William F. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham Meyer & Vedrine. He focuses his practice on civil litigation with special emphasis on defending doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice cases.
Over the course of his career, Bill has tried more than 100 civil jury cases, including cases involving professional negligence, product liability, catastrophic injury, bad faith and Structural Work Act litigation.
He has handled numerous appeals and has argued on behalf of clients three times before the Illinois Supreme Court, including the McDonnell v. McPartlin case which established the “empty chair” defense in Illinois.
He was one of only nine attorneys across the country tapped by CNA Insurance to sit on its Birth Trauma Team, which was charged with reviewing and defending the national carrier’s highest-risk cases. He is also a member of the ISMIE Mutual Legislative Committee.
Bill has spoken to numerous groups over the years on various aspects of civil jury trials, particularly in the medical negligence area, and he also regularly speaks on best practices to insurance companies. Each year he addresses the American Conference Institute at its Annual Advanced Forum on Obstetric Malpractice. He has also addressed insurance clients and bar groups on a range of topics related to trial practice, professional negligence, bad faith litigation and civil jury trials.
He annually authors a chapter on malpractice litigation in The Law of Medical Practice in Illinois, published by Thomson Reuters.
In 2000, Bill was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only distinction reserved for the top 1 percent of trial attorneys in each state. He was also one of the first recipients of the Darrell J. Stremler Leadership Award from the DuPage Medical Group, an annual award given for service to the organization and as an advocate for health care providers. In 2013 he received the Trial Lawyer Excellence Award from Jury Verdict Reporter, and he was recently named to America’s Top 100 Attorneys list.
He began his legal career handling civil litigation and medical malpractice cases across northern Illinois at the Law Offices of Gates W. Clancy. From there he joined O’Reilly & Quetsch, which became O’Reilly & Cunningham after James Quetsch was sworn in as a Kane County judge. He founded Cunningham Meyer & Vedrine in 1995 along with Mark Meyer and Kevin Vedrine.