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Heyl Royster Joins in 50th Anniversary of The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel

07/18/2014

On June 28, 2014, nearly 250 members of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC) and their guests gathered at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago to celebrate the association's 50th Anniversary. Heyl Royster's leadership with the IDC dates to the bar association's inception. Heyl Royster has had four IDC Presidents as well as many IDC Board members, committee chairs, and publication authors and editors. IDC was founded in 1964 by a group of Illinois attorneys in order to provide support and professional contacts for attorneys who defended civil lawsuits and workers' compensation claims.

In celebration of its anniversary, the IDC published a Fifty-Year History, which includes a section authored by former Heyl Royster partner Willis "Bill" Tribler on the Association's first 35 years. Tribler's account includes a profile of William Voelker, Jr. – who, in 1970, was the firm's first partner to become an IDC President. Some of the issues before Voelker during the 1970-71 term included the "no-fault" insurance law in Illinois, and the IDC's annual "Defense Tactics Seminars," which were one of the Association's earliest activities.

In 1987, former firm Managing Partner Bob Dewey became the IDC's President. During Dewey's presidency, the long-planned IDC Trial Academy was approved. The first two Trial Academy sessions were held in 1989. The Trial Academy, still offered to members of the IDC, has now expanded to include participation by attorneys from Indiana and Wisconsin.

In 1998, the Managing Partner of the firm's Rockford office, Doug Pomatto, became the Association's 34th president. Under Pomatto's leadership the IDC formed a Committee on Ethics to research information and cases on legal ethics and make recommendations to the IDC Board on ethical issues.

At the 40th Annual Meeting of the IDC, firm partner Steve Heine was installed as President for the 2004-05 term. Heine's term saw the Association remain active in commenting at public hearings of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee. During this period the IDC also channeled efforts toward re-invigorating its committees, and ensuring that they generated newsletters as well as monographs for the IDC Quarterly, a law review that has a national reputation as the finest publication of its genre.

The June 28 black-tie gala brought together attorneys from around the state, including 27 past IDC Presidents, to celebrate the IDC's many achievements of the past 50 years. Current IDC Board member Joe Feehan helped put together the event as a member of the 50th Anniversary Gala Planning Committee.