Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins provides legal representation to numerous local libraries and library districts throughout Illinois. Our attorneys have drawn on their experience in all facets of library law to establish library systems and insurance cooperatives throughout the state. We are proud to be regarded as a leading source in the state for this constantly changing area of law.
Our practice encompasses all areas of library operations, including:
- Property issues and tax litigation
- Board practices and procedures
- Labor and employment law
- Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, Local Records Act and State Officials and Employees Ethics Act compliance
- Bidding, contract and procurement laws
- Election law
- Construction law
We regularly assist library clients in addressing legal complexities and requirements, including deadlines associated with budget, bonds, tax levy, debt financing and other specialized financial issues.
Property Issues and Tax Litigation
Our attorneys are experienced in all property issues and transactions that affect both local governments and libraries. We regularly advise on the purchase and sale of library properties, as well as the granting and obtaining of easements for various purposes.
We also counsel on the preparation of personal property purchases and sales which often involves reviewing specifications and contracts related to the product or equipment in addition to adherence to strict statutory bidding requirements.
Our attorneys are experienced in all phases of financing the acquisition of property and raw land and the construction of new buildings through debt financing or other sources such as debt certificates.
We routinely provide guidance on the complex requirements associated with property tax litigation. Depending on the goals of the municipality, we provide traditional or innovative solutions to ensure that communities maintain sustainable growth.
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 for library board clients as requested:
- Board manuals
- Evolving board practices and procedures
- Agendas for board meetings
- Library policies and bylaws
Labor and Employment Law
Our labor and employment law attorneys have assisted our clients with matters ranging from their basic compliance with legal requirements related to personnel policies and handbooks, and the hiring, retention, discipline and removal of employees, to issues or claims related to compliance with state and federal laws, including
- Employment discrimination
- Personnel records
- Prevailing wage requirements
- Family and medical leave requirements
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Compliance with FOIA and OMA
We have extensive experience assisting libraries and library districts with matters related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). Because certain sensitive matters should be duly protected, the solicitation of information under these acts should be properly supervised, and any discrepancies that arise must be accurately handled.
Bidding, Contract and Procurement Laws
Compliance with bidding, contract and procurement laws is a critical issue for libraries in the lawful award of public infrastructure project contractors, professional services and supply contracts. We routinely provide precise, clear advice regarding the competitive bidding and change order laws.
Our attorneys have experience in all areas of federal and state litigation involving municipalities, school districts, other units of local government including libraries, corporations and individuals from the simplest cases to the most complex. Our litigators also have experience in administrative proceedings and alternative dispute forums, including mediation and arbitration.
We apply our experience and unique skill set to the benefit of private sector clients, insurance companies, self-insured groups and pools.
Areas of litigation that may impact libraries include:
- Personal injury, wrongful death and torts
- Employment law matters
- Constitutional and civil rights
- Zoning, real estate, development and land use
- Construction law disputes
- Injunctions and other equitable remedies
- Environmental issues
- Insurance disputes
- Contract disputes
- Engineering and architectural matters
- Property tax objection issues
- Election, voting and campaign disputes
We also represent intergovernmental risk management programs as special litigation counsel for the:
- Illinois Risk Management Agency (IRMA)
- Suburban Library System
- Park District Risk Management Agency
- Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Pool
We have obtained several landmark rulings to the benefit of our clients, and we have also obtained countless final judgment rulings in our clients’ favor via dispositive motion practice and trial. In all of our litigation matters, including education law issues, we strive to achieve results in the most cost-efficient manner possible while maintaining a standard of excellence.