Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information

Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information



Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


1807 Broadway Avenue, P.O. Box 689, Mattoon, Illinois 61938

Established: 1868

Practice Areas

  • Automobile Liability
  • Casualty
  • Civil Rights
  • Dram Shop
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Family Law
  • Fire
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mediation
  • Product Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Surety
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist
  • Workers' Compensation

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About Us

The Firm's philosophy is to provide the highest standard of professional service consistent with the greatest economy for the client. The Firm has developed and maintained a strong regional presence encompassing many practice areas within the scope of both personal and commercial transactions and litigation. Clients are provided counsel and advice on a wide range of legal concerns, ranging from acquisitions of assets, and related due diligence considerations, to insurance coverage for risk management of the construction and operation of improvements, to title to minerals for extraction, as well as risk management of employment practices. The negotiation of the detailed terms of a sale and purchase transaction, and the drafting of the papers needed to document the agreement, are an integral part of the firm's services for transactional clients, with timeliness combined with a thorough identification and evaluation of the risks and benefits being the hallmark of the Firm. The Firm's litigation practice extends to administrative bodies as well as state and federal courts on these topics, in addition to the Firm's long-standing practice in the defense of personal injury claims.

The members of the Firm have consistently been honored by their peers, from fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers to active participation in the Illinois State Bar Assn., and most notably an active role as officers and board members of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. Several members continue to publish regularly with the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and produce other professional writings including the definitive resource on the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and the Occupational Disease Act. Many members have presented at CLE seminars and regional meetings of Human Resources professional organizations.

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Additional Locations

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Client Information

Insurance Clients

Non-Insurance Clients

  • Agracel, Inc.
  • American Coal Company
  • Carle Risk Management
  • Consolidated Communications, Inc.
  • Deere & Company
  • First Mid Bank & Trust
  • First Neighbor Bank, N.A.
  • Freeman United Coal Mining Company
  • Heartland Dental, LLC
  • International Paper Company
  • Joint Active Systems, Inc.
  • Justrite Manufacturing Company
  • Peabody Coal Company
  • Peabody Energy Corporation
  • Springfield Coal Company, LLC
  • Tri County Coal Company
  • Village of Greenup, Illinois
  • Washington Savings Bank

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Personnel Information

Members


Robert G. Grierson

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1977
Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
Education:
  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1975

Born: 1950

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Gregory C. Ray

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1976
Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (President, 2002-2003)
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1976

Born: 1952

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Paul R. Lynch

Mount Vernon, IL
Admitted
  • Illinois, 1977
Memberships:
  • Illinois State, Seventh Circuit and Jefferson County Bar Associations
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence
  • Southern Illinois American Inn of Court (President, 2012-2014)
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Board of Directors, 2007-2016)
Education:
  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1977

Born: 1952

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Kenneth F. Werts

Mount Vernon, IL
Admitted
  • Illinois, 1984
Memberships:
  • Illinois State and Jefferson County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (President, 2010-2011)
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
  • College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Education:
  • University of Illinois, B.A., 1979
  • Southern Illinois University, J.D., 1984

Born: 1957

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John L. Barger

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1984
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2011
Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Education:
  • Eastern Illinois University, B.A., 1980
  • University of Arkansas, J.D., 1983

Born: 1958

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Julie A. Webb

Mount Vernon, IL
Admitted
  • Illinois, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 1996
Additional Biographical Details:

Court Approved Mediator, Second and Fourth Judicial Circuits

Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State and Jefferson County Bar Associations
  • The Bar Association of the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Education:
  • University of Illinois, B.A., 1993
  • Southern Illinois University, J.D., 1996

Born: 1971

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John F. Watson

Mattoon, IL

Years of Experience: 25

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1993
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2006
Additional Biographical Details:

Board of Directors, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (2017-Present); Editor-in-Chief, IDC Quarterly, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (May 2016-May 2017); Editor-in-Chief, IDC Survey of Law (2017-2018); IDC Quarterly, Professional Liability Column (June 2017-Present)

Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County (President, 2013-2014; Treasurer, 2000-2003) Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Fall Conference Committee, 2006-2010, Chair 2010; Vice-Chair, Amicus Committee, 2012-Present; Municipal Law Committee, 2012-2016; IDC Quarterly Editorial Board, 2012-2017; IDC Board of Directors, June 2017-Present)
  • The Bar Association of the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois (Communications Committee, 2002-2006)
  • Tuscola Community Foundation (Board Member, 2010-2016)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
Education:
  • Bradley University, B.S.M.E., 1990
  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D. (cum laude), 1993
Law Review:
Associate Lead Editor, The John Marshall Law Review (1992-1993)

Born: 1967

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R. Sean Hocking

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1999
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 2000
Memberships:
  • Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Education:
  • University of Illinois, B.S., 1996
  • Southern Illinois University, J.D., 1999

Born: 1973

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J. Patrick Lee

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 2002
Education:
  • Eastern Illinois University, B.A., 1996
  • University of Illinois, J.D., 2002

Born: 1974

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Associates



Brittany N. Meeker

Mount Vernon, IL
Admitted
  • Illinois, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2017
Memberships:
  • Illinois State and Jefferson County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Education:
  • Indiana State University, B.S. (cum laude, Dean's List), 2011
  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, J.D., 2014

Born: 1989

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Garth E. Flygare

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 2015
  • Minnesota, 2018
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2016
Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State, Minnesota State, and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Education:
  • Macalester College, B.A., 2002
  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, J.D./M.B.A. (cum laude), 2015
Honors:
Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society (2012-present; Lesar Inn Vice Magister, 2013-2014)

Born: 1979

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Amanda J. Mank

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 2018
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2019
Memberships:
  • Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association
Education:
  • University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 2013
  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2018

Born: 1978

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Steven R. Wolke

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 2019
Memberships:
  • American, Illinois State and Coles-Cumberland County Bar Associations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Education:
  • Eastern Illinois University, B.A. Political Science, 2015
  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, J.D., 2018

Born: 1994

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Of Counsel



Stephen L. Corn, Retired

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1969
Memberships:
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Defense Counsel (President, 1991-1992)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Education:
  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1969

Born: 1944

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John P. Ewart, Retired

Mattoon, IL

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1961
Memberships:
  • Coles-Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Illinois Defense Counsel (President, Board of Directors, 1978-1979)
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Education:
  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1960

Born: 1936

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Service Areas

Champaign, Illinois 45 miles

Charleston, Illinois 10 miles

Danville, Illinois 88 miles

Decatur, Illinois 44 miles

Effingham, Illinois 24 miles

Marshall, Illinois 40 miles

Newton, Illinois 45 miles

Olney, Illinois 67 miles

Paris, Illinois 39 miles

Robinson, Illinois 70 miles

Shelbyville, Illinois 24 miles

Springfield, Illinois 83 miles

Sullivan, Illinois 17 miles

Taylorville, Illinois 57 miles

Toledo, Illinois 22 miles

Tuscola, Illinois 27 miles

Urbana, Illinois 50 miles

Vandalia, Illinois 60 miles

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