Heyl Royster

Smith, Vayr, and Drinkwine Secure Judgment in Favor of Coles County Officials

Posted on July 24, 2023 at 2:00 PM by Christopher Drinkwine, Brian Smith

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued an opinion affirming the dismissal of multiple civil rights claims against the Coles County State's Attorney and other public officials. The claims were filed by the attorney who lost to the State's Attorney in the 2020 election and centered around a Facebook endorsement. Congratulations to Heyl Royster Shareholder Brian Smith and Associate Bryan Vayr for their convincing argument stating the Plaintiff failed to state a claim for a violation of his constitutional rights and Firm Partner Christopher Drinkwine for successfully defending the Plaintiff's challenge before the Seventh Circuit.

Brian Smith is a Shareholder in our Champaign office and Chair of the firm's Employment & Labor Practice, often providing guidance and training to employers on best practices and how to navigate the ever-changing employment landscape. When complaints are filed, Brian is there to defend employers through administrative proceedings and lawsuits. He teams with his clients to guide them through the process, understand their goals, and assess the best way to achieve them early. 

Bryan Vayr focuses his practice on civil litigation, with an emphasis on complex civil rights, governmental defense, and employment matters. Having been involved in hundreds of lawsuits, Bryan is sometimes the first lawyer to whom his clients have ever spoken. He takes seriously his role in representing his clients and informing them about all aspects of the suit. 

Christopher Drinkwine is a Partner in the firm's Rockford office and Co-Chair of the Appellate Practice Group. Chris' goal in each case he handles is to maximize his clients' opportunity to obtain the outcome they desire on appeal. More than 26 years of legal experience from both sides of the bench allow Chris to identify the "deep issue" in each appeal and effectively advance his clients' most persuasive arguments. 

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