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July 20, 2024

Algonquin Township – Nelson’s letter – Singularly unimpressed

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 25, 2019

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Algonquin Township attorney John Nelson has responded to Road District attorney Hanlon’s letter of July 11, 2019.  We covered Hanlon’s letter to Nelson and others in this article.

Reading Nelson’s letter, it would appear a nerve has been hit.  The content of the letter is both comical and sad as it is clear there is a disconnect with the facts.

Nelson states: “My direction of the Algonquin Township Board of Trustees is to settle or dispose of this case to stop the unnecessary drain on the public treasury, specifically the astronomic amount of attorney’s fees generated. by the above case.”

So if we are to believe Nelson’s goal is to stop the drain on the public treasury, specifically the astronomic attorney fees being generated, may we make some suggestions?

  • Don’t write singularly unimpressive letters that have false statements.
  • Don’t poke the bear that is not charging attorney fees.
  • Direct your letters to the attorneys that are charging the fees.
  • Provide legal authority to support the scheme created by Kelly and the other attorneys.
  • Don’t chest thump about all the Federal criminal courts you have litigated in as this is not a criminal case.

False Statement:

  • ..”your representations that an unnamed former federal prosecutor, etc. have told you that a settlement is illegal.”

Reading Hanlon’s letter, we found no such claim that “a settlement” is illegal.  In fact, everyone knows public bodies can settle lawsuits but this appears to be more about chest-thumping than problem-solving.  Hanlon’s letter talks of the legality of the way they are trying to settle the case and considering Nelson and others have yet to produce any such legal authority for their scheme to work, we agree, their scheme is illegal.  We covered the scheme in this article.

Poke the Bear

  • “You would be well-served looking after your client’s interests which in my humble opinion are not running up your fees for claims that appear to be spurious and unnecessary.”

Ok, time for a new keyboard and coffee.  Clearly, Nelson would be well-served to open mouth and insert foot.  Hanlon has not charged for matters in this case, thus any insinuation he is running up fees would be a false statement. Not sure how attacking apposing counsel that is not charging any fees gets them any closer to his claimed objective of stopping the bleeding of legal fees but I digress, I’m not an attorney.  Anyone taking bets Nelson billed for writing this letter?

  • “The upshot of your letter is that you are not interested in a reasonable settlement, in spite of representations made to the court in this matter.”

Another false statement?  Our understanding is that the Road District was open to a reasonable settlement and once they were provided the legal authority to do it they would consider it.  To date, no such legal authority has been presented and we don’t believe it ever will be.

  • “I find your “illegality” representations without merit”.

Most attorneys would jump on such an opportunity if they actually believed the statement to be true.  Hanlon has encouraged all parties to provide the legal authority that supports their scheme.  In fact, one of the very attorneys they told Hanlon to contact on the subject agreed, the scheme is not legal. If it was, why doesn’t Nelson present the legal opinion to support their scheme?  An opinion with actual statutes and case law, not just a letter citing their personal opinion.  Rather than telling Hanlon his representations are without merit, why not provide the merit they believe exists? Doing so would lead towards a possible resolution of the matter and stop the bleeding of legal fees, to include Nelson’s.

All facts aside, we hope the Township did not get billed for this chest-thumping letter that frankly, was “singularly unimpressive”.

A copy of Nelson’s letter can be viewed below.

Ltr fr Nelson 7-16-19 (002)

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