Paul  Dykstra

Paul Dykstra

pauld@jameskellylawfirm.comT.309-679-0900 F.309-679-0919

Paul has defended employers and insurance companies throughout Illinois for more than two decades. Born and raised in Peoria, Paul returned to central Illinois after attending the Law School at Drake University.  Paul’s mission has been and is to help the businesses and the communities of central and southern Illinois grow and flourish.

Unraveling complex fact patterns and implementing swift and effective plans of action are both a gift and a skill that Paul has cultivated through his practice.  Paul is a tremendous communicator and identifies aggressive strategies to get files closed as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.  While Paul’s natural environment is arguing and examining witnesses in court, Paul focuses on creating innovative mitigation strategies to resolve issues and conflicts to pursue settlement agreements without the need for a trial.


Paul enjoys helping businesses and insurance companies in training sessions and complex claims reviews.  Paul has trained dozens of newly hired adjusters with regard to the nuances and applications of Illinois law, greatly fast-tracking the ability of those newly hired adjusters to handle nearly all aspects of adjusting a claim upon completion of that training program.

Paul has been the keynote speaker at many national, state, and local professional conventions and seminars.  Paul presented at the annual conference of the National Council of Self Insurers in 2012 about the effects of opioids on the claims system, before the prevalence of the opioid issue became so identified throughout the insurance and employment industries.  After that presentation, numerous state and local professional organizations asked Paul to give that presentation to their members. 

One of the world’s largest manufacturing companies asked Paul to give the opioid presentation as the keynote speaker at its annual executive summit, with the rest of the summit consisting of breakout sessions to address the points from Paul’s presentation.  Those breakout sessions were led by some of the most prominent physicians, drug manufacturing marketing representatives, and addiction recovery psychologists in the world.

Paul is a member of the board of directors of the 112-year-old Illinois Valley Yacht and Canoe Club in Peoria Heights.  With his wife Erynn, Paul is active in autism support groups in central Illinois.  Their son Michael, who is high-functioning autistic, is the first student in the 62-year history of the prestigious Richwoods High School to be in all enriched classes while having an IEP.  Their daughter Reese attends Washington Gifted Middle School and is on the swim, track, and speech teams.


  • Drake University Law School, J.D.
  • Bradley University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Peoria County Bar Association, Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
  • Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association, Member

About Us

JKLF is a premiere boutique litigation firm, specializing in mass and catastrophic complex claims. JKLF is a national firm with offices in Illinois, the St. Louis Metro Area, and New York. We are trial lawyers that have decades of collective experience representing our clients in complex litigation. We are courtroom advocates. Our size and selectivity allow us to provide preeminent legal services. Our clients receive zealous representation and personalized attention from our experienced attorneys on every case and at every stage throughout the litigation. JKLF fosters an environment that promotes teamwork and collaboration, and where our lawyers are confident to explore new and creative ways to assist our clients. Our clients value and trust us because we offer more than legal counsel. We understand client priorities and become partners and trusted advisors. At JKLF, we pride ourselves on our talent, teamwork, and results. From jury trials and bench trials, to arbitrations and appeals, our litigation team is consistently recognized for successfully handling complex, high-stakes matters for our clients in challenging venues across the country.