Heyl Royster

Richard Hunsaker

Practice Groups:

Professional Liability

Medical Malpractice Defense

Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices

Long Term Care/Nursing Homes

Mediation Services/Alternative Dispute Resolution

Qui Tam (Whistleblower)

Office Locations:

St. Louis, MO

Phone: 314.241.2018

Edwardsville, IL

Phone: 618.656.4646

Email Me


United States Supreme Court Decisions on OSHA and CMS Rules - 01/18/2022

Hunsaker to Serve on U of I College of LAS Department of Communication Alumni Council - 10/26/2021

60 Heyl Royster Attorneys Top 2021 Leading Lawyers List - 08/04/2021

Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Non-Economic Cap In Medical Malpractice Action - 07/26/2021

67 Heyl Royster Attorneys Top 2020 Leading Lawyers List - 07/30/2020

Illinois Department of Public Health Issues COVID-19 Guidelines for Elective Surgeries - 05/01/2020

PREP Act Immunity for COVID-19 Activities - 04/06/2020

Illinois Governor Grants Certain Health Care Providers Civil Immunity in Latest Executive Order - 04/03/2020

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

Hunsaker Elected to Key Leadership Position in ABOTA - 01/18/2019

Firm Completes Move Into Permanent St. Louis Office Space - 09/07/2018

Attorneys Author Chapters in IICLE Medical Malpractice Publication - 08/03/2018

Heyl Royster Opens St. Louis Office - 06/08/2018

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

Attorneys Provide Guidance to Healthcare Risk Managers - 10/12/2017

Hunsaker Appointed Vice President of Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter of ABOTA - 08/29/2017

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

Hunsaker Coaches Winning High School Mock Trial Team - 02/28/2017

Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Articles - 01/20/2017

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

Edwardsville Office Provides Opportunities for High School Students - 02/26/2016

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

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

Hunsaker Appointed Vice-Chair of Glen Carbon Residents' Advisory Board - 07/08/2015

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

Hunsaker Appointed Secretary of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter of ABOTA - 10/09/2014

Hunsaker Joins American Board of Trial Advocates - 07/16/2014

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

Clayton and Hunsaker Author IICLE Med Mal Chapter Updates - 07/18/2013

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

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Defense Verdict - 07/30/2012

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

Richard Hunsaker Selected to Serve on Mediation Panel - 03/16/2012


  • Juris Doctor, Washington University School of Law, 1986
  • Master of Arts-Communications, University of Illinois, 1983
  • Bachelor of Arts-Communications (with high distinction), University of Illinois, 1982 

Year Joined Firm




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Heyl Royster



Richard Hunsaker (Office Managing Partner/Shareholder)


Richard is an experienced trial lawyer and currently serving as Managing Partner of the firm’s St. Louis office. Over the course of his 30 year practice, he has taken in excess of 30 cases to trial.  Richard has defended cases in a variety of areas, including professional liability, construction liability, products liability and utility claims.  In the medical realm, he has handled complicated cases in the following areas:

  • Primary Care Physicians, Internists and Family Practitioners
  • Hospitals, including Emergency Room Personnel and nursing staff
  • Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities
  • Emergency Room Physicians
  • Anesthesiologists and CRNAs
  • OB/GYNs in both surgical and birth trauma cases
  • General Surgeons
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Physicians in libel and slander cases
  • Physician Assistants
  • Dentists
  • Veterinarians

In other settings, Richard has defended complicated civil claims involving:

  • Architects
  • Insurance Brokers
  • Rural Electric Utilities and Electrical Engineers
  • Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Richard has been with Heyl Royster his entire legal career. He has had the good fortune to practice in four of the firm's seven offices. In 1986, Richard began his practice in Springfield following a summer clerkship in that office. In 1987, Richard was asked to move to the Rockford office where he practiced for over 15 years as that office grew from three lawyers to one of the leading defense practices in Northern Illinois.  In 2002, the firm asked Richard to relocate to the Edwardsville office to assist in that office’s burgeoning docket where he focused on class action and medical malpractice cases. In 2018, Richard helped open the firm’s St. Louis office where he is currently serving as office managing partner. Richard has acted as national coordinating counsel for a medical device manufacturer in the oversight of their general civil litigation and also served as Administrative Counsel in the settlement of an Illinois Class Action claim.

Before beginning his legal career, Richard was interested in the field of communication studies. He holds both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Communications from the University of Illinois. While attending Illinois, Richard served as President of the Illini Forensics Association and, during graduate school, as an Assistant Coach of the University's Debate Team.  He also taught college level communication courses while working on his graduate degree.  Richard enjoys using his training in communications to assist the firm's clients in clearly explaining the often complicated scientific concepts which are crucial to an effective defense.  Richard’s communication training is particularly useful in helping physician clients respond to litigation tactics employed by plaintiff’s lawyers, such as the Reptile Theory, to fairly and honestly illustrate the thoughtful and careful practices which most professionals use to achieve the best possible results for their patients and clients.

Throughout his 30-year career, Richard has served as a speaker on a variety of legal topics including medical malpractice, jury selection, doctor-patient confidentiality, civil procedure, evidence law updates and environmental law. Most recently, he co-authored a chapter on case evaluation in the Medical Malpractice Handbook published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Richard is a trained mediator. He is currently on the mediation panel for United States Arbitration and Mediation's Mid-West office in St. Louis, Missouri. His mediator profile is located at here. He is also on the approved panel of mediators for Madison County’s Mandatory Medical Malpractice program as well as the list of approved neutrals serving the United States District Court’s Mandatory Mediation Program for the Eastern District of Missouri. Richard has received mediation training from the following:

  • United States Arbitration and Mediation Basic Mediator Training - 2011
  • Civil Mediation Training jointly sponsored by Washington University School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution, Missouri State University – 2012
  • ADR Neutrals Seminar jointly sponsored by United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and Saint Louis University School of Law - 2014
  • United States Arbitration and Mediation Advanced Mediator Training - 2014
  • Advanced Mediator Training - Implicit and Explicit Mediator Bias, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri & Washington University School of Law - 2018

Significant Cases

  • Bowman v. Ottney 2015 IL 119000 Illinois Supreme Court pronouncement that voluntarily dismissed actions which are re-filed do not afford an absolute right to a change of judge where the judge made substantive rulings in the originally filed action. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial judge's decision to deny a Motion for Change of Judge in an action which had been voluntarily dismissed and re-filed.
  • Avichail v. Jones 686 F.3d 548 (8th Cir. 2012), Not guilty verdict for a pediatric nurse in a case of a claimed brain injury following a period of depressed oxygen saturation levels. It was contended that the nurse failed to continuously monitor oxygen saturation values as ordered by the attending surgeon and that as a result, plaintiff sustained a brain injury affecting cognition and behavior. Verdict affirmed on appeal by Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Greenlee v. First National Bank in DeKalb 175 Ill. App. 3d 236 (2d Dist. 1988) Second District Appellate Court holding that national building code provisions (BOCA) adopted by DeKalb County do not apply to a 100 year old farm house.
  • Kennedy v. Crusader Clinic (Jury trial, 2000, Winnebago County) Trial of what was one of the first "false positive" HIV tests reported in Illinois. Plaintiff sought emotional damages for three years where he believed he was HIV positive, contending that the standard of care required a confirmatory retest. One of the principle defenses was the testimony of a former employee of the C.D.C. that shortly after the tests were developed, the tests were found to be very reliable, with low "false positives" rates. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
  • Lower v. Rucker 217 Ill. App. 3d 1 (2d Dist. 1991) Reversal of trial court's order to produce statement of witness/passenger, who was also an insured under the same policy as the driver. The case, which involved a car/pedestrian collision at high speeds, was later tried before a jury and resulted in a defense verdict. (Jury Trial, 1994, Ogle County)
  • Paszkiewicz v. Microsurgery and Brain Research Institute (U.S. District Court, Eastern Division of Missouri, Jury Trial 2004) Claimed spinal cord injury during back surgery alleged to have resulted from improper use of a surgical support frame and associated medical devices. Jury verdict in favor of the defendants following a two week trial.
  • People v. Fiorini 143 Ill. 2d 318 (1991) Right of contribution in Environmental Protection Act cost recovery cases recognized by Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Pettie v. Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. Refusal to enforce language in an indemnification agreement between a general contractor and the plaintiff's employer. The court's holding and analysis was later overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court in unrelated litigation.
  • Ratermann v. Tri-County Elec. Co-op., Inc. 229 Ill. 2d 658, 897 N.E.2d 263, 325 Ill. Dec. 15 (Jury Trial, Marion County, 2009) Not guilty verdict for electric utility where plaintiffs claimed a power surge resulted in a home fire. Plaintiffs relied upon res ipsa loquitor and plaintiffs' cause and origin expert maintained there was physical evidence of a massive high voltage surge of electricity causing simultaneous fires in two breaker panels.
  • Rix v. Heartland Regional Medical Center No. 5-07-0006 (5th Dist. 2008) Affirmation of dismissal of class action claim brought pursuant to the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act regarding hospital pricing of services provided to uninsured patients.
  • Click here to view full list.


  • "Claim Evaluation" chapter in Medical Malpractice, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2011, 2013, 2018) - Read Excerpt

Public Speaking

  • “Healthcare Litigation – Covid 19 Issues”
    United States Arbitration & Mediation’s Virtual Seminar 2021
  • “COVID-19 and Its Impact on Medical Professional Liability”
    Illinois Risk Management Services 2020
  • “Techniques to Reduce Finger Pointing and Standstill Agreements”
    Heyl Royster’s 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018
  • “Reptilian Theory: The New Frontier of Trial and Negotiation Practice”
    United States Arbitration & Mediation's Best Practice's Series 2018
  • “Electronic Medical Records: Emerging Issues in Litigation”
    Heyl Royster's 32nd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2017
  • “EMR vs. ESI: Electronic Medical Records and Illinois Supreme Court Rules Governing the Production of Electronically Stored Information”
    United States Arbitration & Mediation Best Practices Seminar 2017
  • “Illinois Case Law Update”
    IDC / MODL Seminar – St. Louis 2016
  • “Can The Affordable Care Act Make Future Medical Care In Litigation More Affordable?”
    Heyl Royster's 31st Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2016
  • “Legal Ethics in the Age of Electronic Media”
    Illinois Best Practices Seminar, United States Arbitration & Mediation 2016
  • “‘You in the Hot Seat’ – Shoulder Dystocia Issues”
    OB Risk Management Meeting – IRMS 2016
  • “Reduction of Civil Juries in Illinois from 12-6”
    Right to Trial by Jury, ABOTA, 2016
  • “Legal Ethics: Confidentiality & Conflicts of Interest”
    National Business Institute, June 2015
  • Click here to view full list”

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.
  • Recognized by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly as having a top defense verdict in 2004 (defense verdict in a claimed case of spinal cord injury against a neurosurgeon)
  • Recognized by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly as having a top defense verdict in 2010 (defense verdict in a case claiming a brain injury associated with depressed oxygen saturation levels)
  • Named to the Illinois/Missouri Super Lawyers list (2012-2019). 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.
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), President of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter, 2019. ABOTA membership is limited to attorneys who have significant civil jury trial experience.

Professional Associations

  • Winnebago County Bar Association
  • Madison County Bar Association
  • St. Clair County Bar
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • The Missouri Bar
  • State Bar of Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri
  • United States District Court, Southern, Central and Northern Districts of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh and Eighth Circuits
  • United States Supreme Court

Community Involvement

  • Chairman of the Village of Glen Carbon Resident's Advisory Board (2018-2019)
  • Prior service as volunteer board member for Hot House Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Past President of a Glen Carbon, Illinois Homeowner's Association
  • Volunteer Coach for local Jr. High Model UN team
  • Volunteer coach for Cor Jesu Academy's High School Mock Trial Team
  • Member of ECHO – a local organization of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon families who sponsor charitable activities in the Metro-East/St. Louis community.