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About me

Bill grew up in Herrin, Illinois in Williamson County, where his parents still live. Following high school, he attended Eastern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University in 1981.

While at SIU, Bill began work in politics with the Carter-Mondale Reelection Committee. Following graduation, he worked for Congressman Paul Simon, as the campaign manager for Simon's 1980 reelection campaign. After Congressman Simon’s successful reelection, Bill moved to Washington, D.C., and traveled throughout the country working for six years on numerous state and national Democratic campaigns. In 1986, Bill moved to Boston, where he worked in real estate development.

In 1991, Bill returned home to Illinois and entered the University of Illinois, College of Law. While there, he received numerous academic honors, including admission to the Order of Coif and designation as a Harno Scholar. Bill graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Law in 1994, Magna Cum Laude.

In his practice, Bill has been recognized by his peers as an AV rated attorney, indicating that fellow lawyers have conferred upon him a Preeminent Rating, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He has been named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois, is a Lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-million Dollar Advocates, a group that includes less than 4% of attorneys nationally.  Bill has also been honored as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers Organization.  Bill has obtained numerous million dollar and multi-million dollar results for his clients, including record verdicts.

Bill is the author of "Constitutional Law/Due Process/Judicial Admonitions," Illinois Bar Journal 81:605 and Comparative Fault, Contribution and Joint and Several Liability: An Argument Against Reconciliation," Illinois Bar Journal 88:694.

He is a member of the Coles-Cumberland County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice.  He is an active member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association where he currently serves on the Board of Managers and as an officer of the organization.

Bill practices in the area of civil litigation, including medical malpractice cases, significant personal injury cases, trucking cases, railroad crossing cases, wrongful death cases, products liability cases and other tort litigation cases.

Bill is married to Lela Tapella and has two children, Mia, 27, and Will, 24. He and Lela live on a small farm just outside of Ashmore, Illinois, with their four dogs. Bill is an avid upland bird hunter and a lifetime member of Pheasants Forever, as well as other habitat and environmental organizations.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 95%
    21 years
  2. Medical Malpractice: 25%
  3. Personal Injury: 25%



Free consultation (120 minutes)

Payment types:

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Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Alexander William Heritier

    Bill Tapella knows more about medical malpractice than many other attorneys will learn in their entire life. His skills in the court room are incredible to watch, and he never backs down from taking on any possible Defendant. More than his technical skills, what really sets Bill apart however is his dedication to his clients. I have personally witnessed him do what is best for his clients and put their interests above his own. That is the sign of a true advocate and someone who will do whatever he can to achieve his clients goals.


    Alexander Heritier Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm

6009 Park Drive,
Charleston, IL, 61920


MOGood Standing, Active201001/08/2013
ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law199411/12/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2010
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerTapella & Eberspacher Law Firm2001 - Present
PartnerLaw Offices of Shick & Tapella1996 - 2001
Association namePosition nameDuration
Illinois Trial Lawyers AssociationBoard of Managers1994 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Howell v. Divan$1.7 million verdict
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Illinois State Bar JournalComparative Fault, Contribution, and Joint and Several Liability: An Argument Against Reconciliation2000
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignLawJD - Juris Doctor1994
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association SeminarDeposing the Defendant2011