Brad Elward

Practice Groups:

Workers’ Compensation

Appellate Advocacy

Drone Law

Military Law


Civil Rights Litigation/Section 1983

Office Locations:

Peoria, IL

Phone: 309.676.0400

Email Me


17 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2019 - 01/25/2019

Attorneys Author Chapters in IICLE’s Illinois Civil Appeals: State and Federal - 08/02/2018

Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Articles - 06/10/2018

79 Heyl Royster Attorneys Top Leading Lawyers’ Latest List - 05/31/2018

Seven Heyl Royster Attorneys Author Articles for IDC Quarterly - 03/28/2018

23 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2018 - 02/02/2018

Elward and McClenathan Receive IDC Meritorious Service Award - 07/07/2017

60 Heyl Royster Attorneys on Leading Lawyers’ Latest List - 06/29/2017

Federal Court of Appeals Strikes Down FAA’s Registration Rule Governing Recreational Drones - 05/20/2017

24 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected as 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers - 03/10/2017

Supreme Court Rules 6-Person Jury Act Unconstitutional - 10/19/2016

Appellate Court Finds Section 8.1b AMA Impairment Rating Report Not Mandatory - 07/01/2016

Five Heyl Attorneys Author Columns in Recent IDC Quarterly - 06/01/2016

57 Heyl Royster Attorneys Recognized by Leading Lawyers - 04/22/2016

Four Attorneys Published in SIU Law Journal’s “Survey of Law” - 03/03/2016

26 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected as 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers - 02/05/2016

Six Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Publications - 01/15/2016

Heyl Royster Prevails in Significant "Judge Shopping" Case - 12/20/2015

Nine Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Publication - 12/07/2015

Illinois Supreme Court: Workers' Compensation Act Exclusive Remedy Bars Civil Asbestos Claim - 11/06/2015

Elward and Hughes Published on Workers' Compensation in SIU's Survey of Illinois Law - 05/22/2015

Elward Co-Edits, and Firm Attorneys Author, New IICLE on Illinois Civil Appeals - 04/24/2015

Elward Quoted in Work Comp Central Article on Recent IL Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation Decision - 04/13/2015

Firm Adds Military Law Practice - 04/09/2015

27 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers - 02/20/2015

Firm Co-Authors Amicus Brief on Statute of Limitations Case for IDC - 02/13/2015

Elward Provides Procedural Guidance in Appellate Lawyers' Association Article - 02/05/2015

Attorneys Author Articles for 2014 IDC Quarterly Issue No. 3 - 09/04/2014

Firm Attorneys Active in 2014-15 IDC Leadership - 08/28/2014

Heyl Royster Attorneys Author Articles for 2014 IDC Quarterly Issue No. 2 - 06/18/2014

Thompson and Elward Editors of IDC Quarterly - 05/02/2014

DRI Publishes Young and Elward on the Traveling Employee Doctrine - 03/14/2014

Elward Examines Court’s Ruling on Mailbox Rule for Workers’ Comp Judicial Review Filings - 02/24/2014

26 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers - 02/21/2014

Illinois Supreme Court Victory for Firm Client RTA - 12/06/2013

Elward Authors IICLE Workers' Compensation Chapter Update - 09/16/2013

Elward Sworn In as President of the Appellate Lawyers Association - 06/14/2013

Heyl Royster Attorneys Speak at Peoria County Bar Association CLE Programs - 04/12/2013

Firm Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Columns - 03/29/2013

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Illinois Dept. of Revenue - 03/07/2013

25 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers - 01/31/2013

Heyl Royster Attorneys Named to Leading Lawyers List - 01/11/2013

Fifteen Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers and Eight Named as Rising Stars - 04/25/2012

Heyl Royster Attorneys Speak on the Recent Workers’ Compensation Legislative Amendments - 03/26/2012

Heyl Royster Attorneys Speak at Peoria County Bar Association Winter 2012 CLE Seminars - 03/02/2012


  • Juris Doctor, Southern Illinois University (magna cum laude), 1989
  • Bachelor of Science-Economics, University of Illinois, 1986 

Year Joined Firm




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Heyl Royster



Brad Elward (Partner)


Brad’s legal work concentrates in appellate practice and he has a significant sub-concentration in workers' compensation and procedure-related appeals. He has been with the firm since 1991 and became a partner in 1999. Brad handles all aspects of civil appeals, ranging from preparation of initial appeal documents through the drafting of appellate briefs and oral argument. He has handled a number of procedural-related appeals, with issues ranging from venue to forum non conveniens. He has also tried several cases, including jury trials.

Brad handles workers' compensation cases before the Workers' Compensation Commission, the circuit court, and the Appellate Court, Workers' Compensation Commission Division, and focuses much of his workers' compensation practice on understanding and handling complex jurisdictional issues, both at the circuit court and appellate court level. Brad's extensive experience in handling judicial reviews of Workers' Compensation Commission decisions has given him statewide recognition and he is regarded as one of the lading authors on jurisdictional issues.

Brad has authored more than 325 appellate briefs and argued more than 225 appellate court cases, resulting in more than 100 published decisions, and numerous unpublished appellate court orders. He has appeared before every Illinois Appellate Court District, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Missouri Appellate Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and has significant experience handling interlocutory appeals, in particular those under Supreme Court Rules 306 and 308. He also handles administrative reviews.

He has authored several amicus curiae briefs before the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. His most recent amici were filed in Fennell v. Illinois Central R.R. Co., 2012 IL 113812, involving interstate forum non conveniens, and Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 2015 IL 118070, involving the workers' compensation exclusive remedy provision and asbestos claims.

In addition to the practice of law, Brad has been active in a number of professional organizations and activities. He is a past President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association (2013-2014) and past Chair of the Peoria County Bar Association CLE Committee. He has published dozens of articles in numerous prominent journals and magazines, including the Illinois Bar Journal, Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Northern Illinois University Law Journal, Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly, DRI For the Defense, and Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Since 2015 he has been the co-editor-in-chief of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education volume on Illinois Appellate Practice: State and Federal, for which he authored or co-authored eight chapters, including the chapter on workers’ compensation appeals. He has also authored the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education chapter on procedures and appeals for the Workers’ Compensation Practice volume.

Brad writes frequently on appellate and workers' compensation issues, has taught courses on workers' compensation law for Illinois Central College, and has lectured on appellate practice before the Illinois State Bar Association, Peoria County Bar, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and Southern Illinois University School of Law. He is the current co-editor of the firm's workers' compensation newsletter, published monthly, past Editor-in-Chief of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel publication The Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly, and Editor-in-Chief of the Illinois Defense Counsel Survey of the Law for 2016.

Brad is also a published military aviation author with over 40 articles and eleven books on various aviation-related topics and has lectured at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.

He is a member of the drone law practice group, which advises clients on issues relating to drone operations, and a member of the aviation and airports, governmental, civil rights, and the military law practice groups.

Brad is the chair of the firm’s Attorney Skills Program, which is an internal skills training program for the firms’ associates.

He has been named as an Illinois Super Lawyer for appellate practice since 2008 and an Illinois Leading Lawyer since 2014.

Significant Cases

  • Weaver v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n 2016 IL App (4th) 150152WC A section 19(h) petition to modify permanency benefits must be filed within 30 months of the Commission's decision, irrespective of whether the Commission's underlying decision is appealed. An appeal does not toll the time for filing.
  • Bowman v. Ottney 2015 IL 119000 - Successfully defended circuit court ruling to deny the plaintiff's motion for substitution of judge in a refiled case, when same judge had made substantive rulings in prior litigation that had been voluntarily dismissed.
  • Hartney Fuel Oil Company v. Hamer 2013 IL 115130 Suit was filed by a retail sales taxpayer against our client, The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the Illinois Department of Revenue, and a Cook County municipality contending that the assessment of back sales taxes of $20+ million was incorrect. Ultimately, the RTA's position was upheld in the Illinois Supreme Court. While the taxpayer was not required to pay back taxes pursuant to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated existing regulations in adopting a "multi-factor test" as argued for by the RTA, a decision which had statewide application to sales tax sourcing favoring governmental entities such as our client.
  • Rosewood Care Center, Inc. v. Caterpillar, Inc. 226 Ill. 2d 559 (2007) Illinois does not recognize a preexisting debt rule when interpreting the statute of frauds, but rather applies a "main purpose" or "leading object" rule, which states that when the main purpose or leading object of the promisor/surety is to subserve or advance its own pecuniary or business interest, the promise does not fall within the statute of frauds.
  • Deichmueller Const. Co. v. Industrial Comm’n 151 Ill. 2d 413 (1992) Employer's appeal bond must be signed by individual with authority to bind employer to financial obligation represented by bond; attorney cannot sign unless authorized by said individual.
  • Chaney v. Yetter 315 Ill. App. 3d 823 (4th Dist. 2000) Client of borrowing employer was entitled to protection of exclusive remedy provisions of Workers' Compensation Act for claim filed by borrowed employee.
  • Bush v. Catholic Diocese 351 Ill. App. 3d 588 (3d Dist. 2004) A party has no First Amendment right to disseminate information obtained and gathered in preparation for trial.
  • Craigmiles v. Egan 248 Ill. App. 3d 911 (4th Dist. 1993) Appellate court's prior order refusing to grant leave to appeal of order granting new trial did not have preclusive effect on ability to raise issue in subsequent appeal.
  • Bernardoni v. Industrial Comm’n 362 Ill. App. 3d 582 (3d Dist. 2005) Frye standard for evaluating admissibility of expert or scientific evidence applies to workers' compensation proceeding; Illinois does not recognize claims for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
  • Gridley v. State Farm 329 Ill. App. 3d 422 (5th Dist. 2002), rev’d, 217 Ill. 2d 158 (2005) Forum non conveniens doctrine applied to support dismissal of class action suit filed in Illinois, where plaintiff and actions giving rise to claim occurred in Louisiana.
  • Click here to view full list.


  • “Jurisdictional Concerns in Workers’ Compensation Appeals From the Circuit to Appellate Court,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2019)
  • "Preserving Error for Review in Illinois Trial Proceedings" chapter in Illinois Civil Appeals: State and Federal, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2018) - Read Excerpt
  • "Stays and Appeal Bonds" chapter in Illinois Civil Appeals: State and Federal, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2018) - Read Excerpt
  • "Workers' Compensation Appeals" chapter in Illinois Civil Appeals: State and Federal, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2018) - Read Excerpt
  • "Interlocutory Appeals of Certain Orders" chapter in Illinois Civil Appeals: State and Federal, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2018) - Read Excerpt
  • "Workers’ Compensation: Never Pay Judgment Interest if You are Not Facing a Section 19(g) Judgment," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2016) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Workers' Compensation—Understanding Interest and Enforcement Issues in Workers' Compensation Cases Following an Award of Benefits," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2015) - Download Article
  • "Workers' Compensation Practice on Appeal," Northern Illinois University Law Review (2002)
  • "Appellate Motion Practice," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2005) - Download Article
  • "Securing Appeal Bonds in Workers' Compensation Appeals From the Commission," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2003) - Download Article
  • Click here to view full list.

Public Speaking

  • “Oral Argument Practice”
    Appellate Lawyer Association’s Appellate Practice Seminar 2019
  • “Insights into Appellate Practice ‘Danger Zones’”
    Central Illinois Women’s’ Bar CLE Luncheon 2016
  • “Preserving Error for Appeal”
    HarrisMartin’s Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference 2016
  • “Using Interlocutory Appeals in Your Case”
    Winnebago County Bar Association 2015
  • “Stays, Bonds and Sureties”
    Illinois Appellate Practice Institute-Chicago, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education 2015
  • “Better Briefs and Oral Arguments”
    Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar, Peoria County Bar 2015
  • “Workers Compensation Appeals”
    Sterling Education Services 2015
  • “Appellate Considerations for Governmental Clients – What You Need to Know About the Appeals Process, Appellate Options, and Evaluating Your Case for Appeal”
    Heyl Royster's 30th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2015
  • “Judicial Reviews to the Circuit Court”
    ALA Administrative Seminar 2014
  • “Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update and Using an Appeal to Your Advantage”
    Lorman Business Institute 2013
  • “Appellate Practice (Moot Court teams and Advanced Moot Court Course)”
    Southern Illinois University School of Law 2013
  • Click here to view full list”

Professional Recognition

  • Named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list (2008-2019). The Super Lawyers selection process is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of the lawyers in each state earn this designation.
  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in the area of Civil Appellate Law. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.
  • Meritorious Service Award by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel

Professional Associations

  • Appellate Lawyers Association (President, 2013-2014; Director 1997-99; Rules Chairman, 1999-2001; Rules Committee, 2005-06; event coordinator; past moot court competition judge)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Workers' Compensation Section Council, 1998-2000)
  • Peoria County Bar Association (Chair, Appellate Practice Committee, 2017; Chair, CLE Committee, 2013-2014; Winter Series Chair, Appellate Practice, 2012, 2014, 2015)
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly – past Editor-in-Chief; columnist) (Chair, Appellate Committee)
  • Defense Research Institute (Member)

Court Admissions

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

Community Involvement

  • Immanual Lutheran Church (Past President and past Board Member) (Past Chair, Relocation Committee)
  • East Peoria Community Baseball (Past Board Member and Travel Team Coach)
  • Washington Community Baseball (Past Travel Team Assistant Coach)
  • Robein Elementary School (Past Assistant Baseball Coach)
  • Second Season Fall Wood Bat Baseball (Coach, 2001-2003, 2006, 2007)