Diane Webster is a trial attorney who defends her clients in a variety of civil litigation, including medical and healthcare litigation, products liability, pharmaceutical liability, and medical/surgical device litigation. These clients include hospitals and physicians, insurance companies, medical/surgical device companies, state and county governments, a major league baseball organization, several corporations, and school districts. Her practice also encompasses premises liability, municipal law, and government litigation.
Diane defends multimillion-dollar complex/catastrophic litigation cases involving medical negligence, birth trauma, obstetrics, neonatal negligence, neurologic injuries, and alleged defective or malfunctioning medical devices.
She practices in all aspects of insurance and general liability defense involving allegations of sexual abuse, personal injury, premises liability, product liability, and wrongful death. In the area of commercial litigation, Diane defends class action lawsuits alleging violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Diane is the Partner in Charge of Hinshaw's Chicago office, recognized as one of the "11 Coolest Offices" in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business.
The former co-chair of Hinshaw's Hispanic/Latino Attorney Network, Diane currently serves on the firm's Executive Committee, Hiring Committee, and Attorney Life Committee. She is also active in the firm's mentoring program, where she mentors both associate attorneys and summer associates.
During law school, Diane was involved in a number of activities, including serving as the Associate Editor and Lead Articles Editor for the Journal of International Comparative Law.
- Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA)
- Chicago Bar Association Alliance For Women (CBAAW), Executive Committee
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI)
- Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
- Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IADTC)
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Inaugural Fellow
- National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
Honors & Awards
- Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2021 – 2023
- Named to the "Notable Women in Law" list by Crain's Chicago Business, 2022
- Recognized as a "Salute! Women in Law" honoree by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the Chicago Lawyer, 2020
- Recognized on the Rising Stars list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2013 – 2019
- Named to the "Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago" list by Crain's Chicago Business, 2017
- Recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers Magazine, 2017
- Invited to participate in World Heritage Event at the White House, 2016
- Recognized as an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers Magazine, 2015 – 2016
- Named to the "40 Under Forty" list by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine, 2013
- Named to Diversity MBA's list of "Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders," 2012
Diane has served as lead defense counsel in various multimillion-dollar complex/catastrophic litigation cases involving medical negligence, birth trauma, obstetrics, neonatal negligence, and neurologic injuries, and has successfully resolved these cases to the satisfaction of her clients. Her representative matters include:
- Represented the first-named defendant and the target emergency room physician in a two-week trial in DuPage County. The internist and the hospital also were sued. The plaintiff alleged that our client misdiagnosed the 41-year-old man with hypertensive emergency and consequently administered the wrong medication—Nitroprusside—a very potent vasodilator, causing him to drop his blood pressure 67 points and suffer a massive stroke 18-hours later. The plaintiff asked the jury for $9.5 million, and in just over an hour, the jury returned a not guilty verdict in our clients' favor.
- Secured a preliminary injunction for a major commuter rail system in its breach of contract dispute with a national railroad company regarding the latter's contractual responsibilities on the former's train cars. The railroad had unilaterally suspended its activities related to fulfilling those responsibilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Serving as trial counsel, successfully resolved a multimillion-dollar case on behalf of a concrete company in a construction accident resulting in left foot amputation and left leg disfigurement of a 28-year-old male plaintiff. Prior to opening statements, the plaintiff agreed to a settlement equal to one-third of the original demand.
- Won a complete jury verdict for the defendant, a geriatrician, in a three-and-a-half week wrongful death trial of a 36-year-old woman who was a resident in a nursing home. The defense was able to establish that her condition was appropriately managed and that the resident's death was caused by her progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. All other issues were shown to be the result of preexisting conditions. The plaintiff asked for $6.25 million and a subsequent appeal was also defeated.
- Successfully secured a not guilty verdict in a $3.65 million case representing a gastroenterologist and his group in a three-and-a-half week wrongful death trial of a 64-year-old woman.
- Successfully represented an oncologist in a Cook County $21 million medical malpractice suit involving a 44-year-old woman. After a two-week trial, the jury returned the same day with a not guilty verdict on all counts.
- Secured a not guilty verdict in favor of our client, a Chicagoland hospital, in a $19 million case involving an obstetrical negligence action.
- After a three and a half week trial where the plaintiff requested $21 million in damages, obtained a not guilty verdict for our client, an internist in a medical malpractice action. The case involved an alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat a spinal hematoma in a 61-year-old female after undergoing a femoral-popliteal bypass graft surgery rendering her paraplegic.
- Successfully tried a wrongful death medical malpractice case in Cook County, Illinois, returning a not guilty verdict for the defendant nephrologist, where the plaintiffs asked the jury for $7.7 million.
- Successfully defended a $1.25 million claim against a local physician for failure to properly perform surgery where the jury returned a not guilty verdict on behalf of the physician.
- Successfully defended a $25 million claim against a local hospital alleging obstetrical negligence. The case was settled on behalf of the hospital.
Diane is involved with Hinshaw University, the firm's nationwide attorney training and education program. She has also participated in the firm's Trial Advocacy program, demonstrating direct and cross examination techniques in a mock trial setting. Recent presentations Diane has conducted to train Hinshaw attorneys include:
- "Child Abuse Obligations for Doctors," 2020 Midwest Podiatry Conference, Virtual Event, October 29, 2020
- Panelist, "Networking: Inside & Out While Doing Good," Chicago, Illinois, September 20, 2019
- Co-Presenter, "Closing Arguments," Hinshaw's Trial Advocacy Program, Chicago, Illinois, August 13, 2019
- "The Ethics of Diversity and the Economics of Inclusion," The Institute for inclusion in the Legal Profession, March 19, 2017
- "Trial Advocacy Series: Session 2- How to Pick the Right Jury for Your Case- Do's and Don'ts," Chicago, Illinois, January 2016
- "Use of Learned Treatises at Trial," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, national teleconference, June 2012
- "Motions in Limine," Hinshaw's Trial Advocacy Program, Chicago, Illinois, June 2011
- "Presenting Your Own Expert at Trial," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, national teleconference, April 2011
Her other presentations include:
- Co-Presenter, "Not-So-Apparent: Managing the Risks of Apparent Agency," ISMIE, Webinar, November 16, 2022
- Panelist, "Action-Based Opportunities for Intentional Inclusion in the Legal Profession," co-hosted by the Justinian Society of Lawyers and The Diversity Scholarship Foundation, Virtual Event, February 9, 2022
- Panelist, "Hinshaw's Diverse Law Student Interview Strategies Workshop," Virtual Event, December 7, 2021
- Panelist, "Best Practices in Litigation Management," Hispanic National Bar Association/Vision in Action's (HNBA/VIA) Corporate Counsel Conference & Annual Convention 2020 (CCC-AC2020), Virtual Event, September 24, 2020
- Panelist, "Learning Your Leadership Language," CBA's 2nd Annual Working Women's Legal Summit, Chicago, Illinois, March 6, 2020
- Panelist, "Medical & Life Sciences Forum," RPC's Medical & Life Sciences Seminar Series, London, October 3, 2019
- Co-Presenter, "Stem Cell Therapies, Life Science, and Unique Exposures in the Marketplace," Presented to GenStar & Genesis Insurance, a Member of the Berkshire Hathaway Family of Companies, Chicago, Illinois, August 8, 2019
- Co-Presenter, "Anesthesia Outside the Surgical Suite: Legal Trends and Case Studies," Merus Management Group, Ltd and The Horton Group, Spring 2019 Educational Program, Illinois, April 25, 2019
- Panelist, "Path to Leadership" What Kind of Leader Are You? a CBA Leadership Institute event, Chicago, Illinois, April 10, 2019
- Panelist, "Managing Up and Down the Generations," The Exchange 2019 a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce event, Chicago, Illinois, April 9, 2019
- Panelist, "Women in the Law," DePaul Law Review Panel, Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 2019
- "Pathway to Partnership," An HLAI Latina Lawyers Commission and HNBA Region IX Panel, Chicago, Illinois, March 6, 2019
- Moderator, "Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Luncheon and Panel," Chicago, Illinois, February 11, 2019
- "Medical Law Updates," Broadspire National, Webinar, May 17, 2017
- "Navigating Your Firm," The Chicago Committee Association, 2017 Annual Law Firm Boot Camp, Chicago, Illinois, February 10, 2017
- "Making A Good First Impression At Your New Job," WBAI New Lawyer Bootcamp, Chicago, Illinois, February 2, 2017
- "Preparing For Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial," Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, June 2016
- "Diversity's Role in the Path to Success," LCLD Regional Roundtable, moderator, Chicago, Illinois, May 2016
- "Leading and Succeeding from the Courtroom to the Corporate Room," Latina Leading Lawyers, Chicago, Illinois, September 2015
- "Three's Company? Insurance Company's Counsel and Settlement Negotiations," IICLE Representing Medical Practices and Physicians, Chicago, Illinois, April 2015
- "How to be Successful in Law: Top Attorneys Under 40," The Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 2014
- Moderator, "Advancing Latina Leaders Through the Power of Influence," Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) Chicago Chapter, September 2013
- "Building Relationships With In-House Counsel: A Guide for Business Managers and Outside Counsel for Mutual Success," ALPFA Chicago Chapter, Chicago, Illinois, June 2012
- "Incivility in the Legal Profession: When Your Client Pays the Price," American Bar Association, live webinar, February 2012
- "Catastrophic Injuries Affecting Latinos and Other Minorities," ALPFA Chicago Chapter, Chicago, Illinois, June 2011
- "Transitioning Closely Held Businesses," ALPFA Chicago Chapter, Chicago, Illinois, October 2010
- Expert Analysis - Opinion: Taming Plaintiffs' Thriving 'Reptile' Tactics: How To Start, Law360, July 26, 2022
- Expert Analysis: Seaman and Webster Examine One of the Leading Drivers of Social Inflation—the "Reptile Theory" Adopted by Plaintiffs' Counsel, July 20, 2022
- "The Creme de la Creme: Learning from the best with Diane Webster," The Chicago Bar Association's @theBar blog, October 24, 2019
- "View from the top," Chicago Lawyer, July 2019
- "Let there be light," Chicago Lawyer, July 2019
- "Confidentially speaking," Chicago Lawyer, June 2019
- "The New Face of Leadership," Emerging Lawyers Magazine, 2016
- Hinshaw Partners Diane Webster and Gretchen Harris Sperry Named to Crain's Chicago 2022 Notable Women in LawSeptember 7, 2022
- Part II: Scott Seaman and Diane Webster Discuss Litigation Strategies to Challenge Plaintiff Counsel Reptile Theory TacticsJuly 27, 2022
- Expert Analysis: Seaman and Webster Examine One of the Leading Drivers of Social Inflation—the "Reptile Theory" Adopted by Plaintiffs' CounselJuly 20, 2022
- Trial Spotlight: Not Guilty Verdict for $9.5 Million Claim of Misdiagnosis and Improper Administration of Drug Leading to Massive StrokeJune 2, 2022
- Diane Webster Discusses Action-Based Opportunities for Intentional Inclusion in the Legal ProfessionFebruary 10, 2022
- Hinshaw Partner Diane Webster Named to Inaugural List of Salute! Women in Law by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago LawyerMay 20, 2020Webster Among 50 Attorneys Recognized in the Chicago Area
- October 24, 2019
- August 16, 2019Leader of Firm's Largest Office Discusses Career Opportunities for Women Lawyers at Hinshaw
- December 18, 2012
Diane lives with her husband in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys fitness, nature, travel, and spending time with her friends and family.
Diane is a supporter of numerous organizations including:
- Junior Achievement
- Little Brothers
- Metro Achievement Center
- Step-Up Women's Network
J.D., cum laude, New England School of Law, 2004
B.A., Arizona State University, 2001
- U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois