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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, products liability, and other tort litigation cases.

Bill grew up in Herrin, Illinois in Williamson County, where his parents still live. 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.

Political Experience

While at SIU, Bill began work in politics with the Carter-Mondale Reelection Committee. Following graduation, he worked for Congressman Paul Simon as the campaign manager for Simon's 1982 reelection campaign. After Congressman Simon’s successful reelection, Bill moved to Washington, D.C. and traveled throughout the country working for six years on numerous state and national Democratic campaigns. In 1986, Bill moved to Boston, where he worked in real estate development.

While working in politics and real estate, Bill dealt with numerous attorneys and became fascinated with what “they knew” and how others turned to and relied upon them for advice and guidance. He became fascinated with the law.

Highly-Rated & Recognized in the Legal Field

In 1991, Bill returned home to Illinois and entered the University of Illinois College of Law. While there, he received numerous academic honors, including admission to the Order of Coif and designation as a Harno Scholar. Bill 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 and has two children, Mia and Will. 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.

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

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