Stanley N. WasserPartner
Areas of Practice
Employment Law: Employee
Employment Law: Employer
Labor Law: Employer
Stanley N. “Stan” Wasser has spent more than 30 years as a highly sought out attorney in construction law controversies. Stan knows the terminology, concepts, issues, contracts and documentation of the industry. He can read a set of drawings and grasp how jobs are supposed to work.
With a unique combination of government experience as chief counsel to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as general counsel to the Illinois Bureau of Budget, as an assistant attorney general, and as staff counsel with the Office of the Illinois Comptroller, Stan has deep insight into the regulations, requirements and practices governing public construction. He is also well versed in labor and contractor-subcontractor disputes, for which he receives many referrals.
Putting himself in the client’s shoes, Stan understands the critical cost-benefit questions any business must address when faced with a legal challenge. He seeks to solve the client’s problem and assist in reaching the right business decision rather than over-lawyering issues. About half of Stan’s work involves litigation, and when it is necessary, he advocates for and protects his clients’ interests throughout any litigation and at trial.
Stan’s practical attitude has allowed him to maintain decades-long relationships with his contractor clients. It has also allowed him to secure favorable verdicts in one of the most challenging areas of law — criminal defense. Stan is always happy when people ask him to help solve their legal problems because of what they’ve heard about him from peers or long-time clients.
For more insights about Stan’s practice and the trust others have for him, please read this 2014 Leading Lawyers Magazine article.
Honors and Awards
- Leading Lawyers, Construction Law, 2004-present
- Illinois, 1976
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
- 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, J.D., 1975
- Pennsylvania State University, B.A., political science, 1972
Cases and Results
- Defended a construction client over seven years from a series of union challenges that were noteworthy in the central Illinois construction community. He guided clients through unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB, prevailing wage investigations by the Illinois Department of Labor, during picketing and leafleting, and against challenges affecting the contractor’s ability to be awarded contracts. Twice he brought union opponents to federal trial for unlawful picketing and won money from juries for his client.
- Obtained a favorable jury verdict against a subcontractor after the subcontractor revoked its bid, causing Stan’s contractor client to pay more for the intended work. The client relied on the subcontractor’s bid to secure the contract award. The subcontractor refused to honor its bid, however, after learning that Stan’s client would not include the subcontractor on a second project the subcontractor quoted at the same time.
- After a long, difficult litigation process ending in a week-long federal jury trial, Stan successfully defended a contractor client in a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit brought by three former employees alleging a failure to pay overtime wages. Evidence in the case established that the employees were assisted in bringing the lawsuit by a union organizing committee. The jury refused to award the plaintiffs a penny.
- Stan and partner Howard Feldman successfully guided a construction client through a difficult dispute with the State of Illinois involving the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, buildings their client constructed. The State of Illinois wrongfully blamed their client for significant delay damages, which it sought to recover, and it wrongfully withheld payment of contract balances, forcing their client to nearly go out of business. Through their persistence, Stan and Howard recovered a significant sum from the State of Illinois without resorting to litigation, preventing their client from going out of business.
- Stan has defended criminal cases in state and federal court, handling drug, firearm, and mail fraud cases, among others, and securing several “not guilty” verdicts. He secured a “not guilty” verdict in federal court on a firearms charge even though the client had just served a felony sentence for a similar offense in Missouri and despite photographic evidence linking the client to the firearm. In another case, Stan and Howard Feldman secured “not guilty” verdicts in a state court for a client charged with two Class X home invasion charges and an aggravated battery charge.
- Stan has handled business transactions, employment issues, estate administration and real estate matters for numerous members of his community. His clients include a funeral home, a public television station and a non-profit community organization.
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys
- Lincoln-Douglas Inns of Court
- Sangamon County Bar Association
- Feldman Wasser, 1987-present
- Illinois Department of Transportation, chief counsel, 1986-1986
- Illinois Bureau of the Budget, general counsel, 1984-1985
- Illinois Department of Transportation, assistant/deputy chief counsel, 1977-1984
- Office of the Attorney General, assistant attorney general, 1977
- Office of the Illinois Comptroller, staff counsel, 1975-1976
Chapter co-author, “Labor Issues in the Transactional Side of the Project,” Construction Law: Transactional Considerations, IICLE 2010 Practice Handbook
Chapter co-author, “Representing the Public Owner,” Pre-Construction Issues, IICLE 2009 Practice Handbook
Stan’s seminar presentations on construction law topics include the following:
Illinois public contract code and competitive public bidding in Illinois covering the subjects of competitive bidding, bid protests, public contract requirements, suspensions and debarments, key contract clauses and issues, contract claims and design-build
Laws and regulations bearing on public contracting, including state and federal prevailing wage laws, DBE/MBE/WBE requirements and project labor agreements
Ethics and criminal risk issues in public contracting
Illinois mechanics’ lien claims
Change orders, extras work and differing site conditions in Illinois construction projects
Contractor liability for and risk management of residential construction defects
Construction bonds and suretyship
Alternative dispute resolution of construction claims
Ethics issues arising from insurance, surety bonds and bankruptcy construction issues