Ronald A. Damashek

Member

Ron Damashek recognizes that litigation is a place very few people want to be, but all too many people end up. Operating from that mindset makes Ron a practical lawyer, working to get to the bottom line quickly and enabling his clients to make educated, cost-effective decisions. Regardless of whether the path leads to settlement, arbitration, or trial, Ron stands side-by-side with each client, prepared and ready to succeed.

As counsel to secured creditors, Ron regularly litigates and works out troubled loans, resolves disputes with borrowers, competing lien claimants and loan participants, and advises clients as to their contractual rights and obligations under loan documents, customer account and service agreements, inter-creditor agreements, and acquisition agreements. He has foreclosed hundreds of commercial mortgages on properties ranging from downtown office buildings to a suburban golf course, represented secured creditors in bankruptcy litigation, and represented court appointed receivers.  In addition, Ron and his team document and enforce MSB relationships, involving multi-entity businesses across multiple jurisdictions and, where necessary, high dollar lender syndications. 

Ron also has an extensive real estate dispute resolution practice. Ron represents title insurance companies and their policy holders, title insurance agents, banks, condominium associations, developers, property owners, and contractors. His cases run the gamut from resolving disputes involving wire fraud, lien priority, lien validity, title ownership, equitable and conventional subrogation, easements, property boundaries, mechanic’s liens, policy coverage (including rendering coverage opinions), defalcations, title and construction escrows, and alleged mortgage fraud.

Ron regularly helps developers, property owners, and contractors navigate and resolve real estate problems, including controversies involving municipalities, development partners, adjoining property owners, contractors, landlord-tenant relationships, and mechanic’s lien claims. He represents condominium associations in preparing documents and resolving issues concerning state law, condominium declarations, by-laws, rules and regulations, turnover, elections, non-payment of assessments, and association contracts. 

Ron actively promotes and protects the interests of the state-wide title industry and its participants by representing the Illinois Land Title Association in amicus curiae briefs and direct proceedings to enforce state law, such as compelling the Cook County Recorder of Deeds to record documents concerning the rights of heirs and challenging the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation’s title producer disclosure procedures.

Education & Credentials

Education

Georgetown University Law Center

J.D., 1982
  • cum laude

Northwestern University

B.A., 1979
  • cum laude

Bar Admission

  • Federal Trial Bar1989
  • Illinois1982

Acknowledgements

  • Illinois Leading Lawyers – 2011–2021
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Creditor's Rights/Commercial Collections Law
    • Real Estate Law: Associations & Condominiums
    • Real Estate Law: Commercial
  • Illinois Super Lawyers -- 2011-2021
    • Business Litigation 

Prominent Assignments

  • Mac Naughton v. Harmelech, 932 F.3d 558 (7th Cir. 2019) (Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of our opponent’s complaint as a sanction for violating the District Court’s Order).
  • Title Industry Assurance Co., R.R.G. v. First American Title Insurance Company, Case No. 15-3310 (7th Cir., April 10, 2017) (a liability insurer was estopped from invoking policy defenses to the indemnity claims of its insured, a title agent, because the liability carrier breached its duty to defend the insured, thus rendering the carrier liable for a judgment or reasonable settlement in favor of the third party claimants, including a title insurance company, and against the insured title agent). 
  • Borto v. First American Title Insurance Company, 2017 IL App (1st) 162266-U (complaint against closing agent for failing to obtain a release of a revolving home equity line of credit that was paid down to zero at closing almost 17 years ago was barred by the statute of limitations because the continued existence of, and the failure to release, the mortgage was apparent from the public real estate record).
  • Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Payton, 2017 IL App (1st) 160305 (bank that pays off its mortgagor’s sellers’ mortgages is equitably subrogated to the liens of the sellers’ mortgages notwithstanding sellers’ claim that the deed received by the bank’s mortgagors was forged).
  • In Re Application of County Collector (Stolat Financial, LLC), 2016 IL App (3d) 150712 (affirming dismissal of petition to set aside tax deed). 
  • One West Bank v. Cielak, 2016 IL App (3d) 150224 (mortgage signed by wife enforceable against tenancy by the entireties property even though wife not obligated on note).
  • CFE Group, LLC, v. FirstMerit Bank, N.A., 809 F.3d 346 (7th Cir. 2015) (foreclosing lender entitled to pursue state court collection action after it voluntarily dismissed federal action following district court’s dismissal of federal complaint without prejudice).
  • Amicus Curiae: 231 W. Scott LLC vs. Lakeside Bank, 2017 IL App (1st) 161131 (limiting title company construction escrowee’s responsibility and exposure for the disbursement of construction funds based on the terms of its construction escrow agreement).
  • Amicus Curiae:  Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Chicago Title Insurance Company, 771 F.3d 391 (7th Cir. 2014) (complete defense rule does not apply to title insurance policies, which seek to insure only limited range of losses related to title defects).
  • Amicus Curiae:  In re Crane (Gifford State Bank v. Richardson), 487 B.R. 906 (C.D. Ill. 2013) (recorded mortgages provided constructive notice of mortgage liens under Illinois Conveyances Act even though they did not expressly set forth the interest rates and maturity dates of secured promissory notes), aff’d., 742 F.3d 702 (7th Cir. 2013).

Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Member
    • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (ABA-TIPS) Title Insurance Litigation Committee, Former Chair 
    • Litigation - Real Estate, Condemnation & Trust Committee
  • American Land Title Association 
    • Title Counsel Participant
    • Contributor to TitleNews Online report - The Docket

Community Involvement

  • Chicago Food Depository Volunteer
  • Former American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) soccer coach

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1982) 
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (1990)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1996)
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois (2008)

Publications/Presentations

  • TitleNews Online report - The Docket
    • A Heir Raising Tale from New Jersey 
    • An Exceptional Plat Attack 
    • California Court of Appeals clearly explains post-conveyance coverage liability 
    • 150 year old shellfish bites title insurer
    • Dueling Dinosaurs’ Minerals Surface 
    • Insured’s Intent + Insurer’s Knowledge = Liability
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