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Environmental Attorneys Secure Important Legal Precedent for Farmers

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 malpractice, toxic torts, employment 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 cybersecurity, antitrust, and securities litigation. He speaks and writes regularly on cybersecurity issues.

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