Mr. Willis concentrates his practice primarily in civil litigation, particularly focusing on matters raising complex or novel legal issues. In addition to trials, hearings, and appeals in state and federal courts, he has represented clients before the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration program, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist forums, before the American Arbitration Association, and at various other alternative dispute resolution forums. Mr. Willis has handled matters ranging from hearings before the City of Chicago Department of Zoning Board of Appeals to Medicare fraud whistleblower litigation in the federal courts.
Mr. Willis authored the article “Comparing Scotch and Bourbon Regulations” in the Consumer Law Newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association. He also co-authored “Taking Control: Attacking Pleadings Claiming a Violation
of a Safety Statute as Prima Facie Evidence of Negligence” in the IDC Quarterly of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel.
Mr. Willis has authored two amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel which were accepted by the Illinois Supreme Court. Along C. William Busse, Jr., Mr. Willis authored the amicus curiae brief in Bell v. Hutsell, 2011 IL 110724. That brief argued the ultimately-successful position of the IDC regarding social host liability for the provision of alcohol. Additionally, Mr. Willis authored the amicus curiae brief for the IADTC in Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management, 2016 IL 120394, regarding the application of Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act.
Mr. Willis earned his Juris Doctor cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While at Loyola, Mr. Willis received the Circle of Advocates Scholarship for demonstrated achievement in trial advocacy. Mr. Willis also earned CALI awards (an honor bestowed for the highest grade in a particular course) in Civil Procedure and Consumer Law. Mr. Willis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Admitted to Practice
Mr. Willis is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where he is a member of the federal trial bar. Additionally, Mr. Willis was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in an in-person ceremony in 2011.
An avid runner of road and track races of varying distances, Mr. Willis has completed eight marathons, including the Boston Marathon, and in 2016 won an age-group USA Track & Field National Championship in the steeplechase. Mr. Willis also serves on the Chicago Associate Board of Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness make positive changes in their lives. Mr. Willis lives in the Edison Park neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, Clare, and their children, John and Molly.
Mr. Willis is a member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel.