Jonathan B. Amarilio

Partner Chicago
Contact Info
Top Services


Years of practicing appellate law have earned Jonathan numerous recognitions and an impressive record in high-profile civil appellate litigation and critical motion practice. As a partner in the firm’s Chicago office, Jonathan has garnered a wealth of connections and experience in the business and legal communities.

Jonathan represents individuals, businesses, and state and local governments before state and federal appellate courts. He is experienced representing clients in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Jonathan also serves as a Special Assistant Corporate Counsel for the City of Chicago and has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General.

In his practice, Jonathan regularly works on high-profile appellate cases for both sides of the bar. His work on these cases has set precedents and driven change in a wide range of areas of the law, such as administrative law, antitrust law, complex asbestos and insurance liability, constitutional law, construction law, contract disputes, defamation claims, election law, energy market regulation, gaming law, governmental immunity, investment and tax shelter litigation, medical malpractice and hospital liability, multi-district class action employment claims, personal injury and railroad liability.

He is currently Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Section and sits on the CBA’s Board of Managers. Among other positions Jonathan holds in the legal community, he also sits on the Board of Directors for Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth and serves as a Vice Chair for the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Investing in Justice Campaign (2016, 2017).

Jonathan previously clerked for Justice James R. Epstein (Ret.) on the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, and for Justices Epstein and Michael B. Hyman in the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Eager to share his experience with fellow practitioners, Jonathan is the host of the CBA’s podcast “@theBar,” a contributor to the Illinois Appellate Lawyer Association’s blog “The Brief,” and regularly publishes on appellate topics.  

Jonathan graduated from American University, cum laude, and received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he was captain of the school’s National Trial Advocacy Team and received the award for Distinction in Trial Advocacy Skills from the International Academy for Trial Lawyers.


  • Super Lawyer – Illinois Super Lawyers (2018)

  • Rising Star – Illinois Super Lawyers (2014-2017)

  • Emerging Lawyer – Leading Lawyers network (2015-2017)

All Service Areas


  • University of Iowa College of Law (2007)
  • American University, B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, minor in International Studies (2003)


  • Federal - Northern District of Illinois
  • Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • State - Illinois
  • State - Texas

Notable Matters

Illinois Supreme Court, sample cases:

  • Yarbrough v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (2017). Represented coalition of prominent area hospitals as amici curiae on hospital liability issue.
  • Bueker v. Madison County (2016). Represented a surety company on issue concerning taxpayer standing to make direct claims on public official bonds.
  • J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc., et al. (2016). Represented a gaming operator on issue concerning state court jurisdiction over pre-license agreements.
  • Jones v. Municipal Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, et al. (2016). Represented a laborers’ pension fund on issue concerning the constitutionality of a state pension statute.
  • Illinois Competitive Energy Association et al. v. Illinois Commerce Commission, et al. (2016). Represented a coalition of independent energy electric energy suppliers in a dispute concerning the authority of the Illinois Commerce Commission to compel those providers to purchase energy from agency-dictated sources.
  • Folta v. Ferro Engineering (2015). Represented an individual plaintiff in a dispute concerning the applicability of the Workers’ Compensation Act’s statute of limitations.
  • Khan v. Deutsche Bank AG (2012). Represented an international bank in a tax shelter dispute concerning fiduciary duties and statute of limitations.
  • Citizens Opposing Pollution v. ExxonMobil Coal, USA (2012). Represented an international energy company in an environmental cleanup issue.
  • Weems v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (2012). Represented a state official in a dispute concerning the closing of a penitentiary.
  • Walter Fennell v. Illinois Central Railroad Company (2012). Represented an individual plaintiff in a forum non conveniens
  • Cynthia Simpkins v. CSX Transportation (2012). Represented an individual plaintiff in a second-hand exposure asbestos dispute.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sample cases:

  • Electric Power Supply Association, et al. v. Anthony M. Star, et al. (2017). Represented a coalition of commerce and trade associations as amici curiae in electric market regulatory dispute.
  • United States ex rel. Pileco, Inc. v. Slurry Systems (2016). Represented a foreign manufacturer on breach of contract claims.
  • Chicago Teachers Union, Local No. 1 v. Board of Educ. of City of Chicago (2015). Represented the Chicago Board of Education in class certification issue.
  • Charlene Craig, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc. (2015). Represented an international company in multiple class action appeals involving employment classification status.
  • Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Chicago Title Insurance Company and Western Capital Partners, LLC (2014). Represented a title company in an insurance coverage dispute with an insurance carrier.
  • Corey H. v. Chicago Bd. of Educ. (2013). Represented the Chicago Board of Education in consent decree dispute.
  • Minn-Chem, Incorporated, et al. v. Agrium Incorporated, et al. (2012). Represented a group of domestic agricultural companies on a plaintiff’s international antitrust claim.
  • Janice M. Howland and Scott Tegtmeyer v. First American Title Insurance Company (2012). Represented a plaintiff’s class from the denial of class certification.
  • ATA Airlines, Inc. v. Federal Express Corporation (2011). Represented an international company in an appeal from a $70 million breach of contract jury verdict.

Speeches and Publications

  • Speaker, "Battle Plan for Making Your Case Appealable," CBA CLE Seminar (Feb. 2018)
  • Panelist, “Appeals for Dummies (Not by Dummies),” CBA CLE Seminar (Nov. 2017).
  • Author, “Be Better. Be a Mentor,” CBA Record (Nov. 2017).
  • Author, "Doing Well by Doing Good" CBA Record (Oct. 2017)
  • Author, “Join Us @theBar,” CBA Record (Sept. 2017).
  • Author, “Interest in Your Future: Making the YLS Work for You,” CBA Record (Aug. 2017).
  • Speaker, "Preservation Makes Perfect: Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers” Illinois State Bar Association (Feb. 2017).
  • Speaker, “Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers,” CBA Trial Practice Committee (Jan. 2017).
  • Moderator, “Arbitration and the Last Frontier of Trial Practice,” CBA/YLS Continuing Legal Education Program (Sept. 2016).
  • Author, “The Row over Rowe: What to Do with Facts ‘Between’ the Record,” American Bar Association Litigation Journal, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Summer 2016).
  • Panelist, “Developing a Coveted Expertise,” CBA/YLS Lawyer Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) Panel Series (Apr. 2016).
  • Speaker, “Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Avoiding Problems for Appeals at Trial,” CBA Tort Litigation Committee (Mar. 2016).
  • Panelist, “Preservation Makes Perfect: Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers,” CBA/YLS CLE Seminar (Mar. 2016).
  • Author, “The Amendment to Supreme Court Rule 341: Why One Seemingly Minor Change Will Transform the Way We Write,” CBA Record (Jan. 2016).
  • Moderator, “Cross-Selling Strategies to Grow Your Book of Business,” CBA/YLS Lawyer Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) Panel Series (Dec. 2015).
  • Speaker, “Folta v. Ferro Engineering and Its Impact on Workers’ Compensation Practice,” Illinois Workers’ Compensation Association (Nov. 2015).
  • Author, “The Mutuality of Mentoring: A Virtuous Cycle,” CBA Record (Oct. 2014).
  • Speaker, “Preserving Issues for Appeal at the Trial Level,” Chicago Bar Association Breakfast Basics Series (June 2014).
  • Author, “Access to Justice and the Effort to Make It Come True: Turning Dreams into Reality,” CBA Record (Sept. 2013).
  • Contributor, “The Too-Expansive Illinois General Verdict Rule,” Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 101, No. 3 (March 2013).
  • Moderator, CBA/YLS 2012 Tort Litigation Seminar, Illinois Appellate Practice, “Your Second Chance to Make a First Impression.”

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Chicago Bar Association (Chair, Young Lawyers Section (YLS); Member, CBA Board of Managers; Officer, YLS Executive Council; Member, 2018 Officer and Board of Managers Nominating Committee; Member, CBA Membership Committee; Member/Reporter, CBA Special Appellate Practice Committee; Liaison to Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Rules Committee; Past First Vice-Chair, YLS; Past Second Vice-Chair, YLS; Past Member, CBA Record Editorial Board; Past Member, CBA Special Committee Assisting the Illinois Supreme Court to Implement Recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Illinois Courts; Past Co-Editor-in-Chief, YLS Journal; Past Co-Chair, CBA/YLS Clothes for Success Charitable Campaign; Past Co-Chair, YLS Moot Court Competition Committee; Past Co-Chair, YLS Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee; Past Vice-Chair, YLS Tort Litigation Committee)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Member)
  • State Bar of Texas (Member)
  • Chicago Bar Foundation (Member, CBF Board Development Committee; Vice-Chair, Investing in Justice Campaign; Member, CBF Young Professionals Board)
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association (Member, Rules Committee)

Community Involvement

  • University Club of Chicago (Member)
  • Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth (Member, Board of Directors; Member, Finance Committee)