Elizabeth A. Knight

Elizabeth A. Knight

Elizabeth Knight (Betty) is one of the principals of the firm and along with her husband, Byron, has served as a leader of the firm’s civil defense trial and appellate practice for over 35 years in federal and state courts in Illinois and Indiana. She has successfully served as lead trial counsel in high profile cases involving complex federal and state laws with millions of dollars in damage exposure to the firm’s clients. She is a 1978 graduate of DePaul University College of Law. She’s licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and supreme and appellate courts throughout Illinois and Indiana. She is the head of the firm’s appellate division. She has presented appeals in all five Illinois district appellate courts, Illinois Supreme Court, Indiana Court of Appeals, Indiana Supreme Court, and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and has successfully defeated petitions of writ of certiorari on constitutional questions in the United States Supreme Court.

Betty has presented extensively in the arenas of civil rights and contractor negligence law. She has lectured and provided training to numerous municipalities and police departments on topics such as use of force, racial profiling, police pursuits, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Betty’s record of success at the dispositive motion stage and at trial is impressive and has resulted in millions of dollars saved for the firm’s clients.

Recent Career Highlights

  • Trial of wrongful death case in February of 2016, Sheriff’s deputy alleged to have provided his wife with a gun that she used to commit suicide while in the scope of his employment. Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Plaintiff’s Tort Claims Capped Verdict and entered judgment in favor of Sheriff’s Department finding off duty law enforcement officer was not in the scope of his employment.  Harris County Sheriff’s Department v. Ayers, 70 N.E.3d 414 (Ind. Ct. App.2017).  Transferred denied in the Indiana Supreme Court on May 18, 2017.  Floyd County Trial Case No. 22C01-1104-CT-000558.
  • Deadly force case involving white officers and mentally disturbed African-American decedent. Summary Judgment granted in favor of police officers and town.  Court found no violation of decedent’s Constitutional Rights despite the decedent’s mother’s testimony that the decedent was under the officer’s control shortly before the officer shot the decedent.  The Court relied heavily on the Defendant’s Police Procedures Expert and Forensic Pathologist Expert opinions that the physical evidence supported the officer’s testimony that the decedent was attacking the officers when deadly force was used.  Jones v. Town of Highland, 204 F. Supp. 3d 1030 (N.D. Ind. 2016).  Plaintiff’s appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was subsequently dismissed on procedural grounds.
  • Uncertified class of 21 Plaintiffs where Drug Court participants were unlawfully held in jail for months without due process while awaiting placement in treatment facilities or halfway houses. Federal Court granted summary judgment for Drug Treatment Court Case Manager on all due process claims including a significant ruling that Case Manager was a State and not a County employee barring the official capacity claim under the 11th Hoffman, et al, v. Knoebel, et al, 2017 WL 3191198 (S.D. Ind. July 27, 2017) Southern District of Indiana Case No. 4:14-CV-12. The case is pending on appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.