Elizabeth concentrates her practice in the field of commercial litigation, and currently focuses on matters relating to commercial construction and real estate. Elizabeth frequently represents contractors and suppliers in pursuit and recovery of mechanics liens and bond claims on private and publicly funded projects, and has successfully recovered commissions due on contracts for commercial brokerage and property management services. For owners, she negotiates contract terms, advises on risk allocation and insurance, and also defends claims. Elizabeth is a member of Taft’s Chicago Commercial Litigation practice which was ranked Tier 1 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers 2023 “Best Law Firms.”
Elizabeth's experience also includes corporate representation on matters of business governance, shareholder disputes, enforcement of restrictive employment covenants, and creditor's rights. She was retained as interim general counsel to a Midwest construction management company, has served on several boards of directors for not-for-profit entities, and currently assists with the representation of one of the largest publicly funded community service organizations in the nation.
A seasoned advocate, Elizabeth has been the principal trial attorney in numerous cases including one of the longest running bench trials in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. She is well versed in matters requiring declaratory or injunctive relief and has prosecuted or defended appeals in both state and federal courts.
Elizabeth regularly hears oral arguments for first year legal writing students attending the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and serves as an evaluator for local mock trial competitions.
All Service Areas
- Northern Illinois University College of Law (1992)
- Augustana College, B.A. (1977)
- Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
- Federal - Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- Federal - Northern District of Illinois
- State - Illinois
Lead litigation counsel for a nationally recognized insurance company in pursuit of claims against a former agent for fraud, breach of contract and statutory violations arising from a scheme to procure unearned commissions. As lead counsel, Elizabeth planned, managed and directed litigation proceedings in the United States District Courts of Illinois and Florida, including the activities of local counsel. The case resulted in entry of judgment for the company in the high six figures, with leave to levy the defendant’s assets.
Lead trial counsel for a nationally known contractor in dispute over hundreds of unpaid change orders on a Chicago building renovation project, resulting in judgment for the contractor and full recovery of the amount claimed, with interest.
Represented one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firms on a seven figure claim for unpaid commissions and fees, procuring full recovery against one of the largest and best-known properties in Chicago.
Represents a large Midwestern supplier of building materials in various matters, including numerous mechanics lien claims resulting in collection of $500,000 over a two year period.
Negotiated terms and conditions of a professional services agreement between a consulting engineering firm and a leading provider of energy services. Numerous engagements to negotiate terms and conditions of AIA form and non-form commercial construction contracts, with special attention to risk allocation and insurance requirements.
Negotiated terms and conditions of agreement between owners and contractors for construction of several top tier private residences.
Served as interim assistant general counsel to construction management and design-build services firm operating in domestic and international industrial/commercial sectors, advising on matters relating to private and publicly funded projects.
Speeches and Publications
- "Change has come to job sites, and more change is yet to come," REJournals, (June 3, 2020)
- Panelist, REJournals Webinar “What Does the Future Hold for Construction & Development?” (May 28, 2020)
- "I Paid my Contractor. He’ll Take Care of the Rest – Right?” (May 17, 2019)
- "Subcontractors: Do You Know What You Signed Up For?" (Sept. 10, 2018)
- "Who's Watching You? Who Isn't! What data forensics reveal about you, your wherabouts and your activities, all day every day," Robert E. Jones Inn of Court (April 2018)
- “Lien Into It: Successful Perfection and Enforcement of Mechanics Liens in Illinois,” Illinois Brick Company Industry Showcase, Oak Brook, Ill. (2016)
- “The Ethical Conundrum: When Does Zealous Representation End and Unprofessional Conduct Begin? Vandenberg v. RQM, LLC” (2016)
- “Head 'Em Off at the Pass: Winning on Motion,” DuPage County Bar Association CLE seminar (2015)
- "Is Time Up? Practical and Ethical Considerations in Professional Fee Structuring" (2014)
- “Mr. Roberts’ Neighborhood: The impact of HUD’s affordable housing program on local zoning rules” (2013)
- "From My Cold, Dead Hands: A Study of the Second Amendment. Handgun Violence and Firearms Legislation in Illinois" (2012)
- "Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act: Is the Individual Mandate for Health Care Insurance Constitutional? Arguments Pro and Con" (2011)
- "Liberty and Justice for ....?: An Examination of Political Power, Due Process and Civil Rights in the Context of National Security" (2007)
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Illinois Bar Foundation
- DuPage County Bar Association Trial Advocacy Program
Former Instructor (2017)
- First Congregational Church Illinois
Former General Counsel (2012 - 2015)
- Robert E. Jones American Inn of Court
Member (1995 - present)
- DuPage County Court Annexed Arbitration Program
Chair Panelist (1995 - present)
- DuPage County Bar Association
Member (1992 - present)
Former Director (1997 - 2005)
- Illinois Supreme Court Mentoring Program
Former Mentor (2012, 2014)