James T. Rohlfing

Partner

James  T.  Rohlfing

Office

120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60606

P: 312.876.7843

F: 312.876.0288

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About

James T. Rohlfing is a partner in the Chicago based law firm of Arnstein & Lehr LLP. He serves as chair of the firm’s Construction Practice Group.  Mr. Rohlfing is a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney, whose practice is focused in the areas of construction law and business litigation. Mr. Rohlfing is the editor and a chapter author of the West Publication Illinois Construction Law Manual

Since being admitted to the Illinois bar in 1982, Mr. Rohlfing has represented subcontractors, contractors and others in the construction industry to avoid and resolve legal disputes and protect his client’s rights.  He has led dozens of trials and appeals involving business litigation and construction law, and successfully resolved hundreds of related legal matters for his clients.  He has also drafted and assisted in passing Illinois legislation critical to contractors and the construction industry in general.  In addition, he has authored numerous articles on construction law and litigation, and he is frequently invited to speak on commercial litigation and construction law topics before construction industry groups and practicing attorneys. 

Mr. Rohlfing is general counsel and past president of the Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractor’s Association (IMSCA), the largest and most effective organization for subcontractors in Illinois. He is an active member of IMSCA, the Chicago Bar Association’s Construction Law committee, and the Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates in Chicago. On several occasions, Mr. Rohlfing has testified before the Illinois legislature as the representative of the Illinois construction industry on legislation of crucial importance to the industry. In addition, he has been retained by other attorneys as an “expert witness” on issues related to the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act.

Previously, he was the founder and principal of James T. Rohlfing & Associates, P.C., a Chicago law firm focused on construction law. Mr. Rohlfing received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1979 from Marquette University and his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law in 1982. At DePaul he wrote for the law review.

Representative Cases 

  • Arpac Corporation v. Murray, 226 Ill.App.3d 65, 589 N.E.2d 640 (1st Dist 1992)
  • Laurel Motors, Inc. v. Airways Transp. Group of Companies, Inc, 284 Ill.App.3d 312,672 N.E.2d 785 (2nd Dist 1996)
  • Onsite Engineering & Management v. Illinois Tool Work, Inc, 319 Ill.App.3d 362, 744 N.E.2d 928 (1st Dist 2001)
  • Shaw Industries, Inc. v. Community College Dist. No. 515, 318 Ill.App.3d 661, 741 N.E.2d 642 (1st Dist. 2001)

Activities and Achievements 

Professional Activities 

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Pro Bono Activities

  • Chicago Area Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates

Achievements 

  • “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell American Law Directory

Publications

  • “Courts Put Teeth in Attorney Fee Section of Illinois Mechanics Lien Act,” SubStance (December 2016)
  • “Modified Law Not Enough to Protect Lien Rights,” SubStance (June 2016)
  • “Illinois Construction Law Manual,” West Publication, editor and chapter author  
  • “Subordination of mechanics liens – Cypress Creek II,” SubStance (Winter 2014)
  • “Illinois Legislature Restores Mechanics Lien Rights,” SubStance (Winter 2013)
  • “Fee Awards May Help Lien Claimants Get Paid,” SubStance, Vol. 4 – Issue 2 (Summer 2010)
  • “Senate Bill 3829 – Collective Bargained Workers’ Compensation,” co-writer, SubStance, Vol. 4 – Issue 1 (Spring 2010)
  • “Changes in Illinois Purchasing Procedures – There’s a New Sheriff in Town – Wyatt Earp or Barney Fife,” co-writer, SubStance, Vol. 4 – Issue 1 (Spring 2010)
  • “Avoiding Surprise and Prejudice for Lien Claimants,” SubStance, Vol. 4 – Issue 3 (Winter 2010) 
  • “Illinois Prompt Payment Act – One Step Forward, One Step Back,” co-writer, SubStance, Vol. 3 – Issue 1 (Spring 2009)
  • “The Importance of Estate Planning for Subcontractors,” co-writer, SubStance, Vol. 3 – Issue 1 (Spring 2009) 
  • “Mechanics Liens on Illinois Condominiums,” SubStance (Fall 2007)
  • “Mechanics Lien Rental and Contractor Prompt Payment Acts,” SubStance (Summer 2007)
  • “The Kotecki Gap in Insurance Coverage,” SubStance (Spring 2007)
  • “What a Sub Wants? What a Sub Needs,” SubStance (Fall 2006)
  • “Building and Construction Contract Act – Home Fights are Fairer Fights,” CBA Record (January 2003)
  • “The Iranian Cases-Executive Intervention in Private Litigation,” 30 DePaul Law Review 623-50 (1982)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Litigating and Negotiating Construction Contracts,” Mason Contractors Association of America webinar (December 2016)
  • “Protecting Contractors with Mechanics Liens and Related Rights,” Mason Contractors Association of America webinar (November 16, 2016)
  • “How to ‘Work and Get Paid in Illinois’ – Bonds and Lien Waivers,” ASA Chicago (October 22, 2015)
  • “Mechanics Liens in Illinois,” NBI (September 16, 2015)
  • “Contractors, Learn the Affects of New Legislation on Safety Service Providers,” Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Assoc. (November 5, 2014)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts In Illinois: Understanding the Issues,” Lorman (June 18, 2014)
  • “AIA Contracts,” Lorman (April 16, 2014)
  • “Construction Litigation for Commercial Litigators,” Commercial Law League of America (April 11, 2013)
  • “Mechanics Liens and Related Rights,” ASA Chicago (November 15, 2012)
  • “Cypress Creek HB,” Residential Construction Employers Council (April 26, 2012)                                     
  • “Mechanics Liens,” ASA Chicago (January 12, 2012)
  • “Litigating and Negotiating Construction Contracts,” COLLA (April 14, 2011)
  • “Mechanics Lien & Related Rights,” Common Sense (December 7, 2011)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues,” Lorman (June 22, 2011)
  • “New Laws and Perennial Disputes under Construction Contracts in Illinois,” Midwest Association of Public Procurement (June 17, 2011)
  • “AIA Contracts,” Commercial Law League of America (April 14, 2011)
  • “Mechanics Liens and Related Rights,” Common Sense (February 15, 2011)
  • “Protecting Contractors with Mechanics Liens and Related Rights,” Polish-American Contractors Builders Association (January 27, 2011)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in Illinois,” Lorman (April 15, 2009)
  • “Construction Claims in Illinois,” Lorman (April 17, 2008)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in Illinois,” Lorman (April 15, 2008)
  • “AIA Contracts,” Lorman (February 19, 2008)
  • “Contract Law and Construction Contracts,” CBA (June 5, 2007)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in Illinois,” Robert Echales’ Accountant Group (May 22, 2007)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in IL,” Lorman (April 12, 2007)
  • “Managing Construction Projects,” Lorman (July 27, 2006)   
  • “Managing Construction Projects in Illinois,” Lorman (July 19, 2006)
  • “Managing Construction Projects in Illinois,” Lorman (June 28, 2006)
  • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in IL,” Lorman (April 5, 2006)
  • “Construction Law from Contract to Closeout in Illinois,” Lorman (November 8, 2005)
  • “AIA Contracts in Illinois,” Lorman (January 25, 2005)
  • “AIA Contracts in Illinois,” Lorman (October 8, 2004)
  • “Mechanics’ Lien Law & Strategies in IL,” NBI (May 5, 2004)
  • “How to Get Paid Everytime: Mechanics, Lien and Bond Claims,” HAS (October 24, 1996)
  • “Damages in Commercial Litigation,” Lorman (July 25, 1996)
  • “Commercial Litigation: Contract, Warranty and UCC Issues,” CBA (May 17, 1994)
  • “Banking Litigation,” CBA (March 26, 1990) 

Education

DePaul University College of Law (J.D., 1982)
Marquette University (B.S., 1979)

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois