The example of one lawyer’s admirable qualities of professionalism civility and ethics inspired the creation of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.
Roger O’Reilly was born November 8, 1934 and raised by his Irish immigrant parents on Chicago’s west side. He attended Fenwick High School, Oak Park; and thereafter, Notre Dame University. After graduating from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1959, he worked as a defense trial lawyer for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and thereafter as an associate at Baker & McKenzie, Chicago and the world.
In the late 1960’s, Roger ventured out to a small Wheaton law firm where he practiced insurance defense and personal injury law; and in 1975 he founded what soon became to be the most prestigious insurance defense law firm in Du Page County. Although his practice was primarily comprised of insurance and medical malpractice defense litigation, he was described by one of his former partners, as having the “soul” of a Plaintiff’s lawyer.
Roger O’Reilly was a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where he participated extensively as an instructor in its educational programs. He was a member of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and authored articles and made presentations on its behalf.
Roger O’Reilly was honored by his peers. He was selected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers of Illinois.
At the time of his death on August 20, 2000, Roger was a partner in the O’Reilly Law Offices, a midsize firm that has been a springboard for many now on the DuPage County Circuit Court and the Illinois Appellate Court. He tried over 150 cases to jury verdict over the course of his more than 40 year career. He was consistently described as a “trial lawyer’s trial lawyer”.