Gregory T. Smith



Greg Smith is an economic development focused local government lawyer. He provides counsel to Illinois municipalities, libraries and special districts in transactional and litigation matters. Greg is the Village Attorney for the Villages of River Forest, East Dundee and Berkeley. He also serves as special legal counsel to a number of local governments.

Greg provides counsel on the day-to-day operations of municipal, library and local governments, including sunshine laws, contracts, real estate conveyances, ordinance drafting, land use and planning and so on. Greg’s transactional focus is on economic development. He works as special economic development counsel to several municipalities on the use of tax increment financing, special service areas, zoning and other incentives to increase economic activity and tax revenues.

Greg has litigated a range of claims under the Federal statutes, the First and Second Amendments and involving defamation, civil rights, ordinance violations, breach of contract, property damage and injury and forcible entry and detainer.

Greg has spoken on more than 80 occasions on a variety of matters including tax increment financing, economic development, the Illinois Open Meetings Act, the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, ethics, the First Amendment and the Second Amendment. He has also taught school law courses to students seeking master’s degrees.

Greg received a Juris Doctor Degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2008. 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 a Bachelor of Science degree in 2005. Greg is admitted to practice in the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professional Affiliations

  • Greg is a member of the Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Attorneys Committee, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association.

Awards and Recognition

  • Greg has been named an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, a division of Law Bulletin Media. This distinction is conferred on less than 2% of attorneys in each state, from 2015 to date.


Illinois Municipal League

  • Manual on Municipal Business Regulation, Taxation and Licensing, 2020 Ed
  • The Sunshine Laws: Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts, 2015 and 2020 Eds.
  • “Ethics in Local Government,” January 2019.
  • Liquor Licensing and Regulation, 2017 Ed.
  • Financing Municipal Improvements, 2016 Ed.

Greg has authored several other articles and/or chapters in handbooks published by the Illinois Municipal League.


  • “Special Assessments, Special Service Areas, and Business Districts,” Municipal Law: Financing, Tax, and Municipal Property, 2017 Ed.
  • “Zoning Controls – Regulating Land Use,” Land Use Law – Practice and Procedure, 2017 Ed.
  • “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, 2016 Ed.
  • “Formal Dismissal and Suspension Procedures Under Illinois Tenure Law,” Illinois School Law: Personnel and Student Issues, 2015 Ed.

Greg has authored several other articles and/or chapters in handbooks published by IICLE.

Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins E-Notes

  • “Federal District Court Finds Governor Pritzker’s April 30th Stay-At-Home Order Does Not Violate Constitutional Or Statutory Provisions,” May 2020.
  • “Guidance on Conducting Public Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” May 2020.
  • “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.

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


Illinois Municipal League

  • “Anticipating & Getting Ahead of the Next Economic Slowdown,” September 2019.
  • “Consolidating and Dissolving Units of Government: Getting Ahead of the Curve,” September 2017.
  • “Economic Incentives Beyond TIF Districts: Creative Solutions to Promote Development,” September 2017.
  • “Intergovernmental Relationships: Lessons Learned and Best Practices,” September 2016.
  • “OMA & FOIA Update: Avoiding Compliance Pitfalls,” September 2015.
  • “Using Tax Increment Financing To Reinvent Blighted Properties,” September 2015.
  • “Ethics and Conflicts of Interest,” June 2015.

Greg has presented several times at various Illinois Municipal League events.

Illinois Library Association

  • “Library Board of Trustees Meetings: Proper Procedures and Compliance with the Open Meetings Act”, October 2017.
  • “Sunshine Laws: How to Comply the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act Mock Board Meeting,” February 2014.

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

  • “Land Use, Economic Development, and Zoning,” May 2017.
  • “Local Law Enforcement Civil Rights Liability in Today’s Environment,” September 2016.
  • “Land Use, Economic Development, and Zoning,” October 2015.
  • “Leadership for Elected Officials,” February 2015.

Representative Cases

  • Board of Education of School District 88A v. City of Crest Hill, Illinois Supreme Court, 2021 (voiding noncontiguous TIF District – 2021 IL 126444)
  • Homer Township, et al. v. Homer Township Road District, et al., Circuit Court of Will County, 2021 (confirming applicability of Illinois Local Government Property Transfer Act to road districts)
  • Baird, et al. v. Town of Normal, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 2020 (dismissal of Visual Artists Rights Act claims – 2020 WL 234622).
  • Law v. Village of River Forest, et al., Illinois Appellate Court First District, 2017 (affirming denial of line-of-duty disability pension – 2017 IL App (1st) 161826-U).
  • Teran, et al. v. Village of Wheeling, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2017 (complex settlement leveraging $4 million of federal disaster relief funds to relocate residents and acquire property).
  • 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 – 2014 WL 1661631).
  • Active Disposal, Inc., et al. v. City of Darien, et al., United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2011 (affirming dismissal of antitrust claims – 635 F.3d 883).
  • I.A. Rana Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. City of Aurora, et al., United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2009 (summary judgment on First Amendment retaliation claims – 630 F. Supp. 2d 912).