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Heyl Royster

 

Attorneys

Michael Kokal (Partner)

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Mike has wide-ranging experience in professional liability, products liability, commercial litigation, and intellectual property. He is licensed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US). Mike is chair of the firm’s CyberSecurity and Data Privacy Practice.

Mike’s trial experience includes serving as lead trial counsel in the successful defense of a Fortune 500 company in a one-week federal court products liability trial. He was lead counsel defending another Fortune 500 company in the largest multiple site CERCLA litigation in southern Illinois. He continues to be involved in the defense of a refinery alleged by several hundred residents to have collectively contaminated air and ground water causing personal injury and property damage.

Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and he worked as an electrical engineer at Ralston Purina in St. Louis prior to attending law school. Mike has had numerous defense verdicts in litigation and arbitrations involving various areas of professional liability, commercial litigation, environmental and toxic torts, personal injury, and civil rights, including:

Frey v. Shell: Defense verdict in products liability case involving alleged permanent eye injury.

Freeland v. AM: Successful defense of Fortune 500 company in federal products liability trial involving disability and brain injury.

Gulley v. F, M.D.: Defense verdict in malpractice case involving intra-cranial abscess.

Jordan v. Maloney: Defense verdict in professional liability and fraud case against home inspector and realtor.

Hoskins v. F, M.D.: Defense verdict in federal malpractice and civil rights case involving metastatic prostate cancer.

Gallina v. W, M.D.: Defense verdict in malpractice case involving talar neck fracture.

Bahrs v. B, M.D.: Defense verdict in federal civil rights case involving colon cancer.

Magurany v. S: Defense verdict in rear-end collision resulting in partial paralysis and brain damage.

Stephenson v. O, M.D.: Defense verdict in federal civil rights case involving back surgery.

Three arbitration victories for a Fortune 100 Internet/Cable Company in cases involving breach of contract, fraud, and alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Mike received his J.D. degree (Order of the Coif) from the University of Missouri School of Law. After receiving his law degree, Mike served as a judicial clerk to Federal District Judge Richard Mills in Springfield, IL. Following that clerkship, he worked in private practice in Springfield, primarily in the areas of medical malpractice, products liability, and commercial litigation. He joined Heyl Royster in 2000 and moved to the firm's Edwardsville office in 2003. Mike became a partner with the firm in 2004, and he returned to the firm’s Springfield office in 2011.

Publications

  • “Cyber Security Recommendations for Small Business,” InterBusiness Issues (2017) - Download Article
  • "Seven Cybersecurity Recommendations for Small Businesses," Springfield Business Journal (2017) - Download Article
  • "Buckle Up for Cybersecurity," Springfield Business Journal (2017) - Download Article
  • “Blockchain Technology for Business,” Springfield Business Journal (2017) - Download Article
  • "What Every Claims Professional Needs to Know About Conflicts of Interest, Good Faith Duty to Settle and Time Limit Demands," Heyl Royster (2007)
  • Missouri Wrongful Death Statute, Missouri Law Review (1992)

Public Speaking

  • “E-Discovery, Social Media and Cybersecurity”
    Heyl Royster's 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018
  • “Spygate: Cyber Security - HIPAA/HITECH Requirements/Confidentiality & Data Breaches”
    Heyl Royster's 32nd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2017
  • “Outlining Your Plan of Action”
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education 2014
  • “Social Security Liens In Tort Litigation”
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education 2012
  • “What Every Claims Professional Needs to Know About Conflicts of Interest, Good Faith Duty to Settle and Time Limit Demands”
    Heyl Royster 2007
  • “Recent Developments in Case Law”
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Chicago and Springfield presentations 2001

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.
  • Managing Editor, Missouri Law Review

Professional Associations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Sangamon County Bar Association
  • Madison County Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • American Bar Association

Court Admissions

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

Community Involvement

  • President, Springfield Midtown Rotary
  • Commissioner, Springfield International Visitors Commission
  • Past Captain, Missouri Air National Guard
  • Past/Present of the Notre Dame Alumni Association of Central Illinois
  • Past board member of Springfield Big Brothers/Big Sisters