Sorling Northrup Attorneys at Law

R. Gerald Barris

Sorling Northrup Law Offices

1 North Old State Capitol Plaza
Suite 200
P.O. Box 5131
Springfield, IL 62705

Phone 217.544.1144
Fax 217.522.3173


121 West Wacker Drive
Suite 1108
Chicago, IL 60601

R. Gerald Barris

The Sorling Northrup law firm mourns the passing but celebrates the life of R. Gerald Barris, who died on November 27, 2017. Jerry was affiliated with the Sorling Northrup law firm from 1972 until retiring from the private practice of law at the end of 2013. He held the rank of shareholder/partner at our firm from 1975 to 2010.

Jerry was a zealous advocate for his clients’ interests. A litigator, who enjoyed the challenge of taking a case through trial and appeal, Jerry at various points in his career represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of contract and tort cases filed throughout central and southern Illinois. In the earlier stages of his legal career, he was entrusted with significant pieces of litigation by large corporations including Central Illinois Public Service Company and Monsanto. Jerry, however, always possessed a passion for advocating for individuals who were being denied their legal rights. In the later parts of his legal career he, therefore, became a champion for such individuals and secured several large verdicts and settlements in his clients’ favor.

Jerry was active in state and local bar association activities. He held leadership positions in the Illinois State Bar Association Civil Practice and Procedure Section and Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Courts and was a contributing author for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Jerry held degrees from Denison University (BA 1962) and Washington University (JD 1969). He was admitted to the bar in both Missouri and Illinois. He served in the US Army from 1963 to 1966, from which he was honorably discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant.

Jerry was devoted to his wife, Carolyn, his children, Anneliese and Drew, and his two grandchildren. Both Anneliese and Drew followed in Jerry’s footsteps by becoming lawyers who practiced in the Springfield community.

Jerry enjoyed contributing to the growth and success of the Sorling Northrup firm and the legal profession. He will be missed by his family and all of those with whom he interacted in this community.

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