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Environmental Attorneys Secure Important Legal Precedent for Farmers

HeplerBroom attorney Stephen Kaufmann HeplerBroom attorney Jennifer Martin HeplerBroom attorney Charles Insler
Steve Kaufmann Jennifer Martin Charles Insler

On August 17, Illinois’ Fourth District Appellate Court delivered a resounding victory to HeplerBroom’s hog farming clients and to livestock farmers throughout the state of Illinois. The court’s decision affirmed a jury’s verdict in favor of a hog farming operation in Scott County that had been accused of being a nuisance. Equally important, the court’s decision also established an important legal precedent by interpreting section 4.5 of the Illinois Farm Nuisance Suit Act.

Specifically, the Illinois Court of Appeals held that when a farming operation successfully defends itself against a nuisance lawsuit, that farming operation is entitled to recover its attorneys’ fees from the other side.  This decision will likely mean that far fewer nuisance lawsuits are brought against Illinois’ livestock farmers in the future. The full Opinion can be read here.

HeplerBroom partners Stephen Kaufmann, Jennifer Martin, and Charles Insler spearheaded the firm’s legal work on the appeal. Kaufmann and Martin were also part of the legal team that obtained the original verdict in favor of the hog producer defendants. The Illinois Pork Producers Association and the Illinois Farm Bureau filed amicus curiae (friend of the Court) briefs in support of the hog farmer’s position on appeal.

Kaufmann, a partner in the firm’s Springfield office, is a trial attorney with a primary emphasis on the defense of products liability, general negligence and insurance lawsuits, medical malpracticetoxic tortsemployment and labor law, and Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) actions against Illinois attorneys. He is rated an AV Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and is named annually to the lists of Illinois Leading Lawyers and Illinois Super Lawyers. Chicago Magazine has repeatedly named him to their list of Top Attorneys in Illinois.

Martin, also a partner in the firm’s Springfield office, focuses her practice on environmental law and real estate. Prior to entering private practice, she was an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Control Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. She has been named an Illinois Leading Lawyer and speaks and writes regularly on environmental law.

Insler, a partner in the firm’s St. Louis office, concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation including cybersecurityantitrust, and securities litigation. He speaks and writes regularly on cybersecurity issues.

HeplerBroom LLC COVID-19 Response

HeplerBroom has been diligently working on its response and continuity plan to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our clients as our top priority.

To help ensure everyone’s continued health and well-being, effective March 17, 2020, all attorneys and staff began working remotely. We continue to assess the situation and will return to our physical offices when appropriate.

To ensure this, the firm has identified essential personnel in each office who will make certain that critical firm functions that cannot be done remotely continue to be handled. We have put in place protocol for those essential personnel to make sure they are keeping healthy per the CDC cleaning and sanitizing recommendations. All teams have back-up personnel and procedures that we will follow to make sure all deadlines are met and clients receive the same great service and work product that we have always been proud to provide.

HeplerBroom’s IT department has been working hard to make sure all remote employees are set up with equipment and access from home to limit disruption to our clients. Maintaining security and confidentiality has remained, and will continue to remain, at the forefront of all processes and procedures, at all levels throughout the firm.

The firm has created emergency communication measures to communicate any changes to this plan to employees and are communicating on a regular basis with any and all new resources and helpful information during this uncertain time.

During these fluid and unpredictable times, HeplerBroom will continue its commitment to great service and results for our clients, all while keeping safe and healthy.

Wishing you and your families good health.

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