At Berkey Law, we value personal relationships above all else. We strive to understand our clients, getting to know them and their needs in order to provide individualized legal solutions.
Founded in 2010, by Theresa A. Berkey, Berkey Law has grown into a team of experienced individuals, including husband and wife team Theresa A Berkey and David P. Smith. At Berkey Law, we pride ourselves on having the unique ability to communicate with our clients on a personal level, giving them the attention they deserve. Although we focus on several practice areas, we strive to be true counselors at law. We understand the challenges that our clients face, and aim to assist them in a way that fits their specific needs in a prudent, economic fashion.
At Berkey Law, we focus on the following practice areas:
Our real estate attorneys are professionals who specialize in and apply their legal skills to matters related to property, from everyday transactions to disputes. Our real estate attorneys are equipped to prepare and review documents relating to real estates, such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents and transfer documents. Our real estate attorneys often handle closings – that is, when an individual or entity purchases a piece of real property from another person or entity.
The real estate attorney provides legal guidance for individuals relating to the purchase or sale of real property. He or she ensures the transfer is legal, binding and in the best interest of the client they represent. During the purchase of a property, the real estate attorney and staff often prepare all closing documents, write title insurance policies, complete title searches on the property and handle the transfer of funds for the purchase. The attorney, or his or her team, also prepares forms such as the HUD-1 Form and related transfer of funds documentation for the buyer's lender (if the purchase is being financed).
In the case of a real estate dispute, such as chain of title, lot line problems or other issues involving contracts, an attorney works to resolve the issues. They might work for either side and provide legal representation for the parties in a courtroom setting. The real estate attorney obtains facts from both sides of the dispute and tries to come to a resolution that works for everyone involved. These resolutions may require hiring a surveyor or title company to work through some of the details.
Our estate planning attorneys is a type of lawyer who, through years of mentoring, continuing legal education and experience, understands how to advise clients on getting their affairs to prepare for the possibility of mental disability and eventual death.
Estate planning doesn't begin and end with a last will and testament. Our attorneys specialize in this field and will draft living trusts, develop a plan to mitigate or avoid estate taxes and work to ensure that your life's savings and assets are safe from your beneficiaries' creditors after your death.
We can prepare a power of attorney and health care directives, arranging for someone to take care of your affairs in the event you should ever become mentally incapacitated. We can also help you avoid guardianship or conservatorship issues if you need someone else to look after your affairs.
Whether you own one or hundreds of properties, commercial or residential, our landlord/tenant attorneys can help with all of your property-related needs. Our attorneys focus on evictions and property management issues, lease drafting, Homeowner’s Associations, Fair Housing issues, and more.
What Is Civil Litigation? Civil litigation can be loosely defined as a legal process in which criminal charges and penalties are not at issue. When two or more parties become embroiled in a legal dispute seeking money or specific performance rather than criminal sanctions, civil litigation is the result. They must instead head to the courtroom for trial so a judge or jury can decide the matter.
A lawyer who specializes in civil litigation is known as a “litigator” or a “trial lawyer.” They represent clients across a broad spectrum of associated proceedings, including pretrial hearings and depositions, as well as arbitration or mediation before administrative agencies or court personnel. Arbitration and mediation are processes that attempt to guide the parties toward settlement without the time and expense of going to court.
Theresa Berkey grew up in New Lenox, Illinois, and graduated from Lincoln-Way High School in 1999. From there, she went on to Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey to study Diplomacy & International Relations, receiving her Bachelor of Sciences degree and a certificate in Spanish in 2003. After that, she attended The John Marshall School of Law, in Chicago, graduating with her Juris Doctor in 2009, and a Master of Laws in Tax Law in January 2011.
Currently, Theresa lives in New Lenox with her husband David Smith, another local attorney. She runs a real estate and estate planning law firm with offices in Joliet and New Lenox. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her niece and two nephews.
Theresa is an active participant and Executive Board Member of the New Lenox Chamber of Commerce and was appointed in 2017 to the Village of New Lenox Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals.
Theresa is also an admissions volunteer and an alumni relations ambassador for Seton Hall University. She is a Board Member for Events for a Cause, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity, as well as Co-Chair of Witches Night Out, the annual costume fundraiser for women’s and children’s charities, including Guardian Angel Services.
David lives in New Lenox with his wife, Theresa Berkey. Originally from Grand Blanc, Michigan, David has been in Illinois since 2007.
David focuses his practice area on civil litigation, contract disputes, mechanic’s liens and construction law, partnership disputes, landlord/tenant law (commercial and residential), real property litigation and property management. David works toward guiding clients to a swift, yet economic resolution.
Commercial and civil litigation involves careful review and planning on goals, the time to achieve those goals, and the cost to get there. David enjoys balancing these factors to provide excellent, practical legal services to his client. Above all else, David puts client communication first and prides himself on maintaining a constant, meaningful connection with his clients throughout the entirety of a case.
Bill has been helping families secure their financial futures, achieve peace of mind and confidence in their estate plans for over 20 years. Prior to joining our team, Bill most recently served as Managing Director, Vice President and Senior Trust Officer for an independent trust company. He has extensive experience in the areas of trusts, estates, guardianships, investments, and complex fiduciary needs.
After serving as a Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm, Bill earned his Bachelor of Science degree in paralegal studies, with a political science minor, from Southern Illinois University. He earned his Juris Doctor from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2000. He is a member of the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois, the Illinois Bar Association, Will County Bar Association, and is the former Chair of the DuPage Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Probate section. Bill is a Certified Illinois Child Advocate in the 13th Illinois Judicial Circuit, is a graduate of Cannon Financial Services Investment School and is a Center for Fiduciary Studies Accredited Fiduciary Investment Manager™.
Bill and his wife Demry have been married for over 28 years and they have two children, Dylan and Kelsey. The Hardesty family have three adopted “rescue” dogs, Spike, Bat, and Holly. In his spare time, Bill enjoys fishing, hiking, and rescuing, rehabilitating, and refinishing antique furniture.
David “Sanders” Sanders grew up in Glendale Heights, Illinois and currently resides in Plainfield. He attended the College of DuPage as well as Northern Illinois University.
During his free time, Sanders has been an active committee member for Witches Night Out, an annual fundraising event. Net proceeds raised through Witches Night Out are distributed to local Will County 501(c)(3) agencies who provide vital services and support to help women secure their independence, regain their dignity, and become self-sufficient.