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Practice Areas

Administrative Law

Appellate Practice

Civil Rights & Constitutional Law

Construction Law

Eminent Domain / Condemnation

Historic Preservation

Labor & Employment Law


Minority & Women’s Business Program Development

Municipal Law

Public & Project Finance

Real Estate Transactions & Finance

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) & Community Development

Zoning, Development, & Land Use


University of Chicago Law School, J.D.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S.




U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Member of Trial Bar

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Richard F. Friedman is experienced in municipal law, real estate law, public finance, litigation, eminent domain, historic preservation, employment law and appellate practice. Prior to joining Neal & Leroy, LLC, Mr. Friedman was a member of the City of Chicago Law Department’s Appeals and Review and Finance Divisions. Mr. Friedman represents clients in appeals at all state and federal levels. Mr. Friedman was awarded a diversity and inclusion grant for his teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. Friedman was named a 2019 Leading Lawyer in Land Use, Zoning, and Condemnation Law.


Representative Matters


  • Represented public building agency in a jury trial to acquire the site for teachers’ academy school.

  • Called as expert witness in trial concerning eminent domain procedures exercised by public body.

  • Represents owner of historic commercial building seeking permission from landmark commission to rehabilitate the property; represents owner in application for real estate assessment tax reduction, historic tax credit and tax increment financing.

  • Defended non-profit community medical services agency against injunction and damage claim brought by neighboring property owner claiming zoning and restrictive covenant violations.

  • Represented county in structuring deal to allow private development to rehab historic landmark hospital building.

  • Represents major retail mall owner in circuit court litigation against the State involving the extent of the State’s constitutional powers of contract.

  • Represented public university in acquisition of 100+ properties for major campus expansion project; structured TIF financing for the development; defended university in Federal court against alleged violation of National Historic Preservation Act.

  • Represented municipal transit agency in Federal District Court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in proceedings where railroad questioned the municipality’s authority to acquire railroad property subject to the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act.

Civic, Educational and Professional Activities


  • Chicago Bar Association

  • Appellate Lawyers Association

  • Director of Chicago Art Deco Society

  • Director of docomomo-us/Chicago

  • Former Director and General Counsel of Landmark Illinois

  • Teaches Historic Preservation Law at University of Chicago Law School, and in the Master’s Degree program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • Lecturer on Land Use, Eminent Domain, Urban Development, and Historic Preservation Law at attorney continuing education seminars




  • Eminent Domain to Promote Economic Development (Outline) Eminent Domain to Promote Economic Development (Supplement), published by Neal & Leroy, LLC, 2009, and presented at the Illinois Institute For Continuing Legal Education: 2009 Eminent Domain Update

  • “Initial Procedures and Pleadings of the State and Other Condemning Bodies”, a chapter in Illinois Eminent Domain Practice published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1995 - 2016 Editions

  • “Historic Preservation Law,” Chapter in Land Use Special Cases published by Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2017 Edition


Speaking Engagements


  • April 21, 2018, Chicago, IL

      “Special Legal Problems Confronting Designation of Modernist 


       Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture - Synposium

  • May 2017 Illinois MCLE Presentation  
    "Historic Preservation Law" 

  • June 23-25, 2015 Carbondale, IL
    “Legal Issues Update for Commissions and Preservation Advocates” and moderated a session on “Taxing Districts Alphabet Soup: BIDs, SSAs, TIFs” at the Illinois Historic Main Street Preservation Conference in Carbondale, Illinois June 23-25, 2015

  • August 14, 2012, Chicago, IL
    Testimony at the Hearing Before Joint Committee of the Committee on Finance and Committee on Housing and Real Estate of the City Council of the City of Chicago

  • March 26, 2012, Chicago, IL
    Neal & Leroy, LLC’s In-House Seminar Series 

  • March 1, 2012, Chicago, IL
    Law Seminars International
    Fairness Hearings, Citizen Participation Act
    Real Estate and Land Use Litigation

  • February 2011, Chicago, IL
    "Historic Preservation Law"

Honors and Awards


  • Leading Lawyer in Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law - 2019 and 2018

Richard Friedman_.jpg

Richard F. Friedman

Office: (312) 641-7144  Fax: (312) 628-7027

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