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Ed Ruff is a shareholder and a member of the firm’s executive committee, which he has chaired on several occasions. He has tried more than 70 cases to verdict, in the areas of mass tort, product liability, commercial litigation, professional negligence, fire loss, bad faith, intellectual property, and other complex matters.

He has served as lead counsel in a number of multi-district litigation matters including Stand ’n Seal “Spray-On” Grout Sealer, Menu Foods, and Pedicle Screws, developing a reputation for handling matters on a national basis. His vast trial experience includes successfully defending the former president of the New York Stock Exchange at trial in a $300 million commercial fraud claim. He recently won a $9.5 million award for contempt in a bankruptcy court, believed to be a record.

Ed has written numerous publications and has lectured for the Illinois State Bar Association, DRI, FDCC and the Illinois Association of Defense Counsel. He is frequently asked to speak at DRI seminars, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin seminars and at the FDCC’s annual and winter meetings. Ed speaks on a variety of topics related to product liability safety, fire and casualty, multidistrict litigation and jury trials. He has been an instructor for the FDCC Litigation Management College numerous times.

Ed is also a mechanical engineer with a background in heat transfer engineering. He remains active in team sports, enjoys fishing and bike riding with his wife.


  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D. 1981
  • University of Wisconsin Madison, B.A. 1977

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Related Practices

Professional Experience

Recognition and Appointments

  • Highest Martindale-Hubbell rating, AV
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® 2005—2019
  • Leading Lawyers 2014—2019
  • Certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • DRI™
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Illinois Association of Defense & Trial Counsel
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers


Disfiguring Third Degree Burns on Face and Upper Torso Nets Zero Against National Retailer and Sleepwear Manufacturer

Edward Ruff III and Michael Turiello of Pretzel & Stouffer won summary judgment for Walmart Stores, Inc. and clothing manufacturer, Charles Komar & Sons, Inc. in a Flammable Fabrics Act case. Plaintiff sustained third-degree full thickness burns to approximately 40% of her body, face, and torso when her clothing became ignited by a gas stovetop. Plaintiff spent ...

April 2018 | Firm News

Amputation of Plaintiff’s Dominant Arm Nets Zero in Cook County Motion for Summary Judgment Ruling

Edward B. Ruff, III and Suzanne M. Crowley obtained summary judgment for their client in a negligence action where the plaintiff suffered a dominant mid-arm amputation while using a lathe. Plaintiff was a temporary employee assigned to the defendant’s facility by a staffing agency. Pretzel & Stouffer argued the defendant was immune from liability because the plaintiff was ...

January 2018 | Firm News

Summary Judgment Granted for Refinery in Laborer’s Injury Claim from 3,400 lb. Plate

Ed Ruff and Rick Kenyon prevailed on a motion for summary judgment on behalf of a major oil refinery owner. The case was litigated for years in Texas, dismissed, and refiled in Illinois. Plaintiff suffered serious physical, cognitive and psychological injuries when a 3,400-pound transfer plate fell and struck him during a crane lift on a turnaround project ...

September 2017 | Firm News


Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Historic Judgment in Bankruptcy Case

A Pretzel & Stouffer trial team, led by Edward Ruff and Michael Turiello and including Paula Villela, along with Douglas Lipke and William Thorsness of Vedder Price P.C. obtained a judgment in the amount of $9,539,768.54 for damages stemming from Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland (“F&D”) for contempt and violation of a bankruptcy court’s ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Not Guilty Verdict for Cardiologist

  A Pretzel & Stouffer trial team of Edward Ruff and Mimi Moon obtained a not guilty jury verdict in Cook County, Illinois for a defendant cardiologist who discharged a 61 year-old female patient from a renowned teaching hospital. Twelve hours after being discharged, the patient died from an intra-abdominal hemorrhage. Plaintiff’s allegation against the ...

May 2019 | Firm News

Not Guilty Jury Verdict in 34 minutes for Orthopaedic Surgeon re ACL surgery

Edward B. Ruff and Michael P. Turiello successfully defended an orthopedic surgeon against a claim of unnecessary ACL surgery. A pre-operative MRI was read by the radiologist as showing an ACL which was taut and intact. The client orthopedic surgeon sent the plaintiff for a course of physical therapy, however, she failed to improve. Based upon his physical ...

March 2016 | Firm News