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Stephen P. Ellenbecker

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Stephen P. Ellenbecker concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, construction, and general civil litigation.  He is co-chair of the Firm's Product Liability group and is co-chair of the Firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Mr. Ellenbecker also handles cases involving the food industry and welding industry.  He has utilized bacterial genomic sequencing to defend foodborne outbreak litigation, and uses human genome sequencing to establish alternative causation and dispel notions of genetic susceptibility.  In addition, he has researched, collaborated and presented on the use of sequencing in the areas of toxicogenomics and pharmacogenomics, as well as the effects of genomic sequencing on the standard of care for medical providers.

He works on litigation as both local and national counsel and coordinates scheduling, discovery and trial work with national and local counsels, respectively.

He represents companies involved in the marine industry both for their marine products and mishaps at sea, including those involving Admiralty Law and the Jones Act.  By example, Mr. Ellenbecker recently represented a towboat company in an occupational illness claim made by an employee under the Jones Act.

Additionally, Mr. Ellenbecker maintains a national product liability practice and also strategically handles and tries premises liability and commercial matters.

Related item: Manganese Toxicity: Defending the Welding Rod Industry (Client Case Study)

Admissions & Education


Illinois Supreme Court
Wisconsin Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin


Illinois Institute of Technology, J.D. (with honors), 2002
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, B.S.E., 1994


Vice Chair of the American Bar Association's TIPS-Product Liability section
American Bar Association
American Boat & Yacht Council


40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch, Law Bulletin Publishing Company, 2008
Illinois Super Lawyers, "Rising Stars," 2012
Leading Lawyers 2012-2022
Illinois Super Lawyers, 2017-2020

Presentations & Publications


American Boat & Yacht Council Marine Law Symposium, "Anatomy of a Boat Explosion," 2022

Presenter, Genetics' Growing Interaction with the Law - Tracing Food Contamination and the Role of Whole Genome Sequencing in Litigation, June 23, 2021

Moderator, Genetics' Growing Interaction with the Law - What Population Genomics Teaches Us about Foodborne Pathogen Epidemiology, a presentation by Carlos Neto, PhD, University of Nebraska, June 23, 2021

Moderator, Genetics' Growing Interaction with the Law - Genetic Testing Related to Psychiatric Illnesses; Medical Technology in the Age of Genetic Testing, presentations by Sarah Slocum, MD, and Alex Slocum, MD, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin, May 26, 2021

Co-presenter, Genome Sequencing and Its Role in Medical Causation, December 2017

Presenter at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Advanced Food Science Seminar. March 13, 2017. Topic: “Whole Genome What? Genetic Fingerprinting in Litigation.”

Presenter at the American Conference Institute’s 6th National Forum on Chemical Product Liability and Environmental Litigation. April 21, 2015. Topic: “Avoiding the GM Trap: Protect Your Company’s Global Brand from Negative Perception Even When Actions Taken are within the Law”

Presenter at the Chicago Law Bulletin Litigation Skills II Conference. May 16, 2008. Topic: “Opening Statements”

Presenter at the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues. October 5-6, 2006. Topic: “What’s Hot About Welding Rods”

Presenter at the Illinois Association of Defense and Trial Counsel Spring Seminar. March 1, 2003. Topic: “Defendant v. Defendant: Selected Case Law Regarding Liability and Related Insurance Coverage Issues under Illinois Law”


Co-author, Genetics - The Future is Now, March 2018

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