Neal E. Takiff is a partner with the law firm of Whitted Takiff LLC. Prior to joining the firm, he was an attorney with the Lake County Public Defender’s Office and with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian. Mr. Takiff received his law degree from New York University School of Law and earned a B.A. in political science and philosophy from Duke University.
Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Takiff was an elementary education teacher for the Houston Independent School District and was involved with the Teach for America program for three years. He was also a school board member for Community Consolidated School District 46 and currently serves on the board of directors for Turning Point Behavioral Health Center in Skokie, Illinois. He currently teaches graduate-level education law courses at both Dominican University and Aurora University.
Mr. Takiff is a frequent speaker in the area of special education law, school discipline and mental health law. He is a trained mediator. Mr. Takiff follows an Elicitive Model of mediation in his practice and believes that a transformative approach to mediation is most effective in addressing the underlying cause of conflict and assisting the parties in finding resolution. His mediation practice primarily focuses on domestic relations issues, however, he has been asked to mediate other children’s issues, such as school placement.
Mr. Takiff represents families and their children in the area of special education, school discipline, school residency, post-secondary education issues, school records and confidentiality issues, bullying, adult and juvenile defense, domestic relations (in the areas of guardian-ad-litem, child representative and attorney for the child only), and guardianships.
Mr. Takiff also represents mental health providers, mental health facilities, and hospitals in the areas of mental health law and confidentiality, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation complaints, and contractual issues and education-related labor disputes.
Finally, Mr. Takiff represents select public and private schools and special education cooperatives both in Illinois and throughout the country. Whitted Takiff is the only firm in Illinois to represent both parents and select school districts and its ability to evaluate cases from both perspectives aides tremendously in its ability to advocate effectively for both its school and parent clients. Mr. Takiff’s school district and private school clients look to him for ways to improve the delivery of services to children, communicate effectively with the stakeholders in the educational community, and help to understand the complex and ever changing requirements in the area of school law.
Mr. Takiff also provides consultative services to schools and institutions in the areas of bullying investigations, employment investigations, and legislative support.
Although we attempt to secure our clients’ goals without the need for formal litigation, Mr. Takiff is a seasoned trial attorney and has conducted numerous civil and criminal trials and hearings throughout his career.
His practice is concentrated in the areas of special education law, domestic relations (GAL, Child Representative, Attorney for Child only) child welfare, mental health, and both criminal and civil litigation for juveniles and adults.