Breakout Sessions

Legal Symposium Breakout Sessions



  • Attorneys; 7.0 CLE Hours (Anticipated)
  • CIAO Designation Holders; 7.5 CE Hours 

*You must attend full sessions to gain credit. 




Additional breakout sessions are being confirmed and will be added as they are announced.


The Who, What, and Where of Certificates of Error
Presenters: Mark Armstrong, Supervisor of Assessments, Kane County; Gina Matthiesen, Senior Legal Counsel, Cook County Assessor’s Office
Certificates of Error are widely used in Illinois, but not always well understood. Presenters will offer the legal basis for Certificates of Error, the legal limitations on their use, and the statutory differences between Certificates of Error in Cook County and downstate Counties.


Ten Court Decisions Every Illinois Assessor Should Know
Presenter: Mark Armstrong, Supervisor of Assessments, Kane County
The Court system is charged with interpreting Illinois law, and some court decisions have had significant impact on the Illinois assessment systems. Ten court cases will be presented, with a synopsis of the issues discussed, and how it impacts assessment practice across the state.


Dissecting Complex Sale Transactions: Separating the Spaghetti from the Sauce
Presenters: Ellen Berkshire, Partner, Verros Berkshire; Peter Helland, Senior Vice President, Newmark Valuation & Advisory; Jennifer Wadland, Attorney, Verros Berkshire
Analyzing and Dissecting Complex Sale Transactions to understand how to separate real estate value from any other potential value included in the sale transaction itself. Understanding what factors industry participants consider when entering negotiations for the purchase of a property and how certain non-real estate factors influence the price paid for certain complex properties. The session will review how Illinois case law treats complex transactions and nuances such as leased fee, build-to-suit, and other factors. We will review how appraisers treat this information and how an appraiser dissects and analyzes these types of transactions.


Complex Valuation Issues in a Post-COVID World Discussion Panel
Presenters: Peter Verros, Partner, Verros Berkshire; Farzin Parang, Executive Director, BOMA Chicago; Peter Helland, Senior Vice President, Newmark Valuation & Advisory; Michael Marks, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield
Discussion panel from industry, brokerage, and appraisal side as to what impacts have been observed in complex properties; such as, downtown office buildings, downtown retail buildings, and mixed-use buildings in a post-Covid environment. The intention of this panel is to obtain differing perspectives as to the operations of these types of properties and how market participants are looking at values and the impact of rising interest rates, declining office occupancy, and other post-Covid factors.


Hot Topics in Employment Law
Presenters: Mark Kimzey, Attorney, Airdo Werwas; James Jansen, Senior Counsel, Airdo Werwas
This presentation is designed to provide property assessment professionals with an understanding of the latest developments in employment law, including recent legislative changes in Illinois that impact employment practices, offering insights and strategies for compliance and effective management. The presentation will begin with an overview of the most significant recent changes in employment law in Illinois. Attendees will gain an understanding of new legislation, such as the final administrative rules for the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, updates to wage and hour laws, and new federal administrative laws and rules. The presentation will also address emerging trends in employment law, such as the growing emphasis on the impact of remote work on employment practices and evolving standards for employee privacy and data protection. Attendees will gain insights into how these trends are shaping the future of employment law and what they can do to stay ahead of the curve. This presentation is crafted to provide valuable and practical insights into the evolving landscape of employment law and its impact on Illinois employers by blending legal expertise with actionable strategies and leadership development.


First Amendment Auditors
Presenters: Jason Brokaw, Attorney, Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C.
This session will define and explain the concept of First Amendment Audits, review the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions, and discuss pitfalls to avoid, as well as best practices to implement and utilize. Participants completing this session will become familiar with the substance of the first amendment and its applicability to public spaces; distinguish between protected recording and eavesdropping; identify, develop, adopt, and implement content neutral rules; and share and utilize common-sense strategies for interacting with parties conducting first amendment audits.


Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act Basics & Legal Update
Presenters: Marissa Spencer, Attorney, Peterson, Johnson, & Murray LLC
During this session, attendees will hear critical updates to state statutes governing FOIA and FOIA best practices for local government offices and their legal counsel and what pitfalls to avoid. A brief overview of the Illinois Open Meetings Act will also be shared. Q&A from attendees will round out this presentation.


Entrepreneurial Incentive, Entrepreneurial Profit and External Obsolescence
Presenters: Robert D. Becker MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, ASA, Owner & Principal, R.D. Becker Valuation; Greg Diamantopoulos, Partner, Verros Berkshire
This presentation aims to clarify the often-confused terms of Entrepreneurial Incentive (EI) and Entrepreneurial Profit (EP) as used by attorneys, appraisers, and assessors. It will provide precise definitions and distinctions between the two concepts. An illustrative case study on external obsolescence will be presented to analyze the presence of EI or EP in the market for a specific property type. Additionally, the presentation will review recent court decisions to understand the judiciary's perspective on the application of EI and EP in property appraisals.


Assessment of Data Centers
Presenters: Jerry Brown, Attorney, Siegel & Callahan; Mildred Terzic, Director of Special Projects, Cook County Assessor’s Office; Jay Walker, Assessor, Afton Township
Chicago is the third largest data center market in the United States. The assessment of data centers poses novel challenges for assessors, appraisers, and attorneys in the public and private sectors. The session presenters will discuss how traditional assessment methods are applied to this complex and rapidly growing property class and what legal pitfalls to avoid in the valuation process.


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