About James A Murphy for Appellate Court

James (Jim) Murphy is an accomplished litigation and appellate attorney who has been practicing law in Illinois for over thirty years. For the last twenty years, he has represented clients in Will County and the surrounding communities.

During his career, Jim has handled numerous trials and appeals. He has argued cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Illinois Appellate Court. Jim’s diverse client list include working individuals, local governments, and small businesses. As a litigation attorney, Jim has handled cases in a variety of areas, such as civil rights, personal injury, estates, divorce, commercial and contractual disputes, RICO, land use and zoning, and wrongful death. 

Throughout his over thirty years of legal experience, Jim has fought for ballot access, has fought for fair compensation from a railroad seeking to take a landowner’s property; has fought for fair compensation for the family of a worker electrocuted on a job, and has fought to have an employer live up to its contractual promises made in an employment handbook.  The cases in which he has been involved have ranged from those involving little to no money to those involving hundreds of millions of dollars.  Through his experience he has learned that, regardless of the amount at stake, each case is important to each party and must be accorded equal treatment regardless of the cases monetary value.

Jim is a leader in the legal community and is respected by his peers. He has received Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV Preeminent” rating which is its highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. He also has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Illinois and a “Leading Lawyer” in Civil Appellate Law and in Commercial Litigation.

He is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Will County Bar Association, he has served on the Three River Arts Council, the Illinois Public Arts Advisory Committee, and the Fox River Flood Commission. 

Jim attended Knox College and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he received his law degree, with honors. After law school, Jim was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Lawrence D. Inglis at the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District.

He lives in Shorewood with his wife, Lynnann, who is a nurse and long-time educator at the University of St. Francis. They have two children. In his free time, Jim enjoys drawing, painting, and working on his golf swing.


IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois. J.D. with honors, January 1987.

Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. B.A. 1982, Major in Political Science.

J.D. Darnell High School, Geneseo, Illinois, 1978.

Bar Admission:

Illinois, 1987.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1987.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar, 2003.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1993.

United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 2016

Legal Employment:

Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, Ltd., Joliet, Illinois. Attorney. Concentration in commercial litigation, municipal litigation, personal injury litigation, and appeals. 2001 – Present.

Cole & Staes, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois. Attorney. Concentration in commercial litigation and appeals, including criminal appeals involving RICO, extortion, search and seizure, and evidentiary issues arising in criminal trials. December 1989 – 2001.

Lord, Bissell & Brook, Chicago, Illinois. Attorney, general torts group. June 1989 – December 1989.

Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Lawrence D. Inglis, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District. 1987- 1989.


Over 40 Appeals, including the following published cases:

  • Harer v. Casey, 962 F.3d 299 (2020)
  • In re Estate of Gerulis, 2020 IL App (3d) 180734
  • Coldwater v. Village of Elwood, 2020 IL App (3d) 190247
  • In re Liszka, 2016 IL App (3d) 150238
  • Republic Bank of Chicago v. Village of Manhattan, 2015 IL App (3d) 130379
  • Cromwell v. City of Momence, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7374  
  • Khan v. Bland and Champaign Housing Authority, 630 F.3d 519 (7th Cir. 2010). 
  • Humphrey Property Group, L.L.C. v. Village of Frankfort, 392 Ill.App.3d 611 (3d Dist. 2009).
  • Village of Frankfort v. Illinois E.P.A., 366 Ill.App.3d 649 (1st Dist.2006).
  • Department of Natural Resources v. Brauer, 339 Ill.App.3d 723 (3rd Dist. 2003).
  • Robinson v. Ada S. McKinley, Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc., 19 F.3d 359 (1994).

Representative Cases:

18 Bench trials. 4 jury trials.

Multiple mediations and arbitrations, including being an arbitrator.

Over 100 depositions.

  • Eminent Domain Jury Trial obtained over $9 million in total compensation.
  • Obtained $4.6 million judgment after trial as co-counsel on behalf of landowner.  Judgment included findings of fraud and punitive damages.
  • Obtained approximately $1 million of work for client in mediation where claim was brought against client for $1 million in damages.
  • Obtained $400K judgment on letter of credit which bank had refused to honor based on expiration. 
  • Obtained reversal on appeal of $800,000.00 contempt order.
  • Obtained $1 million policy limit settlement in wrongful death case.
  • Arbitration before American Arbitration Association concerning ownership issues relating to company with annual revenues of $20 million.

Professional Recognition:

AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell

Recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation by the Leading Lawyers Network

Recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in Civil Appellate Lawby the Leading Lawyers Network

Top rated speaker for materials and presentation in continuing legal education seminar.

Professional Associations:

Illinois State Bar Association (Member Civil Practice and Procedure Section 2002-13, Member Judicial Advisory Polls, 2016- present).

Will County Bar Association.