Profile
Representative Matters
Presentations
Publications
Personal

Craig Liljestrand has extensive experience defending clients in toxic tort, products liability, and environmental litigation. He has a particular focus on trials invoving asbestos, silica, welding fumes, lead paint, and occupational disease claims. He has successfully defended Fortune 500 industrial product and equipment manufacturers, contractors, and premises owners in numerous toxic tort and environmental cases throughout the country. Craig also serves as national counsel for a worldwide hardware wholesaler and building co-op and regional counsel for a major industrial manufacturer.

Craig and his team have helped establish favorable case law in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of employers involved in toxic/mass tort litigation.

Craig also handles multi-district (MDL) and national litigation. In addition, he counsels and advises clients on toxic tort issues in purchase and sale agreements for commercial real estate.

Before joining Hinshaw, Craig was a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Doyle A. Rowland in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. During law school, he was on the Executive Editorial Board for the Law Review and a member of the Software Law Journal.

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
    • Chicago Chapter
    • Grand Rapids Chapter

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2012 – 2022
  • 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
  • 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

Representative Matters

  • Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 43 N.E.3d 108 (IL. Sup. Ct. 2015). Successfully filed a motion to dismiss, with the court holding that the plaintiff could not sue their former employer in tort in an asbestos/toxic tort action.
  • Berry v. American Standard, Inc., 888 N.E.2d 740 (5th Dist. 2008). Defeated defendant's summary judgment motion by successfully arguing for the denial of the use of the deceased plaintiff’s discovery deposition as admissible evidence.

Presentations

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

  • "DCJ Highlight: PFAS Exposure: A Comprehensive Look," IADC Speaks podcast, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), June 28, 2022
  • 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

Publications

Craig frequently publishes legal articles in toxic tort and environmental litigation.

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.

Additionally, an article was referenced and cited by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Matter of Musick, 143 N.J. 206, 670 A.2d 11 (1996).

Since 2012, Craig has published a monthly column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin titled "Toxic Tort Talk." A selection of recent columns include:

Craig'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

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