Starting on June 10, 2019, eviction proceedings at the Daley Center in Chicago will be audio-recorded. Audio-recording has been a long-standing request by local legal aid agencies, as they believe it will help them prepare motions and appeals to overturn landlords’ judgments against tenants. As the leader in landlord-tenant litigation, trials, and appeals, we welcome this development. However, landlords need to understand how this affects their business.
Many times, a tenant will say or do one thing in court, lose, and then tell a tenant-side attorney something completely different outside of court. The tenant’s attorney, relying on the tenant’s faulty version of events, will then file unnecessary motions or an appeal because there was no record of what the tenant actually said or did in court. Because there will now be a record to contradict what the tenant later tries to tell an attorney, we believe audio-recorded proceedings will have the effect of dissuading frivolous tenant litigation and protecting landlords, attorneys, and judges from baseless claims.
However, we also anticipate this development will have the effect of increasing litigation by tenants’ lawyers who hope there’s enough in the record to prevent a landlord from regaining possession of its property based on a simple technicality. Increased litigation means increased expenses for landlords and the necessity to mitigate the potential risk of an adverse ruling. Where there is the potential for increased expenses and the necessity to mitigate potential risk, the requirement that landlords have an experienced attorney on their side is even greater.
The attorneys at Sanford Kahn, LLP are leaders in representing landlords on contested motions, trials, and appeals. We have a proven track record in winning cases, and we welcome inquiries from landlords and property management companies to determine how this development affects your business.