Joseph P. Selbka
Joe has practiced law in both the government and the private sector since his graduation from the University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, in 1996. His career encompasses a wide range of impressive litigation experience. He began his career serving as litigation counsel for the Illinois Department of Employment Security where he defended hundreds of administrative review actions in administrative and employment law. He received his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs in 2001. Joe now serves as an adjunct lecturer teaching a master’s level course at the College for public administration graduate students. Joe also acted as a Hearing Officer for both the Illinois State Board of Education (2008-2014) and the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (2011-2013).
Business and Courtroom Law Experience
Joe has experience in representing businesses and individuals in the areas of corporate law, commercial disputes, U.C.C. matters, mortgage foreclosures, real estate and personal property title disputes, real estate contract negotiations, construction law, labor and employment law, contract disputes, fiduciary duty and partnership disputes, shareholder disputes, contested trusts and estates, condominium association law, consumer protection law, and administrative adjudications. Joe has represented clients before the Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Illinois Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, the Federal National Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Circuit Courts, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Illinois Appellate Court. He has prosecuted or defended eight appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has prosecuted and defended multiple disputes in front of Federal and Illinois administrative agencies.
Joe has represented clients with reviewing, negotiating and drafting contracts for real estate, vendor contracts, construction contracts, mortgages, loan agreements, employment contracts, bond claims, mechanics liens, insurance contracts, leases, estate plans (including both trusts and wills) and a variety of other commercial agreements.
Education Law and Public Sector Employment Law Experience
Joe has a wide-ranging representation within units of local government; school districts, police departments, municipalities, and library districts in the areas of real estate, construction, labor and employment, government contracts, civil rights defense, general local government matters and administrative adjudications. Joe has briefed numerous unfair labor practice charges and defended unfair labor practice complaints before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. He has prosecuted and defended multiple tenure disputes and argued two appeals regarding the tenure rights of school nurses. Joe has defended school districts against multiple civil rights and employment law disputes including First Amendment claims; employment discrimination claims; and retaliatory discharge claims. Joe has defended school districts in multiple construction contract and vendor contract disputes including surety bond and public sector mechanics lien litigation. Joe has been an instructor for training sessions for elected boards of education on board governance and ethics for board members.
Joe also has extensive experience in representation of special education, school districts and school boards. He has presided over 28 due process hearings and hundreds of due process hearing requests. Joe is the coauthor of Special Education Due Process Litigation, a handbook for special education litigation to guide attorneys published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Joe has represented parents and school district employee’s special education disputes, Section 504 claims, Title IX claims, and teacher tenure disputes on behalf of parents, students, and teachers. Joe has also prosecuted construction litigation mechanics lien claims and bond claims against numerous entities, including school districts. He has the advantage of having been on both sides of education disputes as well as having been the administrative law judge deciding disputes between parents and school districts.
Joe has also presented a lecture on expert testimony in administrative hearings for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Illinois Administrative Evidence (2015), part of a podcast on Perfecting the Record in Administrative Litigation. Joe has given presentations on behalf of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association on contested trusts and estates and on behalf of Attorneys Title and Guaranty on how to draft estate plans and work with clients in order to avoid a contested trust or estate.
He is also involved in his local community. Joe is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and serves on the Arlington Heights Board of Zoning Appeals.