Seth A. Horvath

Seth Horvath focuses his practice on trial and appellate litigation in state and federal courts nationwide. He represents a wide variety of clients, with particular emphasis on the banking industry.

What do you focus on?

My practice includes three main areas:

Commercial Litigation

My commercial-litigation experience is wide-ranging. From single-witness administrative hearings to complex, multi-party trials to summary proceedings on issues of law, I represent clients in the real-estate, legal, banking, manufacturing, and medical industries, among others. Each commercial case is unique, and I enjoy the challenge of helping clients identify creative and effective legal solutions tailored to meet their business goals. Recently, my focus has been on litigation in the banking industry with borrowers, lenders, directors, officers, and federal regulatory agencies.

Appellate Litigation

Appellate advocacy starts in the trial court. I counsel clients on preserving trial issues for appeal and crafting interlocutory appeals that resolve key legal issues before final judgment. After judgment, I help clients identify their strongest appellate issues and create persuasive arguments to present to reviewing courts.

Employment Litigation

My employment practice includes representing employers in wage-and-hour lawsuits, discrimination proceedings before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, restrictive-covenant disputes, and trade-secret cases.

What do you see on the horizon?

As state governments legalize and regulate new industries, I’m paying close attention to state-agency administrative procedures that dictate which issues are decided in court and which issues are left to the discretion of administrative officials. Knowing how to get an issue to court in a timely fashion can be the difference between the success and failure of a client’s business.


Before entering private practice, I was a law clerk for Justice Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Representative Experience

Trial court litigation

  • Representing a medical-device manufacturer in a complex commercial arbitration over the interpretation of its marketing agreement
  • Representing the principals of an investment company in a three-week bench trial over the enforcement of their separation agreement with a former employee
  • Representing a property owner in a year-long bench trial over the condemnation of subsidized housing by a Chicago-area municipality
  • Representing a plaintiff in a three-week jury trial over civil-rights violations by a municipality and its employees
  • Litigating breach-of-fiduciary-duty and fraud claims for a not-for-profit senior-care organization against two of its former executives
  • Litigating a substantial breach-of-contract dispute for a large law firm against a former municipal client
  • Counseling members of a real-estate-development venture through multiple lawsuits involving their former partners, lender, and subcontractors
  • Counseling a Chicago-area bank through complex multi-property residential-foreclosure litigation
  • Representing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in negligence and breach-of-fiduciary-duty lawsuits against former officers and directors of failed banks
  • Prosecuting fraud and breach-of-contract claims against a failed credit union under federal conservatorship
  • Litigating licensing disputes with state regulatory authorities, applicants, and licensees in the video-gaming industry
  • Defending an employer in a trade-secret case involving the design and installation of specialized manufacturing technology


  • City of Joliet v. New West, L.P., 562 F.3d 830 (7th Cir. 2009) (dispute over federal preemption of local eminent-domain ordinance)
  • In re Altheimer & Gray, 601 F.3d 740 (7th Cir. 2010) (interpretation of bankruptcy reorganization plan in appeal by creditor)
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP v. City of East Chicago, 401 Ill. App. 3d 947 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2010) (challenge to personal jurisdiction of Illinois court over Indiana municipality in breach-of-contract lawsuit)
  • Stein v. Krislov, 405 Ill. App. 3d 538 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2010) (jurisdictional appeal on applicability of Illinois Citizen Participation Act to plaintiff’s defamation claims)
  • Seyller v. County of Kane, 408 Ill. App. 3d 982 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2011) (appeal from preliminary injunction prohibiting county official from spending funds in excess of budget)
  • Wirtz v. Quinn, 2011 IL 111903 (Ill. S. Ct. 2011) (challenge to constitutionality of State of Illinois’s omnibus capital-projects legislation)
  • Franciscan Communities, Inc. v. Hamer, 2012 IL App (2d) 110431 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2012) (challenge to denial of charitable and religious property-tax exemptions for not-for-profit senior-care organization)
  • Administrative Commission v. Rhee, 2012 IL App (1st) 111002-U (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2012) (dispute over enforceability of settlement agreement between church organization and members)
  • Shrock v. Meier, 2012 IL App (1st) 111408-U (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2012) (appeal from trial-court order permitting dissolution of closely held limited-liability company)
  • Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC v. Village of Elmwood Park, 2015 IL App (1st) 143822 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2015) (challenge to constitutionality of local ordinance regulating video gaming)
  • Hyperactive Gaming, LLC v. Williamson Post, American Legion, 2015 IL App (5th) 140312-U (Ill. App. Ct. 5th Dist. 2015) (dispute over validity of assignment of video-gaming contract)
  • Sarvis v. BMO Harris Bank N.A., 619 Fed. Appx. 520 (7th Cir. 2015) (dispute over standing to litigate claims on behalf of trust beneficiary)
  • Schaumburg Bank & Trust Co. v. Alsterda, 815 F.3d 306 (7th Cir. 2016) (defense of bankruptcy trustee’s right to retain settlement proceeds against creditor’s claim)
  • Moline School District No. 40 Board of Education v. Quinn, 2016 IL 119704 (Ill. S. Ct. 2016) (challenge to constitutionality of state law creating tax exemption for aviation-support-service provider)


  • Note, Disentangling the Eleventh Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act: Alternative Remedies for State-Initiated Disability Discrimination under Title I and Title II, University of Illinois Law Review 231, 2004 (Author)


  • Presenter, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, 2017 NASCUS State System Summit, September 1, 2017, “Banks v. Credit Unions: Old Rivalry, New Developments.”
  • Presenter, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 2017 Credit Union Examiners’ Conference, November 30, 2016, “Red Flags for Regulators.”
  • Presenter, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 2016 Illinois Bank Examiners’ Conference, October 18, 2016, “Red Flags for Regulators.”
  • Presenter, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, 2016 NASCUS State System Summit, October 5, 2016, “Red Flags for Regulators.”

And the LOTW runners up...

American Lawyer | March 15, 2019

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Seth Horvath, Tom Hecht and Tina Solis are mentioned in this article as runners-up for AmLaw’s Litigators of the Week award for their win at the Iowa Supreme Court in a matter involving Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming surgery for transgender people.

State AGs at odds over Google privacy pact at high court

Law360 | September 06, 2018

This article mentions Complex Commercial Disputes partners Chris Mason, Sarah André, Dan Deane and Seth Horvath as counsel for The New York Bar Foundation and The New York State Bar Association in an amicus brief—filed with the United States Supreme Court—in support of the approval by a California District Court, and the Ninth Circuit, of Google’s settlement involving a “cy pres” remedy in a privacy-related case.


Seth A. Horvath



Phone: 312-977-4443

Fax: 844-560-8137

University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., cum laude, Notes and Comments Editor, University of Illinois Law Review

University of Illinois, B.A., summa cum laude, Bronze Tablet, Phi Beta Kappa


U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court


  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
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