Heyl Royster

Renee Monfort

Office Managing Partner & Shareholder
Champaign, IL

Joined Firm in 2009

Renee is particularly thoughtful and strategic in her approach to practice, enjoying a challenge and taking pride in making a difference in every case, whether headed toward settlement or trial. 

  • Inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Former Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law
  • Rated AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
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Renee Monfort

Attorney in Champaign, IL

Renee represents healthcare clients throughout the state but calls our Champaign office home. For the last 30 years, she has focused her practice on defending healthcare providers and other professionals in professional liability litigation. In addition, she provides general counsel to individual healthcare professionals, multi-specialty clinics, and hospitals on a wide range of administrative, policy, and risk management matters and represents clients in administrative proceedings before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Renee's professional liability practice includes working with clients before, during, and after litigation. Her non-litigation work with clients ranges from advising them regarding policies and procedures to counseling them regarding immediate crisis management and documentation. Pre-suit, she often assists with case evaluation and negotiation to avoid suit. If a case proceeds to litigation, she calls upon not only the firm's internal resources but also the external resources to which we have access in order to assemble the best team of lawyers and experts to defend the case. Then, she employs her farm-kid work ethic to see the case through to resolution. She has obtained favorable defense verdicts in multiple venues. In addition to defending healthcare clients, she consults with insurance carriers on cases defended by other defense attorneys to assist in developing litigation strategies and defense theories on the issues of liability, causation, and damages.

Renee is known for her interest in and knowledge of the medicine unique to each case. Her interest in medicine was sparked at an early age by reading her mother's books for nursing school and watching her father perform surgeries on horses. Her dedication to tenaciously defending healthcare providers and supporting them through one of the most stressful times in their lives also comes from her personal relationships with family and close friends in the healthcare field. "The difference between this trial and my last one was that I felt like she really cared" is a quote from one of her physician clients after a recent trial victory.

In 2020, Renee was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, composed of the best trial bar from the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation, only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years of trial experience before being considered for Fellowship. She has also received the highest AV ranking by Martindale-Hubbell and recognition as an Illinois "Leading Lawyer" and an Illinois "Super Lawyer." Renee served many years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, teaching basic and advanced trial advocacy. Now she focuses her teaching efforts on training and mentoring attorneys within the firm to continue a tradition of excellence in defending healthcare clients.

Renee volunteers with the Judicial Internship Opportunity Program (JIOP) Committee of the ABA to interview and provide opportunities to law students who are traditionally underrepresented in the profession. JIOP is a litigation section program dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion in the law. She also volunteers for the Sixth Circuit Local of the Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP), which helps lawyers, judges, and law students gain assistance with substance abuse, addiction, and mental health problems.



J.D., Stetson University

B.S., Murray State University, Accounting

Licensure(s) and Admission(s)

State Courts of Florida (inactive)

State Courts of Illinois

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (2014 – present)

American College of Trial Lawyers

Champaign County Bar Association

Defense Research Institute

Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (2000 – present)

Medical Liability Committee (2000 – present)

East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Association

Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys

Illinois Defense Counsel

Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (2000 – present)

Medical Liability Committee (2000 – present)

Illinois Society of Healthcare Risk Management

Illinois State Bar Association

Standing Committee on Diversity Pipeline (2013 – present)

Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness (2014 – 2022)

Community Involvement

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Midwest Affiliate

Board of Directors (1995 – 1997)

University of Illinois International Friends Program, Host Family


  • Obtained summary judgment in a medical malpractice case involving allegations against a central Illinois provider and her practice group. Heyl Royster's attorneys strategically positioned the case through expert discovery, ultimately securing judgment in favor of the defendants on all counts.
  • Secured a trial victory on behalf of a central Illinois healthcare provider and a central Illinois practice group in a case involving allegations that negligent treatment resulted in a recurrence of breast cancer, a bilateral mastectomy, subsequent revision surgeries, and an unfavorable cosmetic outcome. Although the plaintiffs suggested a verdict of $2M, the verdict was in favor of the defendants on all counts.
  • Secured a defense-favorable verdict in an admitted liability case. The damages assessed were within the predicted verdict range and $15-20 million less than the plaintiff’s asked.
  • Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a central Illinois radiologist and his practice group in a case involving allegations that the radiologist failed to appropriately communicate the results of a CT scan. Although the jury returned an award of $9.1M against the co-Defendant, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of our clients on all counts.



"VBAC," OB Grand Rounds (2020)

"Shoulder Dystocia," OB Grand Rounds (2020)

"Legal Careers in Healthcare," University of Illinois Law School, Health Care Law Practicum - Panel Member (2018)

"Security Issues in the Emergency Department Setting," Level I Trauma Center - Panel Member (2018)

"Getting into the Jury's Head: An Introduction to Focus Groups and Mock Trials," Heyl Royster's 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar (2018)

"An Ounce of Prevention," Central Illinois Obstetrical Providers (2017)

"Burnout Syndrome: It's Not BS, It's Real!" CME Presentation (2017)

"Truth or Consequences: The Deposition Hot Seat!" Perinatal Symposium (2016)

"Shoulder Dystocia: Litigation Hints and Hurdles," Medical Residents (2015)

"Documentation Issues in Nursing," Community Hospital in Southern Illinois (2015)

"Civil Litigation – a Panel of Experts," East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Association (2015)

"What Matters When You are Stuck in a Shoulder Dystocia Case," Regional Obstetrical Providers (2015)


"Medical Malpractice: Trials," Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) 2022 


  • Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers®, 2013 – 2020
  • Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media
  • Rated AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
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