look towards the 2020 census.
We have extensive experience in the
following areas of government law.
As general counsel for several public government operations, we consistently advise on day-to-day functions, procedures and requirements, including issues such as municipal authority, FOIA, Open Meetings Act, meeting procedures, procurement, construction, land use, eminent domain, personnel, the scope of the governmental body’s statutory authority, ordinances and resolutions, and other issues that arise.
One of the many advantages we bring to our clients is our strong relationship with the Illinois legislature, including its staff. Given our role as counsel for the Illinois Senate, few if any firms in the state have the ability to obtain access to state government officials or provide the experience in drafting or guiding legislation that we can offer our clients. We have drafted dozens of pieces of legislation for public clients and regularly interpret state statutes related to municipal government.
As general counsel, our regular functions with municipalities include drafting and reviewing ordinances, resolutions and intergovernmental agreements. However, being conscious of costs, we encourage clients to decide whether staff or counsel should prepare first drafts of ordinances, resolutions and other typical day-to-day type items.
LUETKEHANS, BRADY, GARNER & ARMSTRONG regularly drafts and reviews contracts and agreements for its clients. While standard agreements do not always work for every vendor or in every situation, we have drafted standard contracts and purchase orders for our public entity clients to use where applicable in order to help save costs and time. We take pride in having drafted a nationally recognized Procurement Ordinance. In addition, we regularly draft comprehensive construction contracts for both public and private clients.
Since our inception, we have engaged in litigation on behalf of municipalities. Each of our attorneys has more than 20 years experience in litigation ranging from pre-suit research, investigation and evaluation of claims and defenses all the way through trial and appeal. LUETKEHANS, BRADY, GARNER & ARMSTRONG attorneys have wide-ranging experience in trying cases in both federal and state courts throughout the state and country, as well as before administrative bodies. We have litigated before almost every state and federal trial and appellate court in the northern and central portions of Illinois, as well as before the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts. We have been published on issues of municipal litigation including tort immunity.
We have tremendous experience in civil rights litigation and have defended municipalities, counties, elected officials and government employees in civil rights cases for more than 30 years. The cases frequently involve defending police officers accused of civil rights violations, but has included others, such as prosecutors and elected officials accused of wrongdoing in their public service. Most recently, our attorneys successfully defended several sheriff’s deputies accused of unlawful search and seizure and false arrest. We have also successfully defended dozens of claims filed by prisoners or detainees who claimed they were denied civil rights while in custody. Our attorneys are frequently successful in obtaining summary judgment in their clients’ favor in these cases.
This has been one of our primary areas of practice. In fact, we started as a civil rights defense firm litigating cases throughout Illinois, and our attorneys authored a chapter on civil rights litigation in a leading continuing legal education publication for several years. LUETKEHANS, BRADY, GARNER & ARMSTRONG’s attorneys have also authored a chapter on tort immunity issues involved in school cases. This experience allows us to identify potential issues early on and gives our clients a head start in defending any claims that may arise.
We have years of experience in eminent domain matters and we have continually represented both municipalities and property owners in these matters for the past 30 years. This experience includes negotiating in order to avoid litigation, guiding governmental agencies through the initial steps required to acquire property and litigating these cases through trial and appeal. We have also represented property owners in defending condemnation actions both in pre-suit negotiations and at trial. This considerable experience allows us to evaluate and advise our clients in eminent domain matters from both perspectives and to provide valuable and practical advice. Very few municipal firms can offer the experience in eminent domain matters that we can provide.
LUETKEHANS, BRADY, GARNER & ARMSTRONG represents governmental bodies related to zoning matters, including variances, text amendments, map amendments, special uses, and other zoning matters, both at the administrative level and in litigation. We also revise and draft new zoning ordinances at both the county and municipal levels. This experience gives our attorneys the ability to understand the issues from the perspectives of both the municipality and the applicant. We are well versed in the procedural requirements and standards applicable in these matters and have litigated dozens of cases in this field.
Our firm takes pride in regularly advising elected officials and government employees regarding ethics. We draft ethics ordinances for government clients and train elected officials and employees at both state and local levels on ethics issues and compliance.