Park District Law

The attorneys of Hodges, Loizzi,  Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP provide comprehensive legal services to park districts while serving as general counsel, special counsel, or labor and personnel counsel.  With more than 25 years of experience representing park districts, we are experienced in all aspects of park district law.

Our expertise in park district law extends to all laws relating to the governance of park districts, finance, labor and personnel, real estate, contracts, commercial transactions, and litigation.

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Corporate & Finance

We provide corporate legal services to ensure the operations of our park district clients are in compliance with the law.  We work with our clients to see that their park districts are governed in accordance with the Park District Code; their meetings are run properly under the Open Meetings Act; their administrators respond properly to requests under the Freedom of Information Act; and their Board members are confident their conduct does not violate the conflict of interest statutes, the Government Ethics Act or the Election Code.

In the area of park district finance, we work with our clients to ensure that all financial activities are performed properly.  We ensure that their budget and appropriations ordinances are properly prepared and adopted and that their property tax levies comply with the Truth In Taxation Act and tax cap laws.

We review and negotiate contracts on behalf of our clients to ensure that their interests are protected and that any future misunderstandings or disputes are avoided.

Labor & Personnel

We provide our client park districts with a complete human resources package of legal services including day-to-day advice on personnel decision-making strategies and compliance with employment laws. We offer policy and handbook development, training, and litigation services on any employment matter including employee benefits, discipline and discharge, leave administration, wage and hour issues, hiring, evaluation and remediation, sexual harassment, Family Medical Leave Act, employment discrimination, drug testing, civil rights and free speech issues and Fair Labor Standards Act compliance. We have experience in the types of personnel issues experienced by park districts, and we tailor our legal advice to their unique needs. We appreciate that most park districts employ year-round and seasonal employees, including a significant number of individuals with no prior work experience. We also understand the challenges resulting from the wide variety of job classifications, expanded hours of operation, and multiple work locations found in park districts.

In the area of labor relations, we negotiate our park district clients’ collective bargaining agreements to successful conclusion and advise our clients regarding formation of bargaining units and the proper methods to respond to a union organizing campaign. We recognize that an effective labor relations program does not end with the signing of a collective bargaining agreement. Accordingly, we provide on-going advice on contract administration to avoid unnecessary grievances and, when necessary, represent our clients at grievance meetings and arbitrations or in hearings on unfair labor practice charges. Our services are designed to improve employee relations yet still preserve our park district clients’ ultimate authority to operate a dynamic agency.

Litigation

When it comes to representing our clients in court or before an administrative tribunal, we don’t like to lose and we seldom do.  Our experienced team of litigators is always prepared to outwork opposing counsel in an all out effort to win the case or achieve a settlement on favorable terms.

We have protected our clients’ interests before the United States Supreme Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and in all of the state and federal courts in Illinois.  We have litigated before the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Office of Civil Rights and other administrative agencies.

We have defended or prosecuted cases on behalf of our clients in a variety of legal matters affecting park districts, including commercial transactions, real estate, validity of bonds, elections, Open Meetings Act, employment discrimination, and employee termination.

Real Estate & Construction

We provide our clients with legal services from start to finish on any real estate transaction or construction project. We handle all matters involving the purchase or sale of real estate, including environmental reports, contract negotiations, condemnation, and due diligence issues. We work with our clients on all aspects of the bidding process, from developing the bid specifications to determining the lowest responsible bidder. In the pre-construction and construction phases we negotiate contracts between the client and its architect, construction manager and/or general contractor; advise our clients during the project concerning any issues that may arise, including change orders; and handle any litigation that may arise out of the construction project.