Continuing Legal Education

Litigation and the Real Estate Practitioner

May 18, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
6.50 MCLE hours, including 2.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)

Lindner Conference Center
(Located on Northern Seminary Campus)
610 E. Butterfield Road
(map and directions)


Are you ready to handle your next real estate litigation case? Join us for this full-day seminar that’s designed to help you through the litigation process by keeping you apprised of the issues to consider during your next case. Commercial and residential real estate lawyers who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • Which issues you must identify to protect your client if the dispute ends up in dispute resolution through litigation, arbitration/mediation, or in bankruptcy;
  • The primary actions and remedies affecting real estate, including rights of subrogation and subordination;
  • How to protect your client in the event the dispute ends up before a judge, arbitrator, or mediator, including ethics issues, preservation of evidence, protection of privileged information, and statute of limitations concerns;
  • When to refer the case to an attorney experienced in litigating the matter in dispute;
  • The types and elements of easements, and related title insurance coverage and conflicts of interest;
  • Best practices in drafting and utilizing easements; and
  • The cutting-edge cyber security issues that are affecting your practice.


Program Coordinators:
Robert J. Duffin
, Attorney at Law, Joliet
Myles L. Jacobs, Castle Law, Joliet
Ted M. Niemann, Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell LLP, Quincy
Samuel H. Levine, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone PLC, Chicago

Program Moderator:
Erica C. Minchella,
Minchella & Associates Ltd., Skokie


NOTE: Your registration includes access to electronic course materials that will be sent to you via email prior to the seminar. Printed course materials may be purchased for a nomial fee via the registration page.



8:30 – 8:45 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions
Erica C. Minchella, Minchella & Associates Ltd., Skokie

8:45 – 10:00 a.m.  Actions and Remedies Related to Real Estate
In this segment, the panel explains the causes of action and remedies that a real estate attorney is likely to encounter, and discusses a number of related issues, including: actions related to contracts whether written, oral, express and implied; the difference between a contract implied in fact and one implied in law; and the different categories of fraud. The panel also examines title actions (specific performance, partition, quiet title and ejectment) and remedies (imposition of a constructive trust or an equitable vendor’s lien), as well as the case of Stump v. Swanson which examined multiple causes of action in law and equity in connection with a dispute between a developer and a lender and a party’s entitlement to a vendor’s lien.
Scott M. Hoster, Castle Law, Joliet
Samuel H. Levine, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone PLC, Chicago
Phillip J. Vacco, Vacco Law Office, Plainfield

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.  Understanding Equitable and Conventional Subrogation and Subordination
Subrogation, equitable and conventional, and subordination are two concepts that affect the rights of parties in real estate matters and the priorities between them. This presentation explains the concepts, including how they differ from each other and how you can use them to your client’s advantage.
Ronald A. Damashek, Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC, Chicago

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.  Bankruptcy for the Real Estate Practitioner
This panel presentation addresses which issues you should consider in the event of a bankruptcy filing, including: Tenancy by the Entireties, lien stripping, special assessments, condo dues after bankruptcy, lien avoidance, fraudulent conveyances, sales of real property, single asset bankruptcy cases, removal of receivers, and landlord/tenant purchases of real estate issues.
Erica C. Minchella, Minchella & Associates Ltd., Skokie
Ariel Weissberg, Weissberg and Associates, Chicago

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.  Lunch (on your own)

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.  Ethics – Issues Transactions Attorneys Face*
Discover the issues you need to be aware of in order to protect your client in the event that the transaction dispute ends up before a judge, arbitrator, or mediator. Topics include: conflict of interest concerns; the possibility that you may become a witness; situations when you should refer the dispute to an experienced litigator; your duty to advise the client of the advantages and disadvantages of alternative dispute resolution; and the purpose of litigation hold letters and when they should be used.
Robert J. Duffin, Attorney at Law, Joliet
Michael L. English, Russell, English, Scoma & Beneke, P.C., Princeton
Myles L. Jacobs, Castle Law, Joliet

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.  Easements, Easements, Easements, – Express, Implied, Prescriptive, and by Necessity
Don’t miss this interactive panel presentation regarding easements and the elements that are necessary to create and/or establish them. The presentation draws upon the speakers’ transactional experiences as they discuss a myriad of issues, including: express, implied, and prescriptive easements; easements by necessity; the potential conflicts of interest that may not be immediately apparent in dealing with easement creations and drafting; title insurance issues and available insurance coverage; and the differences between easements and licenses (and the appropriate utilization of each).
Robert J. Duffin, Attorney at Law, Joliet
Myles L. Jacobs, Castle Law, Joliet
Ted M. Niemann, Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell LLP, Quincy
Phillip J. Vacco, Vacco Law Office, Plainfield

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)
Sponsored by the Illinois Bar Foundation

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Cyber Security: Protecting Your Clients and Yourself*
With our increasingly interconnected digital world, you need to stay abreast of modern technological developments in an effort to protect yourself, your client, and your practice. This session gives you a basic understanding of cyber security for real estate lawyers, including practical steps to take to avoid wire instruction fraud scams, business email compromise situations, loss of confidential client data, and other digital dangers. The panel also discusses the Illinois Supreme Court Rules, the steps you can take to reduce your digital footprint, data breach notification requirements, the Internet of Things; and easy ways you can help provide greater protection in your office.
Kenneth E. Davies, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, Peoria
Ralph J. Schumann, Law Offices of Ralph J. Schumann, Schaumburg
Scott Renfroe, Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, Chicago
James P. Sandusky, President, Legend Technology Services, Chicago

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.  What Real Estate Practitioners Should Know About Litigation
As a transactional attorney, you should consider that any dispute could end up in the courtroom or before an arbitrator. Don’t miss this in-depth look at the things you should know about litigation, including: the steps you must take to protect your client without prejudicing the client before it is referred to a litigation attorney; issues with preserving evidence; privileged client communications; statute of limitation concerns; knowing when to notify the title insurance company, liability insurance carrier, your malpractice carrier, or other third parties; preserving the claim; and advising whether your client should communicate with third parties once a lawsuit is imminent.
Samuel H. Levine, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone PLC, Chicago
Ted M. Niemann, Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell LLP, Quincy


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval