An accomplished trial and appellate attorney, Chad J. Layton concentrates his practice on complex civil matters, focusing on businesses in the transportation industry. He has extensive experience investigating and defending lawsuits involving catastrophic injuries, property damage, and wrongful death. Over the course of more than 25 years in practice, Chad has represented clients in the transportation, retail and hospitality, financial, pharmaceuticals, product manufacturing, telecommunications, and life sciences industries in matters involving traumatic injury, premises liability, employment, information privacy, product liability, and complex commercial disputes. He has defended clients in more than 30 states including in state and federal courts in Illinois, California, Florida, Georgia, and New York.
A thought leader in the areas of technology and cyber risk, Chad has presented on the topic to the American Bar Association, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, and contributed numerous articles to the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE). He currently serves as president of the Midwest Chapter of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance.
- Defending a nationwide auction house in a catastrophic vehicle accident in Cook County, Illinois.
- Successfully obtained a defense verdict at trial on behalf of a product manufacturer sued in Cook County, Illinois, by a plaintiff claiming a traumatic brain injury following a motorcycle accident.
- Obtained summary judgment in Cook County, Illinois on behalf of a national auction house in a vehicle liability matter.
- Secured summary judgment for a restaurant in a slip-and-fall negligence case based on a finding by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, that plaintiffs failed to establish proximate cause.
- Secured victory for clients in the Illinois Supreme Court which issued a decision affirming riparian owners’ rights to protect property interests in creeks, rivers, and streams.
- Obtained a victory in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed a binding arbitration award in favor of a corporate client cued for discrimination and wrongful termination.
- Representing a telecommunications service provider in a matter arising out of an explosion resulting from a gas leak in Dubuque, Iowa.
- Represented a large pharmaceutical manufacturer in an eight-figure breach of contract matter during 10-day binding arbitration.
- Gained dismissal based on jurisdictional grounds of the manufacturer defendant in a product liability case involving a traumatic injury.
- Development and negotiation of business contracts, including the preparation and master service agreements, service-level agreements, and related business contracts.
- Obtained favorable judgment in a pro bono matter in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in an international child abduction case under the Hague Convention.
- Served as national counsel in a nationwide pain pump litigation.
Honors & Awards
Illinois Leading Lawyers, Leading Civil Defense Lawyer, 2016-21
Illinois Leading Lawyers, Products Liability Defense Law, 2014 to present
American Academy of Trial Attorneys, Premier 100 Member, 2015
- U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- The John Marshall Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1997
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1994
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
- Technology/Cyber Risk Group
- Midwest Chapter, Board of Directors
- President, 2021 to present
- Member, 2016 to present
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, Volunteer Attorney
- PADS Volunteer, 2018-20
- ABA/JMLS National Criminal Justice Mock Trial Competition, Judge, 2016
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law Moot Court Class, Judge, 2015
- National Criminal Justice Trial Competition, ABA and the John Marshall Law School, Judge/Evaluator, 2013-14
News & Knowledge
Publications & Events
- “Document Production and Organization,” Contributing Author, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), 2022
- “Employment Discrimination: Practice and Procedure,” Contributing Author, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), 2022
- “Rights, Remedies, and Procedures Under Illinois Law,” Contributing Author, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), 2022
- “Article III: Standing in Cyber-Breach Litigation, Co-author, The Brief, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association, 2019
- “Protecting Your Company From Cyber Attacks – What You Need to Know Now,” Co-author, The Illinois Manufacturer, 2015
- “The Three R’s of Cyber Readiness: Resilience, Risk and Response” and “Case Law Update,” TIPS Conference, American Bar Association, 2018
- “The Fundamentals of Litigation,” Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), 2016
- “Best Practices: How Manufacturers Can Protect Themselves Against a Cyber-Attack Now,” Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, 2016
- “Best Practices: How Corporate American Can Minimize the Risk of a Cyber-Attack,” Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), 2015
- “Best Practices for Drafting and Negotiating Contracts,” Illinois Manufacturers Association, 2014
- “Identifying and Defending High Exposure Claims,” Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), 2014