It’s easy to point out the similarity between Ruth Krugly’s love of detective shows and murder mysteries and her relentless efforts to untangle the facts, connect the dots, and make complex issues understandable for the average mortal. But there’s nothing easy about the diverse public-law issues Ruth has been successfully resolving for her clients for more than 30 years. State and local units of government and private individuals or entities interacting with, or seeking approvals from, governmental bodies alike appreciate Ruth’s enthusiasm, pragmatism, and precision in crafting custom solutions seemingly effortlessly and efficiently.
Ruth is ready to lend a hand, whether a developer is seeking to launch a new project or a landowner needs help protecting his or her rights in an eminent domain proceeding. If a matter involves obtaining a zoning variance, zoning amendment, or special-use permit for a property owner, Ruth can help with all levels of that process too, including the filing of any necessary litigation.
Ruth’s interests extend to her work with the ACLU of Illinois as a member of its board of directors and to her passion for political activism, including hosting events for incumbents and candidates, as well as attending all manner of events and rallies. When she’s not working, Ruth can be found preparing or sharing a delicious meal with family and friends.
- Represented a major sports team in conjunction with litigation attacking a stadium renovation project and developed the theories which led to a successful outcome in the Circuit Court, Appellate Court, and Illinois Supreme Court.
- Led successful efforts of a lessor of mobile school facilities in a contract action against a school district and school finance authority, where the governmental defendants raised the defense that multiple contracts entered into with the lessor were legally impossible to perform. After the trial court and appellate court issued opinions favorable to the school district, Ruth filed a petition for leave to appeal, which was one of the handful of civil petitions granted that term by the Illinois Supreme Court. The Court subsequently ruled in favor of the lessor in a unanimous opinion written by the Chief Justice.
- Defended a joint venture in a debarment proceeding, resulting in a successful outcome for the joint venture.
- Negotiated complex land-use issues involved in establishing a new corporate headquarters in suburban Cook County.
- Defended a municipality and its officials in a lawsuit filed by a multi-billion-dollar company alleging breach of contract, tort claims, and constitutional violations.
- Advised on and asserted the right of a prominent developer and land owner to challenge the rezoning of nearby, but not adjacent, property.
- Represented a candidate when objections were filed challenging the validity of his nomination papers and developed the arguments that made it possible for the candidate to remain on the ballot.
- Represented a real estate developer against a claim that a parcel of property was a public right-of-way and demonstrated to both the Circuit and Appellate Courts that there was never a proper statutory or common law dedication of the parcel to the public and that ownership of the parcel remained vested in the developer.
University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1983
Brandeis University, A.B., 1980, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
American Bar Association
Honors & Awards
Illinois Leading Lawyer
Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2006-2009, 2012-2019)
Top 100 Women Business Lawyers
Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2019)
Top 10 Women Government, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Lawyers
Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2015)
Pro Bono Activities
Ruth provided substantial pro bono services in connection with the well-received report and recommendations issued by the Joint Committee on City-County Collaboration. The Committee was established by County President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to find ways to reduce costs, streamline services, and improve residents’ interactions with the City and County. Working with the Civic Consulting Alliance and other partners, Ruth helped develop the Committee’s report. The recommendations in that document, which identified and described numerous areas in which the City and County can work together, have generated millions of dollars in savings for the community.
Civic and Charitable Memberships
Ruth was very involved in the preparation of a report issued by the Cemetery Oversight Task Force in response to the tragic events which occurred in the Burr Oak Cemetery. The detailed findings and recommendations contained in that report served as the basis for the sweeping reforms subsequently enacted by the General Assembly in the Cemetery Oversight Act.
Among her numerous charitable and civic activities, Ruth serves on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Illinois and was a three-time co-chair of the ACLU’s annual dinner benefitting the Roger Baldwin Foundation. Ruth is also active with The Night Ministry, a Chicago-based organization that works to offer housing, healthcare, and other services to members of the Chicago community struggling with poverty or homelessness. Also, a long-time supporter of The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Ruth raises funds for the Depository and enjoys participating in the Annual Hunger Walk along Chicago’s lakefront.
Ruth is also deeply engaged in politics, and has hosted and co-hosted numerous events and fundraisers on behalf of various candidates for public office.