Representative Matters

Cecilia Horan concentrates her practice in the defense of cases involving personal injury, premises liability, products liability and the representation of insurance companies in determination of claims for coverage.

She has represented major insurance companies, transportation providers, machinery and product manufacturers, management services providers and property owners and managers.

Professional Background

Ms. Horan joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP after graduating from law school in 1997.

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois Association of Trial Defense Counsel
  • Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Member
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Board of Directors

Representative Matters

A selection of Ms. Horan’s representative cases includes:

  • Harrison v. Norfolk Southern Railway, et al, Circuit Court of Cook County court, case number 08 L 11765. Cecilia Horan obtained a not guilty verdict for her clients, a Japanese railroad shipping container owner and its American subsidiary, in a chemical exposure case after a two-week trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois in December 2013. The plaintiff railroad worker claimed his workplace exposure to acetic acid fumes was the result of the negligence of the firm's clients who failed to discover the presence of a nail which punctured a barrel inside a shipping container and was later found by a HAZMAT team called in to remediate the leak. Plaintiff claimed the exposure caused him to suffer either chemical-induced asthma or Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS).  Plaintiff's provable lost wages were $50,000, past medical expenses were $8,000, future medical monitoring would be $40,000, and future medicines and inhalers would cost $450,000 for the rest of the 32 year old plaintiff's life.  Plaintiff settled with co-defendants, the railroad and a packaging company, for $215,000 before jury selection. Plaintiff asked the jury for an award of $1,100,000.  Ms. Horan argued no liability. The jury deliberated for just over an hour and returned a "no liability" verdict in favor of Hinshaw's clients.
  • Scheinman v. Martin's Bulk Milk Service, Inc., et al, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, case number 09 CV 5340. Ms. Horan represented a shipper and broker who were sued on agency theories after a tragic rear-end trucking accident in which plaintiff was horribly burned and permanently brain damaged. Ms. Horan and her colleagues engaged in significant research and discovery on the issues of shipper and broker liability under an agency theory and ultimately prevailed on a hard-fought summary judgment motion.  See Scheinman v. Martin's Bulk Milk Service, Inc., et al, 2013 WL 6467525. After obtaining summary judgment, they negotiated payment of attorneys' fees for one of her clients pursuant to a contractual indemnity provision. 

  • BNSF Railway Co. v. Probuild North, LLC, et al, Circuit Court of Cook County, case number 08 CH 44575. Ms. Horan represented Liberty Mutual Insurance Company who was sued for breach of contract and under theories of waiver and estoppel for declination of coverage to an alleged additional insured railroad after the railroad settled a claim for the death of a railroad worker which occurred in the course of his employment. She was successful in obtaining judgment on the pleadings in the trial court on the basis that the underlying contract did not require the railroad to be added as an additional insured despite somewhat ambiguous language in the contract, and, in any event, the employer's liability exclusion would apply to preclude coverage. The lower court's decision was affirmed on appeal. See BNSF Railway Co. v. Probuild North, LLC, et al, 2014 IL App 1st 123648-U.


  • "Equality Act Roundtable," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Chicago, Illinois, June 20, 2016. 

  • "Current Perspectives on Diversity in Commercial Litigation," Women's Bar Association of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, April 7, 2016. 

  • "Obergefell and Rowan County: the LGBT Impact," McDermott Will & Emery, Chicago, Illinois, March 25, 2016. 

  • "[Bar] Membership Has Its Benefits," The John Marshall Law School JMLS Diversity Week, Chicago, Illinois, March 8, 2016.

  • "LGBT Equality and the Law," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as part of Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, April 2014.

  • "The Fight For Marriage Equality in Illinois, Darby V. Orr," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as part of Citywide Pride, Chicago, Illinois, June 2013.
  • "Litigation Tips To Help You Impress Your Bosses And Clients," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as part of Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, May 2013.
  • "Defense Litigation Strategies: What They Don't Teach You In Law School," Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, March 2013.
  • "The Role of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Professionalism," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as part of Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, March 2013.


  • Co-author, “Attacking the Indian Arts and Crafts Act,” published in September 13, 2005 issue of The Business Suit, a publication of the Defense Research Institute.
  • Co-author, “Comprehensive General Liability Policies” and “Declaratory Judgments” chapters of the "Liability Insurance" treatise published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Hinshaw Publications


Cecilia is a life-long Chicagoan who lives on the North Side in the Andersonville neighborhood.  She is active in neighborhood politics and is a member of the Board of Directors of the neighborhood organization West Edgewater Area Residents (WEAR).


J.D., with honors, The John Marshall Law School, 1997

B.A., with honors, Columbia College, 1989