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Chad Layton

Shareholder |
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Practice Highlights
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Chad Layton is Shareholder in the firm's Chicago office and serves as Chair of the firm's Cyber Risk Practice Group.  Mr. Layton is a trial attorney and litigation partner with extensive experience handling transportation litigation, products liability, commercial litigation, employment and other litigation matters. Mr. Layton has represented various companies, including manufacturers of medical devices, vehicles, helmets and electrical products. Mr. Layton has considerable experience handling trials and arbitrations.

Mr. Layton recently secured a defense verdict in a Cook County lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who allegedly sustained a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle accident. He successfully defended a software development company facing claims for fraud, punitive damages, and negligence. Additionally, Mr. Layton successfully prosecuted a cross-claim on behalf of that same company.

In 2016, Mr. Layton was named a Leading Civil Defense Lawyer in the area of product liability, based on peer recommendations.


  • Recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois) in the area of Products Liability Defense Law, nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2015-2016)
  • Recognized as a Leading Civil Defense Lawyer by Leading Lawyer based on peer recommendations (2016)
  • Premier 100 Member of the American Academy of Trial Attorneys (2015)
  • Leading Lawyer in Product Liability Defense (2014)
  • Former Co-Chair, Segal McCambridge General Litigation Practice Group, Products Liability Sub-Committee
  • Former Co-Managing Editor of Legal Build, a construction law newsletter from Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney
  • 2003 recipient of the Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award for pro-bono work on behalf of low-income tenants of the Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing
  • Member, The John Marshal Law Review

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Judge for ABA/JMLS National Criminal Justice Mock Trial Competition (March 2016)
  • Judge for moot court class at Loyola University Chicago School of Law (November 2015)
  • Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Technology/Cyber Risk Group
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Judge/Evaluator for The National Criminal Justice Trial Competition, Co-Sponsored By The American Bar Association and The John Marshall Law School (2013, 2014)
  • Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing, Volunteer Attorney

Representative Matters

  • Gained the dismissal of the defendant-manufacturer in a product liability case involving a traumatic injury, based on jurisdictional grounds.
  • Currently representing an IT storage company in a commercial litigation matter in which Plaintiff is seeking in excess of $2 million following a loss of data resulting from failed computer storage disk drives.
  • Currently working in conjunction with IT forensics expert on a post-cyber breach HIPAA security rule compliance matter
  • Worked on the development and negotiation of business contracts, including the preparation of Master Service Agreements, Service Level Agreements and related business contracts.
  • Engages in business consultations with technology companies.
  • Currently representing in a commercial litigation/breach of contract matter.
  • Currently representing a pharmaceutical company in a class action, consumer fraud matter pending in federal court.
  • Currently representing a cyber risk/cyber security company in contract development and negotiations.
  •  Successfully defended a software development company in a complex commercial arbitration.
  •  Recently obtained summary judgment in Cook County, Illinois on behalf of a national auction house in a vehicle liability matter.
  • Obtained favorable judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of a father in an international child abduction case brought pursuant to The Hague Convention.  The mother, who left Illinois and returned to Mexico because she felt threatened by an emergency family situation, alleged that the father wrongfully removed their two daughters from Mexico.  After a full evidentiary hearing, the court agreed with the children’s father, concluded that the parents never shared an intention to relocate to Mexico, and denied the mother’s petition.  
  • Obtained summary judgment for 100 percent of debt owed to plaintiff-client in a commercial litigation/breach of contract matter filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 
  • Obtained dismissal at the pleadings stage of an entire lawsuit in a complex product liability matter involving a medical device.
  • Secured dismissal of a consumer protection claim, at the pleadings stage, in a complex products liability matter involving a medical device.
  • Successfully defended software development company at a week-long commercial arbitration in a commercial litigation/breach of contract action in which the plaintiff sought punitive damages against the development company. Obtained a "not guilty" judgment for defendant and a favorable ruling on client's cross-claim, defeating all claims against the client.
  • Served as national counsel in nationwide pain pump litigation.
  • Gained entry of summary judgment on behalf of DNA testing corporation in breach of contract litigation.
  • Represented an application development company in contract development and negotiation matters.

Published Appellate Opinions

Ishoo v. General Growth Properties, Inc., 966 N.E. 2d 1160 (1st Dist. 2012)
Heiden v. DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc., (2d Dist. 2009)

Speaking Engagements

Instructor for Claims and Litigation Management Alliance course at Zurich American Insurance Company, "The Fundamentals of Litigation" (October 2016).

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association: Video Presentation, "Best Practices: How Manufacturers Can Protect Themselves Against a Cyber-Attack Now" (February 2016).

Claims and Litigation Management Alliance: Webinar Presenter, "Best Practices: How Corporate America Can Minimize the Risk of A Cyber-Attack." (November 2015).

Illinois Manufacturers Association, "Best Practices for Drafting and Negotiating Contracts" (September 17, 2014). 

CLM panel speaker for Transguard Insurance Company of America, Inc., "Identifying and Defending High Exposure Claims" (March 5 & 6, 2014).

The CLM Group Inc., "Case Assessment and Evaluation," (October 3, 2013).

In-house Claims Adjusters' Seminar, "Plaintiff's Injuries: Are They Real? How Can You Tell?" (September 25, 2008).

In-house Claims Adjusters' Seminar, "Federal Motor Carrier MCS-90 Endorsement" (August 27, 2008).

Business & Legal Reports' Human Resources Audio Conference, "Nine Deadly Sins of Hiring & Recruiting" (June 10, 2008).

Golden Rule Risk Control Workshop, Schiller Park, IL, "The Dos and Don'ts of the Hiring Process: How to Minimize the Risk of Litigation" (September 18-19, 2007).


"No More Excuses: Abolishing the Defense of Voluntary Intoxication," John Marshall Law Review (Spring 1997).


"Protecting Your Company From Cyber Attacks-What You Need to Know Now," The Illinois Manufacturer (Spring Edition 2015). 

"Thou Shalt Not Discriminate: An Overview Of Legal Principles & Practical Considerations For Avoiding Religious Discrimination Claims In The Workplace," Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney's Employment Law Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 2 (Summer 2007).


"Crossing Your Fingers Isn’t a Plan," Sync Magazine (March 2016).


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1994

The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1997, cum laude


  • Illinois, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Utah
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina