Thomas M. Crisham

Thomas M. Crisham

Of Counsel

(312) 917-8460

Tom Crisham's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including professional liability, insurance coverage, product liability, and transportation and construction law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of the International Society of Barristers, and is an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has served as President and Chairman of the Board of the Defense Research and Trial Lawyers Institute (DRI), a national association for civil trial lawyers.

Tom is also a prolific author and lecturer, with numerous textbooks, seminars and published papers to his credit on a wide range of legal topics, including litigation tactics, product liability, insurance coverage and professional liability issues.


  • Areas of Practice -
  • Achievements+
    • Named a Best Lawyer in America in Personal Injury Litigation and Product Liability Litigation
    • Named a Top 100 Super Lawyer in Illinois
    • Named a Leading Lawyer of Illinois by Leading Lawyers Network,
    • Named a Top 20 Defense Lawyer by Chicago Lawyer Magazine
    • Received the Medal of Excellence from Loyola Alumni Association

    In addition to the practice of law, Tom is also a popular and highly sought-after professor and lecturer in academic circles, having served on adjunct faculties of Northwestern University School of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and The John Marshall Law School. 

  • Thought Leadership+
  • Publications

    "Your Witness - Lessons on Cross Examination and Life from Great Chicago Trial Lawyers", Law Bulletin Publishing Company, 2008, Contributing Author

    "Architect and Engineer Liability: Claims Against Design Professionals", Aspen Publishers, Third Edition, May, 2006, Contributing Author

    "Architect and Engineer Liability: Claims Against Design Professionals", John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Second Edition, June, 1995, Contributing Author

    "Prosecuting and Defending Insurance Claims", John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1989, Contributing Author

    "Architect and Engineer Liability: Claims Against Design Professionals", John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Spring, 1987, Contributing Author

    "Human Life: Our Legacy and Our Challenge", McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975, Contributing Author

    "Abortion and Social Justice", Sheed & Ward, New York, 1973, Contributing Author; republished 1981 by Sun Life Publishers, Thaxton, VA

  • Education +

    J.D. (cum laude), Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, IL 1965, Associate Editor of the Law Review

    Bachelor of Business Administration, Loyola University, Chicago, IL 1962

  • Bar & Court Admissions +

    Illinois, 1965

    Illinois Supreme Court, 1965

    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1965

    U.S. Supreme Court, 1971

    Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1973

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1978

    U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 1991

  • Experience +

    Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C.
    Chicago, IL

    2012 to Present

    2009 to Present

    Board of Directors
    2009 to Present

    Crisham & Kubes, Ltd.
    Chicago, IL


    Quinlan & Crisham, Ltd.
    Chicago, IL


    Hinshaw & Culbertson
    Chicago, IL


  • Peer Recognition +

    Named as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Illinois by Key Professional Media, Inc., through the research of Law & Politics (2005-2007 and 2009)

    Named one of Illinois Leading Lawyers by the Leading Lawyers Network (2003-2014)

    Named one of the Top 20 of Chicago's Premier Tort Defense Lawyers by Chicago Lawyer Magazine (2003)

    Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2006-2014)

    Designated as a Super Lawyer in the 2009 Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Defense

    Illinois Super Lawyer, 2010-2014

    Elected to the 2015 Class of Distinguished Counsellors by the ISBA Board of Governors

  • Professional Memberships +

    American College of Trial Lawyers – Fellow, 1984-Present
    • Upstate Illinois Chair, 1993-1995
    • Project on Electronic Discovery - Objections Subcommittee, 2004
    • Special Problems Committee, 2003-2004
    • Administration of Justice Committee, 2003-2004
    • Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee, 2004-2006
    • Drafting Committee for Uniform Interstate Deposition Act, 2005

    International Society of Barristers - Fellow
    Illinois State Chair, 2008-2012

    American Board of Trial Advocates – Advocate, 1992-Present

    Litigation Counsel of America - Fellow

    Defense Research and Trial Lawyers Institute
    • Honorary Chairman, 1991
    • Chairman of the Board, 1990
    • Senior Advisory Committee Member, 1991-Present
    • Voting Member of Corporation, 1991-Present
    • President, 1989
    • Secretary-Treasurer, 1986-1988
    • Member of Board of Directors, 1982-1985
    • Regional Vice President, 1980-1981
    • State Chairman, 1978-1979
    • Recipient, President's State Chairman Achievement Award, 1978
    • Recipient, President's Achievement Award as Chairman, Federal Products Liability Committee, 1987
    • Federal Products Liability Committee - 1987

    International Association of Defense Counsel
    Chairman, Architects, Engineers & Construction Litigation Committee, 1986-1988

    Association of Defense Trial Attorneys

    Society of Trial Lawyers of Illinois

    Appellate Lawyers Association of Illinois

    Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago President, 1995-1996

    Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel

    American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators

    American Bar Association
    Vice Chairman, Professional, Officers' and Directors' Liability Law Committee, 1981 and 1983

    Chicago Bar Association
    • Civil Practice & Procedure Committee
    • Development of the Law
    • Lecturer, CBA Continuing Legal Education
    • Evaluation of Judicial Candidates Committee

    Illinois State Bar Association

    Master of the Bench, Judge Howard T. Markey Chapter of the American Inns of Court Foundation

    Law Club of Chicago

    Illinois Bar Foundation - Fellow

    Lawyers for Civil Justice
    Member, Board of Directors, 1989-1990

    Leading Lawyers Network
    Advisory Board, 2003

    Product Liability Advisory Council, 1990-1996

    Loyola Law Alumni Association
    Recipient, Medal of Excellence, 1993

    Member, Editorial Advisory Board of Insurance Outlook 1989-1990

    Member, Board of Advisors, Expert Evidence Reporter 1989-1990

  • Civic Affiliations +

    U.S. Marine Corps, E-4 Corporal

    Wendy Will Case Cancer Fund, Inc., Director, 1990-2012

    Boys' Hope Scholars Foundation Illinois, Inc., Director, 1985-1995

    The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago, Director, 2005

    Scarlet & Gold Advisory Board, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Member, 1985-1995

    Defense of Indigent Prisoners, 1965-1972