Representative Matters

Craig Liljestrand has extensive experience in the areas of toxic tort, products liability and environmental litigation. He is recognized for his litigation and trial skills in the areas of asbestos, silica, welding fumes, lead paint and occupational disease claims. His client base is expansive, and includes Fortune 500 companies in which he has successfully defended various industrial product and equipment manufacturers, contractors and premises owners in numerous toxic tort/environmental cases throughout the country. Mr. Liljestrand and his Team were recently victorious and made favorable new law in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of employers involved in toxic/ mass tort litigation.  

Mr. Liljestrand also has extensive experience with multi-district litigation (MDL), and is recognized for his ability to handle litigation that is national in jurisdiction. In addition, he counsels and advises clients on toxic tort issues in purchase and sale agreements for commercial real estate. Mr. Liljestrand also is the regional counsel for a major industrial manufacturer.

Professional Background

Mr. Liljestrand has been selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer every year since 2012. He has published a monthly column within the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, entitled, "Toxic Tort Talk," for many years. He has served on the firm's Associate Evaluation Committee, Executive Committee and has also served as an instructor in the firm's training program for associate attorneys, Hinshaw University. Mr. Liljestrand is active professionally and is an active member of the Defense Research Institute. 

Before joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Mr. Liljestrand was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Doyle A. Rowland in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. He was on the Executive Editorial Board for the law review (Software Law Journal) during law school.

Professional Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
    • North Illinois State Chair, 2021-2022
    • Vice Chair for Membership for the Toxic & Hazardous Substances Committee, 2021-2022
    • Vice Chair for Programs & Projects for the Toxic & Hazardous Substances Committee, 2020-2021
    • Vice Chair of Newsletters for the Toxic & Hazardous Substances Committee, 2019-2020
  • Federal Bar Association (FBA), Community Service and Outreach Committee, Member, 2018 – 2021
  • Federal Bar Association (FBA), Chicago, IL Chapter
  • Federal Bar Association (FBA), Grand Rapids, MI Chapter

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers and named by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine as one of the top "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch," 2005
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Member of the Leading Lawyers Network, where he was selected by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas of Products Liability Defense Law and Toxic Torts Defense Law, 2011 – 2019
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2012 – 2022

Representative Matters

  • Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 43 N.E.3d 108 (IL. Sup. Ct. 2015). Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff cannot sue former employer in tort in an asbestos/toxic tort action.
  • Berry v. American Standard, Inc., 888 N.E.2d 740 (5th Dist. 2008). Summary Judgment. Denial of the use of deceased plaintiff’s discovery deposition as admissible evidence to defeat defendant's summary judgment motion.



Mr. Liljestrand frequently speaks before organizations and clients on various legal issues. His presentations have included:

  • Co-Presenter, "How Personal Jurisdiction is Slowly Reshaping Toxic Tort Litigation" IADC webinar, May 1, 2019
  • "The State of the Asbestos Market," American Conference Institute's 23rd National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, May 2018
  • "Single Fiber/Any Exposure/Each & Every Exposure, and Punitive Damages," American Conference Institute's 21st National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, June 2016
  • "Former Employee Lawsuits: Latest on Filings Against Former Employers in Common Law Tort Action," American Conference Institute's 20th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 2016
  • "The Interplay Between Workers Compensation and Asbestos, Examining the Folta Case in IL, Impact of the Exclusivity Rule in Different Jurisdictions, Insurance Coverage Issues, Expert Witnesses and State of the Art Defense," American Conference Institute's 19th National Advanced Forum On Asbestos Claims & Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, June 2015
  • "Problem Child: Chicago," ExecuSummit's 1st Annual Asbestos Litigation Strategies, Uncasville, Connecticut, December 2014
  • "Setting the Stage: Emerging Claims and Parties, Settlement and Verdict of Mesothelioma and Other Cases, Punitives, Key California Nuances, Drastic Differences Between Jurisdictions, the Effects of Tort Reform, the Latest Nuances on the Defense of Lack of Causation, and What to Expect for 2014," American Conference Institute's 16th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, San Francisco, California, January 2014
  • "Looking Back and Ahead: Emerging Claims and Parties, Key State Nuances, Drastic Differences Between Friendly and Hostile Jurisdictions, the Effects of Tort Reform, and What to Expect for Second Half of 2013," American Conference Institute's 14th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, co-chair, Chicago, Illinois, June 2013
  • "The Best and Worst Jurisdictions for Asbestos Litigants, Key State-by-State Nuances, and Forum Shopping," American Conference Institute's 13th Annual Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 2013
  • "View from the Bench: Federal and State Judges Speak Out on Current Litigation Trends, Successful Plaintiff Claims and Defense Strategies," American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 2012
  • "Component Supplier Litigation: What You Now Need to Know to Craft a Solid Defense," American Conference Institute's 11th Annual Advanced Forum on Litigating and Managing Asbestos Claims, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2010
  • "Repetitive Stress Injuries - Current Events," for Zurich Insurance Company, 1998
  • "Product Liability and Intellectual Property Law in the United States of America for Electronic Videogames," Sumitomo Insurance Company, 1996
  • "Background on EMF's and Defense Attorney's Perspective on Recent Health Studies and Cases on Electromagnetic Fields (EMF): Emerging Area of Litigation," Sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association - Environmental Law & Energy Committee, 1995


Mr. Liljestrand frequently publishes legal articles in the areas of toxic tort and environmental litigation. One of his articles was referenced and cited to by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Matter of Musick, 143 N.J. 206, 670 A.2d 11 (1996).

His article, "Silica and the 'Sophisticated User Doctrine' – Avoiding Legal Sand Traps under the Duty to Warn," was published as a chapter in "Exploring Toxic Tort and Environmental Liability Claims," by the Defense Research Institute in 2007.

Since 2012, Mr. Liljestrand has published a monthly column within the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin titled, "Toxic Tort Talk." A selection of his most recent columns includes:

Mr. Liljestand's other publications include:

Hinshaw Publications

Community/Civic Activities

  • Triage Cancer, Legal Advisory Council, Member
  • GiGi's Playhouse (Children with Down Syndrome), Volunteer

J.D., The John Marshall Law School, 1990

  • Member, Law Review for the Software Law Journal
  • Member, Law Review Executive Editorial Board

B.A., with honors, Eastern Illinois University, 1987