Rob Jackstadt Wins Contractual Forum Selection Battle in Federal Court for the Edwardsville School District

Jul 6, 2012

Rob Jackstadt secured an Order from the federal court remanding a construction contract claim back to the state court on a case that was removed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. In Edwardsville Comm. Unit District No.7 v. K & S Associates, Inc. the construction contract stated that “the parties agree that the forum for any judicial proceedings, if any, shall be the Madison County Circuit Court.”   The defendant contractor, however, claimed that because the $21 million contract was awarded through the Illinois public bidding process, the federal court should not enforce the exclusive forum selection clause. More specifically, the contractor argued that it was prohibited from negotiating the terms of the construction contract, including the forum selection clause included in the bid package. Thus, the defendant argued that the court should not enforce the clause that was contained in the School District’s bid package since it was the product of overwhelming bargaining power which completely deprived the contractor from of the right to bargain or negotiate. The court disagreed, found the mandatory forum selection clause reasonable and enforceable under Illinois law, and remanded the lawsuit back to the Madison County Circuit Court. In the decision, Judge Herndon mentioned that the selected exclusive forum bore a substantial relationship to the parties. The school construction took place in Madison County and the School District is based in Madison County.

Robert Jackstadt is a founding Shareholder of Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan & Jackstadt, P.C. Prior to founding the Firm, Rob was a partner at Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin (now Husch Blackwell Sanders, LLP) in its St. Louis office. Rob is a former member of the Edwardsville School Board, a former trustee and planning commission member for the Village of Glen Carbon and is currently the Mayor of the Village of Glen Carbon- a part time position.

Rob practices in the areas of commercial, construction and education litigation. Rob has tried to a conclusion many jury and bench trials in federal and state courts located in Illinois and Missouri. Rob’s trial experience includes litigation involving tax increment financing (“TIF”) districts, equipment leases, condemnation, construction, performance and payment bonds, non-competition agreements, securities and mechanic’s liens. Rob has negotiated many construction contracts, including architect agreements, construction manager agreements, and general contractor agreements

Tueth Keeney is proud to be one of the state’s largest Illinois education law practices. The firm has one of the most experienced groups of attorneys in Central and Southern Illinois dedicated to serving public schools. We regularly represent nearly 150 public school districts, including many districts in Central and Southern Illinois. Our Firm is also regularly appointed by insurers of educational institutions to represent districts in complex or difficult cases involving school or civil rights laws.

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