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James Lydon is an experienced trial lawyer with a broad-based litigation practice. Mr. Lydon has tried numerous cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. His areas of practice include business, professional liability, government and employment litigation.

In the area of professional liability litigation, Mr. Lydon regularly represents health care, real estate and legal professionals in malpractice actions. He also represents corporate clients in business disputes, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with business relations, products liability, defamation, Whistleblower Act and false claim/qui tam lawsuits. In addition, Mr. Lydon handles employment related matters, including defending discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination lawsuits.   

Mr. Lydon is also experienced in white collar criminal matters, and has defended individual clients in bank fraud, mortgage fraud, SEC obstruction and other financial related cases. In governmental practice, Mr. Lydon has frequently been appointed as a Special State's Attorney to represent the Cook County Sheriff's Office in a variety of civil litigation matters and has further been engaged by the City of Chicago and other municipalities to conduct internal investigations.

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:

  • Obtained favorable defense verdicts in two medical malpractice wrongful death jury trials cases on behalf of a hospital and a physician, where plaintiffs in both cases were seeking seven figure damages.
  • 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 two 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 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.
  • Successfully defended the Cook County Sheriff's Office at a high-profile, two month preliminary injunction hearing in a federal class action case alleging constitutional rights violations at the Cook County Jail.
  • 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 hospital alleged to have violated the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act causing plaintiff’s employment termination.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of hospital in wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit, successfully arguing that treating physician was not apparent agent of hospital.
  • After a successful appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 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.
  • Obtained seven figure settlement on behalf of a commercial real estate company in a breach of contract case against a manufacturer involving fees for public incentive benefits negotiated and secured by client.
  • Successfully resolved a qui tam False Claims Act case brought against client accounting firm alleged to have committed tax fraud.
  • Negotiated favorable low settlements on behalf of airport transportation company sued by former employees in two disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge lawsuits.
  • Negotiated favorable low settlements on behalf of police union sued by former employees in two Title VII gender discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits.
  • Negotiated favorable low settlement on behalf of food manufacturer sued by former employee in national origin discrimination and hostile work environment lawsuit.
  • As Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, conducted internal investigation regarding alleged Ethics Ordinance violations.
  • Represented a park district board official in an investigation involving a high-profile pool drowning.
  • Successfully argued for favorable sentence on behalf of client charged with mortgage fraud in federal court, where client received probation despite sentencing guideline range of 27-33 months imprisonment.
  • Successfully argued for favorable sentence on behalf of client charged with wire fraud in federal court, where client received 2 months imprisonment despite sentencing guideline range of 33-41 months imprisonment.
  • Successfully argued for favorable sentence on behalf of client charged with bank fraud in federal court, where client received 26 months imprisonment despite sentencing guideline range of 51-63 months imprisonment.

Presentations

  • "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.

Publications

  • “Sophisticated Means Enhancement Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines,” published on Law360.com, September 2011.

Hinshaw Publications

Community/Civic Activities

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

Education

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

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

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