Bruce Schoumacher is the Group Co-Chair of the Construction Practice Group and also practices in several other areas, including professional liability, product liability, commercial law, insurance, and antitrust. He works with a variety of professionals, including architects, engineers, contractors and manufacturers. He has recently been recognized by his peers and named as a Leading Lawyer in the area of construction law. He is distinguished as Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Here is what Bruce has to say about his legal career:
Throughout my career, I have worked with my business clients to reach quick solutions to their legal problems. I emphasize efficiency by keeping things simple. Since I have a business background, I pride myself on being able to communicate with my clients not as a lawyer, but as a businessman.
I have been a trial attorney for most of my professional career, working primarily in the areas of commercial, construction, and product liability law. In recent years, I have concentrated on counseling construction, commercial and industrial firms about legal issues which affect their operations. I have advised clients on contract, insurance and other business issues in many industries, including warranty claims for truck component manufacturers, foundries, agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturers, metal fabricators, and defective and construction claims against contractors, architects, and engineers.
I have extensive experience drafting international and domestic commercial contracts, including strategic alliance agreements, long-term supply agreements, sales representative contracts, repair agency agreements, and distributor agreements. I recently drafted standard form agreements for an industrial equipment manufacturer, including sales terms, purchase terms, fabrication agreements, equipment test and rental agreements and sales representative agreements. I also worked with a client and its project manager, drafting project management, design, pre-construction, and construction agreements for a $180 million health care project. I work regularly with owners, contractors and design professionals drafting and negotiating construction contracts and professional services agreements, including joint venture agreements.
Working with our other attorneys, I have assisted clients in establishing successful businesses. I also have considerable experience with international transactions, often working with foreign attorneys.
Through the contacts I have made over my years as a lawyer, I have been able to connect my clients and friends with other business people and professionals who may be able to help them. Not only have I worked with a number of excellent consultants in the design, construction, business, and manufacturing fields, but also I have used lawyers around the globe to assist my clients. These contacts are a valuable resource for my clients and friends.
Mr. Schoumacher is a former instructor of business administration at Bellevue College and in the University of Maryland Overseas program. He is author of Engineers and the Law: An Overview (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1986), contributing author of Construction Law (Matthew Bender & Company, 1986), co-author of Successful Business Plans for Architects (McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992), and contributing author of Construction Law Handbook (Aspen Law and Business, 1999), Construction Business Handbook (Aspen Publishers, 2004), Construction Law Handbook (Second Edition), (Aspen Publishers, 2008), Construction Law (ABA Publishing, 2009), Construction Law: Transactional Considerations (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2010), and Construction Dispute Litigation (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2013). He also is co-author of "A New Remedy: Product Recall", published in the Loyola University Consumer Reporter, Fall, 1988, and authored “Contract Awards and Contract Administration,” in Quality Assurance: A National Commitment, Proceedings of the Conference, (ASCE, 1997). He also is a columnist for Business Development for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Markets.
Mr. Schoumacher is also an active speaker in the construction industry, having been featured at more than 140 seminars or meetings of the American College of Construction Lawyers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Power Engineering Society, American Society of Military Engineers, Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Western Society of Engineers, Chicago Building Congress, Chicago Bar Association and other organizations. He also acts a moderator and speaker at Lorman Education Services’ Illinois Construction Lien Law Seminar, which Querrey & Harrow attorneys have presented 35 times. He also spoke at Mealey's Wrap Insurance Conference in Las Vegas.
Mr. Schoumacher is a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers, past president of the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys, and chair of the Construction Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Mr. Schoumacher is secretary and former vice president of the Chicago Building Congress, a past member of the Illinois State Bar Association's Council on Insurance Law and former chair of the Membership and Bar Activities Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association. He is also a former chair of the Federal Civil Procedure Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
Mr. Schoumacher has authored more than 70 articles on construction issues in the Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Construction Specifier and other publications.
Mr. Schoumacher was a Special Agent of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He was released from active duty with the rank of captain.
He successfully defended an architect in an arbitration arising from damage to an indoor swimming pool addition to an existing residence. The claimant alleged that, because of the architect's alleged negligence, she paid over $1.2 million to repair the residence and addition. The arbitrator found that the architect was not liable for any of the approximately 30 design errors alleged by the claimant's expert.
He represented a mechanical contractor in a complex mediation to fund a multi-million dollar replacement of allegedly defective pipe installed in a high-rise building.
With partner David Flynn, he represented a wood roof truss manufacturer which had been sued after roof trusses fabricated by it collapsed during erection. Three construction workers were seriously injured. After a five-week trial and the testimony of fifty witnesses, the jury found the roof truss manufacturer not liable.
He has represented a window contractor in a suit claiming defective installation of windows during conversion of a large warehouse to residential condominiums.
He represented a school in a claim for extra work made by a mechanical contractor for close to one million dollars arising from a noise abatement project at the school. After extensive investigation he favorably settled the case for the school without the need for extensive discovery.
He represented a general contractor in rehabilitation of an existing historic building into a restaurant. The owner refused final payment to the contractor, alleging numerous defects. He filed a mechanics lien claim and a suit for foreclosure. The suit was stayed while this matter was arbitrated. After the hearing, the arbitrator found in favor of the contractor. He successfully argued that most of the owner’s claims had been waived for failure to follow the contract procedures for making claims.
He represented an architect in a wall collapse case in which two masons were killed. The case was settled favorably for our client, whose insurer paid a small part of the settlement.
He has represented numerous contractors, subcontractors, vendors, design professionals and owners in mechanics lien cases and other construction litigation. Many of those matters have involved claims against construction bonds.
Contributing Author: "Construction Law Handbook" (Second Edition), (Aspen Publishers, 2008); "Construction Business Handbook" (Aspen Publishers, 2004); "Construction Law Handbook" (Aspen Law & Business, 1999); "Construction Law" (ABA Publishing, 2009), "Construction Law: Transactional Considerations" (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2010).
Co-author: "Successful Business Plans for Architects," New York, McGraw Hill, Inc., 1992.
Author: "Engineers and the Law: An Overview," New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Inc., 1986.
Contributing Author: "Construction Law," New York, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., 1986.
"Relevancy Under the New Federal Rules and the Illinois Law," Chicago Bar Record, March-April, 1976.
Co-author: "A New Consumer Remedy - Product Recall," Loyola University Consumer Law Reporter, Fall, 1988.