IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1991
IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, Environmental Law Certificate
Northern Illinois University, B.S. in Nursing, 1984
Ruth puts 110% into any project she handles for a client. Ruth has been successfully resolving matters in and out of the courtroom since 1991. Ruth has led matters to verdict in seven northwest Illinois counties. She has handled more than 60 arbitration hearings, numerous bench trials and has favorably resolved dozens of matters through dispositive motions.
Ruth handles general litigation matters like breach of contract, probate matters, retail premises litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice and catastrophic and complex defense litigation. A hobby farmer of sorts, Ruth also provides services to the agribusiness industry in areas like real estate, land use and contract disputes, negotiating utility easements (pipeline, solar, wind and cell tower) family farm estate and trust disputes, agricultural spills involving IEPA, crop damage matters and other general liability issues involving the agricultural industry.
As chair of the firm’s agribusiness practice, Ruth manages a team providing comprehensive legal services to agricultural operations, including cooperatives throughout the Midwest. As managing partner of the firm’s Rockford office, Ruth maintains a strong commitment to strengthening firm ties with the Rockford community.
In addition to her work as a litigator, Ruth is also an arbitrator in binding arbitration cases and uninsured/underinsured matters with the American Arbitration Association and the Winnebago County Mandatory Arbitration Program.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Ruth received her Bachelors of Science Degree in nursing and was a practicing nurse.
Outside the office Ruth devotes her time to her hobby farm, horse showing and bird watching. She participates in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas and spring bird counts.
- Received the 17th Circuit Professionalism and Civility Award, Winnebago County Bar Association
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
- Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Memberships & Involvement
- Winnebago County Bar Association: Estate Section Vice Chair, 2017 - 2018; Chair, Trial and Appellate Committee, 2013 - 2014; Chair, Law Practice Management Committee, 2010 - 2011; Vice Chair, Law Practice Management Committee, 2009 - 2010; Board of Directors, 2008 - 2011
- Member: Illinois State Bar Association Agricultural Law Section Council, 2017 - Present; Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel; Illinois State Bar Association (Environmental and Agricultural Law Sections); American Arbitration Association’s Illinois Uninsured Motorist Panel; The Illinois Farm Bureau; Human Rights Authority, Northwest Region, 2019 - 2022
- Board of Directors: Illinois Guardianship Association, 2020 - 2023; Visiting Nurses Association (Rockford Health System), 2013 - 2016
News & Press Releases
- January 29, 2020
- Winnebago County Bar Association, June 6, 2019
- January 24, 2019
- SmithAmundsen, January 13, 2017
- 30 SmithAmundsen Attorneys Included on 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers and 2016 Illinois Rising Stars ListsSmithAmundsen, January 8, 2016
- January 12, 2015
- September 30, 2016
Presentations & Events
- Solar Energy: Guide to Solar Leases/EasementsNorthern Illinois Farm & Land Brokers Meeting, May 10, 2018
- The Public Guardian / OSG's Statutory Obligation to Monitor WardsIllinois Guardianship Association's Spring Conference; Chicago, IL, May 10, 2017