Richard E. Stites (Partner, Bloomington)

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Richard was born on 6-7-1954 in Marshall, Michigan.

Richard joined LivingstonBarger in 1979 when he graduated from law school. He became a partner at the firm in 1985. Concentrating his practice in the area of complex civil litigation, Richard has maintained a particular emphasis in the area of medical and hospital liability-related matters. He also maintains a significant involvement in the area of business-related litigation and pharmaceutical defense litigation. Richard has successfully handled hundreds of cases for his clients over the years, at trial, upon appeal and in pretrial resolution. Richard also practices as a mediator in and around central and northern Illinois and is frequently sought after as a neutral for a variety of civil litigation cases. His understanding of the litigation process is an invaluable aid to the resolution of frequently complex litigation. Richard authored the “Jury instructions and Special Interrogatories” chapter for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education from 1991 through 2003 and is a charter member of Leading Lawyers (Illinois) and on its Advisory Board. He is rated AV (now 5.0) by Martindale-Hubbell and, in 2008, was elected to Fellowship in the prestigious Litigation Counsel of America. Richard has been a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers since 1992. Richard was listed in the Super Lawyer listings since 2012. In 2017, Richard was nominated as one of America's Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators.


Bar Memberships:
  • Illinois State Bar (1979)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (1983)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1992)
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois (1979)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois (2005)


  • University of Illinois - A.B. 1976 (Double Major, Economics and Finance) (Cum Laude, Highest Departmental Distinction (Finance))

  • Indiana Law Journal. "The Moment of Inadvertence Concept in Strict Products Liability; The Seed of Destruction for the Assumption of the Risk Defense?." Volume: 53. Issue: 3. 1978. Pages: 531 - 547.
  • IICLE Illinois Civil Practice. "Instructions and Special Interrogatories." Volume: 3. Issue: 11. 2003. Pages: 1-38.

Courtroom news

  • 02/27/17 - Stites celebrates 25th Anniversary as AV Preeminent Attorney. more...
  • 01/05/16 - Richard Stites Achieves Senior Fellow Status with LCA. more...
  • 11/12/15 - Barger Achieves Distinguished Counsellor Status. more...
  • 11/10/15 - Peter Brandt and Kirk Holman Achieve JVR Award Status. more...
  • 11/28/14 - Joseph R. Wetzel. more...
Stites celebrates 25th Anniversary as AV Preeminent Attorney
February 27, 2017

Richard Stites has been notified by Martindale-Hubbell® that he has received an award for having maintained the status of “AV™ Preeminent”™ for 25 consecutive years. For over 140 years, Martindale-Hubbell® has continuously provided to attorneys, courts and the public at large an anonymous, peer-review rating system designed to provide insight into an individual attorney’s qualifications and ethical standards. According to Martindale-Hubbell,® its Peer Review Ratings™ are the “gold standard” in attorney rating systems. Martindale-Hubbell® describes the “AV Preeminent®” rating as representing “the highest peer rating . . . [t]his rating signifies that the lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.” The rating received by a lawyer is the product of numerous inquiries made of lawyers and judges whose names remain confidential so as to assure that the peer review process remains impartial. In a single, given year, less than 5% of all lawyers in the United States receive the very highest rating of AV™ Preeminent.™ After a lawyer establishes a rating, Martindale-Hubbell® will conduct periodic random reviews of all Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ to ensure the rating continues to accurately reflect attorney performance and qualifications for a particular rank.

Richard Stites Achieves Senior Fellow Status with LCA
January 05, 2016

Richard E. Stites, long a Fellow with Litigation Counsel of America, was recently advised that he had achieved Senior Fellow status with the Society. This is a permanent designation.

The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. Senior Fellow status in the society is reserved for advanced commitment to and support of the LCA, Diversity Law Institute and Trial Law Institute. The LCA is aggressively diverse in its composition. Established as a trial and appellate lawyer honorary society reflecting the American bar in the twenty-first century, the LCA represents the best in law among its membership. The number of Fellowships has been kept at an exclusive limit by design, allowing qualifications, diversity and inclusion to align effectively, with recognition of excellence in litigation across all segments of the bar. Fellows are generally at the partner or shareholder level, or are independent practitioners with recognized experience and accomplishment. In addition, the LCA is dedicated to promoting superior advocacy, professionalism and ethical standards among its Fellows.

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Barger Achieves Distinguished Counsellor Status
November 12, 2015

Thomas M. Barger, III, was awarded Distinguished Counsellor status by the illinois Sate Bar Association in a Recognition Ceremony at the Standard Club in Chicago, Illinois on November 12, 2015. LivingstonBarger is proud to recognize the work and dedication of one of its senior counselors and his services to the Central Illinois community.

Peter Brandt and Kirk Holman Achieve JVR Award Status
November 10, 2015

Peter Brandt and Kirk Holman were recently voted to be recipients of a 2015 Jury Verdict Reporter award and an award for Trial Lawyer Excellence. For more details, please see "OUTSTANDING DEFENSE VERDICT IN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE"

Joseph R. Wetzel
November 28, 2014

The firm is pleased to announce that Joseph R. Wetzel has joined the firm. Most recently, Joe worked at a law firm specializing in the representation of banks and financial institutions in litigation throughout Illinois. Joe also has experience in general civil litigation matters representing diverse clients in multiple aspects of civil litigation. Joe earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2004 and was a member of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Millikin University in 2001

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