Randy Rapp

About Randall Rapp

Randy Rapp concentrates his ADR practice in commercial and construction matters, drawing from over 40 years of legal experience with counseling, trials, arbitration, and mediations in a wide variety of commercial and construction issues including those involving multiple parties, millions of dollars in claims, and billions in contracts.

Randy also has a decade of experience as a general counsel and business executive for a national, mid-sized manufacturing and distribution company. He was responsible for legal affairs, corporate governance, human resources and payroll, product safety, product liability, and workplace safety. As a member of the executive management team, he was among the small group of decision-makers in all aspects of the business, including restructuring, two sales of the company, divestiture, management restructuring, leasing, plant construction, commercial contracts, business contraction, business expansion, and hundreds of millions of dollars in financings.

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Specific Legal & Business Experience

Construction (contracts, design, testing, suretyship, defects, claims, building codes and standards, environmental)

Commercial transactions and disputes (contracts, corporate, governance financing, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, banking, international)

Real property transactions and disputes (acquisitions, financing, leasing, sale/leaseback, landlord-tenant, agency, condominiums, foreclosures)

Distribution (antitrust, unfair competition, dealer and distribution law)

Product liability & product safety ( defective products, product design, safety warnings)

Employment (discrimination, harassment, contract, compensation)

Intellectual property (patent infringement, trademark, licensing)

Elder Mediation (elder care, financial issues, family issues)

Not-for-profit (governance, funding, management)

ADR Training

Association of Attorney-Mediators, Advanced Mediator Training (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 & regular training meetings) and Advanced Elder Mediation training (2017)

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), Accelerated Route to Fellowship Training (2016)

Resolution Systems Institute, 19th Judicial Circuit Foreclosure Mediation Training (2013, 2016)

Chicago Bar Association, Mandatory Arbitration Program of the Circuit Court of Cook County Law Division (2015)

DePaul Center for Dispute Resolution, Mediation Skills for the Advocate (2012)

Illinois State Bar Association, 40-Hour Mediator/Arbitrator Training, October 2010

Pepperdine University School of Law, Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case, February 2009

American Arbitration Association: Challenges to Arbitrator Authority (2017); eDiscovery (2016); Principled Deliberations (2014); Neutral’s Conferences (2004, 2006, 2012, 2016); Construction Conference (2008); Chairing an Arbitration Panel (2008), among other regular AAA training.

Licenses & Certifications

Admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1976; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1976 and Trial Bar, 1983-2017; U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1977; Certified Mediator, Illinois Circuit Courts of Lake, McHenry & Cook (Law, Chancery & Domestic Relations) Counties; Certified Arbitrator, Circuit Courts of McHenry & Lake Counties.

American Arbitration Association, Construction Industry Arbitration Panel (1982) & Commercial Arbitration Panel (2010) & Construction Industry & Commercial Mediation Panels (2011).

Education

Illinois Wesleyan University (BA-1973); University of Iowa (JD-1976).

Professional Associations

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) (Fellow); Association of Attorney-Mediators; Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association; Association for Conflict Resolution – Chicago Chapter; American Bar Association; Illinois State Bar Association; McHenry County (IL) Bar Association; Lake County (IL) Bar Association; American Bar Foundation (Fellow).

Publications

“2015 AAA Construction Industry Arbitration Rules: Fair, Efficient & Economical Arbitration?,” ISBA Building Knowledge, June 2017; “Effective Advocacy in Mediation,” MCLE presentation to law firms;  “Illinois Construction Law:  What Do You Do When…?” National Business Institute Inc., 1993 & 2000.

Professional Experience

Randy Rapp is associated with the Chicago firm of Rapp Law Group, LLC, where he focuses on commercial and construction law. He served as General Counsel, Vice President – Corporate Services & Secretary of Woods Equipment Company, a national, mid-sized manufacturing and distribution company. Randy was responsible for legal affairs, corporate governance, human resources and payroll, product safety, product liability, and workplace safety. As a member of the executive management team, he was among the small group of decision-makers for all aspects of the business. Prior to joining Woods, Randy was a partner at Foley & Lardner in the Litigation Practice Group. He also taught International Law as an adjunct at IIT Chicago Kent College of Law.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Neutral sole arbitrator, neutral panel member, and advocate in well-over 100 construction and commercial disputes involving a wide variety of commercial issues (e.g., contracts, international software license, antitrust & professional services) and most aspects of construction (e.g., design, bonds, liens, defects, claims & environmental).

American Arbitration Association arbitration panel member since 1982. Mediator in over 300 construction and commercial disputes. Parties’ settled most of mediated cases.

Commercial & Employment

Experience in commercial contracts, software licenses, distribution, real estate, land use, financing, product safety, product liability, corporate compliance, corporate governance, intellectual property, international commercial agreements, international law, environmental, and labor/employment matters. As private attorney, represented clients in wide range of commercial disputes including construction, real estate, leases, land use, loan workouts, contracts, business torts, competition, banking, international letters of credit, environmental, condominiums, and intellectual property. As business executive and General Counsel, negotiated, reviewed, and approved hundreds of commercial contracts for all aspects of $250M manufacturing business including two sales of the Company; multiple financings for $100’s of millions; intellectual property licenses and transactions; office, manufacturing plant, and distribution facility leases; agreements for international distribution and sales; sale of construction attachment division to an international buyer; sale of manufacturing business and disposition of industrial property; supply; and distribution. Supervised product safety, European Union product certification, NAFTA compliance, and product technical manuals.  Oversaw management, acquisition, and disposition of owned and leased real property.  Directed human resource management for 1,800 employees in 13 U.S. locations including hiring, retention, separations, evaluations, wage & salary planning, training, plant safety, benefits, payroll, plant and facility moves and closings, reductions-in-force, and employment claims.

Construction   

1976 – 2000:  Represented owners, architects, engineers, construction managers, general contractors, environmental engineers and contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers on construction legal issues in all aspects of the construction process. Handled construction claims relating to delays, defects, design, environmental, change orders, surety bonds, liens, and building. Involved as advocate or arbitrator in many multi-party, multimillion dollar construction disputes. As counselor, negotiated well over $1 billion in construction contracts.

2000 – 2010:  At Woods Equipment Company, primary business and legal responsibility for construction of multi-million dollar manufacturing plant including land acquisition, public and private financing, architect (and agreement), contractor (and agreement), change orders, pay requests, and close-out. Served as the Owner’s Representative during construction. Responsible for all owned and leased properties nationally and involved in business and legal construction issues such as leasing, tenant build-outs; renovations; and installations of heavy cranes, steel fabrication cutting machinery, and robotic welding equipment. Responsible for environmental compliance, including a multi-year clean-up of a former industrial site in Massachusetts. Business and legal responsibility for proposed sale of construction attachment manufacturing division to Northern Ireland company (negotiated to signature documentation).  Supervised and actively involved in investigating incidents and defending multi-million-dollar claims arising out of construction accidents involving construction equipment manufactured by Woods.

2010 – Present:  Arbitrated many construction cases including an environmental clean-up dispute involving over $5 million dollars, a dispute over a 150,000 sq. ft commercial building roof, a dispute involving $70 million apartment and retail complex, and a multi-party lien foreclosure action. Mediated over 30 construction disputes including a dispute with claims totaling $20 million for a $300 million public project and another dispute involving fraud claims against a contractor.  Represent construction clients including fast-growing Chicago-area general contractor.

Not-for-Profit 

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law and Heartland Alliance, among others, Board member

National Immigrant Justice Center f/k/a Midwest Immigrant Rights Center, Officer & Board Member, 1985 – present

Immigration Project, Inc. (legal services provider), Officer & Board Member, 1997- present

Land Conservancy of McHenry County., Officer & Board Member, 2012 – present

Sanibel Beach Club Condominium Association, Officer (current President) & Board Member, 2009 – present

McHenry County Conservation Voters, Founder & Board Member, @ 1988 – 1993

Alden (IL) Township Planning Commission, 1995 – present

Deep experience in funding, staffing, corporate governance, budgeting, strategic planning, and legal issues involving not-for-profit entities.

Construction: Contracts | Design | Testing | Surety | Defects | Claims | Building Codes and Standards | Environmental

Commercial Transactions & Disputes: Contracts | Corporate Governance | Financing | Restructuring | Mergers & Acquisitions | Partnerships | Banking l International

Real Property Transactions & Disputes: Acquisitions | Financing | Leasing | Sale/Leaseback | Landlord-Tenant | Agency | Condominiums l Foreclosure

Distribution: Antitrust | Unfair Competition | Dealer & Distribution Law

Employment: Discrimination | Harassment | Contracts | Compensation

Intellectual Property: Patent Infringement | Trademark

Elder Mediation: Elder Care l  Financial Issues l Housing l Family Issues

Not-for-Profit:  Governance | Funding | Management

Product Liability & Product Safety: Defective Products | Product Design | Safety Warnings

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What are your specific areas of expertise?

Construction: Contracts | Design | Testing | Surety | Defects | Claims | Building Codes and Standards | Environmental

Commercial Transactions & Disputes: Contracts | Corporate Governance | Financing | Restructuring | Mergers & Acquisitions | Partnerships | Banking l International

Real Property Transactions & Disputes: Acquisitions | Financing | Leasing | Sale/Leaseback | Landlord-Tenant | Agency | Condominiums l Foreclosure

Distribution: Antitrust | Unfair Competition | Dealer & Distribution Law

Employment: Discrimination | Harassment | Contracts | Compensation

Intellectual Property: Patent Infringement | Trademark

Elder Mediation: Elder Care l  Financial Issues l Housing l Family Issues

Not-for-Profit:  Governance | Funding | Management

Product Liability & Product Safety: Defective Products | Product Design | Safety Warnings

Learn More