Tressler LLP

Tressler LLP is a national law firm headquartered in Chicago, with eight offices located in five states - California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Tressler is comprised primarily of attorneys who devote their practice to the representation of the insurance industry in coverage analysis and resolution, litigation, underwriting consultation, product development, defense, claims management and reinsurance.

Tressler attorneys also represent clients in commercial litigation, employment, corporate transactions and intellectual property law. Tressler has one of the most experienced and multi-faceted government law practices in Illinois.

Transgender legal issues can be tricky for local government bodies. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled for a Muslim inmate who claimed that his religious rights were violated by strip searches conducted by a transgender prison guard. West v. Radtke, 20-1570 (Sept 16, 2022).

Rufus West, an inmate at the Green Bay Correctional Institution asserted that strip searches by prison guards who were female at birth conflict with his religious faith, which bars him from exposing his body to a woman other than his wife. West sued after a prison guard, who is a transgender man, participated in a
Continue Reading Strip Search By Transgender Guard Violated Inmate’s Religious Rights

In June, Governor Pritzker signed The Decennial Committees on Local Government Efficiency Act into law (Public Act 102-1088). This new law applies to any unit of local government that levies taxes, with the specific exception of municipalities and counties. This broad sweeping law requires units of government to form a specialized committee by June 2023 for the purpose of studying the efficiencies of local government. These committees must meet at least three times, comply with the Open Meetings Act and requires an opportunity for public feedback at the conclusion of each meeting. The scope and breadth of their
Continue Reading New Law to Promote Local Government Efficiency

Consistent with prior rulings, Illinois courts have shown a fondness to expand a condominium board’s duties in ensuring “due process” in violation hearings. In Board of Directors of Winnitt Park Condominium Association v. Bourdage, the court refused to uphold a fine imposed at a violation hearing that was held at a time when the board knew the accused unit owner was unavailable. The condominium board issued a notice of violation to a unit owner and, after the owner requested a hearing, the board provided two alternative hearing dates. In response, the unit owner asserted that her business was open until
Continue Reading Due Process is Critical to the Violation Process

A recent ruling of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the City of Indianapolis’ motion to vacate a $1.24 million jury verdict against the City following a bar fight involving two off-duty police officers.

In Bohanon v. City of Indianapolis, No. 20-3125 (7th Cir. 2002), two off-duty police officers were drinking in a pub when they noticed another patron, Bradford Bohanon, get into an argument with the bartender. When the two officers intervened, a fight ensued and Bohanon was brutally beaten by the two officers in the parking lot. Bohanon sued the City of Indianapolis under 42 U.S.C.
Continue Reading Court Rules City Not Liable for Off-Duty Officers’ Actions Following Bar Fight

Tressler is proud to welcome Charles “Chuck” LeMoine to our General Defense and Litigation Practice Group. Chuck is known for litigating a wide range of civil matters and is a fierce advocate in the courtroom and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) venues. Chuck’s commercial litigation practice focuses on professional liability, insurance coverage, product liability, construction and contractor disputes, class and collective actions and business torts. He also has a depth of experience defending school districts, counties and municipalities. Chuck has appeared in state and federal courts on behalf of clients in claims arising from student fights, school bus accidents, sexual abuse, discrimination,
Continue Reading Charles LeMoine Joins Tressler’s General Defense and Litigation Practice Group

The Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court recently heard a FOIA case pertaining to attorney fees, Martinez v. City of Springfield, 2022 IL App (4th) 210290.

Plaintiff, Freddy Martinez, filed a complaint against the City of Springfield and the Springfield Police Department (collectively, “Springfield”) asserting a violation of the Freedom of Information Act (the “FOIA”) 5 ILCS 140/1 et seq. Plaintiff sought a declaration that Springfield violated FOIA and requested an order mandating production of the requested records, attorney fees and civil penalties. Springfield subsequently produced the requested records to Plaintiff and moved for summary judgment on the complaint. The
Continue Reading Missing the FOIA Statutory Response Deadline Could Cost You 

In the 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld an assistant football coach’s right to pray after football games. Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist. 597 U.S. (2022). The case was filed by Joseph Kennedy, an assistant football coach at a Washington State high school. Kennedy’s contract was not renewed after he continued to pray after games at the 50-yard line despite being told not to by the school district in 2015. Kennedy argued that his free speech rights were violated and filed a lawsuit.

Lower courts mostly ruled in favor of the school district, which argued that Kennedy’s actions disregarded
Continue Reading School Districts Determine How to Move Forward in Light of the Supreme Court’s Recent Decision

The Illinois legislature has amended the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Act”) and while not mandatory, it allows Boards of Directors to implement policies on how Boards can be composed.  Pursuant to Section 18(a)(1) of the Act, the change now allows condominium boards to require that the majority of the condominium board be made up of unit owners who occupy their units as their primary residence. No Declaration may require that more than a majority of the Board members live on site.

While this may not be an option chosen by every Association or community, Associations should be cognizant of
Continue Reading Update On Residency Requirements To Serve On A Condo Board In Illinois

Recently, in Staake v. Department of Corrections, 2022 IL App (4th) 210071, the Appellate Court heard a case pertaining to alleged FOIA violations. In 2018, an inmate, Jared Staake, filed two separate FOIA requests with the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) for documents including a complaint on file in a class action against DOC personnel and educational documents. The DOC denied both requests citing Section 7(1)(a) of FOIA which exempts information prohibited from disclosure by federal or State law or rules and regulations implementing federal or State laws. 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(a).

Staake filed a complaint against DOC for declaratory
Continue Reading Civil Penalties For FOIA Violations Survive Even After Documents Are Disclosed

On May 27, 2022, Illinois passed a new law, HB5193, which allows public schools supported wholly or partially by the State to provide instruction in safety education in all grades. Sponsors of this bill say it is the State’s effort to reduce all gun violence and prevent future shootings. The bill was passed with strong bipartisan support.

Safety education includes instruction in the following:

  • Automobile safety, including traffic regulations, highway safety, and the consequences of alcohol consumption and the operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Safety in the home, including safe gun storage;
  • Safety in connection with recreational activities;
  • Safety in

  • Continue Reading New Illinois Law Allows Public Schools to Teach Students About Gun Storage Safety

    By: Matthew O’Malley

    There are many pros to living in condominium associations, as they are often one of the more affordable options in urban environments and especially in many areas in the City of Chicago. Condos can provide a great sense of community and allow individuals to focus on just maintaining their unit without having to worry about some other maintenance issues such as roofs, masonry, snow removal, or landscaping.

    With that said, purchasing a condo is a considerable investment and I am not just talking about an initial down payment or mortgage. Life within condo associations also has significant
    Continue Reading Purchasing a Condominium Unit: Buyer Beware

    By: John M. O’Driscoll

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) published guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It explains how state and local governments (entities covered by ADA Title II) and businesses open to the public (entities covered by ADA Title III) can make sure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities in line with the ADA’s requirements. https://beta.ada.gov/web-guidance/

    The DOJ guidance discusses a wide variety of areas, such as the importance of web accessibility, barriers that some websites create, when the ADA requires web content to be accessible and other resources. The guidance also
    Continue Reading New Web Accessibility Guidance Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

    By: Rosa Tumialán

    The debate concerning the applicability of general liability policies to claims arising out of violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) has not gone all that well for insurers. The Illinois Supreme Court in West Bend Mut. Ins. Co. v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., 2021 IL 125978, held that a BIPA violation satisfies the publication criterion of the advertising injury coverage grant. The Krishna court then proceeded to hold that the Recording and Distribution exclusion did not apply in part because the version of the exclusion at issue, in that case, did not prohibit the “collection” of data—the specific
    Continue Reading The Debate About GL Converge for BIPA Claims is Not Over — It is Just Starting

    By: Sarah Elizabeth Melendez

    Have you had a request for governing documents? Have you sold a condominium in the last few years? Are you currently living in one and plan to sell it in the foreseeable future? If you sold one, purchased one, or plan on selling one, and the unit is located in Illinois, you will have to deal with the Illinois Condominium Property Act, 765 ILCS 605 (“Act”), and specifically Section 22.1 of the Act. Under Section 22.1, sellers of a condominium unit are required to make available to prospective purchasers nine categories of documents and information specifically
    Continue Reading Governing Document Production and You: New Caselaw Regarding Excessive Charges to Sellers

    By: Courtney Willits

    The Illinois Appellate Court recently heard a case, Calloway v. Chicago Police Department, 2022 IL App (1st) 210090, involving the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and whether the privacy provisions extend to deceased minors. In this case, Plaintiff brought suit against the Chicago Police Department seeking disclosure of records related to an officer-involved fatal shooting of a minor. The circuit court held that the confidentiality provisions that apply to law enforcement records of minors contained in the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (the “JCA”) did not apply to deceased minors. The Chicago Police Department appealed.

    Section
    Continue Reading Appellate Court Ensures Privacy Protection Under The Juvenile Court Act From A FOIA Request Regarding A Deceased Minor

    By Joseph Silverstein

    Evicting a tenant in Illinois requires a detailed legal process. Therefore, it is important for landlords to be patient and wait for the court to enter a formal eviction order providing possession of the unit versus taking voluntary possession.  Indeed, there are consequences that landlords can face if they take matters into their own hands and attempt to remove their tenant before the formal eviction proceedings have concluded. Further, landlords with units located in the City of Chicago must be aware that Chicago has its own unique laws with regard to eviction.

    Section 5-12-060 of the Chicago Municipal
    Continue Reading Legal Update: Chicago Tenants Now Have Five Years to File a Lawsuit Against Landlords Who Unlawfully Enter into Their Unit to Take Possession