Header Graphic

Attorney Profile - Steven B. Pollack

Since becoming an attorney I have focused almost exclusively on adjusting and litigating claims on behalf of policyholders in Illinois state and federal courts. I fight for the rights of people harmed by their insurance company, which instead of honoring its contractual commitment preferred to walk away without providing full coverage for the loss. Before entering the practice of law I was self-employed as a goldsmith for 15 years.

2006 - State of Illinois
2006 - Federal General Bar, Northern District of Illinois
2007 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
2010 - U.S. Supreme Court

2017 - Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois

Chicago - Kent College of Law
Juris Doctor, 2006 

University of Missouri - Columbia
B.S.B.A.-Economics, 1987


Cooke v. Jackson National Life Insurance Company, 15-CV-817 (NDIL, March 20, 2017)


The life insurance company denied the claim after insured missed his premium payment on his term life insurance policy, and the initial 31 day grace period expired without payment. In Illinois, life insurance policies must contain a provision allowing a 30 day or one month grace period within which to make up a missed payment. If the insured dies within the grace period then the policy remains in effect and the benefits are owed, but the overdue premium is deducted from the insurance benefits.


Here, 18 days into the grace period the insurer changed the premium due from a monthly premium to a quarterly premium as allowed under the policy. We argued that the insurer was then required to give a new 31 day grace period to pay the new premium due, (within which grace period the insured did pass away). The court agreed and held the insurer breached the contract by failing to recognize a new grace period for the new premium due. 


The court also held that because the policy was no longer payable by monthly premium after the insurer withdrew its consent to pay by monthly premiums, and because insurer had not given proper notice of policy forfeiture for policies with a quarterly or less frequent payment basis, Illinois law imposed a six month non-forfeiture period within which the insurer could not declare the policy forfeit after the default premium payment.

Pollack v. Department of Defense, Army, Navy, et al., 507 F.3d 522(7th Cir., 2007)(Referring to Pollack's complaint as clever and ingenious).


This case was brought when the Army and Navy illegally transferred contaminated federal property without first getting US EPA's concurrence that a final remedy was in place and operating properly. To the contrary, EPA specifically said they would not concur because of flaws in implementation of landfill cap. Held: Citizens cannot enforce provision of CERCLA requiring all cleanup activities be complete prior to transfer of contaminated federal property, even if the property is transfered before cleanup is complete, until the cleanup is done. In other words, federal courts will not enforce the law if it means citizens interfering with the government violating the law.

Pollack v. Department of Justice, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, DoD, 577 F.3d 736 (7th Cir., 2009)(Finding we proved our case that the FBI has violated the law for decades yet denying us standing) cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 1890 (2010).

This case challenged FBI and Navy firearms training activities that discharge lead bullets into Lake Michigan in violation of the Clean Water Act and RCRA and creating a public nuisance on state owned submerged lands. Held: Citizens have no standing if the illegal discharges do not cause water quality to exceed health standards for lead. In plain english, the federal courts will not allow citizens to hold federal agencies accountable for violations of environmental law. See a pattern here?

CALI Award for Coursework in the Chicago Environmental Law Clinic

"Environmental Aspects of Military Operations - Current Topics of Local Interest",
 Chicago Bar Association - Environmental Law Committee, MCLE Presentation, Dec. 5, 2006


I can be reached any of the following ways*: 

  • fill out a consultation request,

  • email me at steven@ecoesq.com, or

  • call me at 847-436-9566 (afternoons are preferred)

*Disclaimer: We are not creating an attorney/client relationship by you submitting any initial information. This relationship will only arise through an engagement letter signed by both of us.

© 2006-2020 Steven B. Pollack