David S. Ruskin

David S. Ruskin

David works with companies and individuals to resolve their complex business disputes, helping them reach their desired goals in the most efficient manner. He represents clients in State and Federal courts nationwide and uses negotiation, mediation and/or litigation as necessary to ensure the goals are met. David is a partner in both the firm's Litigation and State & Local Tax Groups.

David focuses his practice on business litigation including:

  • Whistleblower (qui tam) and False Claims Act (FCA) defense
  • Partnership and ownership disputes
  • Contract disputes and business torts
  • State and local tax (SALT) litigation
  • Real estate and construction litigation
  • Cannabis law

Whistleblower defense matters, whether arising from a company employee or from third-party relators (such as the "Diamond cases" in Illinois), can arise in any industry and have a significant impact on the business due to the size of the potential penalties and monetary exposure under the FCA statute. David defends companies accused of defrauding a government entity, such as the IRS/Department of Revenue, SEC or HUD, as well as assists in company planning to decrease the potential of becoming the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit.

In the cannabis industry, and other emerging industries, David helps clients navigate through the web of differing (and not yet fully implemented) statutes, regulations and industry specific legal developments in state and local jurisdictions, including where inconsistencies exist between state and federal law.

For business disputes, David works with owners, family members, shareholders and board members for a full range of issues including: partnership disputes (business divorces), contractual disputes, business torts, employment related issues, real estate and construction matters. 

SALT litigation is unique because it marries traditional litigation with the knowledge of multi-state tax laws. David regularly represents clients before state courts and administrative tax tribunals across the country. He also litigates on behalf of his clients in appellate and federal courts, and in audit disputes and informal dispute resolution with departments of revenue nationwide.

"Once I can put myself in the shoes of the client and understand the desired end point, I can create a strategic and straight-line path to help get them there."

Known as an excellent listener, David's approach is time-efficient and focused on getting to the client's business goal. He speaks regularly on the "tips and traps" of litigation procedure and strategies, whistleblower defense and ethics.

David lives in Deerfield and enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He is also an amateur musician, avid consumer of music and frequently attends live performances.


  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
  • Anti-Defamation League, Board Member
  • National Cannabis Bar Association

Representative Matters

State & Local Tax

  • Represented group of retailers challenging the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax. Successful in securing Temporary Restraining Order from Circuit Court enjoining Cook County from implementing the tax, leading to ultimate repeal of the tax by Cook County
  • Lead counsel for wealthy couple facing residency challenge from the Illinois Department of Revenue after deciding to become permanent Florida residents. After extensive written discovery and depositions, the Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor of clients and confirmed their Florida residency while reversing the multi-year income tax assessments as Illinois residents     
  • Successful resolution in favor of client, an international steel manufacturer, seeking manufacturing tax credits denied by the Illinois Department of Revenue. Following written discovery and expert depositions, the Department of Revenue conceded and agreed to allow the credits in full
  • Lead counsel for Fortune 100 telecommunications company in series of trials across multiple states, supporting company's income tax filing positions on cost of performance methodology. Multiple successes through both settlements and following full bench trials

Whistleblower (Qui Tam)

  • Lead counsel in defending national retail chain against whistleblower claim seeking in excess of $9 million, based on unpaid sales tax. Following extensive discovery and mediation attempt, the whistleblower voluntarily dismissed his claims
  • Defended large wine retailer and trader against whistleblower claim seeking damages for unpaid Illinois sales tax. Case dismissed by the Circuit Court granting our motion, which was subsequently upheld by the Illinois Appellate Court
  • Lead counsel in defending international toy manufacturer against whistleblower claim seeking damages for unpaid sales tax on website purchases. Case dismissed by the Circuit Court granting our motion to dismiss
  • Lead counsel in defending large family owned tool manufacturer against whistleblower claim seeking damages for unpaid Illinois sales tax on website purchases. Following discovery and a fully briefed and argued motion to dismiss, the whistleblower voluntarily dismissed his claims, with prejudice

Business Litigation

  • Obtained successful verdict following Federal Court bench trial in Philadelphia in favor of traders and joint venture funding partner and against worldwide trading organization. Plaintiff was seeking millions of dollars in damages for alleged trade secret and non-compete violations. Verdict upheld after subsequent argument before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Successful dismissal of wrongful death claim against client, condominium developer, following written discovery and a deposition and the Circuit Court's grant of our motion to dismiss, based on the determination that the deceased was an employee and thus limited to workers compensation benefits
  • Successful verdict after lengthy bench trial on behalf of client, investment banker, seeking accounting and money damages in excess of $2 million from ex-partners and corporate entities. Trial court granted clients claims for tortious interference and pierced the corporate veil of various entities in granting money damages
  • Obtained Temporary Restraining Order from Circuit Court for client who was frozen out of his partnership after being locked out of the business premises and computer access. Circuit Court order ultimately resulted in arbitration and resolution of the disputed issues       

Industries Served

  • Automotive Manufacturing & Dealerships
  • Banking
  • Broadcast Media
  • Construction
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Entrepreneur/Start-Up Companies
  • Financial Services
  • Food/Beverage Services & Hospitality
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Leasing Companies
  • Logistics
  • Manufacturing & Distribution
  • Mortgage Companies
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Retail
  • Service Companies
  • Specialty Finance
  • Telecommunications
  • Trading Companies


    • Contact Information
    • Bar Admissions
      • Illinois
    • Education
      • Loyola University, J.D., 1991
      • University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. in Political Science, 1988
    • Court Admissions
      • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois 
      • United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit 

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