Practice Areas

  • Asbestos Litigation
  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury Litigation

Licenses

  • Illinois

Hon. David A. Hylla (ret.), Partner

Dave has practiced personal injury law for two decades and served as a Madison County judge for over 13 years. Dave has deep experience with the litigation process from both sides of the bench — cultivating a career-long passion for seeking justice for people wronged or harmed by others.

Dave’s journey to SWMW involves many years focused on representing railroad workers and others seeking compensation for personal injuries, trying cases around the country. Along with trial work, Dave represented Service Employees International Union custodians, cooks and staff in local school districts and at Southern Illinois University, his undergraduate alma mater.

In 2006, Dave was elected Resident Circuit Judge for Madison County. In 2013, he was elected Chief Circuit Judge for the Third Judicial Circuit, including Madison and Bond counties. In 2017, he was the first from Madison County to be elected Chair of Conference of Chief Circuit Judges for the State of Illinois. While Circuit Judge, Dave presided over many major civil trials including those for nursing home negligence, medical malpractice and personal injuries from railroad accidents, barge accidents and auto/trucking accidents. While a judge, Dave was also certified as a civil mediator by the National Center for State Courts.

Dave also served as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Judicial Conference, tasked with making long-range strategic plans to improve court accessibility and fairness. Since its creation in 2014, he has chaired the Supreme Court’s e-business Policy Advisory Board and currently serves on the Supreme Court’s Pretrial Practices Commission working on improving Illinois’ bail system.

Dave is an accordion player who, for over 40 years, has used his talents for charitable and social events — he even met his wife, Anita, at a polka dance. They live in Illinois with their teenage daughter, Amelia.

Awards

  • Community Service Award, New Opportunities, Inc.

  • Civic Service Award, Alton Branch NAACP

  • 180 Award, Dream Center – Alton, IL

  • Friend of S.O.A.R. (Steelworkers of America Retired) Award 

  • Circle of Care Award, Head Start, Inc. 

Education

  • J.D., St. Louis University School of Law
  • B.A., Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville 

Community Involvement 

  • Past President, Treasurer, Board of Directors – New Opportunities, Inc., a workshop and training center for the developmentally challenged

  • Chairman – Illinois Supreme Court eBusiness Policy Advisory Board

  • Advisory Committee, Past Member – Justice and Mental Health Planning