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Millions in Unpaid Legal Fees Prompts Lawsuit Against Gidwitz Family

lawsuit

The law firm of Ungaretti & Harris LLP is suing Ronald Gidwitz and other members of his family for $6.4 million in unpaid legal fees, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Gidwitz did not comment on the issue except to say, “We have a commercial dispute.”

The lawsuit from the firm was filed in Cook County Circuit Court on July 3 and it claims that the defendants stopped paying the firm in September of 2012 for work on an eminent domain case that targeted Gidwitz and his low-income housing project in Joliet.

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Even though Gidwitz sent a letter to the firm one year later, which made the payment suspension permanent, the firm continued to represent the family. According to the firm, it stayed “consistent with its ethical obligations,” until the gathering of evidence was finished. The lawsuit states that Ungaretti withdrew from the case in January.

The Gidwitz family sold investments from limited partnerships that were related to an apartment complex called Evergreen Terrace. The complex has 356 units. The city of Joliet claimed that the complex was obsolete and a magnet for crime. The city wanted to condemn the property, which is when a lawsuit was filed by limited partnerships controlled by Gidwitz in 2005. The firm said it was retained to represent Gidwitz and the family that same year. 

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