Learn More About Illinois Personal Injury Attorney William R. Tapella

William R. Tapella

William R. Tapella

  • Partner
  • The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm
  • 6009 Park Drive Charleston, IL 61920
  • 217-639-7800

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, Carbondale. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University in 1981.

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 1980 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 for the Pyramid Companies in real estate development.

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 from the University of Illinois, College of Law in 1994, Magna Cum Laude.

In his practice, Bill has been recognized by his peers as an AV rated attorney, indicating that fellow lawyers have conferred upon him a Preeminent Rating, 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 and Multi-million Dollar Advocates, a group that includes less than 4% of attorneys nationally.  Bill has also been honored as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers Organization. 

Bill has obtained numerous million dollar and multi-million dollar results for his clients, including record medical malpractice verdicts. The Illinois Trial Lawyers featured Bill’s closing argument in the case of Potter v. Schenk in its Trial Journal.  Bill has also been a frequent lecturer at legal seminars throughout Illinois and a presenter at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Bill serves as an officer with the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, also serving on the organization’s Board of Managers.  He is a member of the Coles-Cumberland County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice.

Bill is married to Lela Tapella and has two children, Mia, 27, and Will, 24. 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. 


  • Author, “When the Rules of the Road Get Broken, a Client’s Guide to Illinois Car Wrecks.”
  • Constitutional Law/Due Process/Judicial Admonitions, Illinois Bar Journal 81:605
  • “Comparative Fault, Contribution and Joint and Several Liability: An Argument Against Reconciliation,” Illinois Bar Journal 88:694

Practice Areas