Carlson Dash Digest – November 2014



The Carlson Dash Digest

November 2014 / Vol. 2

During this season of thanks, we would like to take a moment to thank all of our clients and colleagues. We are proud of the firm we have built, our partnerships with our clients, and we greatly appreciate everyone’s ongoing support. On behalf of everyone at Carlson Dash, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

We had a great response to our inaugural issue of The Carlson Dash Digest last month and look forward to bringing you “legal news you can use” each month! Our goal is to provide practical, relevant and topical content to our clients and peers. We hope you find The Digest to be a practical resource and we encourage reader feedback. If there is a topic that interests you that has not been covered, drop us a line and we will be sure to cover it in a future issue, or offline.

November Topics

  • Sole Proprietorship to S-Corp: Choosing What Works for You – Partnerships (Part 2)
  • Contract Terms: Analyzing the Technical vs. Practical Impact
  • Anatomy of a Business Assets Auction
Carlson Dash Wins Illinois Court of Appeals Case That
Expands Bank Litigation and Settlement Rights
Carlson Dash is proud to have won an appellate court case, on behalf of its bank client, that was appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court by the defendants in the case. The result of this published appellate decision will encourage parties to engage in those types of communications designed to foster settlement, even in the context of active litigation.The case underscores the importance of bank’s counsel taking an active and leading role in the settlement dialogue in order to protect banks from spurious claims by defendants who may try to use that which is said during settlement discussions against the bank.

Read the full decision on Van Pelt Construction Co. v. BMO Harris Bank, N.A., 2014 IL App (1st) 121661, 380 Ill.Dec. 384, 8 N.E. 3d 554.

Construction Contracts: The Boiler Plate That Gives You Fits

On October 24, 2014, James Dash was a featured speaker at an Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) seminar at Northern Illinois University College of Law entitled “Construction Contracts: The Boiler Plate That Gives You Fits.”   The seminar addressed common construction contract terms and recurring issues that often arise in those contracts.  Jim’s segment, “The Devil is in the Details,” focused on the importance of paying attention to detail and included the topics of “pay when/if paid” and “no damage for delay” clauses and delay damages.

Jim’s practice focuses on real estate-related litigation, with an emphasis on construction (including mechanics lien claims), as well as title insurance defense work. Jim’s clients include a number of companies whose businesses are in, or related to, the real estate, title insurance and construction industries. For a list of upcoming ISBA seminars, please visit

Legal Tidbits

Ignorantia juris non excusat is a Latin term the legal profession has embraced which generally means that ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating the law. If one walks into any courthouse in the United States on any given day, it is quite likely that a judge will be heard using that legal principle to explain to a perplexed-looking party why he is ruling against them. Yes, one is presumed to know the law. That principle was advanced back in the day when attorneys became attorneys by “reading the law” while serving as an apprentice, like any other tradesman.

However, in the United States, we have more laws than one can count, let alone read. For instance, in 1936 the number of pages in the Federal Register, which serves as the catalog for federal laws, was about 2,600. Today, the Federal Register is over 80,000 pages long.  For sake of perspective, War and Peace is only 1,440 pages long. And the 80,000 pages does not include a listing of any state or municipal laws, and each unit of government has hundreds (if not thousands) of its own laws.

So, if someone tells you that ignorance of the law is not an excuse, you might want to ask them if they are aware of the number of the laws on the books. Therefore, how can anyone be anything other than ignorant of most laws? It would be refreshing to see our elected officials reverse course and run on platforms of reducing the number of laws on the books.

Sole Proprietorship to S-Corp:
Choosing What Works for You – Partnerships 

Last month, we explored some of the benefits and detriments of forming and operating your business as a sole proprietorship.  This month, we discuss various partnerships, which may be a better option for you if “more is merrier.” Which choice is best for you?
Contract Terms: Analyzing the Technical vs. Practical Impact

All too often we run into situations when our clients’ contracts, specifically and expressly provide for one thing, while our common sense tells us that we should do the opposite. What is the key to managing risk?
Anatomy of a Business Assets Auction
In a time when banks and borrowers increasingly use auctions to dispose of assets, well-conceived bid procedures are the key to turning a ho-hum auction into an effective liquidation or even, in rare cases, a bar burner. Read SK Hand Tool Corporation’s success story.




Carlson Dash, LLC 
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158


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