Kevin P. Durkin

Kevin P. Durkin

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago, IL

Clifford Law Offices PC
 | 120 North LaSalle Street, 31st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-899-9090
Fax: 312-251-1160
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1980
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (50%),
  • Aviation and Aerospace (30%),
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

Kevin P. Durkin has distinguished himself as one of Chicago's leading trial attorneys. As a partner at Clifford Law Offices, he has achieved numerous large jury verdicts and settlements in state and federal courts in cases that are highly complex and often high profile. For example, he tried the case of a mother and her two children who were involved in a devastating truck-car collision on Interstate 90 near Rockford. A four-year-old girl was killed and her two-year-old brother was permanently brain damaged when they were involved in a snowy pile-up in 1999. Their mother suffered facial injuries that required 31 surgeries. After a month-long trial in the Cook County Circuit Court, Mr. Durkin received a $38.3 million verdict on behalf of the family in March, 2004. The verdict was the largest in the country in 2004 involving a motor vehicle crash and was featured as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the National Law Journal in 2005.

His trial accomplishments include serving as co-counsel in the highly publicized case of internationally-acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton who was severely injured when a Chicago commuter train dragged her for more than 300 feet. After taking dozens of depositions and a pain-staking investigation for more than four years, the month-long trial resulted in a $30 million verdict. He also tried a tragic Sioux Falls automobile accident case in South Dakota on behalf of a man who suffered permanent brain damage. The case resulted in that state's largest personal injury verdict, $7.5 million. He was involved in the highly publicized $10 million settlement on behalf of a suburban police officer who was struck by a speeding hearse that ran a red light while the officer was on routine patrol. It made headlines because of the so-called "black box" that was discovered in the hearse that recorded the speed and contradicted the driver's story to police. Mr. Durkin has been very involved in the litigation involving a tragic high-rise fire in the Cook County Administration Building that killed six people and injured many more. He has taken the lead on behalf of the six victims in hiring experts, he is unafraid to ask the hard questions and seek out the world's top forensic experts, in attempting to find the cause of the October 17, 2003. He was very involved on behalf of several men who were severely burned in a power plant explosion in Hammond, Indiana, and received multi-million-dollar settlements on behalf of the injured workers.

Mr. Durkin is perhaps best known for his work in the aviation litigation field. He has been involved in every major commercial airline crash in the last two decades, often serving as lead counsel. In 2003, he settled a series of lawsuits stemming from the crash of Alaska Airlines 261 that killed 88 people when it plunged into the Pacific Ocean in January 2000. He reached more than $40 million in settlements on behalf of seven families following three years of depositions led by Durkin who served as Co-Chair of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee for the litigation. Boeing admitted liability despite the National Transportation Safety Board giving the corporate giant a virtual pass in its determination of the cause of the crash because of Durkin's having exposed problems with the aircraft's horizontal stabilizer. Mr. Durkin also served on the Steering Committee of the Singapore Air crash Flight 006 as well as the Steering Committee for the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 that crashed in Queens, New York. He served as Lead Plaintiff's Co-Counsel in federal court where a $110 million settlement was negotiated for a number of families in the American Airlines Flight 4184 crash in Roselawn, Indiana. He is working on the case involving Joshua Woods, the six-year-old boy who was killed when a Southwest jetliner crashed into his family's car after skidding off the runway at Midway Airport in December, 2005. He also represents parties in the recent tragedy involving a Comair plane in Lexington, Kentucky. He served for four years as the Co-Chair of the Aviation Committee for the 75,000 member American Bar Association's Section of Litigation. He chaired an annual program that brings together the best and the brightest to discuss cutting-edge issues in aviation litigation. He has served as Co-Chair of the Mass Torts Litigation Committee for the last two years. He currently is Vice-Chair of the Aviation and Space Law Committee of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association.Kevin Durkin has been involved in many small plane crashes. For example, he is handling the case involving the crash of Bob Collins, WGN radio's most popular disc jockey, who was killed when a small plane crashed into his as he was landing in the Chicago area. He received a $4.1 million settlement in October 2001, on behalf of a photographer killed in a helicopter crash in northwest suburban Chicago.

Mr. Durkin handles a variety of personal injury and wrongful death cases, truck, railroad and automobile accident litigation, premises liability, security cases and medical malpractice. He has received multi-million dollar settlements or verdicts in a number of these cases. Mr. Durkin was co-lead in the Amtrak crash that occurred in Bourbannais, Illinois, killing 11 people and injuring hundreds more.After he graduated from DePaul University College of Law, Mr. Durkin served as an Assistant State's Attorney in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago for eight years, 1980-88. Since then, he has focused on civil litigation at Clifford Law Offices.

Mr. Durkin is very active in the legal profession. As President of the Chicago Bar Association in 2006-07, his initiatives for 22,000-member organization include mentoring younger lawyers, attracting a broad-based membership and promoting pro bono work. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Bar Foundation which serves the Chicago legal community. He also was appointed to head the Chicago Bar Association's Judicial Evaluation Committee for the 1997 and 1998 judicial elections in Chicago and for all of Cook County, including appellate and supreme court elections. He served on the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association. He has been appointed an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, teaching trial advocacy and complex litigation.Clifford Law Offices is proud of Kevin Durkin's distinguished legal career and of his exemplary accomplishments both inside and out of the courtroom.

About Kevin Durkin

Admitted: 1980, Illinois

Professional Webpage:


  • 2015 Trial Lawyer Excellence Award, presented by the Jury Verdict Reporter

Educational Background:

  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois Juris Doctor, 1980
  • University of Illinois B.S., Bachelor of Science Major: Accountancy, 1977

Articles about Kevin P. Durkin appearing in Super Lawyers

Office Location for Kevin P. Durkin

120 North LaSalle Street
31st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Kevin P. Durkin:

Last Updated: 11/5/2018

Page Generated: 0.58801007270813 sec