The following Pretzel & Stouffer lawyers were selected as Rising Stars for 2019
Tom Draths has a natural ability to manage risk, identify issues and solve problems. He understands that his clients are asked to “do more with less” in today’s legal climate. As a second-generation attorney, he has an instinct for evaluating risk accurately and shaping creative strategies to defend his clients’ interests with increased efficiency.
Tom advocates for his clients in courts of law and in the courts of public opinion. A thorough investigator and fearless cross-examiner, he approaches each case with the mindset of a trial lawyer.
With the understanding that the value of a case may be impacted at any point in the development of a lawsuit, Tom capitalizes on opportunities to expose inconsistencies in his opponent’s theories to drive down their overall expectations. When cases are approached with this mindset, the results are more favorable and less costly. In addition to becoming a partner with the firm early in his career, Tom has been recognized as a Rising Star and as an Emerging Lawyer in multiple areas of defense litigation. His critical thinking, deposition approach, and legal writing skills rival those of attorneys of similar ages and experience levels in the Chicago legal community.
Tom’s practice is diverse and includes defending individuals, businesses, product manufacturers, and health-care facilities in all phases of personal injury and wrongful death litigation. From automobile accidents to trip-and-falls, to complex product and medical liability claims, he defends his clients’ reputation and resources with enthusiasm.
Defending local municipalities and their employees also comprises a significant focus for Tom. He leads a team of attorneys that represents a public transit entity in its defense of personal injury, premises liability, and wrongful death matters throughout the greater Chicago area.
Tom also defends non-medical professionals when they are sued by their clients for professional malpractice. Tom has successfully defended cases against attorneys, accountants, insurance producers and real estate brokers in state and federal courts.
Besides his general and professional defense practice, Tom has extensive experience representing non-profit organizations in commercial litigation, employment disputes, and civil litigation. With these types of clients, he understands that civil claims for money damages can threaten the organization’s ability to carry on its day-to-day operations. Therefore, he takes the time to counsel his clients on managing risk, since avoiding a claim is just as critical as defending one successfully.
Tom and his wife Jessica live on Chicago’s north side. In his spare time, he serves as an executive officer on Notre Dame College Prep’s Alumni Board.
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2010
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A. 2007
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star 2016-2019
- Illinois Leading Lawyer Emerging Lawyer 2017-2019
Pretzel & Stouffer is proud to announce the following lawyers from our firm have been selected by the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board as Emerging Lawyers for 2019:
Jim Sipchen and Tom Draths recently prevailed in the Illinois Appellate Court on behalf of an attorney who was alleged to have committed legal malpractice in the representation of a client in an underlying whistleblower/retaliatory discharge suit filed against Nicor Gas, Co. Plaintiff alleged that attorney was negligent in failing to take adequate discovery on his claims and ...
Thomas V.P. Draths and Quinn P. Donnelly secured summary judgment for a bar owner in a negligence claim filed in Cook County arising from an altercation taking place in the facility. The plaintiff claimed that the bar owner was negligent in providing adequate security and inappropriately responding to the altercation. Mr. Draths and Mr. Donnelly showed through ...
Jim Sipchen and Tom Draths recently obtained a finding of “not guilty” at trial on behalf of an attorney and a credit union who were alleged to have violated a bankruptcy court discharge injunction. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the attorney and credit union violated the injunction by filing four collection lawsuits against her after she had filed ...
Faced with a $10 million demand and a narrow window before trial in a multi-plaintiff personal injury case, Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Tom Draths and Pat Healy, were called on to defend their clients on short notice. Tom and Pat got to work immediately, identifying inconsistencies in plaintiffs’ theories and red-flags in their backgrounds. ...
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 ...
Richard Waris, Tom Draths, and Jack Lonquist, recently achieved a victory on behalf of a communication infrastructure provider in a federal lawsuit alleging that the defendant-tower owner owed a duty to provide fall protection equipment and supervision to a worker. The plaintiff allegedly sustained life-changing injuries after falling while performing equipment repairs on a cellular ...
Alan Schumacher and Tom Draths, recently obtained a victory for a periodontist and his practice arising out of claims of professional malpractice. The plaintiff claimed that the periodontist caused or exacerbated a neuropathic pain syndrome which allegedly negatively impacted nearly every aspect of her daily life. After Al and Tom thoroughly examined the plaintiff’s medical ...