Heyl Royster


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Heyl Royster



Keith Hill (Partner)


Keith concentrates his practice in civil litigation. He has defended clients in cases involving product liability, premises liability, professional liability, automobile accidents, employment and labor law, and civil rights. He also has devoted part of his practice to toxic tort litigation, particularly asbestos.

Keith has handled cases in state courts in more than 20 counties in central and southern Illinois, and in federal court in the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois. He has tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal court. In addition, Keith has handled appeals before the Fourth and Fifth District Appellate Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Keith has extensive experience advising governmental entity clients with respect to state, and federal civil rights law as well as litigating claims brought under state and federal constitutions and other civil rights statutes. He has defended employers in state and federal court and before administrative agencies with respect to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and other employment laws. He has also advised employers on areas affecting employment, such as disciplinary actions, terminations, wage and hour issues, restrictive covenants, employment agreements, and various leave issues.  Also, he has prepared and reviewed employment policies and procedures as well as provided training to supervisory staff on employment related issues.

Keith began his legal career as an associate with Heyl Royster in 2002 in the firm's Urbana office. From 2007 to 2013, he practiced at a civil litigation defense firm in Carbondale, Illinois. Keith returned to Heyl Royster in 2013. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Significant Cases

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for a municipality in litigation brought by a former employee alleging wrongful discharge, violation of his rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Illinois Service Men's Employment Tenure Act, and asserting claims under Section 1983 for deprivation of his property and liberty interests.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for an Assistant  State's Attorney in litigation brought by the accused in a state criminal proceeding alleging violation of First Amendment rights.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for the University of Illinois in litigation brought by unsuccessful tenure applicant; included vacating a default judgment against defendants for failure to comply with discovery while represented by prior counsel.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for a municipality and a police officer in litigation brought by an employee of an independent contractor who was struck by a vehicle while painting a crosswalk; included the successful defense of an appeal to the Fifth District Appellate Court.
  • Successfully defended a municipality in a jury trial in Franklin County, Illinois. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant for damages alleged to have been caused by the plaintiff's fall into a water meter pit owned and maintained by the defendant. The jury found for the defendant.


  • “A Police Officer Does Not Have a Protected Property Interest in Promotion Examination Free From Cheating or Rigging,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2020)
  • “Objectively Subjective: Miranda v. County of Lake and the New Pre-Trial Detainee Medical Standard,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2019)
  • “Grievances: Turn Lemons Into Lemonade and Reduce Legal Risk,” CorrectCare Journal (2016) - Download Article
  • "Hindsight is Bittersweet: Quality Improvements Studies as Evidence in Inmate Litigation," CorrectCare Journal (2015) - Download Article

Professional Associations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Southern Illinois American Inn of Court
  • Jackson County Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois