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Richard Shapiro Attorney at Law

1327 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois, United States, 60201-4724

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Reviews Lawyers, Tax Consultant, Real Estate Lawyer Richard Shapiro Attorney at Law

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I have been using the services of Richard Shapiro Attorney for property tax appeals for several properties both commercial and residential for 25 years plus. Their service is the best, their staff extremely knowledgeable. They always return calls and follow up with any paperwork detail needed for successful appeals. I have been informed that Shapiro's appeals are so complete and well documented, they are rarely refuted. I did hire an alternative firm years ago with extremely dissatisfying results with appeals that were rejected or with minimal adjustments. I returned to Shapiro and never left. I highly recommend this law office.

I've used Richard Shapiro's law office since the mid-1990s. I just realized that this has continued to go on for such a long time because it's been such an good experience, and I wanted to write this review because I think overall that he and those of his employees I've had contact with over the ~25 years have earned it.It's been a long time since I actually spoke with Mr. Shapiro because of all the wonderful people in his office. They seem highly motivated, they are capable and helpful. And if maybe they don't know an answer, they'll say they don't know, they'll find out whatever it is and they'll be good about getting back to me. And the results have been excellent. Shapiro usually has won my tax appeals consistently, if not invariably.Over this past week it's been Sally who's helped me. She's quite knowledgeable and she has a mellifluous British accent, too. She articulates all of her words so clearly! She's very experienced. You can tell when you talk to her that when it comes to property tax appeals that whatever the question is, it is not her first rodeo.

We appeal both commercial and residential with Richard *** and we are very satisfied with the results!

During 2019, Attorney Shapiro badly mishandled an appeal of an astounding 50% proposed increase in the property tax assessment for my home before the Cook County Board of Review (CCBR) and the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB). Although a small 27% reduction in the assessment was granted, Shapiro's services have cost me thousands of $$ in terms of 1) foregone property tax reductions for 2018 & the remaining triennial assessment period that he didn't seek, 2) his failure to further pursue this matter with the PTAB, as requested, 3) future attorneys fees that I will have to incur to appeal property taxes in years 2019 & 2020.

Prior to the CCBR appeal, neither Shapiro or his office contacted or attempted to contact me in any way to gather facts, make inquiries, discuss or any issues regarding the appeal and made only minimal, incomplete efforts regarding obtaining comparable prior & proposed assessed values & actual FMV's

Shapiro filed the CCBR appeal without any client consultation or review only notifying me of the filing, afterwards.

Shapiro never provided/offered me a copy of the actual CCBR appeal, in which he made an absurdly small requested reduction in the asessment (27%), and provided it only upon request after the CCBR was decision.

After receiving the CCBR decision, Shapiro failed or was delinquent in responding to my several inquiries by phone, e-mail & text messages about: the outcome, his efforts/strategies, and my request to have him file a PTAB appeal.

Despite my inquiries & direct expressed concern beginning on 4/19/19 to Shapiro & several representatives (a female paralegal who initially handled the matter, a male paralegal to whom it was later referred & a secretary) about a PTAB appeal & the running of the 30 day time limitation, and, despite the fact that Paragraph (1) of the agreement between Shapiro and myself states that he was authorized to represent me before PTAB, he allowed the 30 day time limit to expire.

Richard Shapiro Attorney at Law Response • Sep 25, 2019

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in response to the Robert L. *** complaint, which I so similar to his subsequent ARDC complaint that it seems fair to describe his complaint as a simply a slightly earlier draft of the ARDC complaint. So for that reason, I’m using my ARDC response to also serve as my response. I attached Mr. ARDC complaint as well as a two pieces of correspondence that he included as part of his complaint, which both he and I make reference to in our letters to the ARDC.


Richard Shapiro

Richard Shapiro Attorney at Law Response • Oct 16, 2019





The following is my reply to Mr. response:

I don’t see why the states that “The consumer has rejected the company offer in regards to this complaint.” I made it crystal clear that my response to his complaint was to sue him for my fee because I wrote that I had decided to refer the matter to my collections attorney and then Mr. thereupon immediately paid his bill, so it seems to me he accepted that he owed me money for my services by paying his invoice in full, although he does state that he continues to dispute the bill.

I cannot bring myself to attempt to respond to every error in Mr. lengthy complaint, but the biggest problem is his ignorance -- he doesn’t know what he is talking about generally, with regard to property tax appeals, and specifically with regard to the facts in this case. One of his inexplicable major errors was to state in his second paragraph on page 2 of his response that I “had submitted solely two comparable properties.” In fact I submitted SIX (6) comparable properties, NOT TWO (see the attached PDF of the evidence of lack of assessment uniformity between the subject and comparable properties).

Mr. lack of understanding of the appeal process is illustrated by his inappropriate yet laser-like focus on Fair Market Value (FMV) . The normal appeal process recognizes the usefulness of FMV only in those appeals that are considered to be involving “recent” (within three years) purchases of the subject property. Mr. property was purchased over 25 years ago and therefore the method of choice for analysis focuses on the Improvement Value Per Square Foot (IVPSF), which is what all the administrative agencies use in those cases that do not involve what they consider a recent purchase.

As I have previously stated, I don’t file appeals unthinkingly and without my own review just because my client wants me to. The ARDC has confirmed that it is my right to exercise my judgment with regard to this issue by having already dismissed Mr. complaint to the ARDC, which complaint was essentially identical to the complaint Mr. filed with the If, in the end, it is my judgment that an appeal is not indicated then it is my judgment that governs and it is ultimately my decision. The client can only authorize an appeal, NOT force me to pursued one against my better judgment.

Under his Item 1, Mr. claims that there is a contradiction in my stating that his case was straightforward, relevant facts were gathered and that factual/legal issues were not discussed. In fact, his case could not have been more plain vanilla. It was very straightforward, facts were gathered at the outset and no issues of consequence existed. He did get a substantial 50% increase. He characterizes that as “highly unusual” but it actually struck me as unsurprising because I deal with so many appeals. There was a wide range of increases and some were much larger than his. Substantial increases were commonplace and do not necessarily get reflected in one’s taxes, but the process is complicated and efforts to explain anything to Mr. invariably fall on deaf ears. He just won’t listen because despite his substantial ignorance he thinks he knows everything he needs to know about tax appeals.

Continuing on his Item 1, Mr. complains about my use of IVPSF is confusing, unexplained and incomplete. It is the method of choice for appealing his kind of case whether he understands that or not. Mr. hired me to file a property tax appeal, not to educate him on how to do one. That would be impossible anyway regardless because he refuses to listen, so he cannot be educated even if one tries. I know because I tried and it was simply futile. For example, he stated that he believes that his analysis of FMV provides a more commonsense and more accurate evaluation of his situation. Unfortunately, in his particular situation all of the administrative agencies (the Cook County Assessor, the Cook County Board of Review and the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board) disagree. But of course, Mr. knows better. He does not distinguish between the standards used for re-assessing properties and the methods of analysis used for appeals, which are NOT the same. The uniformity requirement comes from in the Illinois Constitution and that suggests why it is the primary standard used for the majority of residential appeals that are not classified as being “recent” purchases.

In his Item 2, he complains that I did not consult with him about the evidence to be used in his case. He is correct; I don’t do that. Clients hire me to make my best judgment on their behalf. Mr. does not understand the methodology for appealing property taxes. That is why folks like him hire me.

In his Item 3, he complains that he wasn’t given an opportunity to review my request for relief. Again, I don’t do that and I would have told him so at the outset if he indicated that that was his expectation. I would much rather forgo his business than spend seemingly endless hours trying to educate him about what I do. If he doesn’t like my methods he should have gone elsewhere. I have tens of thousands of clients who do not try to micromanage their appeals and one client who sees his role very differently.

In his item 4, he describes his difficulties in getting a personal response from me. I spoke to him prior to the deadline for PTAB and told him my reasons for not pursuing the appeal at that level.

As for his Item 5, the ARDC evidently agrees with me because they dismissed his complaint. I am not obliged to pursue an appeal which I do not believe is justified, whether Mr. agrees, or not.

In his Item 6, he complains about my “unethical” behavior, however, the ARDC, which has jurisdiction over that issue disagreed, inasmuch as they quickly dismissed his complaint after their initial review.

My conclusion: Mr. thinks he knows better than everyone else but he doesn’t have a good understanding of the appeals process and is much too close-minded to learn about what he doesn’t know. He wanted to complain, so he complained. I agree with the ARDC that his complaint is simply without merit. I provide a service; I appeal property taxes. I have spent considerable time trying to explain to him what I did and why but he still does not understand, or, as it seems to me, he just does not want to understand. As for his invoice, as soon as I let him know that I had sent it to collection he immediately paid his bill. I consider that specific subject to now have been closed to my satisfaction. I am glad he decided to do the right thing and pay his bill in full for the services that my office rendered.

Richard Shapiro


Customer Response • Oct 16, 2019

Complaint: ***

I am rejecting this response because:
I will keep my response mercifully short. Mr. Shapiro continued in his latest response to be knowingly dishonest about many facts concerning the source of this complaint. The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission acknowledged that I “dispute most of the attorney’s statements” and stated that under the high standard of “clear and convincing evidence” it is required to use, it could not establish misconduct. Absent recordings of conversations with he and his office, this matter, unfortunately, has a character of “He said, he said.” But as a consumer, I know what happened regarding his services, and continue to be deeply dissatisfied. I retain the right to sue him for malpractice and paid his fee “under protest” merely to limit his efforts to impose interest and attorney fees. Lastly, I note the (continued) disrespectful and mocking tone of his responses. Perhaps this is an indication of how he conducts his business.
Robert ***



The devil is in the fine print. I have hired Richard Shapiro to appeal my property taxes for the last two years. Little that I know there is a term on the contract that charges $50 legal fees per property on top of 50% commission on any property tax reductions. Just got off the phone with their Finance department and I was told I should have negotiated the terms and fees before I signed the contract. Don't make the same mistakes that I did. Read your contract carefully before signing and make sure negotiated new terms are in writings.

The services of attorney Richard Shapiro have successfully filed a property tax appeal on our behalf for 3 consecutive cycles and we are very grateful for their assistance!

For years and years I would get these notes in the mail from attorneys offering to help get my property taxes reduced and I threw them away. In 2015 I decided to go for it and pay $50 to Richard Shapiro + a percentage of whatever they can save me. And by golly it worked. I have saved over $3000 and have paid Richard Shapiro $700 of that savings. And the customer service of Richard and his team including Erika in billing has been nothing sort of fantastic. I highly recommend them!

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Address: 1327 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois, United States, 60201-4724


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