William T. “Toby” Eveland is a leader both in the courtroom and outside of it, and has long been one of the most vocal and active Chicago attorneys leading the fight for full LGBT equality.
It’s little surprise, then, that he has earned several honors for both his legal and advocacy work. The Minority Corporate Counsel Association honored Eveland as a 2016 Rising Star (one of only 15 in the country), while Loyola University Chicago School of Law named him its 2015 Advocacy Coach of the Year.
The National LGBT Bar Association also presented Eveland with its Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Award in 2011, an award that nationally recognized both his professional and civic accomplishments.
These awards come as no shock to Eveland’s peers. They say that few Chicago attorneys manage to juggle volunteerism and a thriving legal career as well as Eveland does.
“Toby is a gentleman’s gentleman, and while he is both experienced and knowledgeable, his best strength is in eloquently delivering his arguments,” said Thomas Cronin with the Chicago law firm of Gordon & Rees. “He is able to relate to all attorneys on a personal level, which often helps him achieve favorable results for his clients.”
Mary Anne Smith, former vice president and general counsel for Illinois Institute of Technology, has worked with Eveland for a number of years. During this time, Eveland litigated several successful cases for IIT, Smith said. This includes a complex case involving the relationship between a university and its fraternities, and a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud and misrepresentation based upon the law school’s compilation and publication of prior graduates’ employment statistics.
Eveland obtained positive results for IIT in both cases. In the latter case, Eveland obtained a dismissal at the trial level, a dismissal that was unanimously upheld at the appellate level and, ultimately, denied certiorari by the Illinois Supreme Court.
“Toby is great with witnesses, his writing skills are outstanding, he grasps facts and issues quickly, and he is diligent and thorough in his preparation,” Smith said. “He is very skillful in discussing case strategy and in analyzing issues and options. He is one of the strongest litigators I worked with as general counsel.”
Eveland has earned this strong reputation despite devoting countless hours to legal and community groups. He is past chairman of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Diversity Leadership Council, a past chair of the same association’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and a past chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Committee on LGBT Rights.
Eveland has also served as a board member for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Equality Illinois, Test Positive Aware Network, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago.
“Toby makes sure that he understands his clients’ needs. While this may sound obvious, it has been my experience that not all lawyers do this,” said Anthony D’Amato, vice president and general counsel for Illinois Institute of Technology. “Some simply commence litigating. Toby makes sure he knows how important the matter is to his client, the client’s willingness to settle, whether the lawsuit may have certain reputational impacts on the client, and the tone that the client wants to take in the litigation.”
A highly regarded litigator, Eveland is frequently retained by a variety of clients involved in high-profile cases and complex business disputes. Outside of the courtroom, he is a tireless champion for equality.