Aphrodite (“Dede”) Kokolis is an experienced litigator with a special practice emphasis on complex and appellate litigation, particularly the defense and settlement of class actions.

She has litigated dozens of class action suits in federal and state courts involving a variety of issues, including insurance coverage and claims practices, consumer fraud, products liability, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) issues, and distributor and franchise issues.

  • Experience

    • Successfully defended several auto insurers in class actions involving a variety of claims practices and coverages, including
      • Medical Payments (PIP/MedPay) (utilization review, provider fee reviews, PPOs, subrogation)
      • Total Loss
      • Diminution in Value
      • Loss of Use
      • Non-OEM Parts
      • Anti-Theft Device Discounts
      • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM)
    • Successfully defended homeowner insurers in class actions involving hurricane claims and general contractor overhead and profit.
    • Successfully defended a number of manufacturers in class actions involving products liability, toxic torts, and consumer fraud.
    • Was a member of the trial and appellate teams in Michael E. Avery, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., in which the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in our client’s favor, overturning a $1.186 billion class action judgment.
    • Represented various municipalities in south suburban Chicago in the successful defense of a major constitutional challenge brought by the National Association of Realtors to various fair housing programs.
  • Credentials


    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1987
      Order of the Coif
      Northwestern University Law Review, Managing Editor
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., B.A., 1984, summa cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado


        • Honorable John A. Nordberg, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (1987 – 1989)
      • Insights


        U.S. Supreme Court Nixes Equitable Tolling for Class Action Appeals

        Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) provides that a party seeking permission to appeal an order granting or denying class certification must file the petition within 14 days of the district court order.

        News Release

        2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.


        U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Tolling of Limitations Periods in Successive Class Actions

        In a decisive victory for class action defendants, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a pending class action tolls the statute of limitations only for putative class members’ individual claims, and not for any “follow-on” class actions they file on their own.

        News Release

        95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

        Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.


        U.S. Supreme Court Rules Time Limit for Extension of Notice of Appeal Not Jurisdictional

        The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the time limit set by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(c) for extensions to file notices of appeal is not jurisdictional.


        U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Class Plaintiffs’ “Voluntary Dismissal” Tactic

        The U.S. Supreme Court has decisively rejected a tactic used by class action plaintiffs to attempt to obtain federal appellate review as of right from orders denying class certification.

        News Release

        99 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2017 Leading Lawyers List

        Ninety-nine Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2017 Leading Lawyers list for Illinois and Michigan.


        CFPB Proposes Rules Banning Use of Class Action Waivers in Consumer Arbitration Agreements

        The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed new rules that would largely ban the use of “no class action” arbitration provisions in consumer financial products and services agreements. 81 Fed. Reg. 32,830-01 (May 24, 2016).

        Blog Post

        Other Publications

        • “Class Actions: Historical Perspective,” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (‎2015)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Statistics in Class Certification and at Trial: Leveraging and Attacking Statistical Evidence,” Stafford Publications, Webinar (Nov. 13, 2019)
        • ‎"The Battleground for Class Certification: Plaintiff and Defense Burdens, Commonality Requirements, and Ascertainability,"  (conference presenter) American Conference Institute - 30th National Advanced Forum on Consumer Finance Class Action Litigation and Government Enforcement Actions, Chicago, Ill. (Jul. 17, 2018)
        • “Statistical Evidence in Class Actions,” (conference presenter) American Conference Institute—Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation Conference, Chicago, Ill. (Jul. 25, 2017)
        • “Recent Developments in Class Action Settlements,” Strafford Communications Webinar on Insurance-Related Class Actions: Pursuing or Defending Actions Over Insurance Products or Claims Handling (Aug. 22, 2015 and Jun. 20, 2017)
        • “‎Class Action Litigation: The Ins and Outs in 2016,” The Knowledge Group webinar (May 6, 2016)
        • “‎CAFA Class Actions: Overview and Defense Strategies,” (conference presenter) American Conference Institute on Class Actions, New York, NY (Apr. 11, 2016) 

      Product Liability and Mass Torts Blog

      On the Road Again: Does Bristol-Myers Squibb Limit Courts’ Jurisdiction Over Claims by Out-of-State Class Members?

      It has been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court (BMS). In BMS, the Court held that state courts lacked personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants relating to state-law mass tort claims that had no connection to the forum state. We have followed this decision closely on the blog... Continue Reading