If there’s one thing Stanley N. “Stan” Wasser wants his construction clients to know, it’s this: “I’m putting myself in their shoes.” Having spent more than 25 years as a highly referred attorney in construction matters, Stan knows the terminology, concepts, issues, contracts, and documentation of the industry. “I can read a set of drawings and understand how jobs are supposed to work – knowing that is a big help.”
With a unique combination of government experience as Chief Counsel to the Illinois Department of Transportation, General Counsel to the Illinois Bureau of the Budget, an Assistant Attorney General, and an Illinois Comptroller’s counsel, 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 means understanding the critical cost-benefit questions that any business must address when faced with a legal challenge. “I don’t want to become an unnecessary journeyman on my client’s payroll,” quips Stan. “My job is to figure out how to make the right business decision and not over-lawyer the issue – I try to be a problem-solver.” If, however, litigation is necessary, Stan can advocate for and protect his clients’ interests in the litigation process and at trial.
It’s this practical attitude that Stan believes has allowed him to maintain long term 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. “It’s satisfying when somebody says they would like to hire you to help them solve a legal problem because of what they have heard about you,” says Stan. “Some of my clients have been with me for decades – that trust is incredibly rewarding.”
To read an editorial profile of Stanley Wasser by Leading Lawyers Magazine, click here.
Areas of Practice
Employment Law – Employee
Employment Law – Employer
Labor Law – Employer
50% of Practice
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, DC, J.D., 1975
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, B.A., 1972
Honors and Awards
Illinois State Bar Association
Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys
Lincoln-Douglas Inns of Court
Sangamon County Bar Association
Stan is a co-author of the chapter entitled Representing the Public Owner in the IICLE 2009 Practice Handbook, entitled Pre-Construction Issues, and a co-author of the chapter entitled Labor Issues in the Transactional Side of the Project in the IICLE 2010 Practice Handbook entitled Construction Law: Transactional Considerations.
Past Employment Positions
Illinois Department of Transportation, Chief Counsel, 1985–1986
Illinois Bureau of the Budget, General Counsel, 1984–1985
Illinois Department of Transportation, Assistant/Deputy Chief Counsel, 1977–1984
Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, 1977
Office of the Illinois Comptroller, Staff Counsel, 1975–1976
Stan has spoken at seminars on the following construction law topics:
- 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, 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 damages;
- construction bonds and suretyship;
- alternative dispute resolution of construction claims; and
- ethics issues arising from insurance, surety bonds and bankruptcy construction issues.