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Steven Michael Ruffalo

Litigation Attorney at Chicago, IL

5.0   11 reviews
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 35 years
    State IL
    Acquired 1989
    Active and Authorized to Practice Law No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Steven

Learn Steven’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Litigation
    I have litigated and tried many cases in federal and state courtrooms in the tri-state region of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana for the past 24 years including contested estates, business disputes, zoning, employee covenants, fraud, breach of contract and fiduciary duties often within a B to B setting.

    35 years, 1,500 cases

  2. Commercial real estate
    Serving as corporate counsel to many closely held and mid-sized businesses. Assisting businesses and their owners with estate and succession planning, asset protection, commercial real estate and their corporate transactional needs. Emphasis is always on keeping clients out of the court room, if possible, and if not then on developing a winning (case management) strategy.

    35 years, 500 cases

  3. Business
    Consulting with business owners before a contemplated agreement is made in order to sensibly structure and advise start ups and counsel established businesses. Enhanced focus on asset protection, succession planning and documenting well thought out agreements which include terms mandating alternative means of dispute resolution (such as binding mediation) giving businesses a confidential, affordable and more predictable means of resolving disputed issues, without litigation.

    35 years, 500 cases


Steven devotes much of his energy to making common sense of complicated, multi-layered disputes that often involve intractable parties/postures. He works very closely with corporate and individual clients on a wide array of disputes ranging from professional malpractice, business to business disagreements, contested estates, investment advisor/financial exploitation claims, property disputes, employment/HR issues, contests over the rights and interests of LLC-corporate-partnership owners and property rights, commercial leasing issues and zoning contests.
Steven is a certified mediator and registered to mediate with the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in DuPage County. Steven founded the mediation service provider, Settlement by Design, in order to help litigants and their attorneys strive towards settling their toughest disputes. Steven also understands the triggers that drive parties to litigate and is often engaged on a pre-litigation basis to consult with clients and establish sensible strategies to resolve or head off their dispute, privately and proactively. Steven has shielded many clients from the risks of expensive, time-consuming, and non-confidential commercial litigation by encouraging a sensible, negotiated resolution which often includes the use of hand-picked mediators and strategic positioning among other unique methods for resolving disputes.
Steven serves on the Advisory Board for Tone Products, Inc. and has been appointed to serve a second term on the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee. Steven has served on the Board of the College of DuPage Foundation (2010-2015) where he chaired the Bylaws Committee and the Planned Giving Committee and as President of the DuPage County Bar Association (2010-2011.
Steven has also served as special counsel to the College of DuPage 2009-2015, the Ethics Officer for the Village of Glen Ellyn (2014-2018), and General Counsel to the DuPage County Bar Association and was appointed Assistant Village Attorney for the Village of Hinsdale.
Steven is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Federal Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Since 1999, Mr. Ruffalo has consistently maintained the highest “AV” rating (very high to preeminent) among his peers for legal ability, professional reliability, diligence and ethics, maintains a “Superb-10” AVVO ranking and since 2015 has been selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer among the Nation’s Top Lawyers.
Steven joined Fuchs & Roselli, Ltd. in 1990 and has served as the firm’s Managing Partner since 2017


AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2023
Client's Choice

Photos and videos


Steven Ruffalo


5.0 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Client's Choice 2023
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Patricia | January 20, 2012
Assessment of Attorney Steven Ruffalo
Steve Ruffalo is one of the best lawyers I have ever seen. He is knowledgeable, honest and full of integrity and can relate to most people regardless of their background. He is down to earth but is extremely aware of the law as it relates to the particular issues in your case. Always kept the parties involved in the case informed.
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Posted by anonymous | August 3, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phenomenal experience defined by professional expertise
Steven was the first lawyer I ever worked with and I did not know what to expect. He did an amazing job clarifying the process, explaining what I needed to do when, and answered questions immediately. He is an ultimate professional who is highly organized and proactive. I always felt respected and learned so much through the experience. I highly recommend Steven to anyone who needs legal representation and support. He and his team provided a personal touch that strengthened my confidence and my case. I'm forever grateful for having worked with him and his stellar team.
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Posted by Phil | May 31, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Advocate
I have known Steven Ruffalo for over 25 years. He is an excellent lawyer who has the uncanny ability to resolve complex matters by simplifying the issues and providing practical solutions aimed at achieving his client's objectives. When disputes arise, you will have a distinct advantage when Steve is in your corner!
Posted by Michael | May 22, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Got my money back!
I had an issue with a contractor; he completed subpar work causing the problem I hired him to fix to come back. He refused to take responsibility or return my calls or texts. I hired Steven, and he immediately went to work to resolve the issue and get my money back, which he did. I would recommend him.
Posted by Lisa | April 13, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Professional and Passionate Advocate
Mr. Ruffalo helped guide me through a very challenging David vs Goliath dispute. He had great ideas and wonderful additional counsel who were patient and smart. It was obvious that he had both the passion and experience to win the dispute on my behalf. For my part, I researched the company and the situation thoroughly and dug in to find similar, past disputes. I sent my own very specific demand letter, which was ignored by the company. I think some of my specific research may have been missed at the beginning by Mr. Ruffalo's staff because the documents were formatted differently, and there were so many of them. I was unaware of what had been received and viewed by Mr. Ruffalo's staff and what had not. Otherwise, I am delighted with the outcome, as it was a dispute that is rarely resolved. I am grateful to Mr. Ruffalo for taking on the case. I highly recommend his professional and straightforward services.
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Posted by Amit | February 23, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney and Valuable Ally on Your Side
I had a great experience working with Steven. I am on a tight budget as a new business owner but I found his pricing model to be flexible, and most importantly, reasonable. He was great to work with, and was very reliable and trustworthy. I had explored many options, and found him to be the best choice to handle my situation which was to handle the difficult termination of a business relationship between myself and a potential partner. He was responsive to my emails and calls, and he was very assuring and confident in how to handle the matter. I highly recommend him for anyone who needs an attorney to represent their interests for business purposes.
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Response from Steven Ruffalo February 24, 2023
Thanks Amit - I am delighted that we could help you and grateful for your kind words.
Posted by Jennifer | April 26, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Personal litigation
M. Ruffalo was very helpful and patient as he explained the possibilities and steps taken for my case. He successfully deterred the opposing side from litigation, and they dropped their demands. Everything was handled very efficiently.
Posted by Greg | November 18, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Tenacious and Thorough
Steve makes me feel like my case like its the only one he has. He always keeps me informed as the case progresses. I feel like he has no fear when it comes to my representation. He listens to my concerns and incorporates them into getting the best results.
Posted by Dan | May 22, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr Ruffalo is very professional....
Mr. Ruffalo is very professional, my dealings with him have always been positive and his help with my legal issues went above and beyond my expectations. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a sharp attorney that knows how to get the job done.
Posted by anonymous | May 21, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sales executive
Steve is a consummate professional and a very trusted advisor. He seeks to truly understand his client’s needs and perspectives, and works hard to meet their objectives. Steve is fair, objective, and non-judgmental, and can be relied upon to arrive at a strong outcome.
Posted by anonymous | February 23, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Truly a Lawyer's Lawyer!
I've been on Avvo for 3 years, and gotten advice from dozens of lawyers, but this is the first time I was compelled to write a review! Wow!!! Steven Ruffalo is as brilliant as they come! I am involved in a case where I am suing a heating contractor and his LLC for shoddy workmanship, and causing my basement to flood. Well, being shielded by his LLC, and other complicating factors, I didn't quite know how to proceed. Mr. Ruffalo not only provided me with invaluable information and resources, he named other money damages I would be entitled to as well! Because I was concerned about legal costs, he constructed a cost efficient way he could proceed with the case. Mr Ruffalo seems to be a lawyer's lawyer; like he could be at any Ivy league school teaching law. I am a tough grader who rarely gives A's. Mr. Ruffalo gets an A+!
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 185-690 per hour
Payment methods


AVVO RATING 9.8 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Member
  • Fuchs & Roselli, Ltd.
  • 1990 - Present


  • John Marshall Law School, Chicago
  • 1988
  • Rosary College of Arts and Sciences
  • M.B.A
  • 1988
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • 1984

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Maxit, Inc. v. Van Cleve, 231 Ill.2d 229
  • Settled after appeals
  • American Automotive Accessories, Inc. v. Fishman, 175 F.3d 534
  • Summary Judgment affirmed on appeal.
  • Applegate Apartments Ltd Pship v. Commercial Coin Laundry Systems, 276 Ill.App.3d 433
  • Settled after appeal.
View all legal cases


  • Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee
  • Member
  • 2018 - Present
  • Village of Glen Ellyn
  • Ethics Officer
  • 2014 - 2018
  • DuPage County Bar Foundation
  • President
  • 2011 - 2012
  • College of DuPage Foundation
  • Director
  • 2011 - 2015
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • President
  • 2010 - 2011
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Director
  • 2006 - 2007
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • General Counsel
  • 2004 - 2005
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2023

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (3)
Endorse Steven
Litigation Attorney | May 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Steven is an exceptional commercial trial lawyer and mediator. He is a lawyers’ lawyer as well. I trust him to give me advice and counsel on particularly difficult and complex Issues. Lawyers I highly respect have referred to him as one of the best commercial mediators in the Chicago area. Steven is also highly respected by judges in state and federal courts."
Litigation Attorney | Aug 16
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I have worked extensively with Mr. Ruffalo, and highly recommend him as an experienced litigation attorney. He is skilled, knowledgeable, aggressive and an excellent trial lawyer whom I had the pleasure of learning many things from. I would recommend him for complex litigation matters and those involving municipal clients."
Election campaigns and political law Attorney | Aug 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Sep 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Steve is considered to be aggressive, hard working, and a valuable attorney by his clients. You should be calling this attorney if you are in need of a great lawyer!"
Litigation Attorney | Aug 09
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Steve is an excellent lawyer and well respected by his peers. And the judges in our community also respect him, his work, and his integrity."