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About Us

The Cates Law Firm, LLC is a Southern Illinois law firm focused on complex litigation involving personal injury, class action and mass torts cases. Our Illinois trial lawyers have earned a reputation for handling complex cases and taking them all the way to trial when that’s in the best interest of the client.

We approach each case by first prioritizing the needs and goals of the person who has suffered injury or economic harm because of the actions of another person. We then offer advice about the best path forward based on our extensive knowledge and experience with these fields of law and walk with you on that path until your case gets the best available resolution.

Our current lead trial lawyer, David Cates has over a decade of experience trying cases involving complex legal principles, numerous parties, and detailed evidence. Our firm also has a track record of successfully resolving cases, including numerous settlements or verdicts of $1 million or more.

David Cates and Ryan Mahoney - Trial Lawyers - Legal Badges


Our History

Our firm’s history begins with former founding partner Judy Cates, a highly respected trial lawyer who left the firm after being elected as a judge for the Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois in 2012.

The firm started as The Cates Law Firm, and was built on the more than 30 years of courtroom experience Judy Cates acquired through public and private practice. She began her career as an assistant state’s attorney in 1977, prosecuting crime on behalf of the citizens of Illinois and seeking justice for the victims of rape, murder, and child abuse.

She entered civil practice in 1982 and focused on personal injury and medical malpractice litigation on behalf of people who had suffered serious injuries because of negligence. She subsequently expanded the scope of her practice to include class action cases, commercial litigation, and other types of complex lawsuits. During her more than three decades of practice, she was a strong advocate for people with all kinds of complicated problems who needed the kind of justice and closure the legal system could bring.

Today, the firm now known as The Cates Law Firm, LLC focuses its practice on representing plaintiffs in a wide variety of personal injury, class action, mass torts, and employment cases.