Richard Sikes

Practice Groups:

Railroad Litigation

Office Locations:

Chicago, IL

Phone: 312.853.8700

Email Me

Education

  • Juris Doctor, DePaul University College of Law, 1980
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, Marquette University, 1976

Year Joined Firm

2017

 

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Heyl Royster

 

Attorneys

Richard Sikes (Of Counsel)

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Rich is an experienced trial and appellate attorney who represents railroads and other transportation-industry clients, defends state actors against civil rights claims, and also serves as lead trial counsel in other civil and commercial litigation.

Rich has primarily represented railroads in serious liability claims such as multi-million dollar property damage cases, railroad trespasser and grade-crossing injuries and fatalities, and injury claims brought by railroad employees under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA). He has participated in cost-recovery actions for damage caused by others to railroad property in derailments, maritime collisions with bridges, and other large-loss incidents. Rich has also defended liability claims against other transportation-industry organizations such as railroad tank car users. In addition, Rich has broad experience that includes: defending municipalities and police officers against civil rights claims; defense of asbestos and other product liability or premises claims; and commercial litigation.  Over the course of his career, Rich has drafted briefs and presented oral argument in four cases before the Illinois Supreme Court and many more in the Illinois Appellate Court.

Just prior to joining Heyl Royster, Rich practiced as an owning shareholder at a Chicago-based civil litigation law firm. He had previously been a partner at Freeborn & Peters LLP, where, over a period of 20 years, he tried more cases as lead counsel in state and federal courts than any other attorney in the firm. Rich began his career as an Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) in Cook County, IL where he prosecuted 49 felony jury cases to verdict, including several capital cases. When he left the State’s Attorney’s Office, he had been serving as a Deputy Supervisor in the Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Unit.

Publications

  • "OSHA V. FRA Regulations and Use of OSHA Regulations As A Basis For Negligence," Fourth Railroad Litigator's Notebook, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (2002)

Public Speaking

  • “Private Police Forces and Public Accountability”
    International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies Annual Meeting 2016
  • “Event Recorders and Locomotive Camera Video and Audio in Litigation”
    National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Winter Meeting 2014
  • “Pre-trial Motions, Opening Statements, Direct and Cross-examination, Closing Arguments”
    National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel 2013
  • “Legal Issues Arising from Protests and Crowd Control”
    Triton Security Company 2012
  • “Case Review on Legal Issues Related to Protests and Crowd Control”
    DuPage County State's Attorney's Law Enforcement Training Seminar 2012

Professional Recognition

  • Leading Lawyers of Illinois: Transportation Defense Law; Civil Rights/Constitutional Law; Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law; Personal Injury Defense; Products Liability Defense

Professional Associations

  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • State Courts of Minnesota
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Member, Trial Bar)
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • Pro Hac Vice in Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Indiana, Pennsylvania