Hugh Griffin has joined our firm to develop our appellate practice group, after leading the appellate practice group at Lord, Bissell & Brook LLP, with more than 45 years of experience in the reviewing courts across the country. He has handled over 500 appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, over 25 other state courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals throughout the country. He has argued 42 times before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Hugh has taught appellate practice (The John Marshall Law School, 1973-74) and has given numerous speeches on appellate practice at the local and national level. His presentation on oral argument at the 1987 ABA convention was later published in the TIPS practice Journal, Fall 1987, and republished in other law journals.
Hugh has twice been a director of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association (1979 to 1981 and 1984 to 1986), and also served as the president of the Association (1997 to 1998). Hugh was the 1989-90 chairman of the Appellate Advocacy Committee of the Tort Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. In 1991, he was nominated and accepted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He served 9 years on the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee and was appointed by the Supreme Court as the Committee’s Vice Chairman from 2003 to 2006.
Hugh has been selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer and a Super Lawyer and a Best Lawyer in appellate practice and as the 2011 Chicago Best Lawyers Appellate Lawyer of the Year. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he was listed as one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Illinois.
The following is a sample of notable cases:
- Great Lakes Dredge Dock Co. v. Commercial Union Insurance Co. (Seventh Circuit): Court reversed district court and held that stacking was inappropriate and that excess policy was not triggered saving insurers $100 million.
- Hutchinson v. Westinghouse (Pennsylvania Appellate Court-Supervisory): Represented excess insurers in the reversal of a $20 million award to a worker crushed by a Westinghouse elevator.
- Bentivenga v. St. Francis Hosp. (Circuit Court Cook County): Court ordered $10 million remittitur in favor of hospital on post-trial motion.
- Lingafelter v. Overnight Transportation Co. (Circuit Court of Cook County): Court ordered $8.5 million remittitur in favor of trucking company on post-trial motion.
- Garcia v. Seneca Nursing Home (Illinois Appellate Court): Court ordered a $1 million judgment vacated and judgment entered for defendant nursing home.
- Zhou v. Haung (Illinois Appellate Court): Court ordered $4 million judgment reversed outright in legal malpractice case.
- Dukes v. Honeywell, Int’l (Illinois Appellate Court): Jury verdict against asbestos manufacturer reversed due to trial error.
- Tabe v. Ausman, M.D. (Illinois Appellate Court): New trial order reversed; defense verdict reinstated.
- Eagle Marine Industries Inc. v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. (Illinois Supreme Court): Obtained reversal of permanent injunction that had been entered pursuant to a section of the Illinois Vehicle Code prohibiting defendant railroad from blocking the crossing for more than 10 minutes, thereby saving defendant railroad substantial annual costs that would have been incurred had the permanent injunction remained in place.
- Rohm and Haas Company v. Continental Casualty Company ( Pennsylvania Supreme Court) and Tribune Co. v. Allstate Ins. Co (Illinois Appellate Court): Upholding denials of coverage for environmental claims on various grounds including fraudulent concealment, known loss, and late notice.
- Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R.R (Kansas Supreme Court): Summary judgment against insurers reversed in hearing loss cases.
- Domtar v. Niagara Fire Ins. Co. ( Minnesota Supreme Court): Court entered a favorable ruling re allocation of environmental claims over various years of insurance coverage.
- Hasemann v. Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund (Illinois Supreme Court): Court held that full uninsured motorist’s limits must be deducted from claims against the Fund.
- Kerr- McGee v. Aetna Casualty Co. (Oklahoma Supreme Court): Court upheld a pollution exclusion barring multimillion- dollar environmental claims against insurers.
- Kinnavy v. Lloyd’s Underwriters (Michigan Appellate and Supreme Courts): Court upheld aviation exclusion in a life insurance policy.
- Seaway Port Authority v. Excess Insurers (Minnesota Court of Appeals): Court held that an excess insurer’s policy had no duty to drop down and cover a shortfall due to the primary carrier’s insolvency.
- Burger v. Lutheran General Hospital (Illinois Supreme Court): Court upheld the constitutionality of amendments to the Hospital Licensing Act permitting ex parte conversations with treating physicians and hospital attorneys.
- Dubin v. Michael Reese Hospital (Illinois Supreme Court): Court held a doctrine of strict liability in tort did not apply to a hospital’s use of x-radiation.
- Garcia v. Edgewater Hospital (Illinois Appellate Court): Court upheld a Jehovah’s Witness release and reversed a jury verdict against the hospital.
- Holton v. Memorial Hospital (Illinois Supreme Court): Court reversed a $5 million medical malpractice judgment because of the misconduct of plaintiff’s counsel.
- Kirk v. Michael Reese Hospital (Illinois Supreme Court): Court ruled that a hospital owed no duty to third parties who were not hospital patients.
- Chicago Transit Authority v. Commonwealth Edison (Illinois Appellate Court): Court rejected CTA’s $9 million claim for contractual indemnity.
- Rosen v. Saks Incorporated (Illinois Appellate Court): Court reversed trial court’s refusal to enforce arbitration/no class action clause in consumer credit agreement.
- Trek Bicycle Corp. v. Thane (9th Circuit Court of Appeals): Court reversed summary judgment against Trek in trademark infringement claim.
- Badische Corp. v. Kaylor (Supreme Court of Georgia): Court held that an accountant argued owed no duty to a third-party bank that subsequently relied on the accountant’s audit of its client.
- Carter v. Skokie Valley Detective Agency (Illinois Appellate Court): Court reversed a judgment against a detective agency on the grounds that the agency’s negligent hiring of a guard who murdered a store cashier was not the proximate cause of the murder.
- Cartwright v. Goodyear tire & Rubber Co.(Illinois Appellate Court): Court reversed a $6 million judgment against Goodyear because of the plaintiff’s claims of military heroism.
- Cortes v Ryder Truck Rental (Illinois Appellate Court): Court reduced a verdict against a trucking company from $16 million to $2 million.
- Delmuro v. Commonwealth Edison Co. (Illinois Appellate Court): Court upheld reversal of a $3 million punitive award against Commonwealth Edison Co.
- Dixon v. CSX Transportation Co. (Fourth Circuit): Court reversed a $16 million verdict against the CSX in a crossing accident.
- Georgia Pacific v. Granite State Ins. Co. (Eleventh Circuit): Court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of insurers on the ground that environmental claims were intended and expected.
- Linegar v. Armour of America (Eighth Circuit): Court reversed a verdict against the manufacturer of a bulletproof vest that a police officer was wearing at the time of his death.
- Monarch Ins. Co. of Ohio v. Prince (Fourth Circuit): Court held aviation policy void because of material misrepresentations in an insurance application.
- Ormet v. Certain Underwriters of Lloyd’s (Ohio Supreme Court): Court upheld insurers’ late notice defense to multi-million dollar environmental damage claim.
- Ryan v. Harvester (Illinois Appellate Court): Court reversed a $3 million verdict against a pick up truck manufacturer.
- Stambaugh v. International Harvester (Illinois Supreme Court): Court reversed compensatory and punitive damages awards against a tractor manufacturer.
- Tardi v. Henry (Illinois Appellate Court): Court confirmed the inadmissibility in Illinois civil actions of testimony enhanced by hypnosis.
Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 1968, case editor, Law Review
Loyola University of Chicago, B.A., 1965, Dean's list,
U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois, 1968
U.S. Court of Appeals (4th Circuit), 1987
U.S. Court of Appeals (5th Circuit), 1985
U.S. Court of Appeals (6th Circuit), 1992
U.S. Court of Appeals (7th Circuit), 1972
U.S. Court of Appeals (8th Circuit), 1988
U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit), 1984
U.S. Court of Appeals (10th Circuit), 1984
U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit), 1986
U.S. Court of Appeals (Federal Court), 1999
Professional and Community Organizations
American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois Defense Counsel
Illinois State Bar Association
National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
- Emotional Distress in a Bodily Injury Case – Not Another Line on the Verdict Form, IDC (Illinois Defense Counsel) Quarterly, Second Quarter 2012, p. 18.
- The Dillion Proportionate Damage Rule, IDC (Illinois Defense Counsel) Quarterly, Vol. 14, Number 1, 3/8/2004.
- The Standard of Review in Civil Cases in Illinois: More Than Meets The Eye, Appellate Review, Vol. 8, Winter 2002-03, p. 1.
- Preparing For Oral Argument, 1987-Fall Brief (ABA – Tort and Insurance Practice Section), p. 54.