Scott Howie concentrates his practice on appeals. For more than 25 years, Mr. Howie has focused almost entirely on posttrial motions and appeals. In hundreds of civil appeals, he has written more than 500 appellate briefs and delivered well over a hundred oral arguments, including several each in the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Recognizing that appellate practice is considerably different from trial work, calling for a combination of unique skills and relevant experience, Mr. Howie is familiar with the formal rules and procedures that govern the appellate process, as well as the unwritten requirements that can make the difference between winning and losing. A skilled legal writer, he has a distinctive and readable style that makes complicated arguments easy to understand—an important quality in any court, but crucial on appeal. His extensive experience at the appellate level makes him uniquely qualified not only to handle appeals, but also to consult on any matter that might eventually reach the reviewing courts. He is frequently involved at trial on issues that are expected to be the basis for an appeal. Though based in Chicago, Mr. Howie regularly practices in appellate courts throughout Illinois—and has even been called on to participate in appeals in other jurisdictions, either appearing pro hac vice or working behind the scenes to prepare written briefs.
Mr. Howie’s appellate practice is enhanced by his participation in professional activities related to appeals. He is a past president (2021–22) of the Appellate Lawyers Association, which coordinates speakers and seminars on appellate topics and promotes interactions with appellate judges and court officials. For many years he co-chaired the association’s moot court committee, which holds a prestigious national competition for law students each year.
Since 2013 Mr. Howie has been a regular contributor to the IDC Quarterly, the scholarly publication of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, for which he writes a column on appellate practice. He also serves by appointment of the Illinois Supreme Court on the E-Business Policy Advisory Board, which formulates standards for the implementation of electronic and online procedures. He is also a member of the amicus committee of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, which promotes the interests of the business community in cases before the state supreme court.
Mr. Howie received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.
- Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D. 1994
- Northwestern University, B.S. 1989
- Illinois Super Lawyer, 2006-2019 (Appellate)
- Illinois Leading Lawyer (2023)
- Illinois Bar
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
- Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
- “Seventh Circuit Insists on Complete and Correct Statements About its Own Jurisdiction,” IDC Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2, Scott Howie.
- “Motions in the Illinois Reviewing Courts,” IDC Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, Scott L. Howie.
- Regular column, “Appellate Practice Corner,” IDC Quarterly, Spring 2013—present
- Seminar faculty, “Appellate Practice 101: The Nuts and Bolts,” Pincus Professional Seminars (Chicago), May 2018
- Speaker, “Breaking Down the Appellate Brief,” North Suburban Bar Association, October 2018