Photo of David  Sethi

David Sethi

Partner

Education

Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D.

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, B.A.

Admissions

Illinois

David learns his client’s practice, trade or product like it’s his own. His clients appreciate that he takes their defense personally and he knows when to take an educated risk. In his first assignment as an associate, he wrote the initial litigation analysis for a construction client being sued after a subcontractor’s employee was electrocuted. Everyone involved with the case believed a judgment for the plaintiff was likely – except David. Five years later David’s client was awarded summary judgment and nine years after the suit was filed, David argued before the Appellate Court to defend the ruling and won. The decision re-established the validity of the notice defense in construction negligence cases after the Illinois Supreme Court’s Carney ruling and proved David’s ability to think outside the box.

Today David represents truckers, auto workers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors in personal injury suits against alleged violations of work and safety standards and claims of catastrophic injuries. He also represents construction managers, general contractors and upper tier subcontractors in multi-party injury suits involving complex disputes over jobsite safety.

Preparation is key to David’s defense strategy. He has developed first-time liability experts when he feels an individual has the tools to provide a better defense for the client than other experts in the field. He once led the recreation of an accident that resulted in the death of a bicyclist to prove that the insured trucker’s testimony regarding his line of sight was credible.

Outside the office, David is an Advisory Board Member of Legal Prep Academy, the first school of its kind in Chicago to utilize a legal-enhanced curriculum to provide students in an underprivileged community with the tools to seek higher education and eventually, law school degrees. David’s most rewarding moments in this role include preparing freshman students for a year-end mock trial and seeing their excitement when they realize they are capable of carrying out real life opening statements and cross-examinations.

Honors

  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" list: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as an “Emerging Lawyer” in Personal Injury: Defense and Insurance Coverage: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020  

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: American Bar Association: Chicago Bar Association; Defense Research Institute (DRI); Illinois State Bar Association
  • Advisory Board: Legal Prep Academy

Experience

  • Co-chaired damages-only Cook County trial in December 2017 where a jury awarded a plaintiff only $1.2 million in damages after her last pre-trail demand was $2 million and she sought a verdict in excess of $15.5 million against our client, a national delivery carrier.
  • Successfully argued before the Illinois Appellate Court in first appeal of a construction negligence action after the Illinois Supreme Court modified the duty standard for owners and general contractors.
  • After obtaining summary judgment in a construction negligence action, successfully carried out strategy for two additional insurers to offer the plaintiff a nominal settlement at the close of his mediation with the remaining co-defendants in order to avoid a lengthy appeal.
  • Successfully settled a lawsuit against a bottle insurer for nuisance value after a slip and fall accident at a Chicagoland grocery store where the bottler’s employee allegedly place merchandise on store shelving that dripped and created a puddle in the aisle.
  • Class certification denied in a suit filed against a medical software company for allegedly breaching its contract and conspiring with a nationwide health care PPO to reduce physicians’ bills without increasing patient volume for the provider, which could have led to a stream of lawsuits against the client and similar companies providing medical software to PPOs if it had been successful.
  • In the defense of a trademark action, discovered evidence of the plaintiff manufacturer’s plan to initiate lawsuits against its competitors as a means of controlling market share. The evidence provided a basis for a counterclaim asserting the plaintiff attempted monopolization and antitrust violations under the Sherman Act. Plaintiff offered to settle the matter for no damages immediately after the counterclaim was filed.
  • Awarded summary judgment on behalf of intervening insurer in declaratory judgment action against insurer of a defendant’s vehicle who refused to defend or indemnify its client based on a no cooperation defense. As a result of the court’s ruling, defendant’s insurer was compelled to pay the claims of client’s insureds who had alternatively sought payment under their uninsured motorist coverage.