Donald Patrick Eckler is a Partner in Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP’s Chicago office. He is a highly experienced litigator who focuses his practice on defending lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers, and other professionals in a variety of civil disputes in state and federal courts across Illinois and Indiana. His practice ranges from representing insurers in coverage disputes to defending professionals, businesses, and tort defendants in complex litigation. Mr. Eckler’s commercial litigation experience involves complex contract disputes and class-action lawsuits. His coverage practice for insurers and the insured involves commercial general liability and personal lines policies, issues involving the duty to defend and indemnify, bad faith, and the application of exclusions. His tort defense work spans the representations of product manufacturers and distributors, trucking and transportation clients, and premises owners. Drawing on his experience as a college basketball coach, Mr. Eckler has also represented a coach before the NCAA Committee on infractions.
Mr. Eckler is active in the organized defense bar both at the state and national level. He is a committee chair, columnist, and board member with both the Illinois Defense Counsel and the Professional Liability Defense Federation. He also serves as the current president of the PLDF. He publishes extensively in professional journals on a wide range of topics, including legal ethics, attorney-client privilege, and Illinois and federal civil procedure. He also provides thought leadership on substantive areas of law ranging from products liability and toxic torts to premises liability and claims against accountants.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Mr. Eckler taught history and coached high school and college basketball for three years before attending law school at the University of Florida. In his final semester of law school, he served as a certified legal intern with the Public Defenders’ Office of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, where he represented defendants in misdemeanor criminal cases.