Craig and Craig, LLC

Attorneys at Law

Established 1868

Mattoon, IL

(217) 234-6481

Mt. Vernon, IL

(618) 244-7511

John L. Barger - Member

John L. Barger has recently had an article published about him in Leading Lawyers Magazine.


On March 20, 2012, John L. Barger successfully defended Ron F. Shepherd in a suit by Pepsi Mid-America to enforce a covenant not to compete. The presiding judge, Judge Mitchell K. Shick, found that the Plaintiff had not proven the necessary elements under Reliable Fire Equipment Co. v. Arredondo, 211 Ill. 111, 871. In addition, Judge Shick found that in this case the covenant not to compete amounted to an "adhesion contract" under the authority of American Food Management, Inc. v. Henson, 105 Ill.App.3d 141 (5th Dist., 1982). Judge Shick found in favor of the Defendant on all matters and against the Plaintiff on its Complaint denying the request for an injunction, denying the request for liquidated damages and denying the request for attorneys’ fees and expenses.

John L. Barger, a Partner in the Mattoon office, was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in a ceremony held at the Supreme Court Courtroom in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 6, 2011.  He was part of a group of 45 lawyers organized by the Illinois State Bar Association. The Honorable John G. Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, granted the Motion.

John L. Barger, Partner in the Mattoon office, has been recognized as a 2010 Member of the Leading Lawyers Network. Mr. Barger was recommended as a Leading Lawyer in a state wide survey of more than 50,000 lawyers. Fewer than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois receive the distinction as being the Leading Lawyer.

John L. Barger joined Craig & Craig in 1984. He is a graduate of Charleston High School, Eastern Illinois University and the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. He grew up on a farm in southern Coles County, Illinois.

He has been selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois and has a "BV" rating with Martindale Hubbell. This means he is rated as "Distinguished" from an ability standpoint (4.4 out of 5 rating)and "Very High" from an ethical standpoint.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, the Bar Association for the Federal District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a past President of the Coles-Cumberland Bar Association.

He is President of the Neal Foundation. The Neal Foundation is a charitable organization supporting the Coles and Cumberland County areas. He is President of Janesville Cemetery, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation. Janesville Cemetery is located in southern Coles County, Illinois. He also volunteers time to the Cumberland County Pet Connection. The Pet Connection is an organization that rescues dogs from the Cumberland County pound on or before their death day and finds homes for them. He has also donated many hours of time as a volunteer coach for both boys baseball and girls softball in Mattoon, Toledo and Greenup, Illinois.

His published decisions include Unzicker v. Kraft Food Ingredients Corporation, 203 Ill. 2d 64 (2003)(application of 735 ILCS 5/2-1117);Cincinnati Insurance Company v. Chapman, 181 Ill. 2d 65 (1998)(constitutionality of the Judicial Redistricting Act); Frank v. The Industrial Commission, 276 Ill. App. 3d 214 (4th Dist., 1995)(procedure for a workers’ compensation appeal); Brown v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, 272, Ill. App. 3d 94(4th Dist. 1995)(whether employee handbook becomes part of the contract of employment); and City of Marshall v. City of Casey, 177 Ill. App. 3d 1065, (4th Dist., 1989)(application of theory of equitable contribution). He has also participated in a number of other appeals that have resulted in Supreme Court Rule 23 Orders or non-published decisions. He has been involved in dozens of appeals to the Illinois Industrial Commission and subsequently the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

His practice areas include workers’ compensation litigation, general civil litigation, elder law, estate planning, probate, real estate law, municipal law and family law.

He has had an article written about him in Leading Lawyers magazine. A link to that article can be found here:

Practice Areas


  • University of Arkansas, J.D., 1983
  • Eastern Illinois University, B.A., 1980


  • 1984, Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Coles-Cumberland Bar Association (President, 2007-2008)
  • Illinois State and American Bar Associations
  • The Seventh Circuit Bar Association
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Bar Association for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)

Born: Mattoon, Illinois, August 1, 1958