Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.
Library Law
Library Law

Illinois Library Law Firm Uniquely Qualified to Serve You

Our attorneys provide necessary legal services to libraries

Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd. provides legal services to more than 50 libraries and library districts. We also serve other library-related entities, such as Cooperative Computer Services. We have represented libraries and library districts throughout the Chicago area and all of Illinois for decades. We are a full-service local government firm, and we do not seek outside counsel to handle specialized areas or litigation. Our attorneys are capable and experienced in all facets of this practice area.

Legal counsel in all areas related to library operations

We have years of experience providing a variety of legal services to libraries. The following examples are a sampling of the areas for which our firm can provide guidance:

  • Board practices and procedures. Our lawyers have extensive experience with the regular practices and procedures of library boards, including the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. We also counsel our library clients on issues related to the confidentiality of library and computer information and First Amendment issues related to computers.
  • Personnel. Our attorneys assist you with labor and employment matters, including basic compliance with state and federal requirements related to personnel policies and handbooks, hiring, retaining, disciplining and removing employees, and compliance issues and claims involving employment discrimination, overtime, family and medical leave requirements, HIPAA, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Construction law. We have experience in public sector construction law and litigation, including the bidding process, contracts, mechanics liens, letters of credit, surety bonds, and financing. Our attorneys can guide you in construction contract and implementation processes and in dealing with contractor/surety problems associated with unsatisfactory construction and construction failure.
  • Finance. We regularly advise our clients regarding the legal complexities and requirements associated with finance matters, such as budget, bond, tax levy, debt financing and other financial issues.
  • Election law. Our election law attorneys provide assistance and advice to our library clients relative to their obligations to comply with the Illinois Election Code and related statutory requirements.

Partners and Associates with Expertise in Library Law

For questions regarding Library Law, please contact Dennis G. Walsh, John Allen Wall, Scott F. Uhler, Kathleen Terese, Gregory T. Smith, Thomas M. Melody, Jacob Karaca, Michael T. Jurusik, Jason A. Guisinger, E. Kenneth Friker, Carmen P. Forte Jr., James V. Ferolo, or Gerard E. Dempsey


Schedule an appointment with experienced library law attorney today

To better serve you, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd. has convenient locations in downtown Chicago and Orland Park. Contact our Chicago office at 312.984.6400 or the Orland Park office at 312.984.6400. You can also reach us online to schedule a consultation.

Click each to expand for more details:

Board Practices

Providing Guidance in Board Practices and Procedures in Chicago, Illinois

Our attorneys help clients comply with the law

Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd. has provided legal services to municipalities and educational institutions since 1935. We have extensive experience assisting a wide variety of boards with their practices and procedures. We can ensure your compliance with the law and establish effective and efficient tools to make your board more productive.

Creating proper board practices and procedures

While each type of board is unique, its effectiveness is usually directly related to the use of certain prescribed board practices and procedures. In an effort to promote efficiency and compliance with the law, we provide the following services:

  • Board manuals
  • Selection criteria for board members
  • Evolving board practices and procedures
  • Agendas for board meetings
  • Written policies regarding attendance
  • Board self-evaluations

Adhering to the Open Meetings Act

Municipal law and the Open Meetings Act require the majority of government meetings to be open to the public. There are exceptions to this general rule, but these exemptions are strictly construed. Meetings that are allowed to be closed to the public include:

  • The employment, compensation, discipline or dismissal of specific employees of the municipal body or educational institution
  • The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body
  • Student disciplinary cases
  • Other matters related to individual students, such as placement in special education programs

There are numerous other exemptions that may apply to your meetings. It is important to confer with attorneys to determine how the OMA applies to you and your meetings.

Defining the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides citizens the right to know the actions of the governing bodies within their district. A FOIA request allows a person or entity to obtain certain documents and other pieces of information regarding the actions of the government. Complying with FOIA requests can be overwhelming. A municipality or school has the duty to provide permissible information, but also must claim exemptions for protected information. We can assist with all matters related to FOIA and ensure that you are complying with your legal obligations in responding to FOIA requests.

Schedule an initial consultation to discuss board practices and procedures

Our attorneys continue to execute our firm’s tradition of experience, expertise and efficiency. Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd. has an office location in downtown Chicago near Lyric Opera and another location in Orland Park to serve our clients in the suburbs. Contact our downtown Chicago office at 312.984.6400 or the Orland Park office at 312.984.6400 or online to schedule a consultation.

Labor & Employment Law

Chicago, IL Employment Law Attorneys Serving the Public Sector

Providing quality employment legal advice and litigation services

Employment law violations and lawsuits can lead to costly liability for cities, town and local agencies. Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd. handles every aspect of employment law for our public sector clients throughout the Chicago area. From providing comprehensive legal advice regarding compliance with state and federal employment laws to defending individual and class action lawsuits, we deliver outstanding results.

Delivering knowledgeable employment law advice

The area of employment law is continually changing. Our lawyers actively monitor judicial decisions and changes in federal, state and municipal laws so that our clients’ employment practices and policies can be modified as needed. We counsel our clients regarding how to minimize risk when dealing with sensitive employment issues such as:

  • Contract negotiation
  • Employee discipline
  • Reduction in force
  • Anti-harassment policies and training

As part of our work, we also review and update personnel policy manuals for our clients to ensure compliance with federal and state laws. By establishing and enforcing sound policies and procedures, many employers can avoid lawsuits down the road.

Providing seasoned employment law litigation services

The number of employment-related lawsuits filed by both employers and employees has grown dramatically in recent years. In addition to private suits, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set a record for monetary recovery from employers through its administrative process in 2012. The most frequently filed charges were retaliation (37,836), race discrimination (33,512) and gender discrimination (30,356).

Our Chicago employment attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients from these costly and disruptive suits. We routinely defend both private and public sector clients against individual and class actions. These may be brought in federal and state courts and involve many different aspects of employment law. Matters we handle include:

  • Race, gender, religion or national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Accommodation of disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Faculty and tenure disputes, disciplinary actions and other issues involving education law 
  • Unpaid wages or overtime under the Fair Labor Standard Act
  • Employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Violations of employment contracts, such as covenants not to compete and nondisclosure agreements
  • Termination disputes involving wrongful discharge or dismissal of employees covered by policy manuals

We also handle labor issues, including collective bargaining negotiations, grievance arbitrations and mediation, and unfair labor practice matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act and state labor relations statutes.

Contact a proven Chicago law firm for your employment law needs

Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd. has served the Chicago area since 1935. Our experienced team of attorneys provides legal representation in all areas of employment law. Contact our firm’s office in downtown Chicago at 312.984.6400 or in Orland Park at 312.984.6400 or online to arrange an initial consultation.