Some cases simply have a bigger impact than others. And Kristofer Riddle, an attorney with Chicago’s Clifford Law Offices, is in the middle of arguing just such a case today.
Riddle is a key player on the plaintiffs’ side of the landmark Hale et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. The case brings RICO claims against State Farm and others, alleging that these defendants had funneled cash contributions to the campaign of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier in 2004.
The goal, according to the claim, was to influence the then-pending appeal by State Farm of a more-than-$1-billion class-action judgment in the state court.
The case has been pending for nearly five years now. Jeannine Kenney, a partner with Hausfeld LLP in Washington, D.C., has worked closely with Riddle on this case. She said that Riddle has been one of its stars.
“Mr. Riddle’s legal, discovery and complex case-management skills are without match, particularly given his years of practice,” Kenney said. “He approaches all negotiations with opposing counsel with candor, civility and respect. His professional demeanor is not only a model for all litigators on both sides of the ‘v,’ but he commands the respect of his co-counsel and opposing counsel.”
Richard Barrett with the Barrett Law Group in Oxford, Mississippi, has also worked closely with Riddle, on a case involving specific federal and state administrative rules regarding the misbranding of common consumer foods by large manufacturing conglomerates.
Barrett described Riddle’s work in this particular case as instrumental.
“If one were to set out to build a young attorney as the example to which others were to look as a goal or gold standard, the result would ultimately end up resembling Kris,” Barrett said.
Riddle turned in outstanding work again when working on behalf of those injured when a Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy.
“Kris, ever the exceptional and selfless advocate on behalf of his clients, worked tirelessly with Italian co-counsel to navigate the complicated set of international and maritime laws controlling the outcome in that matter, said Patrick Giese with the Chicago law firm of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman.
Riddle is also not a limited attorney. Though his practice is primarily devoted to consumer class action, transportation liability, aviation liability and medical negligence, Riddle has not shied away from representing clients in other complex areas of the law, including securities litigation.
When he is not impressing in the courtroom, Riddle spends much of his time volunteering for the community. He has worked as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. He has also assisted public school students in their transition from high school to the real world through the Urban Alliance Program.
“His volunteer work reflects both his genuine compassion for others, client and non-client alike, and the passion that he brings to his legal work assisting those wronged by others,” Kenney said.