Constitutional and Commercial Litigation

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The Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division represents the City of Chicago and City officials in a broad range of constitutional and commercial litigation, both in federal and state court, specializing in cases raising complex and novel legal issues, and provides pre-litigation counseling to many departments, including, among others, Procurement, Special Events and Zoning.

 Attorneys in the Division litigate constitutional challenges to the City's ordinances and actions, including free speech and commercial speech cases, religious freedom cases, Second Amendment cases, due process and equal protection claims.  The Division has had an exceedingly high success rate over the years and has played an important role in advocating the City's agenda when challenged in court. This includes defense of the City's new gun ordinance, the ban on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving and the closure of Meigs Field. Like any large corporate user of products and services, the City is involved in a wide variety of commercial cases, sometimes as plaintiff, and these cases may involve any City Department. The Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division handles this commercial litigation as well as construction litigation arising from public improvements and the rebuilding of the City's infrastructure, which may include contract and constitutional claims, and administrative review of Procurement Officer decisions.

 Other complex litigation matters in the Division involve a wide array of legal issues in state and federal court, such as securities law, trademark and patent, antitrust and various statutory claims, class actions and qui tam litigation. The Division also litigates land use cases including challenges to zoning ordinances or decisions, landmark designation hearings and related proceedings in the trial court.

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