ILLINOIS MECHANICS LIENS / COVID-19

Jeremy S. Baker

Protecting You from Project Conception to Final Completion

Jeremy has practiced law in Chicago and nationally since 2002.  From 2006-2019, he served design and construction clients at Schiff Hardin LLP as a member of its Construction Law Group.  A resident of the firm’s 175-plus attorney Chicago Office, he was elected partner in 2012. Previously, he was an attorney at Cozen O’Connor PC.  

Jeremy negotiates contracts and structures projects across a wide variety of project types and delivery methods. An experienced litigator, he has prosecuted and defended lawsuits in well over 30 state and federal court venues, and many arbitration proceedings. However, he prefers to resolve disputes without expensive litigation or arbitration. Jeremy protects clients by proactively anticipating and preventing problems. When disputes arise, he leverages his deep knowledge of design and construction, and a diverse range of legal skills, to help dispatch their problems quickly and cost-effectively.

During 2001-2002, Jeremy served in the chambers of Hon. Morey L. Sear, Chief Judge Emeritus of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), a member of the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation.  Jeremy has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School where he taught a Construction Law course to J.D. and LL.M students through its Center for Real Estate Law.  

Since 2015, Jeremy has served as a liaison to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents Committee, which prepares the AIA’s widely-used contract forms.  He also speaks and writes for prominent industry groups like the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law, the AIA and AIA Chicago.


EXPERIENCE

  • Schiff Hardin LLP, Partner, Construction Law Group (2006-2019)

Focusing on transactions and dispute resolution, Jeremy served over 13 years with some of the highest caliber national design and construction attorneys.  U.S. News rated Schiff Hardin the #1 Construction Litigation firm in the U.S. in 2011.  Chambers USA’s annual rankings consistently recognize Schiff Hardin for having a premier Construction Law practice. In 2019, it earned a prestigious spot among Law360’s Construction Groups of the Year. Founded in 1864, Schiff Hardin has 300-plus attorneys in seven offices.

  • Cozen O’Connor PC, Associate, Subrogation Group (2002-2006)

An aggressive litigator, Jeremy prosecuted dozens of design and construction defect and products liability claims – on a 100% contingency fee basis – as lead counsel in state and federal court, and in arbitrations and mediations, in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota and Iowa. To assess potential claims, he investigated hundreds of property loss casualties involving boiler, machinery, equipment and materials failures, fires, explosions, collapses, gas and water leaks, natural disasters, and shipping losses. Cozen O’Connor has over 750 attorneys.

AWARDS

  • Super Lawyer, Construction Law (2020), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers
  • Leading Lawyer, Construction Law (2020), Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Super Lawyer, Construction Law (2019), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers
  • Leading Lawyer, Construction Law (2019), Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Leading Lawyer, Construction Law (2018), Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Leading Lawyer, Construction Law (2017), Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Emerging Lawyer, Construction Law (2016), Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Rising Star, Construction Law (2016), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers
  • Emerging Lawyer, Construction Law (2015), Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Rising Star, Construction Law (2015), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers
  • Rising Star, Construction Law (2014), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers
  • Rising Star, Construction Law (2013), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers
  • Rising Star, Construction Law (2012), Thompson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers

ARTICLES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Construction Continuity During COVID-19, Private Equity Real Estate Investment Firm, Private Webinar (May 7, 2020)
  • Mechanics Liens and Other Payment Avenues During COVID-19, AIA Contract Documents Video Podcast (April 28, 2020)
  • Using Mechanics Liens to Get Paid: A Primer for Architects In the COVID-19 Era, AIA Chicago Webinar (April 7, 2020)
  • Anatomy of Indemnity and Copyright Clauses: What Architects Should Know, AIA Chicago, Chicago, IL (March 18, 2020 – COVID-19 Postponed)
  • Seeing the Big Picture: Construction Management Under the 2019 AIA CMa / CMc Documents, American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA (April 24, 2020 – COVID-19 Postponed)
  • Teaming and Joint Venturing, Construction Industry Conference, Chicago, Illinois (Oct 23, 2019)
  • Understanding AIA Document A201-2017 General Conditions of the Construction Contract, Berkley Design Professional Webinar (June 13, 2019)
  • Arbitrator-Directed Arbitration:  A Proposal to Improve Arbitration, Construction Law Newsletter, Volume 35, Number 5 (May 2019)
  • Protecting the Design Professional with Insurance and Contract Provisions, American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Chicago, IL (Feb 7, 2019)
  • Design Professional Liability Exposure, Construction Litigation Dispute Resolution, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Seminar, UBS Tower, Chicago, IL (Dec. 12, 2018)
  • AIA’s Digital Practice Documents: Managing the Risks of BIM and Digital Data, AIA Chicago, Chicago, IL (Nov. 8, 2018)
  • Design Professional Liability Law, Managing Engineering Liability and Risk, Halfmoon Education, Lombard, IL (May 30, 2018; Oct. 25, 2018)
  • The Prominent Role of the AIA’s BIM/Digital Practice Documents in the AIA 2017 Contract Document, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Webinar (Jul. 10, 2018)
  • Using AIA’s Digital Practice Documents to Manage the Risks of BIM and Digital Data, American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law – “Hot Topics” Webinar (May 16, 2018)
  • Managing Legal Risks, Construction Specification Institute (CSI) Academy: Risk Management, Sofitel Hotel, Chicago, IL (Apr. 27, 2018)
  • The New Role of the AIA’s BIM and Digital Practice Documents, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Annual Convention and Legislative Summit, Washington, D.C. (Apr. 17, 2018)
  • Engineer-Led Design Build: Simple, Safe, & Profitable, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Webinar (Mar. 21, 2018)
  • Chapter 1 – Responsibilities and Liabilities of Architects and Engineers for Construction Failures, Construction Dispute Litigation 2018 Edition, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (Mar. 2018)
  • Chapter 19 – Nonbinding Alternatives to Court Litigation for Resolving Construction Disputes, Construction Dispute Litigation 2018 Edition, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (Mar. 2018)
  • Chapter 20 – Arbitration, Construction Dispute Litigation 2018 Edition, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (Mar. 2018)
  • How Guided Choice Mediation Achieves Earlier Construction Settlements, Construction Law Letter, Vol. 34, no. 3 (Feb. 2018)
  • Chapter 8 – A201-2017 Article 8, Time, The 2017 A201 Deskbook, American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law (2017)
  • Chapter 13 – Alternative Dispute Resolution Terms in Construction Contracts, Construction Law: Transactional Considerations 2017 Edition, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (2017)
  • Using AIA’s Digital Practice Documents to Manage the Risks of BIM and Digital Data, American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law, “Hot Topics” Webinar (Dec. 6, 2017)
  • Engineer-Led Design Build: Simple, Safe & Profitable, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Fall Conference, Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2017)
  • Design Build: Contractual Relationships, Risks and Rewards, BuildingsNY 2016, Javits Center, New York, NY (May 25, 2016)
  • Designer-Led Design Build: Return of the Master Builder, Lorman Education Services Webinar (Mar. 14, 2016)
  • Designer-Led Design-Build: A Practical Business Plan, Lorman Education Services Webinar (Feb. 26, 2016)
  • Return of the Master Builder, Association of Licensed Architects, Midwest Architecture Conference, Oakbrook Terrace, IL (Oct. 6, 2015)
  • Legal Issues for Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors, Halfmoon Education Services, IIT Rice Campus, Wheaton, IL (Aug. 28, 2015)
  • Chapter 18 – United States Construction Contracts, International Business Transactions, Kluwer Law and Taxation Publishers (2014)
  • Green Risks and Rewards: Managing Legal Issues on Sustainable Projects, Building CHICAGO / Greening the Heartland Expo and Conference, Chicago, IL (Sept. 20, 2014)
  • Understanding the General Conditions of a Construction Contract, AIA Document A201-2007, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Webinar (May 9, 2014)
  • Risks to Architects in Contractor-Led Design-Build, Private Event for Chicago Architecture Firm (May 7, 2014)
  • Negotiating Contract Dispute Resolution Clauses, Five Keys for Negotiating Business Contracts, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Webinar (Mar. 21, 2014)
  • Essential Concepts in Construction Contracts and Administration, Lorman Education Services Webinar (Mar. 18, 2014)
  • Legal Strategies for Controlling Project Costs: Managing the Risks of Mechanics Liens, Private Event at Schiff Hardin LLP (Jun. 28, 2012)
  • Essential Concepts in Construction Contracting, Lorman Education Services Webinar (Apr. 11, 2012)
  • Practical Considerations and Concerns in Basic Construction Contracting, Lorman Education Services Webinar (Nov. 2, 2010)
  • Chapter 54 – Ethics and Mediation: Managing Conflicts of Interest, American Arbitration Association (AAA) Handbook on Mediation, 2nd Edition, Juris Publishing, Inc. (Jun. 2010)
  • Is It Worth Pursuing Your Construction Claim? Journal of Construction Accounting and Taxation, vol. 19, no. 4 (Jul. 2009)
  • Chapter 35 – Considerations in Suing an Architect, Construction Checklists – A Guide To Frequently Encountered Construction Issues, American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on the Construction Industry (2008)
  • Pass-Through Claims in Construction Litigation, International Law Office Newsletter (May 29, 2007)

EDUCATION & TEACHING APPOINTMENTS

  • Tulane University Law School (J.D., Cum Laude, 2002)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., Law, Honors, 1999)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Construction Law — The John Marshall Law School, Center for Real Estate Law, Chicago, Illinois (2016 – 2020)

Jeremy taught “Construction Law,” RE 612/JD 612, a two-credit elective course and study of the various aspects of construction law offered through JMLS’ Center for Real Estate Law, in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 fall semesters.  The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) acquired JMLS in fall 2019.

CLERKSHIPS

  • Judicial Extern — Honorable Morey L. Sear, Chief Judge Emeritus, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans (2001-2002)

During his third year at Tulane Law School, Jeremy assisted the late Judge Sear, a member of the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL), with the centralization of mass litigation involving air disasters, intellectual property, antitrust, products liability, securities, sales, and employment practices.  In addition to MDL matters, Jeremy helped to dispose cases pending on Judge Sear’s general civil docket.

  • Law Clerk — Office of the Corporation Counsel, Washington D.C. (1999)

The Office of the Attorney General – formerly named Office of the Corporation Counsel – conducts all law business for the District of Columbia, and handles all suits made by and against the government including state, local, and county matters, and the child support program. Jeremy worked in the Criminal Section and assisted with the prosecution of crimes committed in the District.

BAR ADMISSIONS & MEMBERSHIPS

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, Member of Bar (2002)
  • Minnesota, Member of Bar (2004, inactive status)
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Admitted pro hac vice in other jurisdictions

Memberships

  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Liaison to AIA Contract Documents Committee (2015-Present) 
  • AIA Contract Documents – Train the Trainer Program (2013-Present)
  • Chicago Bar Association, Construction Law & Mechanics Lien Subcommittee

PERSONAL

A father of four, Jeremy loves music, the outdoors, astronomy, and platform tennis (paddle). His wife is also a ‘big law firm’ veteran with her own solo law practice focused on estate planning.

When lawyers started losing their jobs due to COVID-19, Jeremy and Tara launched a ‘side-gig’ company to share their knowledge about running small law firms: https://operationpalmtree.com/

Jeremy Baker

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: