Litigating cases involving high-stakes multi-million dollar exposures is nothing new to Dennis. As a senior member of the firm’s business and general litigation group, he has been defending construction, industrial and commercial clients in the courtroom for more than 30 years, in cases ranging from catastrophic injury, construction defect, commuter rail and FELA and commercial contract disputes, to product liability, medical malpractice, professional liability and more. He is no stranger to the courtroom, having successfully represented clients in jury trials his entire career. Consequently, clients routinely seek Dennis’ guidance and advice regarding problematic disputes and whether to seek early resolution or win at trial. He is a key member of the firm’s catastrophic loss and emergency response teams, as well as the OSHA practice.
Dennis encourages his clients to remain involved and proactive during litigation, testing theories and strategies and asking the tough questions about the issues and outcomes. It is in this way that he learns more about his clients’ businesses, and as a result, becomes not only their litigation counsel, but a trusted business colleague as well.
Dennis also provides general legal consulting to his clients, including preparation of contracts, developing strategies to protect their businesses from risk, and more. The lessons learned litigating complex disputes have provided him real life education about how to avoid those litigated issues in the future. In spite of his active trial practice, as a trained mediator, Dennis appreciates that the best resolution to a business dispute, if possible, is a business solution, not litigation.
Dennis is a founding member of the firm. As a senior member of the general litigation group and founder and co-chair of the construction practice group, Dennis supervises a team providing comprehensive litigation and transactional services to many lines of business, including the construction industry. Dennis influences the strategic direction of the firm, ensuring each of our attorneys is working to exceed client expectations in every area of practice.
Membership & Involvement
- Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee
- Co-chair, Construction Law Committee: IDC
- Member: Associated General Contractors of America; American Subcontractors' Association; Attorney's Council; Northern Illinois Building Contractors' Association; DRI Construction Law Committee; Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association; Highway Work Zone Safety; MAASTRO Reg AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Jt. Committee
- Former Chair, Former Immediate Past Vice Chair: USLAW Network Construction Practice Group
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
- Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
- Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Construction Law: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
- Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in construction law
Resources & Insights
- SmithAmundsen Construction Alert,
- SmithAmundsen; Webcast,
- SmithAmundsen; Webcast,
- DRI and Illinois Defense Counsel, Webcast,
- SmithAmundsen; Webcast,
- USLAW Network, Webcast, September 30, 2020 - October 9, 2020
- SmithAmundsen, Webcast,
- SmithAmundsen; Oak Brook, IL,
- Drone Safety in Construction Seminar; Woodridge, IL 60517,
- Construction Expo & Safety Conference; Oakbrook, IL,
- SmithAmundsen Seminar; Lombard, IL,
- Busting the Myth That a Jury Cannot Understand a Complex caseUSLAW Network Construction Exchange, Columbus, OH,
- Top Ten Construction Contract Clauses to Know When Defending a Construction Injury CaseSeminar; XL Catlin Insurance/Sedgwick Claims; Naperville, IL,
- Checklist for the Intake of a New Construction CaseSeminar; XL Catlin Insurance/Sedgwick Claims; Naperville, IL,
- Construction Law Power Seminar: Critical Legal Updates Impacting the Construction Industry: What You Need to Know for 2017SmithAmundsen, Lombard, IL,
- The CLM Magazine,
- State of Illinois Construction Compendium of LawUSLAW,
- Court Rules on Sufficient Control - To The Extent You Litigate Injury Construction Claims in IllinoisThe Construction Claims Magazine,
Education on Demand
The seminar highlights key legal issues and developments impacting the evolving construction industry in 2022.
The key legal issues and developments impacting the construction industry in 2021
- California Court Opens the Litigation Floodgate Re: COVID-19 Exposure in the WorkplaceCalifornia Court Opens the Litigation Floodgate Re: COVID-19 Exposure in the Workplace
In See’s Candies v. Ek, a California Appellate Court ruled that the plaintiff’s claims against her employer for negligence were not preempted by the exclusivity provisions of the California Workers’ Compensation Act; thus, exposing the employer to potentially unprecedented civil liability.
- 35 SmithAmundsen Attorneys Included on 2022 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists35 SmithAmundsen Attorneys Included on 2022 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists
Congratulations to all of our attorneys named to the 2022 Illinois Super Lawyers and 2022 Illinois Rising Stars lists!
- Seventh Annual Complimentary Construction Industry Legal Power SeminarSeventh Annual Complimentary Construction Industry Legal Power Seminar
The seminar highlights key legal issues and developments impacting the evolving construction industry in 2022. Our attorneys will cover everything from COVID-19 regulations and supply chain delays, to OSHA and labor and employment law updates.
- Cyber Threat Actors Have their Eyes on the Construction IndustryCyber Threat Actors Have their Eyes on the Construction Industry
It is not if, but when. Though construction companies—especially smaller ones—may believe it won’t happen to them, more and more companies have suffered or will suffer a “data incident” or cyber-attack in some form.