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William R. Tapella

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William (Bill) Tapella practices in the area of civil litigation, including medical malpractice, significant personal injuries, trucking accidents, railroad crossing accidents, wrongful death matters, product liability, and other tort litigation cases.

Bill grew up in Herrin, Illinois in Williamson County. Following high school, he attended Eastern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University (SIU), Carbondale. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University in 1981.

Highly-Rated & Recognized in the Legal Field

Bill graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law. While there, he received numerous academic honors, including admission to the Order of Coif, designation as a Harno Scholar, and graduated in 1994, Magna Cum Laude.

In his practice, Bill has been recognized by his peers as an AV Preeminent® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He has been named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois, is a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, a group that includes less than 4% of attorneys nationally.

Bill has obtained numerous million-dollar and multi-million-dollar results for his clients, including record verdicts in several downstate counties.


Bill is the author of "Constitutional Law/Due Process/Judicial Admonitions," Illinois Bar Journal 81:605 and “Comparative Fault, Contribution and Joint and Several Liability: An Argument Against Reconciliation," Illinois Bar Journal 88:694. The Illinois Trial Lawyers’ magazine, Trial, featured Bill’s closing argument in the case of Potter v. Schenk. Bill has also lectured at numerous seminars throughout the state and presented at the University of Illinois College of Law.


Bill is active in state and local bar associations. He is a member and past president of the Coles-Cumberland County Bar Association and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is active with the Illinois Trial Lawyers, currently serving on the Board of Managers and the organization’s membership committee.

Personal Life

Bill is married to Lela Tapella, who works with him at the firm along with his daughter, Mial. He and Lela live on a small farm just outside of Ashmore, Illinois with their three dogs. Bill is an avid upland bird hunter and a lifetime member of Pheasants Forever, as well as other habitat and environmental organizations.

Contact Bill today by calling our offices at (217) 394-5885.

  • Leading Lawyers Advisory Board Member
    Leading Lawyers Advisory Board Member
  • The National Trial Lawyers Association
    The National Trial Lawyers Association
  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

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