Daniel G. Wills


Daniel G. Wills was a partner at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP prior to his passing in September 2018. He concentrated his practice on insurance coverage litigation, transportation law, and appeals. Dan litigated nearly 100 appeals, representing before the Illinois Supreme Court the insurers in Kunkle v. Walton, the first test case of Illinois’ tort reform legislation, and the plaintiff in Home Ins. Co. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., a seminal insurance coverage case. Dan had been an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy at The John Marshall Law School since 2009 and had been a guest lecturer for the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, National Business Institute, Casualty Adjusters of Illinois, and the National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues. Dan was recognized for his writing talent, as well as his mentoring of associate attorneys and young partners.


  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers in 2009-2018


  • "As Judges See It: Top Mistakes Attorneys Make in Civil Litigation,” National Business Institute, 2013, 2014
  • "Litigating Insurance Coverage Claims,” National Business Institute, 2010
  • “A Summary of Stop-Gap Coverage Issues in Environmental Insurance Litigation,” The National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues, 2009
  • “Sophisticated Techniques for Writing the Appellate Brief,” National Business Institute, 2009
  • “Ethics and the Legal Profession,” Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, 2008
  • “What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know,” National Business Institute, 2008, 2010, 2012
  • “Insurance Coverage Update,” IDC Spring Seminar, 2008
  • “Understanding Current Coverage Trends,” National Business Institute, 2007
  • “Insurance Coverage for Defense Lawyers,” IDC Quarterly, Monograph, 2006, 2012
  • “Defense Update,” IDC Newsletter, 2006
  • “Insurance Law Update,” IDC Fall Seminar, 2005
  • “Challenges in Illinois Insurance Coverage Litigation,” National Business Institute, 2004
  • “Insurance Coverage Law in Illinois,” National Business Institute, 2003
  • “What’s Covered and What’s Not: An Insurance Law Update,” Illinois State Bar Association, 2000
  • “Insurance Law: Third Party Coverage in Illinois,” National Business Institute, 1999


Chicago, September 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Features Article on Dan Wills
The article highlights Wills' talent for writing, his teaching skills as an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy, as well as his love for his daughter.

Chicago, September 12, 2018
Daniel G. Wills, 1959 – 2018
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces with much sadness the death of equity partner Daniel G. Wills. Wills, a partner in the firm's Chicago office, passed away suddenly last week at the age of 59.

Chicago, March 20, 2017
Law Bulletin Article Highlights Insurance Coverage Case
The article, "Insurer must defend for vicarious liability even though not alleged," was about the 1st District Appellate Court's decision "that an additional insured whose coverage encompassed only vicarious liability could be entitled to a defense by the additional insurer even though the underlying complaint alleged neither vicarious liability nor negligence by the named insured."

Chicago, March 22, 2016
McGovern, Wills Earn Appellate Victory in Legal Malpractice Case
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin included a front-page article on the result.

Chicago, May 8, 2013
Wills Moderates Civil Court Judges Program
Wills will moderate panelists of five civil court judges in the morning and afternoon sessions of the daylong program.

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