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Scott Howie understands that appellate practice is considerably different from trial work, calling for a combination of unique skills and relevant experience. Scott’s practice embodies that combination, and whether challenging an adverse result or protecting a hard-won victory, he brings his skills and experience to bear on every case.

For more than 20 years, Scott has focused almost entirely on post-trial motions and appeals. In hundreds of civil appeals, he has written more than 500 appellate briefs and delivered well over a hundred oral arguments, including several in the Illinois Supreme Court.  

Scott is familiar with the rules and procedures that govern the appellate process, as well as the unwritten requirements that can make the difference between winning and losing. He is a skilled legal writer, with a distinctive and readable style that makes complicated arguments easy to understand—an important quality in any court, but crucial on appeal. His extensive experience at the appellate level makes him uniquely qualified not only to handle appeals, but also to consult on any matter that might eventually reach the reviewing courts. He is frequently involved at trial on issues that are expected to be the basis for an appeal.

Though based in Chicago, Scott regularly practices in appellate courts throughout Illinois—and has even been called on to participate in appeals in other jurisdictions, either appearing pro hac vice or working behind the scenes to prepare written briefs.

Scott’s appellate practice is enhanced by his participation in professional activities related to appeals. He is active as an officer in the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association, which coordinates speakers and seminars on appellate topics and promotes interactions with appellate judges and court officials. For many years he co-chaired the association’s moot court committee, which holds an annual competition for law students.  

Since 2013 Scott has been a regular contributor to the IDC Quarterly, the scholarly publication of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, for which he writes a column each issue on appellate practice.  

Scott and his wife Julie have three children and live in Glenview, Illinois. Outside of work and professional activities, Scott is an active parishioner at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Glenview and serves as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 3 in Wilmette.


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D. 1994   
  • Northwestern University, B.S. 1989

Bar Admissions  

  • Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois  

Related Practices

Professional Experience

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • “Motions in the Illinois Reviewing Courts,” IDC Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, Scott L. Howie.
  • Regular column, “Appellate Practice Corner,” IDC Quarterly, Spring 2013—present  
  • Seminar faculty, “Appellate Practice 101: The Nuts and Bolts,” Pincus Professional Seminars (Chicago), May 2018
  • Speaker, “Breaking Down the Appellate Brief,” North Suburban Bar Association, October 2018

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel

Awards and Recognition

  • Illinois Super Lawyer, 2006—2019 (Appellate)


Pretzel Attorneys and Staff Participate in Race Judicata

  Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys and staff, David Bennett, Donald Eckler, Jonathan Federman, Quinn Donnelly, Aimee Alvarez, Alex Beehler, Caitlin Donohue, Scott Howie, Kelly Kono, Mary Norris, Paula Villela, and Calvin Townsend, ran in Race Judicata last night. The 5K race benefits Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.    

September 2019 | Community

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Appointed Columnists for IDC Quarterly

Paula Villela and Jonathan Federman have been appointed to be the Evidence and Practice Tips columnists for the Illinois Association of Defense Counsel Quarterly (IDC). They join Scott Howie (Appellate Practice Corner) and Donald Eckler (Civil Practice and Procedure) as columnists for this excellent publication.

July 2019 | Firm News

Scott Howie Elected to Secretary of Appellate Lawyers’ Association

Pretzel & Stouffer partner Scott Howie was elected Secretary of the Appellate Lawyers Association at the annual meeting of the association yesterday. Scott has just completed a year-long term as Treasurer of the association and has previously served on its Board of Directors and as co-chair of its Moot Court Committee. Scott has practiced for ...

June 2019 | Firm News


Robert Chemers and Scott Howie Secure Appellate Dismissal

Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Robert Chemers and Scott Howie, succeeded in having an adversary’s appeal dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction in the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District. In a declaratory judgment action, the circuit court entered judgment for the firm’s client, an insurer, holding that it had no duty to defend its insured ...

September 2019

Appellate Victory Secured for Insurance Company

Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys Richard Waris, Jim Sipchen, Quinn Donnelly, and Scott Howie obtained an affirmance in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, of the dismissal of an action against several defendants, including an insurance company and another law firm. The appeal concerned the alleged settlement of a previous tort action during the trial of ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Consolidation from Illinois Supreme Court

Tom Draths and Scott Howie recently petitioned the Supreme Court of Illinois to consolidate three lawsuits pending in different judicial circuits under Supreme Court Rule 384. The Supreme Court granted the petition that Tom and Scott prepared on behalf of their client. As a result, their client will defend one consolidated action in Will County ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Partial Summary Judgment for Public Hospital

Suzanne Crowley and Scott Howie, recently obtained a partial summary judgment for their client, a public hospital, on the basis of the Tort Immunity Act. In a case filed in Whiteside County, Illinois, the plaintiffs claimed that the hospital was liable for the negligence of a pathologist who mistakenly diagnosed lung cancer in a patient, ...

July 2019