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Heyl Royster



Adrian Harless (Shareholder)

Adrian practices in the area of professional liability and cases involving complex medical issues.

Since beginning his career in 1982 in our Springfield office, he has represented physicians and their groups throughout Central Illinois. Adrian has experience in a broad variety of cases including obstetrics, orthopedics, internal medicine, neurology, cardiology, pediatrics, podiatry, radiology, urology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, surgery, pathology and family medicine. As a member of the firm’s professional liability practice group, he also represents attorneys in professional liability and defamation cases.

In addition to his work in professional liability cases, Adrian has experience in the defense of cases involving complex medical issues including the representation of hotel operators in lawsuits brought by guests who claim they acquired Legionnaire’s Disease at the hotel.

Adrian is serving his second term as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Jury Instructions in Civil Cases. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company as a “Leading Lawyer” in the State of Illinois.

Significant Cases

  • Braucher v. Swagat  702 F.Supp.2d 1032 (2010) Legionnaire’s disease case against hotel operator.
  • Land v. M Trial of podiatry malpractice class action.
  • Balding v. T 2013 IL App 121030-U
  • Downey v. D 384 Ill.App.3d 350 (2008)
  • Cothren v. T 356 Ill.App.3d 279 (2005)
  • Warren v. B 325 Ill.App.3d 599 (2001)
  • Hitt v. S 285 Ill.App.3d 713 (1996)
  • Miller v. ADM 261 Ill.App.3d 872 (1994)
  • Roach v. Springfield Clinic 157 Ill. 2d 29 (1993) In a Medical Studies Act case, the Supreme Court held that the peer-review evidentiary privilege did not apply to information that chief of anesthesiology obtained from nursing supervisor. The Court also held that the mere fact that juror's wife was patient of defendant doctor did not establish juror bias.  The Doctor's discussions with the nurse had nothing to do with any physician peer-review committee.  Although the statute may be applicable to certain other types of committees, where the committee is one comprised of the hospital's medical staff, the committee must be involved in the peer-review process before the privilege will attach.  The nurse's statements were not "information of" any committee, peer-review or otherwise.
  • Weber v. C 253 Ill.App.3d 509 (1993)
  • National Bank of Bloomington v. Westinghouse 235 Ill. App. 3d 697 (4th Dist. 1992) Manufacturer does not have duty to warn of obvious defect.
  • Daly v. C 210 Ill.App.3d 19 (1991)
  • Garland v. K 209 Ill.App.3d 30 (1991)
  • Engel v. St. Mary's 198 Ill.App.3d 174 (1990)
  • Cramsey v. K 191 Ill.App.3d 756 (1989)
  • Skinner v. G 170 Ill.App.3d 417 (1988)
  • Dunavan v. C 167 Ill.App.3d 952 (1988)
  • Monier v. W 158 Ill. App. 3d 724 (1987) Foundation for admission of medical records into evidence.
  • Tobias v. W 156 Ill.App.3d 886 (1987)
  • Owen v. C 113 Ill. 2d 273 (1986), Application of innocent construction rule in defamation case.


  • "Discovery Practice" chapter in Professional Liability, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (1991)
  • "Discovery Practice" chapter in Suing and Defending Professionals in Illinois, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2001)

Public Speaking

  • “Adverse Outcomes and How to Handle Them”
    Springfield Clinic 2012
  • “Patient Consent: Legal Requirements of Obtaining Consent”
    Clinical Radiologists, S.C. 2009
  • “Adverse Outcomes and How to Handle Them”
    Clinical Radiologists, S.C. 2008
  • “Jury Instructions”
    Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel 2007
  • “Risk Management for the Radiologist”
    Clinical Radiologists, S.C 2007
  • “Increased Risk of Future Harm: Dillon v. Evanston Hospital”
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education 2005
  • “Increased Risk of Future Harm”
    Lincoln-Douglas American Inn of Court

Professional Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Sangamon County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Lincoln-Douglas American Inn of Court

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois