Rachel D. Kiley
Bollinger Connolly Krause LLC
40 Under Class – 2016
How impressive is Rachel Kiley in the courtroom? An opposing counsel says this about her “She is meant to be a trial attorney.”
Her Peers describe her as one of the most talented civil-defense attorneys working today in Chicago. Matt Jenkins of Corboy & Demetrio said, “Rachel works harder than any lawyer in the city and is extremely resourceful.
Donald O’Connell, with Riverside, Illinois’ O’Connell Mediation Services and the former presiding judge of the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, said that few lawyers have ever been as impressive when arguing a case.
“Comparing Rachel’s work against the thousands of lawyers who have appeared in front of me over the years, I can say without equivocation that Rachel’s work ethic, integrity in her relationships with opposing lawyers, competence in preparing and presenting complex issues as well as her civility to opposing counsel demonstrates skills at the highest level,” O’Connell said.
Kiley earned this reputation by not hesitating from going outside of her comfort zone. As a result, she has earned a reputation for being able to defend a wide variety of cases for clients. She has notched significant victories or positive settlements in product liability, construction negligence, premises liability, professional liability and even 1983 actions during her relatively young career.
“Simply stated, Rachel is highly capable of defending a diverse group of cases,” said Shawn Kasserman with Chicago’s Tomasik Kotin Kasserman. “Few lawyers ever develop the depth of experience Rachel has mastered in a very short period of time.”
Kiley has worked on several major cases during her time as an attorney. But few generated the headlines as did the tragic E2 nightclub case. In 2003, 21 people died, and more than 50 were injured, in a stampede at the Chicago nightclub caused when security guards used pepper spray to break up a fight, causing a panic.
During the case, Kiley represented defendant Clear Channel, the national company that owns radio and television stations across the country. Kiley, despite representing the client with the deepest pockets in the case, managed to settle all of the actions against Clear Channel for what her peers say were extremely reasonable figures. Several of the cases against Clear Channel settled on the eve of trial thanks in part to Kiley’s representation. One nominator said, “Her defense of Clear Channel in the E2 cases was second to none.”
“Despite the magnitude of the E2 litigation in terms of the volume of discovery and cases, Rachel was always incredibly organized, polished and prepared,” said Chicago attorney Bryan Hofeld. “She worked incredibly hard on those cases, including participating in several mediations while on maternity leave.”
A retired Judge who is now mediator said this about Kiley, “I have been involved in a number of cases in which Ms. Kiley was defending clients in substantial personal injury cases. Time after time in these cases, Ms. Kiley has achieved exceptional results. “The Judge continued, “One common thread in these cases has been her highly effective cross-examination of witnesses. Few attorneys are great at the art of cross-examination. Rachel Kiley is great at cross-examination and she has used this skill to fairly and consistently de-value the cases of her opponents.
Despite her busy career, Kiley has found time to volunteer for the legal community. She is a member of the Chicago Inn of Court and has served as the coach of the moot court team at Loyola University. She speaks at CBA events.