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Overview

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.

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2010
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A. 2007

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Related Practices

Professional Experience

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Awards

  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star 2016-2020
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer Emerging Lawyer 2017-2020

News

Pretzel Elevates Draths to Shareholder

  Pretzel & Stouffer is pleased to announce the promotion of Tom Draths to shareholder. 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’ ...

January 2020 | Firm News

Appellate Victory for Attorney Accused of Committing Legal Malpractice during Whistleblower Lawsuit

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 ...

September 2018 | Firm News

Results

Road rage theory dismissed

Aubrey Sudomier and Tom Draths recently defeated a claim involving a road rage incident. Through their factual development and aggressive advocacy, Aubrey and Tom established that their opponent’s apparent agency theory did not have a legal basis to proceed beyond its earliest stages.  Aubrey and Tom’s client was dismissed from the case.  

July 2021

$70 Million Project Carries on with P&S Help

Pretzel & Stouffer teammates John Scheid, Tom Draths, and Rich Burgland recently defeated an effort to enjoin their client’s $70 million public works project. In response to their opponent’s request for temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief, John, Tom, and Rich acted quickly and efficiently to gather evidence to support their arguments that the project’s ...

July 2021

Pretzel Obtains Summary Judgment Twice From Separate Judges in the Same Case

Tom Draths, Jack Lonquist, and Aubrey Sudomier recently prevailed in a case in which the injured party claimed negligence resulting in multiple leg fractures and surgeries that allegedly left him permanently disabled.  Through their aggressive investigation, factual development, and motion practice, Tom, Jack, and Aubrey convinced two separate judges that plaintiff’s theories of liability were ...

June 2021

Defense Win for Public Entity Client Facing Class-Action Lawsuit

  Pretzel & Stouffer shareholders, Jim Sipchen, John Scheid, and Tom Draths, successfully defended their public entity client against an attempted class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Equal Protection Clause of United States Constitution. Both the trial court and the appellate court embraced Jim’s, John’s, and Tom’s argument that the lead plaintiff lacked standing to ...

January 2020

Draths and Healy Expose Fraudulent Identity Scheme in $10 million Personal Injury Case

  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. ...

August 2019