Adam Vaught focuses his practice in the area of professional liability defense, with particular emphasis in the counseling and defense of attorneys and law firms in malpractice and disciplinary matters. Mr. Vaught is experienced in all aspects of the litigation process, including discovery, motion practice, first-chair jury trial experience, appeals and the operation of the Illinois judicial system.

Mr. Vaught served as law clerk to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and as Counselor to the Chief Justice during Justice Kilbride's term as Illinois' Chief Justice. In that role, Mr. Vaught advised the Chief Justice on the exercise of his administrative and supervisory authority over the Illinois courts and regularly worked with judges throughout Illinois. He was also the Chief Justice's liaison to the Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, the Clerk of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court Director of Communications, the Marshal of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Internal Audit, as well as Illinois Supreme Court boards, committees and commissions, and the state's legislative and executive branches.

Professional Background

Mr. Vaught began his legal career in public service as a law clerk at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Following his admission to the bar, he served as a research attorney at the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court, after which he entered private practice, gaining trial experience in general litigation before returning to public service at the Illinois Supreme Court.

Mr. Vaught also has political campaign manager experience. In 2010, he managed the second most expensive judicial retention campaign in American history. The campaign required Mr. Vaught to address and resolve issues of judicial ethics, election law, campaign finance law, and media law. Mr. Vaught was also the lead author of the American Bar Association's Amicus Curiae Brief filed in the United States Supreme Court case, Williams-Yulee v. the Florida Bar (2014 Term). The brief argued the ABA Model Rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions does not violate the First Amendment.

During law school, Mr. Vaught studied for a summer in Agen, France. While an undergraduate, he interned in the Missouri House of Representatives. In addition to his legal work, Mr. Vaught also serves on the Boards of Directors for Southern Illinois Bancorp, Inc., and the First National Bank of Carmi, IL.

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association Legislative Committee
  • Chicago Bar Foundation Advocacy Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Appellate Lawyers Association

Honors & Awards

  • Named as "Benchmark's Under 40 Hotlist" by Benchmark Litigation (2017)
  • Selected by his peers and named by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine as one of the top "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch," 2016
  • Recognized as an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers Magazine (2016)
  • 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year, Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • NIU Law Dean's Scholarship recipient
  • Member, Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honor fraternity)


J.D., cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2005
B.S., Political Science, Truman State University, 2001