Keough & Moody, P.C.


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Volume 5 Number 2 February, 2016 
In This Issue
Quick Links
This month our feature article discusses the importance of understanding your association's governing documents.  Though there have been many cases lately that offer a similar message, Stobe v. 842-848 West Bradley Place reminds us that not all associations are the same.  It doesn't matter what the association next door can or can't do, your association is governed by its own documents.

Please ch eck out our event schedule below for information on upcoming events and educational opportunities.  There is quite a bit happening in the months ahead.  We hope to see you soon!

It is our pleasure to provide you with this newsletter and the information therein.  We welcome your suggestions for articles or other content which may benefit you.  Please feel free to respond to this message and we will gladly consider all comments.  

Lindsey Daehnke
  Marketing Coordinator
   Keough & Moody,P.C.

New Case Law Acts as a Reminder that
One Size Does Not Fit All
By Dawn L. Moody

Since the Palm v. 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association opinion was issued in 2014 by the First District Court of Appeals, we have seen a number of subsequent appellate decisions, which have further reinforced the theme of Palm-that an association is required to strictly adhere to the terms of its governing documents. Most recently, the First District Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Stobe v. 842-848 West Bradley Place Condominium Association, 2016 IL App (1st)141427, which addressed the ability of an association to restrict leasing through its rules and regulations. In the Stobe case, the Board of Directors adopted a rule which placed a cap on the number of units which could be leased at any given time. While the association's declaration did not expressly provide the membership with the right to lease, it did provide for certain minimum standards related to leasing. The First District Court of Appeals held that the declaration read as a whole, intended for owners to have the right to lease, and a restriction adopted by the Board of Directors alone limiting that right, was invalid.

It is important to note that the Stobe case does not stand for the blanket principle that an association can never adopt leasing restrictions through rules and regulations. Rather, the Stobe case reminds us that read more
Upcoming Opportunities 
to meet attorneys and staff from
Keough & Moody P.C. include:

CAI-Illinois 2016 Condo HOA Expo
February 26 - 27, 2016

Attorney Gabriella Comstock of Keough & Moody will be presenting on a panel of professionals on Saturday, February 27th from 1:45-3:15pm.  The discussion will focus on "working smarter, not harder".   Discover new ways to rely on your team, utilize technology, become more efficient and save money. Topics include:
  • How to benefit from the knowledge of your accountant, attorney, and manager to save the association money.
  • Use technology to improve record keeping and communication and still meet the association's legal obligation.
  • How to avoid pitfalls with the use of this technology.
Click the link above for additional details and 
registration, or click here 
for a guest pass.

ACTHA Seminar
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Countryside, IL

Let's Talk Liability

There is nothing like a lawsuit or threatened lawsuit to make your board think "could have, should have."  Is your association doing all it can to protect the property, the board, owners and guests?  Cindy Fitts of CISA Insurance and attorney Dawn Moody of Keough & Moody, P.C. will cover key points in minimizing risk, who is responsible for what, proper coverage, and steps to be taken when "something' does occur.

Click here 
for details and registration.

Oak Park Seminar Series
Session I: What to Know and Consider when
Drafting Rules and Regulations
March 9, 2016 
6:00 - 8:00pm 
Oak Park Village Hall
Attorney Gabriella Comstock of Keough & Moody, P.C. will discuss various considerations that all associations should keep in mind when drafting or updating rules and regulations.

 ~ Who can adopt Rules and Regulations?

 ~ Is there Case Law that governs Rules and Regulations?

 ~ How do you know if it should be a rule or an 
amendment to the Declaration? 

~ Will the rules be enforceable?

April 5, 2016 
6:00 - 8:00pm 
Oak Park Village Hall
Attorney  Gabriella Comstock of Keough & Moody, P.C. will discuss proper enforcement of rules and regulations.

 ~ When should Rules and Regulations be enforced?

 ~ When should fines be imposed?

 ~ How do you conduct a violation hearing? 

Representatives from the Village of Oak Park, Oak Park Residence Corporation and Mastercare Building Services will also contribute to each of these valuable discussions.

 ~ Registration and Inspection Requirements in the Village of Oak Park
 ~ Public Resources for Condominium Associations and Owners.

Click on the session name above for 
registration  for each program.

Chicagoland Property Management 
Condo & HOA Expo
McCormick Place - Grand Ballroom
March 23, 2016

Chuck Keough will present an education session at this event entitled  How to Avoid the Most Common Association Mistakes .

Good outcomes occur when boards patiently observe their own policies and exercise common sense discretion.  Conversely, less desirable results come about when boards do not.  Join us for a discussion of the most common mistakes that boards make and the best ways to avoid them and the related headaches, friction and expense that they provoke.

Click here 
for additional details and 
registration for this event.

Save the Date:

Understanding the Ombudsperson Act
April 6th - Plainfield
April 7th - Naperville
April 8th - Chicago

On July 1, 2016, the Ombudsperson Act goes into effect.  This new law requires that associations take steps to implement written policies for resolving owner complaints.  Failure to implement such policies will, at a future date, interfere with an association's ability to collect common expenses through the legal process.   Keough & Moody, P.C. will be presenting a series of seminars to help managers and board members understand the requirements of the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act.  Watch for registration later this month.

Check out the Quick Links menu in the upper left corner of this newsletter to download the full version of the Ombudsperson Act.
Will Legal Services be Taxed in the Future?
By Andrew K. Scott

 With Governor Rauner and the Illinois Legislature deadlocked, people of the State of Illinois, such as college students, government employees, and the elderly are feeling the effects of the budget impasse. However, a part of Governor Rauner's budget plan, if passed, may have a significant effect on people and entities in need of legal services. In order to create new revenue streams after allowing the state income tax increase to lapse in 2014, Rauner has proposed a tax on services and specifically referenced taxing legal services.

Unsurprisingly, bar associations and other legal organizations opposed the tax. Generally, legal services are a need, not a choice. Therefore, taxing those legal services may result in a nightmare not only for attorneys, but also their clients.  This may be especially difficult in the association-field, where legal charges are often back-charged to delinquent owners.  Interestingly, Rauner's proposal exempts accounting and financial services, but not legal services. However, Rauner's proposal would exempt business to business transactions for legal services.

There is precedent that such a tax is unconstitutional. The City of Chicago attempted to impose a sales tax on services that also excluded financial services. In Commercial Nat. Bank of Chicago v. City of Chicago, 89 Ill. 2d 45 (1982) the court held, "we hold that this ordinance imposes an unconstitutional tax upon occupations . . . we also hold this ordinance unconstitutional due to its unseverable exemption of the 'commodity and security business . . .'"

Such a tax is unlikely to be implemented due to the political and logistical hurdles. Objections from the Illinois State Bar Association and other legal associations mean litigation will be a certainty if such a tax is put in place. We are monitoring this hot button issue. Stay tuned.
KM Celebrates 20 Year Staff Anniversaries

Keough & Moody is proud to announce that both Gabriella Comstock and Shannon Schwarzwalder will celebrate 20 years with Keough & Moody, P.C. in 2016.  The two veterans will also celebrate 20 years of service to the community association industry in 2016.  Both started with the firm in 1996 and since that time, they have concentrated their efforts in providing legal representation and support to community associations.  We are so lucky to have them!
Gabriella R. Comstock  is primarily responsible for litigation related to community associations.  Gabby regularly speaks on issues related to community associations and has published several articles.  She was awarded the CAI Rising Star Award in 2008 by the Illinois Chapter of CAI.  In 2014 Gabriella was admitted to the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL).  CCAL is a prestigious group of attorneys practicing community association law in the United States, and fewer than 150 attorneys have been granted membership in the College.  Gabriella is also co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Real Property Law, Condominium Subcommittee.  In April, 2015 Gabriella was appointed to a position on the planning committee for the CAI Law Seminar which is hosted annually by CAI National.  Gabby received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago, Cum Laude, in 1993 and her J.D. degree from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1996.  She is a member of the American, Illinois, Chicago and DuPage County Bar Associations. Gabby is licensed to practice before all courts in Illinois and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Gabby is also a member of the Federal Trial Bar.
Shannon V. Schwarzwalder is primarily responsible for management of the firm and staff and for maintaining all corporate formation/formalities for the firm's clients. Shannon is actively engaged in the community association industry, spending years on the Community Association Institute  (CAI) golf committee as co-chair, and years on the social committee.  She was awarded the CAI Rising Star Award in 2004.  Shannon received her paralegal certificate in 1997,  undergraduate degree in organizational communications in 2001 and her Masters in Leadership Studies in 2006 all from North Central College.
Therese Edmiston Joins the KM Team

Keough & Moody, P.C. is proud to announce the addition of associate attorney,  Therese Edmiston .   Therese represents community associations in various transactional and litigation matters, including the collection of assessments. Immediately prior to joining the firm, Therese worked in civil legal aid in Chicago. She represented youth in special education matters and indigent individuals in expunging juvenile and criminal records. This involved regular appearances at school board hearings, the Cook County Juvenile Court, and the Cook County Criminal Court. Therese's other previous legal experience includes representing and advising the Illinois State Charter School Commission as well as school boards in Texas. 

Therese received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign in 2007. After college she was a high school teacher in Texas. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas in Austin in 2013. During law school, Therese was on staff for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights and authored a law review article published in that same journal.   Therese was admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois in 2013.


  Keough & Moody, P.C. ("Keough & Moody" or "we" or "us") provides its newsletter for informational purposes only. The information contained in this newsletter is not legal advice.  Your communication with us through this Newsletter, or by other means, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Please do not disclose any confidential information to us in response to this newsletter, or otherwise, because we will have no obligation to keep that information confidential unless and until a formal attorney-client relationship is established with you.  ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL.