Overview

Shawn helps clients resolve a wide range of complex construction and real estate challenges, whether transactional or adversarial in nature. Shawn represents all types of participants in the construction industry supply chain, including owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. Shawn also represents landowners seeking to protect their property rights in condemnation proceedings brought by governments exercising their power of eminent domain. Shawn is a litigator with experience in multiple state and federal courts across the country, both at the trial and appellate levels.

Dispute Resolution

Shawn has first-chair trial experience in various types of real estate and construction matters. He has also successfully argued before multiple appellate courts, including before the Illinois Supreme Court in a case making new law on the applicability of construction warranties in Illinois. His representative experience includes:

  • First-chair trial counsel in breach of contract dispute prosecuted to favorable verdict.
  • Trial counsel for general contractor's $4.2M in project claims against state department of transportation, prosecuted to successful verdict.
  • Lead appellate counsel before Illinois Supreme Court in obtaining reversal of lower appellate ruling against homebuilder on breach of warranty claims. Fattah v. Bim, 52 N.E.3d 332, 2016 IL 119365 (2016).
  • Lead trial and appellate counsel in favorable defense of landowner against quiet title action. Suski v. Nutt, 2014 IL App (2d) 121185-U, 2014 WL 5308103 (2d Dist. 2014).
  • Lead counsel in managing regional portfolio of defect, contract, and insurance related litigation matters for national home builder with numerous favorable resolutions through mediation, arbitration, dispositive rulings, and appellate opinions including:
    • 933 Van Buren Condo. Ass'n v. W. Van Buren, LLC, 61 N.E.3d 929 (1st Dist. 2016)
    • Siena at Old Orchard Condo Ass’n v. Siena at Old Orchard, LLC, 128 N.E.3d 374, (1st Dist. 2018)
    • Lennar Chicago, Inc. v. Asbury Woods Condo Ass’n, 2019 WL 1040592 (N.D. Ill. 2019)
    • Library Tower Condo Ass’n v. Library Tower, LLC, 2021 IL App. (1st) 200486-U (1st Dist. 2021)
  • National counsel for commercial litigation portfolio of international HVAC and control systems provider; numerous favorable resolutions through negotiated settlements and dispositive rulings.
  • Obtain $8.5M judgment in favor of landlord against commercial tenant in litigation concerning lease default on 800,000 sq.ft. logistics warehouse located in Indiana.
  • Obtain $5M judgment in favor of developer against defaulting general contractor in litigation concerning five separate incomplete and delayed self-storage facility projects located in Tennessee and Indiana.
  • Obtain $670K judgement in favor of craft brewer against equipment supplier for breach of contract, fraud and successor liability in Ohio.
  • Represent ethanol producer in settled product defect litigation against manufacturer of industrial boiler equipment.
  • Represent EPC contractor in settled arbitration involving breach of contract dispute with owner on Wisconsin sand fracking project.
  • Represent owner in settled massive subsurface defect litigation against project participants and insurers concerning 200,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility.
  • Represent cellular tower stakeholders in settled condemnation litigation maximizing just compensation for property rights taken by regional transportation authority.
  • Represent numerous institutional landowners in quieting title to parcels associated with manufacturing and corporate campuses.

Transactional

Shawn drafts and negotiates contracts for various types of commercial and large-scale residential construction projects, including trade subcontracts, existing client service contracts and settlement agreements attendant to dispute resolution.

Green Building

Shawn holds the LEED® Green Associate accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Institute, which demonstrates knowledge of good environmental practice and skill, and reflects an understanding and support of green design, construction and operations. Shawn has experience assisting construction industry clients with the unique legal challenges presented in green building.

Personal Interests

Shawn is a marathoner, former captain of a USAFL Australian Rules Football club, outdoorsman, avid international traveler and coach of his children’s sports teams.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Indiana
Illinois

Court Admissions

Illinois Supreme Court
Indiana Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Languages

Spanish

Education

University of North Carolina School of Law
J.D. North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, Managing Editor (2007)

University of North Carolina
B.A. in Political Science and Spanish (2003)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Forecasting Your Future
    Moderator, Chicago Building Congress Future Leaders, April 2017
  • Risk Management in Multifamily Construction
    Faegre Baker Daniels Construction Law Seminar, November 2015
  • Current Issues in Sustainable Design and Construction
    Half Moon Education, Inc., October 2013

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association — Past Chair, Real Property Law — Construction Law & Mechanic's Lien Subcommittee
  • Chicago Building Congress, Future Leaders Committee, Diversity Committee

Civic Activities

  • U.S. Green Building Council — Illinois Chapter (USGBC-IL)
  • Lake Forrest Homeowners Association — Past President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer

Honors

  • Illinois Leading Lawyers — Emerging Lawyers, Construction Law, Commercial Real Estate Law, 2015-21
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Baker Benson Pro Bono Award, 2016
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2015-16, 2019
  • LEED® Green Associate — U.S. Green Building Certification Institute
  • Sigma Delta Pi
  • Boy Scouts of America — Eagle Scout Award
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