Representative Matters

James Lydon is an experienced trial lawyer with a broad-based litigation practice. His areas of practice include employment, government, professional liability, construction, business and class action litigation.

Mr. Lydon regularly counsels clients on employment practices disputes, including discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits. He also represents clients in business disputes, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious business interference, and copyright infringement. In white collar criminal matters, Mr. Lydon has represented clients in bank fraud, mortgage fraud, SEC obstruction and other financial cases. He also has served as Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago to handle an internal investigation.

Mr. Lydon has been appointed as a Special State’s Attorney to represent the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in a variety of civil litigation matters and provides advice on operations, management and compliance issues. He regularly reports to the board of commissioners in connection with these engagements.

Mr. Lydon represents public officials, public employees and fire protection districts in employment, tort and civil rights litigation. In connection with such work, Mr. Lydon has counseled boards of directors and officers on matters involving governance, compliance and risk management concerns, including public information (FOIA), the Open Meetings Act, and conflict of interest issues.

Additionally, Mr. Lydon represents the Chicago White Sox in premises liability, negligent security and other public venue-related cases. In the area of professional liability litigation, Mr. Lydon has served as lead counsel in cases involving allegations of medical negligence and legal malpractice.

Professional Background

Before joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in January 2002, Mr. Lydon served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, where he tried 30 jury trials and hundreds of bench trials. As a member of the Felony Review Unit, he participated in hundreds of felony investigations.

Professional Affiliations

  • Society of Trial Lawyers
  • Chicago Inn of Court
  • Federal Defender Program in the U.S. District Court, Panel Attorney

Honors & Awards

  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Recognized by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law and Professional Malpractice Defense

Representative Matters

Mr. Lydon has extensive trial and appellate experience in both federal and state courts. A selection of his successful results includes the following:

  • Successfully defended the Cook County Sheriff's Office at a high-profile preliminary injunction hearing in a class action case alleging constitutional rights violations.
  • Represented a park district board official in an investigation involving a high-profile pool drowning.
  • Obtained not guilty jury verdict in federal civil rights lawsuit, defending a Chicago Police officer accused of excessive force, false arrest and malicious prosecution, where plaintiff was seeking in excess of $1 million.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdicts in medical malpractice wrongful death cases brought against client hospitals and physicians.
  • Defended deputy sheriffs with the Cook County Sheriff's Office in a high profile civil rights case. Clients were found not guilty after a three week jury trial.
  • Obtained not guilty jury verdicts in premises liability cases against client hospitals, where plaintiffs were seeking in excess of $1 million.
  • Defended client charged in federal firearms case. Jury was hung (10-2, not guilty), resulting in dismissal of indictment against client.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf on the Chicago White Sox in a malicious prosecution and false arrest case where plaintiff’s demand was $1 million. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of client alleged to have violated the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act causing plaintiff’s employment termination.
  • After a successful appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Mr. Lydon secured a large settlement on the eve of trial on behalf of a film producer in a breach of contract, fraud and defamation case against a Canadian film company and bank.


  • "Spoliation of Evidence:  Prevention and Consequences," American Bar Association Committee on Litigation - Trial Evidence, Chicago, Illinois, July 2014. 

  • "Top Issues and Emerging Trends in Employment Law," Arch Insurance Group, Chicago, Illinois, October 2011.
  • "Effective Direct and Cross Examination," Hinshaw University Trial Advocacy Program, Chicago, Illinois, June 2011.
  • “Labor Law Compliance in a Unionized Setting,” Professional Flooring Installers Association, Chicago, Illinois, July 2009.


  • “Sophisticated Means Enhancement Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines,” published on, September 2011.

Hinshaw Publications

Community/Civic Activities

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation’s “Lawyers in the Classroom” Program, Volunteer


J.D., Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1992

B.A., University of Michigan, 1988, Political Science