Heyl Royster


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Heyl Royster



Douglas Heise (Partner)


With more than 30 years of litigation experience, Doug has defended a broad range of clients from major corporations in product liability claims to individuals involved in auto accidents, including trucking/motor carrier litigation, construction litigation, employment litigation, and civil rights litigation.

Doug has an active practice defending healthcare professionals who provide medical services to the prison population in Illinois. These professionals are often sued by prisoners for alleged civil rights violations in state and federal courts.

In addition to defending healthcare professionals, he also defends municipalities in civil rights claims and employers in federal court and in administrative proceedings, such as before the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This variety of experience assists Doug in understanding our clients' needs and helping them to understand the litigation process.

Doug joined the Edwardsville office of Heyl Royster in 2004 and became a partner in 2008.

Significant Cases

  • Defended a physician and her employer in a case where plaintiff, an inmate at an Illinois Correctional Center, alleged that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's medical needs in relation to a knee injury. Following the injury, plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with a torn meniscus and ACL, a fracture of the medial tibial plateau, and osteroarthrosis, and had reconstructive knee surgery. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant doctor was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in her treatment of his knee, and that the doctor's employer was deliberately indifferent through its official policy of treating such injuries. Following a three-day jury trial, the jury found in favor of the defendants.
  • City of Belleville v. Doe by Doe 523 U.S. 1001 (1998) Whether same sex harassment is actionable under Title 7.
  • Longstreet v. Cottrell 374 Ill. App. 3d 549 (5th Dist. 2007) The estate of a deceased party cannot introduce the discovery deposition of the deceased party at trial as an exception to the hearsay rule.
  • Steelman v. City of Collinsville 319 Ill. App. 3d 1131 (5th Dist. 2001) The IRS's seizure of funds being held by a municipal police department did not constitute a conversion of those funds by the department.
  • T.H.E. Insurance v. City of Alton 227 F.3d 802 (7th Cir. 2000) Whether a certificate of insurance can modify the language contained in the policy of insurance.
  • City of East St. Louis v. Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, IL 986 F.2d 1142 (7th Cir. 1998) The federal district court properly entered Rule 11 sanctions against plaintiff's counsel for bringing suit against a judicial circuit.


  • “Strike The Right Balance To Keep A Drug Free Workforce: Recent Challenges to Employer’s Policies,” ABA Commercial Transportation Litigation Newsletter (2018)

Public Speaking

  • “Discoverability of Pre-Suit Investigation and Surveillance”
    Heyl Royster's 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018
  • “Retaliation in the Workplace: State and Federal Claims”
    Heyl Royster Employers' Day Seminar 2016
  • “The Essentials on Police Litigation: From Start to Finish”
    National Business Institute 2016
  • “When Social Media Becomes Socially Awkward”
    Heyl Royster's 31st Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2016
  • “Risk Assessment: Illinois Tort Immunity Act”
    Illinois Association of County Engineers 100th Annual Spring Meeting 2014
  • “Building a Solid Foundation for Defense: Gathering and Preservation of Evidence”
    Heyl Royster’s 26th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2011
  • “When Do You Need an Expert Witness”
    Heyl Royster's 25th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2010
  • “Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Update”
    Heyl Royster 25th Annual Claims Handling Seminars 2009
  • “Introduction to Illinois & Missouri Law Regarding Veterinarian Malpractice”
    Greater St. Louis Veterinary Medical Association - St. Louis Humane Society 2009
  • “Casualty and Property Seminar - Premises Liability Update”
    Heyl Royster 2008
  • Click here to view full list”

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America (2021-2022): Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in the areas of Civil Rights/Constitutional Law; Employment Law: Management; Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law; and Personal Injury Defense Law: General. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.

Professional Associations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • St. Clair County Bar Association
  • Bar Association for the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois
  • East St. Louis Bar Association 
  • Madison County Bar Association 

Court Admissions

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