Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.

Gregory T. Smith

Gregory T. Smith

Partner

Gregory T. Smith counsels Illinois municipalities, libraries, school districts, special districts and corporate clients. He represents clients in transactional and litigation matters. Mr. Smith’s transactional focus is on economic development. He counsels municipalities on the use of tax increment financing, special service areas, zoning and other incentives to increase economic activity and tax revenues. He serves as special economic development counsel to several municipalities in this regard. Mr. Smith also provides counsel on the day-to-day operations of municipal, library and school government, including sunshine laws, contracts, real estate conveyances, ordinance drafting, land use and planning and so on.

Mr. Smith serves as the Village Attorney for the Village of River Forest, the Village of East Dundee and the Village of Berkeley. He serves as general counsel to a number of public library districts, local libraries and special districts. He also serves as special legal counsel, as an ethics officer and as a local prosecutor.

Mr. Smith has litigated a range of claims on behalf of his clients including under the Fair Housing Act, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and involving defamation, civil rights, ordinance violations, breach of contract, property damage and injury, and forcible entry and detainer.

Mr. Smith received a Juris Doctor Degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. While at Chicago-Kent, he was on the Dean's List and an associate editor of the Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property. Prior to law school, he graduated from DePaul University with honor with a Bachelor of Science degree. Mr. Smith is admitted to practice before the State of Illinois bar, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois general bar, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals bar.

Representative Litigation
  • Teran, et al. v. Village of Wheeling, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2017 (settlement leveraging $4 million of federal disaster relief funds to relocate residents and acquire property)

  • Nora Connolly v. Village of Orland Park, Circuit Court of Cook County, 2016 (bench trial judgment for defense in unjust enrichment case)

  • Klein v. Village of Mettawa, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2014 (dismissal of class action complaint regarding municipal property tax abatement)

  • Kwilas, et al. v. Village of Oak Park, et al., Circuit Court of Cook County, 2013 (dismissal with prejudice on motion to dismiss negligence claims)

  • C.L. and M.L. v. Village of Riverside, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2013 (dismissal with prejudice on motion to dismiss privacy claims)

  • Kelly v. Barnes, et al., Circuit Court of Cook County, 2012 (dismissal of municipal official with prejudice on motion to dismiss defamation claims)

  • Bradley v. Village of Orland Park, et al., Circuit Court of Cook County, 2012 (dismissal with prejudice on motion to dismiss negligence and failure to protect claims)

  • Active Disposal, Inc., et al. v. City of Darien, et al., 635 F.3d 883 (7th Cir. 2011) (affirming dismissal of antitrust claims)

  • Gencon Insurance Co. v. Village of Maywood, Circuit Court of Cook County, 2011 (dismissal on motion for a directed verdict of negligence claim during trial)

  • Allstate Insurance Company v. Village of Orland Park, Circuit Court of Cook County, 2010 (dismissal on motion for a directed verdict of negligence claim during trial)

  • I.A. Rana Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. City of Aurora, et al., 630 F. Supp. 2d 912 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (summary judgment granted on First Amendment retaliation claims)

Publications

Illinois Municipal League
  • “Ethics in Local Government,” January, 2019.

  • “Judicial Interpretation of Liquor Licensing Authority” and “Restrictions on Sales to Persons Under 21 Years of Age,” Liquor Licensing and Regulation, February, 2017.

  • “Financing Municipal Improvements,” March, 2016.

  • “The Sunshine Laws: Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts,” August, 2015.


Mr. Smith has authored several other articles and/or handbooks published by the Illinois Municipal League.

IICLE

  • “Special Assessments, Special Service Areas, and Business Districts,” Municipal Law (Illinois), September, 2017.

  • “Zoning Controls - Regulating Land Use,” Land Use Law - Practice And Procedure, February, 2017.

  • “School Board Practices, Procedures, and Elections,” Illinois School Law: Organization, Finance, and Property, December, 2016.

  • “Governmental Financing of Development,” Illinois Municipal Law: Financing, Tax, and Municipal Property, November, 2016.

  • “Formal Dismissal and Suspension Procedures Under Illinois Tenure Law,” Illinois School Law: Personnel and Student Issues, January, 2015.

Mr. Smith has authored several other articles and/or handbooks published by IICLE.

  • Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins E-Notes

  • “Requirements Relaxed for Local Government Procurement of Architectural, Engineering, and Land Surveying Services,” March, 2019.

  • “Municipalities May Deviate From Their Zoning Procedures At Times,” January, 2017.

  • “Library Districts Now Allowed To Sell Alcohol At Library Events,” August, 2016.

  • “U.S. Departments Of Justice And Education Issue Guidance On Transgender Students,” May, 2016.

  • “Assault Weapons Ban Upheld After United States Supreme Court Declines To Consider Lower Court’s Decision,” December, 2015.

Mr. Smith has authored several other articles published by Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins.

Illinois Association of School Boards Journal
  • “Getting On, and Staying On, the Ballot,” September and October, 2016.

  • “School Board Records: Requirements of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act,” July, 2015.

  • “School Board Meetings: Requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act,” July, 2015.

  • “Electronic Communications and Cyberbulling: New Frontiers in Regulating Student Conduct,” August, 2011.

Presentations

Illinois Municipal League
  • “Consolidating and Dissolving Units of Government: Getting Ahead of the Curve,” September 22, 2017.

  • “Economic Incentives Beyond TIF Districts: Creative Solutions to Promote Development,” September 22, 2017.

  • “Intergovernmental Relationships: Lessons Learned and Best Practices,” September 24, 2016.

  • “OMA & FOIA Update: Avoiding Compliance Pitfalls,” September 19, 2015.

  • “Using Tax Increment Financing To Reinvent Blighted Properties,” September 18, 2015.

  • "Ethics and Conflicts of Interest,” June 25, 2015.


Mr. Smith has presented several times at various Illinois Municipal League events.            

Illinois Library Association
  • Illinois Library Association Annual Conference, “Library Board of Trustees Meetings: Proper Procedures and Compliance with the Open Meetings Act”, October 12, 2017.

Northern Illinois University’s Center for Government Studies Civic Leadership Academy

  • “Land Use, Economic Development, and Zoning,” May 11, 2017.

  • “Local Law Enforcement Civil Rights Liability in Today’s Environment,” September 12, 2016.

  • “Land Use, Economic Development, and Zoning,” October 13, 2015.

  • “Leadership for Elected Officials,” February 5, 2015.

  • “Understanding Zoning: What You Need To Know,” May 6, 2014.

  • “Survival Tips for New Government Leaders – Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, Ethics, and Robert’s Rules of Order,” June 4, 2013.

Mr. Smith has spoken on more than seventy occasions on a variety of matters including tax increment financing, economic development, the Illinois Open Meetings Act, the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the First Amendment, electric aggregation, the Second Amendment, the Library Records Confidentiality Act, and the federal commuter tax benefit. He has also taught school law courses to students seeking master’s degrees.