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As a professional liability defense litigator, Adam Vaught defends attorneys and law firms in a variety of claims including malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conspiracy, conversion, defamation, as well as in disciplinary actions and regulatory issues. Additionally, he handles claims for clients that involve issues regarding government and politics, including representing state and local officials in claims against them in their public and private capacities. Adam also has a substantial general appellate practice.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin describes Adam as "an astute advocate" in their 2016 edition of the Forty Illinois Lawyers Under 40 to Watch. A few of his successes include prevailing in the Illinois Supreme Court after arguing a ballot initiative regarding a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution was invalid and persuading the Illinois Appellate Court to hold that the litigation privilege not only protects statements made by lawyers in litigation from civil claims, but conduct in litigation as well. Adam was also the lead author of the American Bar Association's Amicus Curiae Brief filed in the United States Supreme Court in Williams-Yulee v. the Florida Bar, 575 US __ (2015). The brief was cited in the majority opinion and one dissenting opinion.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Adam served as a law clerk to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and then as Counselor to the Chief Justice during Justice Kilbride's tenure as Illinois' 118th Chief Justice. Justice Kilbride has said Adam was an "invaluable counselor," noting his many ideas to "better the legal profession." While working for Chief Justice Kilbride, Adam was an integral part of the formation of the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the creation of new standards and principles for e-filing in Illinois Courts, a new state cameras-in-the-courtroom policy, passage of the Illinois Access to Justice Act, and working with the legislature to restore full funding to the judicial branch budget.

Adam is active in the legal community. He was named by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Illinois Statutory Court Fee Task Force that presented a proposed overhaul the state’s civil fee and criminal fee and fine structure. He was a working group member with the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force. He has been invited to lecture at the University of Illinois College of Law and Northern Illinois University College of Law. In addition, he serves on boards and committees for many bar associations.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association, Director
  • Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter, Director
  • Chicago Bar Association, Legislative Committee, Member
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Advocacy Committee, Member
  • Illinois Judges Foundation, Auxiliary Board Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member

Honors & Awards

  • Named by Benchmark Litigation to its "Benchmark's Under 40 Hotlist," 2017
  • Named 40 Under Forty by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine, 2016
  • Recognized as an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers Magazine, 2016, 2017
  • Young Alumnus of the Year, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2013

Representative Matters

  • Hooker v. Illinois State Board of Elections, 2016 IL 121077
  • King Koil Licensing Co. v. Harris, 2017 IL App (1st) 161019
  • Carroll v. Community Health Care Clinic, Inc., 2017 IL App (4th) 150847
  • Ruch v. Padgett, 2015 IL App (1st) 142972
  • O'Callaghan v. Satherlie, 2015 IL App (1st) 142152

Community/Civic Activities

  • First National Bank of Carmi, Illinois, Board of Directors
  • Southern Illinois Bancorp, Inc., Board of Directors

Education

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

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