Heyl Royster


Craig Unrath

Craig Unrath

Significant Cases

  • Reeder v. Auto Owners Ins. Co. 2016 IL App (3d) 150252-U The Third District Appellate Court affirmed a trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of defendant in a case where plaintiffs claimed they were entitled to coverage under an insurance policy issued to the prior owner of car. The appellate court found that, following the sale of the car, the prior owners had no insurable interest in the vehicle. In addition, the court found that the omnibus clause of the policy could not be interpreted as offering coverage to the purchasers of the car.
  • Cripe v. Leiter 184 Ill. 2d 185 (1998) In a case of first impression, the Illinois Supreme Court held that Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act did not apply to claim that attorney charged excessive fees.
  • Hobbs v. Hartford Ins. Co. of the Midwest, 214 Ill. 2d 11 (2005) The statement: "If a premium charge does not appear, that coverage is not provided" appearing on an insurance policy declarations sheet does not address the issue of stacking and cannot reasonably be read as contradictory to the antistacking clause in the policy. The policy must be construed as a whole.
  • Cramer v. Insurance Exchange Agency 174 Ill. 2d 513 (1996) Held: Although an insurer's conduct may give rise to both a breach of contract action and a separate and independent tort action mere allegations of bad faith or unreasonable and vexatious conduct, without more, do not constitute such a tort.
  • Armstrong v. Guigler 174 Ill. 2d 281 (1996) Held that a claim for breach of implied fiduciary duty is independent of and only incidental to the written contract and, as a result, the residual, five year statute of limitations applied.
  • Mwesigwa v. DAP, Inc. 637 F.3d 884 (8th Cir. 2011) Successfully defended appeal of order granting motion for summary judgment in products liability case. Held: The Federal Hazardous Substances Act preempts state cause of action that would impose a labeling requirement different from the requirements in the FHSA. FHSA did not require manufacturer to warn of risk of fire from accidental spill, or warn against spreading product after spill.
  • Tomic v. Catholic Diocese of Peoria 442 F.3d 1036 (7th Cir. 2006) Former music director and organist of religious diocese and church brought action against diocese alleging he was terminated in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The Court of Appeals held that director's position fell within ministerial exception to the ADEA.
  • Cookson v. Price 239 Ill. 2d 339 (2010) A medical malpractice plaintiff may be granted leave to amend a complaint to correct defects resulting from a failure to comply with statute requiring a section 2-622 affidavit of merit where the complaint does not appear to be frivolous, even where the new report is substantially different than the original report.
  • General Casualty Ins. Co. v. Lacey 199 Ill. 2d 281 (2002) The validity of an exhaustion clause was governed by the law in effect at the time of issuance of the policy, not settlement with the liability insurer.
  • Bubb v. Springfield School Dist. 186 167 Ill. 2d 372 (1995) In a case of first impression, the court interpreted language in Section 3-106 of the Tort Immunity Act, finding that statutory recreational immunity is triggered by the recreational character of the property regardless of its primary purpose.
  • Johnson v. Doughty 433 F.3d 1001 (7th Cir. 2006) Denials of prisoner's requested hernia surgery did not constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition.
  • Roberts v. Northland Ins. Co. 185 Ill. 2d 262 (1998) In a claim against a primary and excess insurer, the court held that the insured was entitled to only one setoff for the insured's workers' compensation benefits; that the primary insurer was entitled to take the workers' compensation setoff first, after which any remainder could be taken by the excess insurer; and that public policy precluded either insurer from taking a setoff for the insured's social security disability benefits.


  • "Final Judgments" chapter in Illinois Civil Appeals: State and Federal, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2018) - Read Excerpt
  • "Amicus Committee Report," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2016) - Download Article
  • "Amicus Committee Report," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2015) - Download Article
  • "Final Judgments" chapter in Civil Appeals (Illinois): State and Federal 2015, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education
  • "Privileges" chapter in Illinois Civil Trial Evidence, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2015)
  • "The Amicus Committee Report," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2014) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Amicus Cases," Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel's 2013 Survey of Law (2014) - Download Article
  • "The Amicus Committee Report," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2014) - Download Article
  • "Privileges" chapter in Illinois Civil Trial Evidence, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2009)
  • "Amicus Curiae Briefs" DRI Manual of Appellate Practice (2004 ed.)

Public Speaking

  • “Not So Instant Replay: Illinois Appellate/Supreme Court Update”
    Heyl Royster's 32nd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2017
  • “What's On the Horizon”
    Heyl Royster's 31st Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2016
  • “I Want to Appeal Now! A Primer on Interlocutory Appeals”
    Heyl Royster's 30th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2015
  • “Proactive Defense Strategies: Why an Appellate Specialist?”
    Heyl Royster 29th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2014
  • “What’s on the Horizon? Cases Pending in the Illinois Supreme Court”
    Heyl Royster 28th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2013
  • “What's on the Horizon? Cases Pending in the Illinois Supreme Court”
    Heyl Royster 27th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2012
  • “Practice Before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals”
    Peoria County Bar / Appellate Lawyers Association Seminar on Appellate Practice, Peoria 2011
  • “What’s On The Horizon? Cases Pending In the Illinois Supreme Court”
    Heyl Royster 26th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2011
  • “Petitions for Rehearing and Petitions for Leave to Appeal”
    Appellate Lawyers Association 2010
  • “Examination of Post-Judgment Issues”
    Claims & Defense Tactics Symposium 2010
  • “Practice Before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals”
    ISBA Federal Civil Practice Seminar, Champaign 2009
  • “The Winning Brief”
    IICLE Seminar on Appellate Practice, Chicago 2008
  • “Developments in Federal Appellate Practice”
    ISBA Federal Practice Seminar, Peoria 2008