Brian Smith

Practice Groups:

Civil Rights Litigation/Section 1983

Employment & Labor

Education

Business and Commercial Litigation

Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy

Trucking

Accountant and Realtor Malpractice

Legal Malpractice Defense

Design Professionals Litigation

Office Locations:

Champaign, IL

Phone: 217.344.0060

Email Me

News

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

Eight Heyl Royster Attorneys Featured in Recent IDC Quarterly Publication - 06/06/2016

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

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

Heyl Royster Announces Four New Partners, Plus Two New Attorneys - 01/05/2016

Eleven Attorneys Honored as "Emerging Lawyers" - 07/31/2015

Eight Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Articles - 03/05/2015

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

Peterson and Smith Win Grain Contract Case - 02/19/2015

Heyl Royster Attorneys Author Articles for IDC Quarterly - 04/18/2014

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

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

Seven from Urbana Office Participate in Illinois Marathon 5K Race - 06/01/2012

Education

  • Juris Doctor (summa cum laude), Order of the Coif, University of Illinois College of Law, 2007
  • Bachelor of Arts-Political Science and Portuguese, University of Illinois, 1999 

Year Joined Firm

2007

 

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Heyl Royster

 

Attorneys

Brian Smith (Partner)

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Brian concentrates his practice in the areas of civil rights, employment law, education, commercial litigation, professional liability, and trucking/motor carrier litigation. Much of his practice entails defending government and law enforcement officials and medical professionals in cases alleging violations of constitutional rights. Brian also has experience defending employers, including educational institutions, in federal and state courts, and in administrative proceedings. He also defends clients in tort litigation, including cases arising from automobile and trucking accidents. Brian also represents businesses in commercial litigation. 

Brian has extensive motion practice experience in both state and federal courts and has presented numerous successful motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. Brian has been a guest presenter at the University of Illinois College of Law's Trial Advocacy class.

Prior to law school, Brian worked for five years in campus ministry, where his duties included management of staff and volunteers. Brian began his career with Heyl Royster by clerking in the firm's Urbana office. Following graduation from law school in 2007, Brian joined the firm in the Urbana office as an associate. He became a partner in 2016. During law school, he was a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois College of Law and a member of the University of Illinois Law Review.

Significant Cases

  • Topflight Grain Coop. v. RJW Williams Farms, Inc. We prevailed at trial on behalf of a local grain company.  The grain company sought to compel a farmer to arbitrate a contract for the sale and delivery of corn. The farmer disputed the existence of the contract. The court concluded that a valid contract, which included a written arbitration provision, existed and compelled the farmer to arbitrate the dispute.
  • United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Roth Acting as one of the attorneys for the federal court appointed Receiver in a case arising from a $16.5 million dollar securities fraud case.
  • U.S. v. Zabka Acting as attorney for the federal court appointed Receiver in a federal tax case.
  • Bond v. Atkinson We represented law enforcement officials in a civil rights lawsuit where plaintiff contended that the defendants violated her constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by treating requests from victims of domestic violence with less priority than other crimes, and failing to remove guns from her home without a court order. The federal claims were dismissed.

Publications

  • "Internal Investigations, Criminal Prosecution and Civil Rights Lawsuits: A Brief Review of the Constitutional Questions Raised for Citizens and Officers," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2016) - Download Article
  • "Appeal Bonds and Stays of Judgment" chapter in Civil Appeals (Illinois): State and Federal 2015, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education
  • "Seventh Circuit Issues Significant Opinions Regarding Malicious Prosecution and Qualified Immunity," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2015) - Download Article
  • "Does It Relate back? Substituting Individuals for Fictitious Defendants after the Statute of Limitations Has Expired," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2014) – Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2010) - Download Article

Public Speaking

  • “Retaliation in the Workplace: State and Federal Claims”
    Heyl Royster Employers' Day Seminar 2016
  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution – ‘Using mediation or arbitration early to avoid lawsuits later.’”
    Heyl Royster “Avoiding Litigation” Seminar 2016
  • “Body Worn Cameras and the Future of Excessive Force Litigation”
    Heyl Royster's 31st Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2016
  • “Compliance with Wage and Labor Laws for Vacation and Overtime Pay”
    Heyl Royster Seminar "Employer Road Map for 2016: Avoiding Legal Potholes" 2015
  • “Investigations”
    How to Protect Your Company/Minimize Risks in the Workplace Heyl Royster Seminar 2014
  • “Medical Cannabis: A Primer For Employers and Governmental Entities”
    Heyl Royster Lunch & Learn Seminar/Webinar 2014
  • “Medical Cannabis & Concealed Carry”
    Springfield Chamber of Commerce 2015

Professional Recognition

  • Named to Law Bulletin Publishing Company's list of Illinois Emerging Lawyers (2015-2017). Only two percent of Illinois lawyers under the age of 40 or who have been licensed to practice for 10 years or less earn this distinction.
  • Named to the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (2012-2017). The Super Lawyers Rising Stars selection process is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 2.5 percent of Illinois lawyers under the age of 40 or who have been practicing 10 years or less earn this designation.

Professional Associations

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Champaign County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute

Court Admissions

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