General Trial Practice

General Trial Practice

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP maintains a nationwide reputation as a premier trial firm. The firm’s attorneys earned this reputation in the only meaningful way—by trying cases. The firm's list of verdicts is the ultimate testament to the skills of the Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP trial lawyers. Volume of trials is not the only measure of a firm's success. Most of the cases taken to verdict by Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP lawyers involve complex issues, catastrophic injuries and large damage exposure.

Civil litigation arises from almost any activity, transaction or relationship. In the personal injury area, the firm has defended owners and operators of sports arenas, department stores, trucking companies, amusement parks, rental car agencies, churches, construction companies and an almost endless list of businesses, factories and service providers.

The firm's experience is not limited to claims for money damages or personal injury. Lawyers at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP have litigated a wide variety of chancery cases involving injunctions, specific performance, revocation of acceptance, consumer fraud, replevin and other equitable remedies. Such actions frequently involve employment agreements, restrictive covenants, trade practices and the Uniform Commercial Code.

Collection of money and debts is an important element of civil litigation. The lawyers at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP aggressively advocate the positions of their clients, while maintaining the efficiencies and practical sensibilities required in creditor litigation. The lawyers at the firm practice in the local, state and federal courthouses on a daily basis and are familiar with the collection procedures of the courts and judges.

Although verdicts are the greatest evidence of the skill of a trial lawyer, not all cases are resolved by trial. The lawyers at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP realize that most cases should be settled. Early evaluation, straightforward dealing with the opposing counsel and clear communication with the client often result in contested matters settling early before needless time and expense are wasted on litigation.

No law firm in Chicago has experienced a wider range of civil litigation and jury trials than Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP. This experience and expertise is available to the firm’s clients at reasonable rates, often far less than those offered by other large firms.


Chicago, January 5, 2018
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names Four New Partners
All four attorneys practice at the firm's Chicago office.

Chicago, November 1, 2017
Best Lawyers Recognizes Mass Tort Litigation, Personal Injury, Product Liability Practices
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP received the firm a National Tier 2 ranking for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants.

Chicago, Indiana, October 30, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights New Indiana Office, 25th Anniversary
The article quotes partners Brian W. Bell and Timothy G. Nickels, and speaks of the firm's long history in Indiana.

Chicago, October 19, 2017
SMB Attorneys Win Partial Summary Judgment in TCPA Class Action Lawsuit
The decision is one of the only in the country in which a court enforced the retroactive FCC waiver as a matter of law to dispose of a plaintiff’s TCPA claims based on improper opt-out notices.

Chicago, October 10, 2017
Ferrill Guest Lectures at Notre Dame Law School
Topics included preparing an expert for trial, effective cross examination, and trial demonstratives, as well as a a mock cross examination of the plaintiff’s economist expert

Chicago, Madison County, July 25, 2017
Three Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that two lateral attorneys and a newly sworn-in attorney have joined the firm as associates.

St. Louis, July 10, 2017
Ritter Authors Article for DRI In-House Defense Quarterly Magazine
Ritter's article is titled, "Is the Structure of Your Legal Department Pushing You to Gamble on Litigation?"

Chicago, May 17, 2017
Kramer Authors Article for IDC Civil Practice Committee Newsletter
Kramer's article focused on "What is the Injury? An Examination of Standing in Data Breach Litigation."

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Chicago, April 7, 2017
Keating Serves as Program Vice Chair at DRI Retail and Hospitality Conference
Keating represents national and international corporations in tort liability litigation matters throughout the United States.

Chicago, March 27, 2017
McCaskey Speaks at Kentucky Defense Counsel Spring Seminar
McCaskey spoke on "CSI and the Use of Forensic Evidence in Defending Civil Litigation" and "Investigative Techniques Using Advanced Technology and Social Media Law."

Chicago, January 30, 2017
Christ the King Jesuit College Prep Receives 25th Anniversary Donation
In honor of the firm's 25th anniversary, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP is supporting a different non-profit each month.

Chicago, October 27, 2016
Levitt Completes Second Ironman Long-Distance Triathlon
The competition consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and a marathon, raced in that order without a break.

Chicago, July 27, 2016
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Four Lateral Attorneys
The four women range in practices from Medical Negligence and Healthcare or Toxic Tort Litigation.

Chicago, June 23, 2016
Four Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces four lateral associates have joined the firm’s Chicago office.

Chicago, April 21, 2016
Keating Moderates Marketing, Brand Litigation Panel at DRI Retail and Hospitality Conference
Keating will moderate a discussion titled, "You Agreed to What?" regarding marketing and branding litigation at hospitality companies.

Chicago, January 21, 2016
Patterson Authors "Above the Law" Article on Litigation Finance
Patterson discusses three ways litigation finance changes an attorney's job, inside and out.

Chicago, January 8, 2016
Skiko Addresses Illinois Security Professionals Association
Skiko will share common legal pitfalls for security providers and how to avoid them.

Chicago, December 1, 2015
Keating Authors Hotel Business Review Article on Hotel Bar Liability Issues
The influx of people to a hotel with a bar or restaurant may create issues for the operation of the hotel and potential liability concerns for the hotel's owners and operators.

Chicago, Madison County, July 30, 2015
Associate General Counsel, Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces the arrival of a new partner and three lateral associates, including one to its Madison County, Ill. office.

Chicago, May 8, 2015
McNamara Discusses Post-Trial Motions Appellate Issues at ISBA Seminar
McNamara offered insight on things that appellate counsel wishes trial counsel would do.

Chicago, October 21, 2014
Lateral Partner, Four Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
All five attorneys practice in Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Chicago office.

Chicago, September 23, 2014
Kernell Law Firm Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, SMB Opens St. Louis and Madison County Offices
“We believe our new St. Louis and Madison County offices will provide the same excellent service that clients have come to expect from Tom Kernell and his team,” said Managing Partner Timothy G. Nickels.

Chicago, September 5, 2014
McNamara Addresses Motion in Limine at ISBA Seminar
The seminar focuses on "Foundations, Evidence and Objections: Before Trial, During Trial, On Appeal, or After a Settlement.”

Chicago, November 18, 2013
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Three Associates
The firm welcomes three associates, including two who were recently sworn in to the Illinois Bar.

Chicago, October 17, 2013
Reliford Named to Chicago International Charter School Board of Directors
Reliford aims to bring an additional perspective and commitment to academics to the CICS Board of Directors.

Chicago, January 14, 2013
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners, Welcomes New Associate
Aiju C. Thevatheril was elected to equity partnership ranks, while Leanne W. Moore was named a non-equity partner.

Chicago, January 23, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
The firm's new partners focus on a variety of practice areas.

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