In Memory of Richard L. Thies (1931-2021)
Areas of Practice
The breadth of Richard Thies’s practice mirrored the wide range of specialized legal services Webber & Thies provides to its clients. From the beginning of his practice to his final days, he gave personal advice and consultation to individual clients in areas such as financial planning, estates, trusts, wills and personal business affairs.
Mr. Thies represented and created sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations, as well as not-for-profit and tax-exempt organizations and trusts. In the field of labor relations, he negotiated labor management contracts, handled grievance hearings, NLRB representation cases and employment discrimination cases.
His litigation experience was extensive in the fields of complex commercial litigation, personal injury and family law. In the area of communications law, he represented clients in libel and slander cases, and in cases involving first amendment issues. Mr. Thies practiced extensively in the area of banking law, including formation of banks, bank purchases and sales, and other bank operation matters. He represented clients in radio station purchases and sales, newspaper purchases and sales, and the day-to-day legal representation of newspapers and radio stations, as well as cable television entities.
In the field of real estate law, he represented developers of a number of subdivisions, condominiums, and shopping centers. He practiced health care law, including the representation of research entities, medical practitioners, and medical support service entities. His practice in environmental law matters included underground and above ground storage tank cases, environmental surveys, and matters involving remedial action and clean-up. Internationally, he negotiated in the Peoples Republic of China on behalf of American clients conducting business in China.
- J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, 1955
- B.A., History, University of Illinois, 1953
- Illinois, 1955
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1958
- Supreme Court of the United States, 1987
- Seventh Federal Circuit, 1992
- Captain, U. S. Air Force Active Duty, 1956-1958, Judge Advocate General’s Department
Mr. Thies was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association (President, 1986-1987), American Bar Association (Illinois State Delegate; Board of Governors; House of Delegates; Chair, Senior Lawyer Division; American Bar Foundation Board; Chair, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation; Board and Chair, American Bar Association Retirement Funds), American Law Institute, Bar Association of the Seventh Federal Circuit, Champaign County Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, was one of the three original incorporators of Attorney’s Title Guaranty Fund of Illinois, and was a co-founder of the Bar Association of the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois. In 2005, Mr. Thies was the recipient of the Illinois State Bar Associations highest honor: The Award of Merit. Ten years later, he received the prestigious “Lincoln the Lawyer” Award from The Abraham Lincoln Association.
Civic and Philanthropic Involvement
Mr. Thies was a member of the President’s Council of the University of Illinois Foundation; Dean’s Club of the University of Illinois College of Law; life member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association, and on four occasions served on the Alumni Association’s Trustee Selection Committee; President of the Champaign-Urbana Kiwanis Club and the Urbana Association of Commerce; Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Board of the Urbana School Board and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He was a past member of Urbana Park Board, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Board, and the Boards of the National Academy of Arts and the Champaign-Urbana Urban League. Mr. Thies was an active member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana.