Heyl Royster

Michael Schag

Firm Secretary/Treasurer & Shareholder
Edwardsville, IL
Chicago, IL

Joined Firm in 2004

Mike offers judicious leadership, flexible diplomacy, and mission-focused solutions.

  • Member of the firm’s Board of Directors
  • Co-Chair of the Toxic Tort & Asbestos Practice Group
  • Seasoned legal problem solver, broadly experienced and tested in tough environments.
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Michael Schag

Attorney in Edwardsville, IL

Mike is an innovative trial and appellate lawyer and an accomplished business leader. He is lead counsel in business and toxic tort litigation involving product liability, manufacturing, construction, design, engineering, distribution, transportation, aviation, premises ownership, government, and regulatory compliance.

Mike is a member of the firm's Board of Directors and co-chairs the Toxic Tort & Asbestos Practice Group. In addition, he is an Assistant State's Attorney for Madison County, Illinois, handling the defense of civil actions against governmental entities.  He also facilitates commercial transactions. 

With sturdiness forged as a military service veteran, Mike brings reason and methodical preparedness to win the fight. Mike is a decorated military service veteran who served as the Chief Reserve Trial Judge of the Air Force and an Appellate Judge on the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. He was a long-time leader and instructor in the Air Force's marquis trial advocacy training program. Mike has been a steady contributor to scholarship, having been an Adjunct Professor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a prolific author. In civil practice, his peers routinely rated him among the best attorneys.

Furthermore, Mike is dedicated to community development by fostering an environment friendly to commerce and coaching youth sports as a foundation for tackling life's challenges.



Air War College (Excellence Distinction), Air University

Air Command & Staff College, Air University

Squadron Officer School, Air University

J.D., Oklahoma City University School of Law, cum laude

B.S., University of Illinois University, Business Administration

Licensure(s) and Admission(s)

State Courts of Colorado

State Courts of Illinois

State Courts of Missouri

Supreme Court of the United States

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

United States Court of Federal Claims

United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Judicial Division & Litigation Section

Appellate Lawyers Association

Colorado Bar Association

Defense Research Institute, Toxic Tort and Litigation Committees

Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors/Legal Counsel

Illinois State Bar Association

Madison County Bar Association

Missouri Bar Association

National Contract Management Association, Past Board of Directors

Community Involvement

Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce

Board of Directors

Legal Counsel (2020-Present)

Edwardsville Little Tigers, Coach (2012-18)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Adjunct Professor (1994-2004)


  • Williams v. Ortiz, 937 F.3d 936 (7th Cir. 2019) – Successful appellate defense of medical providers who rendered care to a pretrial detainee in the first case argued following the announcement of the new and more rigorous Miranda v. County of Lake standard of objective unreasonableness under the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment replacing the former deliberate indifference standard of the Eighth Amendment.
  • Durbin v. Flavorchem Corp., 2018 IL App (4th) 180358-U – Summary judgment win at the trial court and successful appellate defense of product manufacturer where a decision of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission collaterally estopped the plaintiff from re-litigating the essential element of the cause of action in a products liability case.
  • Bueker v. Madison County, 2016 IL App (5th) 150282, 61 N.E.3d 237 – Successful appeal and oral argument resulted in the decertification of a class action as to a governmental entity based on claims of sale-in-error and money-had-and-received. The Appellate Court remanded the Plaintiff’s/Appellee’s claims to the trial court for dismissal.
  • Ridenour v. Kaiser-Hill Co. LLC, 397 F.3d 925 (10th Cir. 2005) – Successful defense of government contractor in False Claims Act appeal averting revelation of classified information and adopting the Sequoia standard of review.
  • United States v. Buck – Air Force Court-Martial (2001) Jury trial defense of an Air Force physician charged with failing to obey an order to receive the controversial anthrax vaccination prior to deployment to Southwest Asia, resulting in no confinement and no dismissal for the officer.  The theory advanced on a motion to dismiss and rejected by this court that the vaccine was an investigational new drug necessarily requiring informed consent was later a primary underpinning of a ruling in 2004 by the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia enjoining the Department of Defense’s Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program.
  • In re Command Pilot – Air Force Accident Investigation Board (2001) Successful defense of command pilot following the crash of an F-16 Flying Falcon fighter jet with a civilian Cessna 172 demonstrating contributory instrument failure in the heads up display.



“Defending the Take Home Asbestos Case and the Role of Background Exposure,” Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (2021)

“Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity and Challenges to Resolving Cases in a Post-Folta Environment,” Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (2019)

“Discovery Issues in Asbestos Litigation,” Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (2017)

“Banking Law: Military Lending Act Compliance,” Illinois Bankers Association Fall Compliance Conference (2016)

“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Litigation,” Worldwide Trial Conference, Joint Base Andrews, MD (2016)

“Banking Law: Military Lending Act Compliance,” Northern Illinois Compliance Association (2016)

“Implementing the New Military Lending Act Rules,” Illinois Bankers Association Compliance Conference (2016)

“Local Government Law,” Collinsville (2015)

“Risk Assessment: Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking),” Illinois Association of County Engineers 100th Annual Spring Meeting (2014)

“Asbestos Damages and the Economics Expert,” Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (2012)

“Local Government Law: What Attorneys Need to Know,” Fairview Heights (2012)

“Issues of Justice and Dignity in the Law,” John Marshall University Law School (2011)

“Air Force TRIALS Program,” Interviewed on Armed Forces Network Television (2010)

“Mortgage Foreclosures: The Meltdown Continues,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2010)

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,” Southern Illinois University (2009)

“Contract Protest Litigation,” World Congress (2005)

“Legal Perspectives in Government Contracting,” University of Missouri-St. Louis (2005)


Debtors and Creditors - The Sharpened Teeth of the Military Lending Act,” Illinois Bar Journal (2018)

“The Heart of Institutionalism,” Litigation, The Journal of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association (2016)

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, John Marshall Law School (2014)

"Legal Guide for Military Families," co-author, The American Bar Association (2013)

"Servicemember and Veterans Rights," co-author, Matthew Bender (2011)

"Servicemembers Civil Relief Act," chapter in Military Service and the Law, co-author, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2009) (received Outstanding Publication Award by American Continuing Legal Education Ass’n)

"Finding Your Way Around the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act," Illinois Bar Journal (2007)

"The Dynamics of State and Local Protest Litigation," Contract Mgmt (2006)

"10 Principles for Receiving High-Quality Legal Services," Contract Mgmt (2005)

"The Consequences of Mutually Mistaken Facts in Contracting," Contract Mgmt (2005)

"Developing Basic Trial Skills," The Civil Litigator (2004)

"The Use and Misuse of Contingent Fees in Government Contracting," Contract Mgmt (2003)

"The Federal Mentor-Protege Program," Contract Mgmt (2003)

"Commercial Contract Liability," Contract Mgmt (2002)

"The Legal Environment of Insurance Malpractice," Arizona Agent (1996)

"The Case for Expanded Illinois Insurance Producer Duties," Northern Illinois University Law Review (1996)

“Even the Small Family Farmer Needs an Estate Plan,” Small Farmer’s Journal (1996)

“The Implicitly Constitutional Item Veto,” Oklahoma City University Law Review (1994)


  • Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media℠ – Toxic Torts Defense Law, Products Liability Defense Law, Military Law, and Professional Malpractice Defense, 2013-2023
  • Best Lawyer in AmericaTM by The Best Lawyers in AmericaTM – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Military awards and decorations:

18th Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate of the Year Award

Air Force Commendation Medals (2)

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Meritorious Service Medal (9)

National Defense Service Medals (2)

Outstanding Unit Awards (6)

The Air Force Reserve Medal with Device

The Global War on Terrorism Medal

The Humanitarian Service Medal

  • Rated AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
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