Jennifer L. Ilkka counsels and defends clients in complex product liability and commercial litigation disputes throughout the country. She has litigated and tried numerous products, premises, personal injury and other commercial cases in both state and federal venues, including multidistrict litigation.
She also has significant appellate experience, authoring numerous appellate briefs, and arguing in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. For over a decade, Jennifer served as national product liability counsel for a Fortune 100 manufacturing, technology and service company.
Her practice also encompasses pharmaceutical and medical device defense, toxic tort litigation, class action defense, consumer fraud and deceptive business practices claims, supplier disputes under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and other commercial, licensing and regulatory matters.
Jennifer has authored numerous articles and has spoken on topics related to women in the courtroom and the path to partnership. She devotes significant time as a trial skills and brief writing instructor to help younger litigation associates cultivate their professional skills. Jennifer is also dedicated to pro bono matters.
- Obtained an unanimous defense verdict as first chair in $18+ million wrongful jury death trial for manufacturer of industrial cutoff saw after less than one hour of deliberation following three-week trial in Illinois state court (Cook County, IL).
- Obtained summary judgment for a tube mill component manufacturer in a product liability and wrongful death lawsuit.
- Forced the transfer of complex class action claims to preferred forum on personal jurisdiction grounds on behalf of international automotive manufacturer.
- Obtained dismissal of class action claims for consumer fraud on behalf of an international automotive manufacturer predicated on lack of constitutional standing.
- Successfully executed and defended the removal of an environmental class action under CAFA from an unfavorable state court venue to the more preferable federal venue that was predicated on a battle of the experts in the fields of statistics and environmental regulatory compliance.
- Successfully settled action for wrongful death and traumatic brain injury on behalf of automated people mover (APM) maintenance provider for a small percentage of the initial multimillion-dollar demand in Texas state court.
- Successfully defended against efforts by plaintiff’s counsel to pierce the corporate veil in defense of a parent manufacturing company in toxic tort case in a plaintiff-oriented, Illinois state court venue.
- Achieved six-figure settlement (significantly in excess of counterclaim amount) on the eve of trial for defendant hospital from plaintiff in multimillion-dollar breach of contract suit through leveraging of contractual fee-shifting provision.
- Represented (pro bono) and obtained full political asylum for a young Tibetan man detained in a Wisconsin jail who had fled religious persecution in China, at a contested U.S. immigration hearing.
- Provided counseling and training to in-house counsel of international pharmaceutical company on good contract negotiating and drafting practices.
- John Marshall Law School, J.D., 2006, summa cum laude, Editor, John Marshall Law Review (2004−2005)
- Lake Forest College, B.A., 2002, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions : Illinois
Court Admissions :
- Illinois Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
Rate : $$$