David Ryan


Nationally honored by the prestigious rating service Super Lawyers for his courtroom success and his commitment to high-quality client service, David Ryan has more than 30 years of experience trying high-stakes, multimillion-dollar cases nationwide. He defends clients in catastrophic personal injury, transportation, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, construction defect, and insurance coverage cases.

David and his litigation team prepare every case thoroughly, conducting meticulous investigations and performing extensive discovery. At trial, he takes a multifaceted approach that helps him connect with juries and, ultimately, score victories for his clients. That is, he displays both empathy and get-to-the-point directness – traits jurors respect and appreciate. He prides himself on gaining very good rapport with juries, asking the questions they want to ask and getting the answers that they’re looking for. “I’m very straightforward,” he says. “I’m very open, and I believe I think like the jurors.”

While he’s not overly boisterous in the courtroom, David won’t hesitate to press hard on opposing witnesses, but in a way that’s not off-putting to juries. He also acknowledges that he gets satisfaction in uncovering and then presenting evidence – a note in the medical record or a statement by a witness – that contradicts what the plaintiff is telling the jury on the stand. When that happens, he knows he’s scored a point for his client.

All of his life, David has proven to be hard-working. For example, he attended night classes at law school while working a daytime job as a sales representative for a large, global chemical company. That experience now serves him well as a lawyer, giving him an inside perspective into both his corporate clients and the business end of a case.

David has defended clients in state and federal courts in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, California, Colorado, Montana, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington.

In addition to trial work, he also handles hundreds of mediations across the country, many of which have several millions of dollars at stake. These cases often include multiple insurers for one client, as well as structured settlements and other creative resolution techniques.

With his deep experience in and broad knowledge of the legal profession, David writes about the law and is often asked to speak and lead educational seminars before various audiences.


  • University of Notre Dame, BBA, 1975
  • Quinnipiac University School of Law, JD, 1984



  • Illinois
  • USDC Northern District Illinois
  • USDC Southern District Illinois
  • USDC Northern District Indiana
  • USDC Eastern District Missouri
  • USDC Southern District Texas

Pro Hac Vice Admissions

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Recent Successes

  • Illinois Supreme Court: Bell v. Hutsell, 955 N.E.2d 1099 (2011)
  • Illinois Appellate Court: Dowe, et al, v. Birmingham Steel, 963 N.E.2d 344 (First Dist. 2011); Indlecoffer v. Village of Wadsworth, 671 N.E.2d 1128 (2004); Wilson-McCray v. Stokes, 2003 WL 22901569, N.D.Ill (2003)
  • Montana Supreme Court: United Tool Rental, Inc. v. Riverside Contracting, et al., 260 P.3d 156 Lake County, Montana 2011


  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Arbitrator, Circuit Court of Lake County, 1989–present
  • Associate Editor, Chicago Bar News, 1995 to 1997
  • Lake County Chamber of Commerce, 1992
  • Defense Research Institute

In the Community

  • Hustle up the Hancock, fundraiser for the American Lung Association, 2000-2003
  • Village of Northfield Zoning Commission, 1985-1987

Honors & Awards

  • Top Attorneys in Illinois, Chicago Magazine, 2018
  • Super Lawyer, 2012 – present
  • Top Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer, Chicago Lawyer Magazine, 2017


  • “The Imputed Negligence Doctrine in Automobile Cases,” Illinois Bar Journal, October 1994
  • “Law Firm Marketing” Seminar, Chicago Bar Association News, Spring 1995