Saturday, December 03, 2011

Michael Shakman -The Man Who Bought Chicago -Explains 'Ethics' to Steve Rhodes of the Beachwood Reporter

Photo of Michael Shakman sitting in his office in the late 1970s. Since then, everything has been riding on his hip.

. . .And now from the Way The World Really Works desk here at Grub Street Chicago: Mayor Emanuel is suing his own park district. Why? Because it's part of a strategy to bust up a Daley-era sweetheart deal involving the Park Grill food concession in Millennium Park, which even the Daleys eventually realized was a lousy deal partly owed to the fact that the connected insider behind the restaurant was, well, really inside a female Park District official, ultimately making her pregnant. (The Daleys were always strongly against literal screwing on city business.) The Daley administration argued that the Park District had made a deal that they weren't authorized to make, involving city-owned land, and tried for six years to negotiate a better one (or one that let them in on the action), but didn't get anywhere. Now that the restaurant is negotiating its sale to the Levy Group, Rahm's taking it (and his own Park District) to court to turn up the heat. . . .While we're shedding all our naive illusions, it's worth mentioning that the attorney making this preposterous claim on behalf of well-connected profiteers is none other than Michael Shakman... yes, that Shakman*. Consider this lawsuit just one more skirmish between factions in the eternal struggle for power deep within the Machine."

Chicago Grubstreet

WBEZ, Crains, and the supine Chicago media hoo-hummed a tune of hypocrisy.

God's last honest man, Steve Rhodes, publisher of the Beachwood Reporter, journalist, and tapmaster smelled old halibut in the potpourri

Shakman? Michael Shakman?

Wait a second. Is the Park Grill's lawyer the Michael Shakman?

Readers want to know, WBEZ!

Same to you, Tribune!

Same to you, Sun-Times!

Same to you, Crain's!

(See Ryan C.'s comment.)


Answer: It is.
Steve Rhodes of the Beachwood Reporter

Michael Shakman explains

See? "If you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?" Nobody steals like a Goo-goo!

Shakman Decrees
In 1969, one man made his stand against the Chicago political machine. Michael Shakman, an independent candidate for delegate to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention, battled against one of the most enduring traditions in Chicago's politics: political patronage, or the practice of hiring and firing government workers on the basis of political loyalty. With many behind-the-scenes supporters, Shakman's years of determination resulted in what became known as the “Shakman decrees.”

Shakman filed suit against the Democratic Organization of Cook County, arguing that the patronage system put nonorganized candidates and their supporters at an illegal and unconstitutional disadvantage. Politicians could hire, fire, promote, transfer—in essence, punish—employees for not supporting the system, or more particularly, a certain politician. The suit also argued that political patronage wasted taxpayer money because public employees, while at work, would often be forced to campaign for political candidates.

In 1972, after an exhaustive court procedure and much negotiating, the parties reached an agreement prohibiting politically motivated firings, demotions, transfers, or other punishment of government employees. A 1979 ruling led to a court order in 1983 that made it unlawful to take any political factor into account in hiring public employees (with exceptions for positions such as policy making). Those decisions along with companion consent judgments—collectively called the Shakman decrees—are binding on more than 40 city and statewide offices.

Roger R. Fross

Mr. Shakman serves as lead counsel in a wide range of litigation including corporate, contractual, commercial and partnership disputes, professional liability matters, construction disputes and arbitrations, antitrust, trade regulation and product liability litigation. In addition, he has served as lead counsel for public bodies and private citizens interested in cases concerning public housing practices and land-use control issues.

Mr. Shakman routinely represents attorneys, law firms and other professionals in partnership and professional responsibility disputes. He may be best known for the federal court Shakman Decrees, which have enjoined patronage hiring and firing of public employees in Chicago and Illinois.

B.A., University of Chicago, 1962.
Graduated with honors
M.A., University of Chicago, 1963.
J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1966.
Graduated cum laude
Order of the Coif
Managing Editor and Articles Editor of the University of Chicago
Law Review.
Admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1966.
Served as law clerk to the Hon. Walter V. Schaefer, Justice, Illinois Supreme Court, 1966-1967.
Practiced as an associate with this firm, 1967-1972.
Partner, 1972.
Selected Engagements
Numerous representations defending large law firms against allegations of transactional and litigation legal malpractice. These matters have involved lawsuits, arbitrations and mediations.
Defended parties in antitrust litigation involving price fixing, territorial allocations and related claims in direct and class action litigation.
Represented directors and special litigation committees of corporate boards in responding to shareholder litigation.
Represented international energy industry contractor in state and federal court litigation involving power plant construction, ownership disputes and environmental remediation work.
Represented the trustee in bankruptcy in a large Chapter 7 proceeding, which involved over 70 adversary claims removed to the District Court.
Represented investors in broadcasting business in disputes involving accounting issues, RICO and allegations of fraud.
Represented purchasers and sellers of business entities in a wide range
of disputes.
Served as Special Assistant Illinois Attorney General in representing state government agencies in disputes over land use and operations, including representation of the State of Illinois in disputes with the City of Chicago over the closure of Chicago’s Meigs Field airport.
Selected Publications
“How to Respond to an ARDC Complaint,” Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 92 #10, October 2004. Written with Arthur W. Friedman.
“There But for the Grace of God Go I: A Look at the Modern Transactional Legal Malpractice Case...” Chicago Bar Association Record, April 2004. Written with Stephen J. Bisgeier and Edward W. Feldman.
“Reporting Your Partners and Associates to the ARDC,” Illinois Bar Journal, Volume 90, March 2002. Written with Arthur W. Friedman and Thomas M. Staunton.
“Can Lawyers Protect, and Sell at Premium, a Secret and Valuable Idea?” Chicago Bar Association Record, June/July 2001. Written with
Marc O. Beem.
“Trust Us: How Rules on Referral Fees Influence the MDP Debate,” Chicago Bar Association Record, September 2000. Written with
Diane F. Klotnia.
“Ethical Duties Remain Unclear In Online Realm: Rules of Law,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 12, 2000.
“Primer on Acting Rationally When Lawyers Relocate,”Chicago Bar Association Record, February/March 2000. Written with Geraldine Soat Brown and Barry A. Miller.
“Mediation of Business Disputes,” Alternative Dispute Resolution, Illinois Institute for CLE, 2001. Written with Diane F. Klotnia and
Edward W. Feldman.
“Flynn v Cohn: Payment of Overhead in Winding Up a Partnership,” Illinois Bar Journal, October 1993 (81 Ill. B.J. 530). Written with
Barry A. Miller.
American Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Chicago Council of Lawyers
American Law Institute
Board member and officer of the Southeast Chicago Commission
Board member and chair of the Institute for Psychoanalysis

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