Stephen R. Niemeyer

Partner

Juries consist of hard-working individuals from all demographics and socio-economic classes. Effective trial lawyers must be able to connect with people from all walks of life: professors and programmers, barbers and baristas. Stephen Niemeyer combines a uniquely eclectic background with outstanding legal skills, enabling him to relate to people of all cultures and experiences. That pays direct dividends for Stephen’s clients when he presents a case to a jury.

For over a decade, Stephen has represented clients before state and federal courts across the Midwest. He defends insurance companies and corporate clients in complex, high-stakes litigation involving product liability, medical and legal malpractice, insurance coverage, and other issues.

He has earned a reputation as a savvy negotiator and confident trial lawyer. Like all Patton & Ryan attorneys he relishes taking tough cases to trial. But his path to the law was not as direct as some of his peers. After earning a business and accounting degree, he first worked on the business side of the accounting profession, learning how to run an efficient operation.

Stephen also spent time behind the bar before he passed the bar. That is, he next entered the restaurant business — first as a bartender, then a restaurant manager, at establishments across the country. It wasn’t until he was nearly 30 years old that he entered law school.

Stephen’s bartending experience, serving both business leaders and working class Joes and Janes, provided him with rare insight that enables him to connect with today’s diverse juries. No white shoe lawyer looking down from an ivory tower, Stephen developed an uncanny ability to get inside the jurors’ heads, and can speak with authenticity to each of them. He learned to read opposing counsel, and anticipate their next move.

Although his path to the profession may have been circuitous, he’s a born lawyer, with an incisive, analytical mind. When other children were learning shapes and colors, he taught himself to play bridge by watching his parents’ games. Today, he brings these same powers of observation and concentration to his legal practice, synthesizing charts in medical malpractice cases, or learning engineering principles in construction-defect litigation.

While Stephen enjoys intellectual pursuits, he’s also tough and fiercely competitive. He played Big Ten college football at the University of Illinois. “As a wide receiver, you know you’re going to get hit hard — but you take your shots too,” he says. “A trial lawyer must be willing to get down in the trenches and fight. And I hate losing.”

Education

  • University of Illinois at Urbana, B.A., 1987
  • Loyola of Los Angeles Law School, J.D., 1998

Admissions

  • California, 1999
  • Illinois, 2001
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Northern District of Indiana
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Central District of California

Pro Hac Vice Admissions

  • Southern District of Illinois
  • Indiana (multiple times)
  • Missouri

Recent Successes

  • Pentony v. Valparaiso Department of Parks & Recreation et al., 865 F. Supp. 2d 947 (N.D. Ind. 2012). Successfully argued for summary judgment on behalf of park equipment designer/manufacturer.
  • Carroll v. GES Exposition Services et al. (Cook County). Obtained summary judgment upon rehearing on motion to reconsider, the circuit court judge overturning his own previous ruling.

Associations

Chicago Bar Association

Family

In their free time Stephen, his wife, and their four children enjoy many outdoor activities, including camping, swimming, fishing, traveling, and a wide variety of sports.