James Kearns

Adjunct Professor


James Kearns is an adjunct professor at the College of Law, teaching Pretrial Litigation. In 2010, after practicing for 35 years with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, the last 29 as managing partner of the Urbana office, Jim formally retired from active practice; he continues to handle select cases for the firm in an “of counsel” capacity. Jim’s practice with the Heyl firm has been devoted to civil litigation, with emphasis for most of his career on trial of catastrophic injury cases in a wide variety of areas, including medical malpractice and products liability, as well as railroad, airline and trucking accidents. Jim has been involved in employment law and civil rights cases as well. During his active practice, Jim was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and was regularly chosen by his peers as both a Leading Lawyer and a “Super Lawyer” in the area of civil litigation, designations limited to 5% of Illinois attorneys. Jim graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1966, and from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1975.

Firm bio


BA University of Notre Dame
JD University of Illinois



Pretrial Litigation