Letters of Engagement: How Recent Events Should Shape Your Practice

  • Wed, September 08, 2021
  • 8:15 AM - 9:30 AM
  • Webinar


Registration is closed


Letters of Engagement:
How Recent Events Should Shape Your Practice

Garrett P. Kern
Michael Rooney
T. Nicholas Tyszka

MCLE approved for 1-hour credit
Registration is Free for IRELA Members

Non-Members ~ $50

An Illinois federal jury recently awarded a $10.2 million verdict against a Chicago real estate attorney in a malpractice lawsuit brought by a former client. A 13-story beachfront condo recently collapsed in Florida, killing 98 people. These events have collectively raised questions about what obligations a lawyer has to their client when representing them in real estate transactions. In this timely CLE, we'll explore what should reasonably be expected from an attorney and how a proper engagement letter can clearly define the rights and responsibilities of both a lawyer and client from the onset of the deal.

Garrett Kern joined ISBA Mutual in December 2020 as Vice President of Claims. He has previously worked as a claims adjuster for a number of other insurance underwriters, including Skyward and Houston International. Prior to these roles, he was a partner at Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff, where he focused his practice on insurance coverage and defense.  He is a graduate of  University of Notre Dame (1997) and earned his J.D. at Loyola University School of Law in 2001.

Michael Rooney graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. in Ed. as a physical education major in 1971 and from the University of Illinois College of Law with a JD in 1976.  He served in the U.S. Army 1971-1973.  A member of the ISBA since 1976, he is a member of the Real Estate Law Section Council, a role he also served between 1983 and 1988, including as Chair 1986-1987.  He served as Executive Director of IICLE 2013-2020, having previously served on the Board of Directors between 1984 and 1993, including as Chairman of the Board 1991-1992. 

Prior to his role as Executive Director of IICLE, he spent over thirty years in the title insurance industry in Illinois and other states.  In 2019 he was honored by the Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation with its Distinguished Service to Law & Society Award.  In 2021 he was honored by IICLE with its Addis E. Hull Award for his years of contributions to IICLE as a volunteer author, speaker and Director, including a term as Chairman of the Board.

T. Nicholas Tyszka joined Handler Thayer LLP’s Commercial Practice Group earlier this year. His experience in advocacy, business, law, and politics spans more than two decades. Today, he concentrates his legal practice primarily on real estate and business matters that arise from interests in real estate.


Nicholas is the chair of the Residential Real Property Law Committee at the Chicago Bar Association, vice chair of the Real Estate Committee at the DuPage County Bar Association, and is a former member of the Forms & Contracts committee at the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. He is one of eleven attorneys who participated on the committee which drafted the prevailing residential real estate contract in Illinois, the Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 7.0.


Mr. Tyszka sits on the board of directors of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association, as well as the board of governors for the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild of Chicago.

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