| Practice Description: |
William R. "Bill" Tapella practices in the area of civil litigation, including medical malpractice cases, significant personal injury cases, trucking cases, railroad crossing cases, wrongful death cases, products liability cases, and other tort litigation cases. He handles cases in both Illinois and Missouri.
In his practice, Mr. Tapella has obtained numerous million dollar and multimillion dollar results for his clients, including record medical malpractice verdicts.
He 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. In addition to his civil litigation practice, he represents not-for-profit clients and businesses, including the Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative, Lanman Oil, Inc., Curry Construction, Inc., and Drake Homes, Inc.
He grew up in Herrin Illinois in Williamson County, between Marion and Carbondale, where his parents still live. Following high school, Mr. Tapella 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, he 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, Mr. Tapella moved to Washington, D.C. and traveled throughout the country working for six years on numerous state and national Democratic campaigns. In 1986, he moved to Boston, where he worked for the Pyramid Companies in the development of regional shopping centers, including the Independence Mall, a 600,000 square foot regional shopping center in Kingston, Massachusetts.
In 1991, Mr. Tapella 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. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1994, magna cum laude.
Following graduation, Mr. Tapella worked in Mattoon, Illinois. In 1996, he and Mitchell K. Shick opened the Law Offices of Shick & Tapella in Charleston, Illinois. When Mr. Shick left the practice to become a judge, Mr. Tapella merged his practice with John Hefner and David Eberspacher, forming Hefner, Eberspacher & Tapella in 2001.
Mr. Tapella 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. He is a member of the Coles-Cumberland County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice.
He is married to Lela Tapella and has two children, Mia, 23, and Will, 20. He and Lela live on a small farm just outside of Ashmore, Illinois, with their five dogs. Mr. Tapella is an avid upland bird hunter and a lifetime member of Pheasants Forever, as well as other habitat and environmental organizations.
If you have been injured, call Mr. Tapella at our Mattoon office at 217-639-7800 or contact us online. We handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. We offer a free consultation and evaluation. If we take your case, there are no attorney fees unless you receive compensation.
Year of Birth: 1959
Law School: University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1994
Law School Honors/Involvement: Magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Harno Scholar
Undergraduate School: Southern Illinois University, B.A., political science, 1981
Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative
Lanman Oil, Inc.
Curry Construction, Inc.
Drake Homes, Inc.
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- Hefner, Eberspacher & Tapella, name partner, 2001-present
- Law Offices of Shick & Tapella, name partner, Charleston, Illinois, 1996-2001
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating
- Leading Lawyers, Personal Injury Law: General and Personal Injury Law: Professional Malpractice, 2012-present
Published Legal Writing:
"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