Practicing law since 1975, John Gilbert brings a wealth of experiences representing some of the largest companies in the United States to the firm's Edwardsville office. John is a member of the Business and Business Litigation practice groups and focuses his practice on labor and employment, commercial and higher education law, as well as civil rights defense and correctional medicine.
John serves as the Team Leader of the Correctional Medicine Industry Team at Sandberg Phoenix.
When working with clients, John dives in head first, getting to know all about the client, their businesses and the environment in which they operate. He is dedicated to first listening to his clients and working with them collaboratively to achieve their goals.
John’s favorite hobby is reading, especially mystery novels and academic publications about ethics in business.
John began his career as Assistant General Counsel and then Acting General Counsel at the office of the General Counsel of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville before moving into private practice. During this time, he advised clients and tried cases that included First Amendment claims, civil rights and employment law claims, unfair labor practice charges, arbitrations, probate, commercial litigation and other matters relating to his areas of practice. Since 1983, John has held an appointment as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Madison County, Illinois.
A former member of the Illinois Civil Service Commission from 1978 to 1991, John served as a lecturer in Management and Marketing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, a position he held from 1985-2020, teaching courses in business ethics, business law, cyberlaw and labor and employment law.
John is certified as a sexual harassment prevention trainer.
In 2018, John obtained defense verdicts in three federal court jury trials in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. In the correctional medicine case, the plaintiff claimed constitutional violations by a doctor arising out of his medical care of the plaintiff. Following that, John won a case with a week-long trial brought against two Madison County, Illinois jail officers, the sheriff, and the county brought by the family of an inmate who had attempted suicide. The final trial was a correctional medicine team case on behalf of a doctor where the plaintiff there sued over a cavity search.
In 2015, John obtained a jury verdict in favor of Madison County and two of its deputies in an attempted suicide case in federal court brought by a jail inmate.
John obtained a jury verdict in May 2014 in favor of the Madison County State’s Attorney in a federal suit filed by a former Assistant State’s Attorney under the ADA and the Illinois Human Rights Act over the Assistant’s termination.
In 2012, John obtained a jury verdict after a six day trial in favor of two Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies in one of the first civil rights taser cases tried in Madison County, Illinois Circuit Court.
John has also obtained several other jury verdicts and summary judgments in favor of his clients in both federal and state courts in civil rights and employment cases.
Hearing Boards for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chairman
Illinois State Bar Association
Madison County Bar Association
St. Clair County Bar Association
J.D., Washington University School of Law
B.A., University of Illinois, Phi Beta Kappa
United States District Courts
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Certified sexual harassment training through Illinois Chamber of Commerce (August 2020)
Taking an active role in his community, John formerly served on the Board of Trustees of McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois and the Board of Directors of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. He has also served as a former member of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business Advisory Board. John was previously the Director and Chairman of the Board of Mark Twain Bank in Edwardsville, as well as the president (1994-1995) and secretary (2000-2002) of the Edwardsville Rotary Club.
Co-Amendment , CLE Presentation for Sandberg Phoenix regarding client and opposing counsel relations
Co-presenter, Webinar regarding update of COVID-19 issues for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce
"First Amendment Issues for Local Governments," Illinois Municipal League
"Leaves in the Time of COVID-19," HireLevel webinar
"Labor Law and Employment Boot Camp," Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Southwestern Illinois College
Labor Law Presentation, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Labor & Employment Law Seminar, Kaskaskia Community College
Labor Law Presentation, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Labor & Employment Law Presentation, Continuing Education Program for CPAs sponsored by Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C.
Panelist, “Attorney Disciplinary Sanctions,” 2013 Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Seminar
“Ethics in Estate Administration,” Illinois State Bar Association Estate Planning Boot Camp
“Best Practices in Arbitration,” National Academy of Arbitrators’ Fall Education Conference
“Labor and Employment Law,” Kaskaskia College Human Resources Summit
“Legal Ethics,” Illinois Association of County Auditors
“Legal Ethics,” St. Clair County Bar Association
“Labor and Employment Law Update,” Rend Lake College Seminar Series
“Arbitration in the Public Sector: Missouri and Illinois,” Labor and Employment Relations Association
“How to Block the Punch of Retaliation Claims,” 2010 Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates
“Legal Issues of Social Media Networking,” Glen Carbon Rotary Club
“Illinois Public Sector Labor Relations Act – Case Law,” and Public Safety Workers – Case Law,” Union Labor Life Insurance Company Conference “Public Sector Bargaining in Illinois and Missouri: Learning from the Past, Lessons for the Future”
“Whistle-Blowing and Sarbanes-Oxley Violations,” Hinshaw’s 2009 Annual Labor & Employment Seminar
“Labor and Employment Law Issues,” 56th Annual Conference of Illinois Movers’ and Warehousemen’s Association
“What You Need to Know about Public Records and Open Meetings in Illinois,” Lorman Education Services, Fairview Heights
“Cyberlaw Issues,” Madison County Regional Office of Education Principals Group
Co-presenter, “Effective Use of Closing Argument and Jury Instructions (Part V),” Sandberg Phoenix Professional Development Series
"Illinois employers face deadline on sexual harassment training," Illinois Business Journal (December 2020)
John is a regular contributor to the Employer Law Blog.
“Navigating the Social Media Minefield,” Small Business Monthly (October 2014)
“Ready, Aim, Fire! . . . but Carefully,” Small Business Monthly (December 2013)
“Women’s Legal Rights,”32 NALS -The Docket, 15 (August/September 1983)
“Representation of University Administrators in Faculty Grievance Arbitrations,” Illinois Business Journal (December 1981)