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 and Co-Chair of the Appellate group, 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 especially experienced representing clients in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Jonathan serves as an arbitrator for the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and has also served as a Special Assistant Corporate Counsel for the City of Chicago, and as a Special Assistant Attorney General of Illinois.

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, data privacy, 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.

Among other positions Jonathan holds in the legal community, he recently served as President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association. Jonathan was named one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” for 2018 by Chicago Lawyer magazine and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin newspaper and as a “Notable Rising Star” in the Law by Crain’s Chicago Business. He was the recipient of the Chicago Bar Association President’s Award for Service to the Bar in 2018, the Chicago Bar Foundation Distinguished Service Award in 2019, and, when Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Section, won first place in the nation awards from the American Bar Association for Service to the Bar, Service to the Public, Diversity, and Comprehensive programming.

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 national award-winning podcast “@theBar,” and 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.


  • Honoree, Leading Lawyers (2022)

  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation (2022 – 2024)

  • Honoree, Crain’s Chicago Business Rising Stars in Law (2021)

  • Emerging Lawyer Honoree, Leading Lawyers (2015 – 2021)

  • Honoree, Illinois Super Lawyers, Appellate (2018 – 2022)

  • Honoree, Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2014 – 2017)

  • 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch Honoree, Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer (2018)

  • Distinguished Service Award, Chicago Bar Foundation (2019)

All Service Areas


  • University of Iowa College of Law (2007)
  • American University (2003)

    B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, minor in International Studies


  • Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - Northern District of Illinois
  • State - Illinois
  • State - Texas

Notable Matters

Supreme Court of the United States, sample case:

  • LeDure v. Union Pacific Railroad Company (2022). Successfully represented railroad in statutory interpretation dispute concerning the Locomotive Inspection Act.

Illinois Supreme Court, sample cases:

  • Petta v. Christie Business Holding Company, P.C. (2024). Represents hospital in data breach action addressing potential liability of institutions attacked by bad actors.
  • Mosby v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital, et al. (2023). Represented a coalition of prominent hospitals statewide as amici curiae on BIPA liability issues.
  • Jane Doe v. Lyft, Inc., et al. (2021). Represented sexual assault victim in a constitutional challenge to statute immunizing rideshare companies from vicarious liability.
  • Constellation NewEnergy, Inc., et al v. Dent, et al. (2021). Represented employer on issue concerning its ability to protect sexual harassment victims from retaliatory lawsuits by workplace harassers.
  • Steed v. Rezin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, S.C. (2020). Represented coalition of prominent area hospitals as amici curiae on hospital liability issue.
  • 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:

  • Turubchuk v. Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. (2020). Represented construction company in dispute concerning whether the plaintiff proved at trial a negligent misrepresentation claim based on an alleged discovery violation in a prior case.
  • LeDure v. Union Pacific Railroad Company (2020). Represented railroad in statutory interpretation and application dispute concerning the Locomotive Inspection Act and Federal Employers Liability Act.
  • 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

  • Author, “Touring the State Refreshes Faith in what Unites Lawyers,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (July 17, 2023).
  • Author, “Good for Us, Good for the Profession,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (May 1, 2023).
  • Panelist, “It’s Never Too Late: Transitioning to Life as a Judicial Law Clerk,” Illinois State Bar Association Diversity Leadership Counsel and Diversity Scholarship Foundation Midyear Meeting (Dec. 2022).
  • Co-Author, “Chapter 12: Preparing for the Appeal in the Trial Court: Preserving Issues for Review,” Business and Commercial Litigation 2022 Edition, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (July 2022).
  • Speaker, “Now & Later: Trial Court Strategy for Appeals,” CBA Trial Practice webcast (Oct. 25, 2021).
  • Panelist, “Paradigm Shifts in Modern Law: Having Plan B For Your Legal Career,” Chicago Bar Association CLE webcast (July 2020).
  • Co-Author, “Chapter 12: Preparing for the Appeal in the Trial Court: Preserving Issues for Review,” Business and Commercial Litigation 2019 Edition, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (January 2019).
  • Speaker, “Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers,” CBA CLE Seminar (Oct. 2018).
  • Co-Author, “A Fresh Look at Supervisory Orders,” Illinois Bar Journal (July 2018).
  • Speaker, Appellate Practice 101: the Nuts and Bolts, “Writing the Brief,” Pincus Professional Education Seminar (May 2018).
  • Author, “My Thanks to All,” CBA Record (Apr./May 2018).
  • 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 (Mar. 2013).
  • Moderator, CBA/YLS 2012 Tort Litigation Seminar, Illinois Appellate Practice, “Your Second Chance to Make a First Impression.”

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association

    Past President
    Past Member, Board of Directors
    Member, Rules Committee
    Past Secretary
    Past Treasurer
    Past Vice President

  • Chicago Bar Association

    Incoming Treasurer
    Host, CBA and Legal Talk Network Podcast @theBar
    Member, Finance Committee
    Co-Chair, CBA Leadership Institute
    Co-Chair, Special Bylaws Revision Committee
    Member/Reporter, CBA Special Appellate Practice Committee
    Liaison to Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Rules Committee
    Past Member, CBA Board of Managers (2 terms)
    Past Member, CBA Leadership Institute Advisory Committee
    Past Member, CBA Membership Committee
    Past Member, CBA Record Editorial Board
    Past Chair, Young Lawyers Section (YLS)
    Past Officer, YLS Executive Council
    Past Member, Officer and Board of Managers Nominating Committee (2 terms)
    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


  • Chicago Bar Foundation

    Past Member, Board of Directors
    Past Member, Young Professionals Board
    Past Member, Board Development Committee
    Past Vice-Chair, Investing in Justice Campaign

  • State Bar of Texas


  • Illinois Supreme Court

    Commissioner, Committee on Character and Fitness

  • Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Law Division


  • Illinois Bar Foundation

    Member, Board of Governors

  • Cook County Independent Inspector General Search Committee


Community Involvement

  • The Economic Club of Chicago


  • Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth

    Past Member, Board of Directors
    Past Member, Finance Committee