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

In the area of professional liability litigation, James regularly defends physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals in medical negligence matters. He also handles employment related matters, including defending discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination lawsuits.   

In governmental practice, James has frequently been appointed as Special Assistant Corporation Counsel and Special State's Attorney to represent the City of Chicago and Cook County in a variety of civil litigation matters, including civil rights defense. These appointments have additionally included administrative hearing and internal investigation engagements.

James has further represented corporate clients in business disputes, including breach of contract, tortious interference with business relationships, Whistleblower Act, and false claim/qui tam actions. He is also experienced in white collar criminal matters and has defended clients in fraud and other financial related cases.

Before joining Hinshaw, James 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

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

  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of geriatric physician in medical malpractice wrongful death jury trial involving allegations of abuse and neglect, where plaintiff sought $6 million plus in damages.
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of ER physician in medical malpractice wrongful death jury trial involving allegation of failure to diagnose an aortic dissection, where plaintiff sought $2.1 million in damages.
  • Obtained favorable nominal verdict on behalf of hospital in medical malpractice wrongful death jury trial involving allegations of nursing staff's failure to properly treat and medicate psychiatric patient who died from a cardiac arrhythmia at hospital.
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of numerous deputy sheriffs with the Cook County Sheriff's Office in a high profile civil rights case arising from a jail riot.
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of a Chicago police officer in federal civil rights jury trial involving allegations of excessive force, false arrest and malicious prosecution, where plaintiff sought in excess of $1 million.
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of hospital in premises liability jury trial where plaintiffs sought $2.5 million.
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of hospital in premises liability jury trial where plaintiff sought in excess of $1 million.
  • Successfully defended client in federal firearms case. Jury was hung (10-2, not guilty), resulting in dismissal of indictment against client.
  • Successfully defended the Cook County Sheriff's Office in a high-profile, two month preliminary injunction hearing in a federal class action case alleging constitutional rights violations at the Cook County Jail.
  • As Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, obtained guilty decision against police officer charged with misconduct, after an administrative evidentiary hearing before the Chicago Police Board, resulting in employment discharge.
  • As Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, conducted internal investigation regarding alleged Ethics Ordinance violations by a City contractor.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of hospital in wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit involving a plaintiff's decedent who died as result of a kyphoplasty procedure.
  • 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 on the Chicago White Sox in a malicious prosecution and false arrest case where plaintiff's demand was $1 million. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of a commercial real estate company sued for fraud, negligent representation and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Obtained favorable low and nominal settlement on behalf of a large accounting firm sued in qui tam False Claims Act case involving allegations of tax fraud.
  • 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 that client brought against a Canadian film company and bank.
  • Negotiated a $1.6 million settlement for a commercial real estate company in a breach of contract case brought by client against a manufacturer that failed to pay fees for public incentive benefits negotiated and secured by client.

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