Douglas Pomatto

Practice Groups:

Long Term Care/Nursing Homes

Medical Malpractice Defense

Product Liability

Office Locations:

Chicago, IL

Phone: 312.853.8700

Rockford, IL

Phone: 815.963.4454

Email Me


64 Heyl Royster Attorneys Top 2019 Leading Lawyers’ List - 06/28/2019

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

Heyl Royster Attorneys Named "Best Lawyers" in America - 08/24/2018

Heyl Royster Attorneys Recognized at IDC Annual Meeting - 06/07/2018

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

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

Pomatto and Brady Successfully Defend Surgeon in Death Case - 12/14/2017

Heyl Royster Partners Named "Best Lawyers" in America - 09/15/2017

Pomatto Speaks to IADC on Combating the “Reptile Theory” - 08/11/2017

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

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

Pomatto and Brady Successfully Defend Surgeon at Wrongful Death Trial - 10/28/2016

Heyl Royster Partners Named "Best Lawyers" in America - 09/02/2016

Firm Obtains Two Med Mal Defense Verdicts in One Week - 09/01/2016

Pomatto and Stockwell Successfully Defend Surgeon - 05/20/2016

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

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

Firm Obtains Two Med Mal Defense Verdicts on Same Day - 09/30/2015

Heyl Royster Partners Named "Best Lawyers" in America - 08/18/2015

Pomatto and Denning Obtain Defense Verdict for Pediatrician - 05/01/2015

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

Cheely and Pomatto Featured in Leading Lawyers - 10/02/2014

Clayton and Pomatto Added to List of Firm’s Best Lawyers - 09/19/2014

Heyl Royster Joins in 50th Anniversary of The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel - 07/18/2014

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

Defense Verdicts in Med Mal Cases - 11/15/2013

Pomatto Selected as Faculty for Prestigious IADC Trial Academy - 03/21/2013

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

Six Recent NOT GUILTY Verdicts from Around the Firm - 11/08/2012

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


  • Juris Doctor, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, 1977
  • Bachelor of Science-Business Management, Bradley University, 1974
  • Member of 1973-1974 BU Hall of Fame Men's Basketball Team
  • As Student-Athlete, nominated by University as a Rhodes Scholar Candidate; State finalist

Year Joined Firm




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Heyl Royster



Douglas Pomatto (Shareholder)


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. Doug was born in Peru, Illinois.

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 a member of 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. Doug is also a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and was appointed and served as a member of the faculty for the IADC's 41st Annual Trial Academy, the nation's preeminent defense trial advocacy training program held at Stanford Law School.


  • "Illinois Objections" by Judge Gerald F. Grubb and Judge Daniel M. Locallo (ret), James Publishing, served on the Editorial Advisory Board.
  • “Understanding and Defending Lost Chance Claims,” IADC Medical Defense Committee Newsletter (2003) - Download Article

Public Speaking

  • “Shining a Light on Investigation of New Claims and Preservation of Evidence/Evidentiary Issues for the Claims Adjuster”
    Heyl Royster's 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018
  • “Insight into the Mind of a Trial Lawyer: An International Perspective”
    International Association of Defense Counsel Annual Meeting 2017
  • “Trial Techniques and Tactics: What Every Trial Lawyer Should Know About the Internet”
    International Association of Defense Counsel Midyear Meeting (Naples, Florida) 2010

Professional Recognition

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chosen as one of the Best Lawyers in America (2015-2019): Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.
  • Named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list (2007-2019). 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.
  • Faculty, International Association of Defense Counsel's 41st Annual Trial Academy (2013)
  • Finalist for DRI Louis B. Potter Lifetime Professional Achievement Award 2005

Professional Associations

  • ACTL Downstate Illinois Membership Committee
  • The Society of Trial Lawyers Chicago
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Past President)
  • IDC Trial Academy (Past Co-Chairman)
  • Defense Research Institute (Past State Representative)
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Bar Association (Chair, Trial Section)

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Northern and Central Districts of Illinois (including Trial Bar)
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit