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Doug has spent his entire legal career with Heyl Royster, beginning in 1977 in the Peoria office. He became a partner in 1984 and was responsible for opening the firm's Rockford office in 1985. Born in Peru, Illinois, Doug is the Managing Partner of the Rockford and Chicago offices.
Doug concentrates his practice on areas of tort litigation and in particular, in the work up and trial of significant, complex cases. He represents insured and self-insured clients in the areas of medical malpractice, professional and products liability and in significant casualty cases as well. Doug has defended doctors, clinics, dentists, and nursing homes in health care malpractice claims. He has represented physicians in medical malpractice trials including the specialties of cardiovascular surgery, emergency medicine, family practice, general surgery, gynecology, obstetrics, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, radiation oncology and radiology. He has also represented professionals in other specialties including CRNAs, physician assistants, attorneys, ministers and counselors. He has tried numerous significant jury cases to verdict, most recently obtaining a string of 12 straight defense verdicts for doctors.
Doug is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only, and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. By its published by-laws, membership in the College cannot exceed 1% of the total lawyer population for any state or province.
Doug holds the highest Peer Review Rating, AV, of Martindale-Hubbell. A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating attests to a lawyer's legal ability and professional ethics, and reflects the confidential opinions of the Bar and the Judiciary.
Doug is also an elected member in The Society of Trial Lawyers Chicago, a group of trial attorneys in Illinois where membership is restricted to lawyers who are skilled and experienced in the courts, regardless of their field of practice.
He has also been certified as a mediator in Winnebago County, Illinois' Court-Annexed Mediation Program for law cases.
Doug's commitment to the defense philosophy is exemplified by his involvement in the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC), a group of approximately 1,000 defense attorneys committed to the defense of civil cases. In 1988, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the IDC and served in that capacity for several years until becoming President in 1998-1999, the IDC's 35th year. Doug was instrumental in developing the IDC Trial Academy, a hands-on trial program to allow young attorneys to develop their trial skills. He served as co-chairman of the Academy for many years, as well as a faculty member. He is also a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute and served as the DRI state representative from Illinois for three years. In 2005, Doug was nominated as a finalist for the DRI Louis B. Potter Lifetime Professional Achievement Award, an award that honored individuals who exemplified the highest professionalism and service to the legal profession.