422 North Northwest Highway, Suite 200
Park Ridge, IL 60068
847-292-1200 | 847-292-1208 (Fax)
www.judgeltd.com
ContactUs@judgeltd.com

A DEFENSE LAW FIRM DEDICATED TO IMPROVING
DEFENSE ARGUMENTS FOR INSUREDS & SELF-INSUREDS

 Our Attorneys

 

Jay JudgeJAY S. JUDGE

Jay S. Judge, the senior partner of Judge, James, Hoban & Fisher LLC, is a trial, appellate and insurance coverage attorney. He has had more than 85 jury trials and 200 appeals on liability and coverage issues. He is a former claims supervisor who currently represents self insured governmental entities, insurance companies and self insured risk pools. He graduated cum laude from John Marshall Law School where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

Jay has a Martindale-Hubbell rating of “AV Preeminent for 30 Years.” He has written two legal columns for over 30 years: “Federal Courts” in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin; and “Ready for the Defense” in Township Perspective magazine.

Jay is a frequent speaker on the Illinois Tort Immunity Act (“30 Common Law and Tort Immunity Act Defense Rules Available to Defendants in Illinois” – 99 pages), including lectures for the Illinois State Bar Association (“Jury Selection for the Defense”), the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “Annual Symposium with the Judges,” and Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (“Jury Selection: The Whole 9 Yards” and “Evidentiary Issues With Expert Witnesses”).

Notable Cases and Results:

Representative Trial Results:

Estate of Lundstrom v. DeJesus & Schaumburg Auto Sales (Cook County) (May 5 to May 23, 2000) Passenger in Dealer Auto driven by Dealer Salesman, DeJesus, on his own time, died when car rolled over on a curve after a night of drinking where driver was intoxicated and found guilty of reckless driving and Estate sued driver and Dealer.
Plaintiff asked for $6.5 million.
Verdict against DeJesus (driver) for $261,361

Hails v. Jefferson County (Jefferson County) (November 2 to November 12, 1999)
Plaintiff driver lost control on County road freshly oiled in morning before accident, left road, rolled over and was rendered a paraplegic. County defended, claiming speed too fast, not gravel road caused accident.
Plaintiff asked for $4.1 million.
Verdict for County: Not Guilty
Trial Lawyer: Jay Judge

Snyder v. Curran Township (Sangamon County) (November 17 to November 25, 1997) Plaintiff driver lost control on a one-lane Township gravel road on an “S” curve, rolled over and was blinded and paralyzed on one side and sued Township, claiming “S” curve warning sign on left-hand side of road and Uniform Manual required it on right side (which was a deep ditch where it would have been too low to see).
Plaintiff asked for $2.3 million.
Verdict for Township: Not Guilty
Trial Lawyer: Jay Judge

Clausen v. Glenview Park District (Cook County) (January 16, 1996 to February 16, 1996)
Plaintiff, painting contractor, painting work fell 30 feet from a scaffold in the ice skating rink sued the Park District claiming the scaffold he fell from was borrowed by the painting contractor from the Park District and had no guardrail. Plaintiff suffered brain damage, resulting in his status as a brain-damaged quadriplegic. Contractor paid its $2 million policy and Park District offered $100,000.
Plaintiff asked for $20 million.
Verdict: Hung jury. Park District settled before second trial for $200,000.
Trial Lawyers: Jay Judge & Ed Dutton

Representative Appeal Results:

Park v. Metra, 2011 IL App (1st) 101283, 960 N.E.2d 764 (1st Dist. 2011) (Moving train on railroad tracks is an “open and obvious danger” of which Metra had no duty to warn).

Konstant Products, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 401 Ill.App.3d 83, 929 N.E.2d 1200 (1st Dist. 2010) (Verified Complaint pleading driver drove truck without permission was a judicial admission so driver was not a “permitted user” of truck so Liberty Mutual owed no coverage to driver).
Appellate Lawyer: Jay Judge

McElroy v. Forest Preserve District of Lake County, 384 Ill.App.3d 662, 894 N.E.2d 170 (2nd Dist. 2008) (Forest Preserve protected by § 3-107(b), hiking and riding trail immunity of Tort Immunity Act, where bicyclist rode off drop-off between bridge and trail caused by flooding and under repair).
Appellate Lawyers: Jay Judge and Edward Dutton of Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA)

McElmeel v. Village of Hoffman Estates, 359 Ill.App.3d 824, 835 N.E.2d 183 (1st Dist. 2005) (Village not liable for wrongful death and brain damage accident where police officer halted traffic to allow tow truck to pull car out of snow bank and drunk driver rear-ended last car in line as Village had absolute immunity under § 4-102, failure to provide adequate police services, of the Tort Immunity Act).

Bar Admissions:
Illinois, 1970
Indiana, 1987

Law School: John Marshall Law School, J.D.

Law School Honors/Involvement: Cum laude, Editor-in-Chief, John Marshall Law Review

Undergraduate School: Marquette University, B.S., business administration, 1963

Employment History:
Judge, James, Hoban & Fisher, LLC, 1971-present

Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Appellate Lawyers Association
DuPage County Bar Association
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Lawyers

Legal Lectures:
“Annual Symposium with the Judges,” speaker, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

“Evidentiary Issues with Expert Witnesses, Daubert and Frye,” IICLE

“Jury Selection: Voir Dire for the Defense,” IICLE

“Jury Selection: The Whole Nine Yards,” IICLE

 

jjudge@judgeltd.com


Kathy JamesKATHRYN MARY JAMES

Kathy has worked with Jay Judge for over 30 years. She aggressively defends her clients in all phases of litigation with dispositive motions, thorough depositions and trial preparation, if necessary. She has worked on many successful appeals affirming the granting of motions and favorable trial results.

EDUCATION

J.D., John Marshall Law School, Top 20% of Class
B.A., Political Science, Western Illinois University,  with High Honors

COURT ADMISSIONS

Illinois State Court
Supreme Court of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals – Seventh Circuit
Federal Trial Bar
U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court – Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court – Northern District of Indiana

EXPERIENCE

Trial and Appellate Lawyer – Defense of Governmental Entities, Insureds and Self-Insureds in wrongful death, catastrophic injury and other personal injury litigation.
Judge, James & Dutton, Ltd. – Partner
Judge & James, Ltd. – Partner
Judge & Knight, Ltd. – Associate
Modesto, Reynolds & McDermott – Associate, Captive Counsel for CIGNA
Judge, Kurnik & Knight, Ltd. – Associate
Judge, Drew, Cipolla & Kurnik, Ltd. – Law Clerk

kjames@judgeltd.com


Robert HobanROBERT P. HOBAN III

Robert recently won summary judgment and the resulting appeal on Zimmer v. Peotone School District 207 – U, a case in which Plaintiff fell inside of Peotone Junior High and sustained a fractured right femur, resulting in surgical removal of her artificial hip and a second surgery for a staph infection. Plaintiff incurred $481,836.25 in medical bills, and her demand was $2 million. Robert argued that the District was not liable pursuant to the natural accumulation rule, §3-105 of the Tort Immunity Act and the Construction Statute of Repose

EDUCATION

Juris Doctor, Marquette University Law School, 1994
Bachelor of Arts, Northern Illinois University, 1991
Associate of Arts, Moraine Valley Community College, 1989

COURT ADMISSIONS

Illinois State Court
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

EXPERIENCE

Judge, James, Hoban & Fisher, LLC, – Partner
Defends dental malpractice cases, Public Entities, Public Employees, and Individual Clients in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Actions for Declaratory Judgment. Has won numerous dispositive motions, including Motions for Summary Judgment, § 2-619 Motions, and 103(b) Motions. Robert has also continued his successful career as a Trial Attorney while at Judge, James & Kujawa by obtaining a number of defense verdicts for the Firm.

Has won 19 dispositive motions/jury trials during his tenure at the firm.

James Hoffman & Associates, 1999-2006
Defended individual insureds in Personal Injury Lawsuits and Actions for Declaratory Judgment. Obtained numerous defense verdicts in cases tried before a Jury. Developed a successful motion practice, winning dispositive motions in both third party and coverage cases.

Named Trial Attorney of the Year in 2001 (The last year that the award was presented.)

Mordini & Schwartz, 1997-1999 and Galvin, Lowery & Meade 1995-1997
Practice consisted largely of trying personal injury motor vehicle accidents before a jury.
Most cases Tried, Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter, 1997

ACTIVITIES

Elected Wheeling Township Trustee in 2013; voted to reduce the tax levy in 2014, resulting in property tax relief for Wheeling Township residents and small business owners.

Local School Council, Community Representative, Mark T. Skinner Elementary, Chicago, IL, 2008-2011; assisted in creating the School Improvement Plan, preparing the Budget, approving expenditures, and Evaluating the Principal’s performance.

Illinois State Bar Association, member 1994.

Chicago English Bulldog Rescue, member, donor.

rhoban@judgeltd.com


Dustin FischerDUSTIN S. FISHER

Dustin’s defense practice is focused on personal injury defense, tort immunity, municipal liability, premises liability, sports liability, FELA, defamation, 1983 actions, construction defects and administrative reviews. Dustin has also represented numerous commercial clients in litigation, including trademark infringement, the uniform deceptive practices act, lien issues, and breaches of fiduciary duty. Prior to obtaining his Juris Doctor, Dustin was a fraud investigator examining personal injury claims for fraud and is an expert on social media discovery and investigation.

Representative Recent Cases

Not guilty verdict for his client in the case of Day v. Crystal Lake Park District, in which a minor alleged an improperly graded slope had forced him to strike an allegedly dangerous metal barrier while sledding at his client’s sled hill. Plaintiff asked for an award of $283,412.72 following open fractures to the distal tibia and fibula.

Dustin obtained a verdict of $48,158 in an FELA lawsuit with a $595,000 demand in John W. Smak and Christopher Derue v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation. This was a case in which Dustin was brought in after discovery had closed and was unable to call witnesses due to previous discovery sanctions. Two railroad employees alleged that improper security procedures proximately caused injuries including an ankle fracture with total collapse and multiple surgeries, and a fractured thumb to the second plaintiff. Dustin successfully turned the tables on the Plaintiffs, by barring their own expert liability witnesses at trial.

Dustin obtained summary judgment for his client in Cannon v. Wilmette Park District, a case in which a student alleged that his client improperly constructed and secured field hockey goals near the location he played football. Plaintiff, an athlete, sustained a fractured and displaced patella and valued the case in the middle-six figures.

Dustin obtained a dismissal, with prejudice, on a premises liability case with a 2-615 motion in Kim v. Glenview. Plaintiff alleged an unnatural accumulation of black ice was allowed to develop on a public entity owned parking lot. Dustin successfully argued that the parking lot itself was recreational property entitled to immunity from negligence and that the Plaintiff’s own pleadings allowed for judgment as a matter of law that there could not be willful and wanton conduct.

Dustin was brought in to draft and argue a motion to reconsider in Curry v. Metra on the issue of Federal Preemption under the Locomotive Inspection Act. Plaintiff alleged that a defective door on a commuter rail car caused her a significant closed head injury. Dustin successfully petitioned the court for rehearing, and the court reconsidered its previous condition and entered summary judgment in favor of Metra.

Dustin has obtained multiple million dollar judgments in favor of commercial clients for trademark infringement, counterfeiting, and under the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Dustin has won numerous other dispositive motions on a diverse range of cases including construction statute of repose (design defect claim dismissed pursuant to motion to dismiss), defamation (judgement vacated and later non-suited following a motion to dismiss), bike path immunity, premises liability (slip and fall on pool deck dismissed with prejudice), and multiple administrative reviews.

Dustin was selected by Leading Lawyers, a division of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company, as an Emerging Lawyer—an award given to the top 2% of lawyers who are 40 years old or under who have proven themselves as professional, ethical and experienced.

EDUCATION

J.D., Cum Laude, The John Marshall Law School, 2008
Dean’s Scholar
Member, THE JOHN MARSHALL LAW REVIEW
Trial Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Honors Council
CALI Awards for Excellence in Civil Procedure and Property Law
Order of John Marshall

COURT ADMISSIONS

Illinois State Court
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois

PUBLICATIONS

Selling the Payments: Predatory Lending Goes Primetime, 41 J. Marshall L. Rev. 587 (2008). “First District Upholds Directed Verdict and Jury Verdict for City and Officers on Malicious Prosecution Claim,” containing author, Dustin S. Fisher.

“First District Upholds Directed Verdict and Jury Verdict for City and Officers on Malicious Prosecution Claim”, contributing author, Dustin S. Fisher..
IDC Monograph, a Publication of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Summer, 2010.

Survey of Municipal Law Cases, contributing author and editor, published by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, 2013.

The Tort Immunity Act, contributing author and editor, Dustin S. Fisher., IDC Monograph, a Publication of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Summer 2014.

Survey of Municipal Law Cases, contributing author and editor, published by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, 2014.

EXPERIENCE

Judge, James, Hoban & Fisher,  LLC – Partner
Transnet Inv. Svcs – Fraud Investigator
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Member 2010-2014, Local Government Law Committee Board Member, 2012-2013, Co-Chair 2013-2014.

dfisher@judgeltd.com


Stephen JudgeSTEPHEN J. JUDGE

Stephen recently won summary judgment in Santi v. Village of Winnetka, a case in which Margaret Santi fell in a hole in the upper level of the Village’s parking garage sustaining permanent injuries. The court held that the hole was an open and obvious condition of property as a matter of law, and the Village cannot be subject to liability under the “open and obvious danger”/no duty rule.

Stephen has obtained great results with early dismissals involving diverse issues including the statute of limitations for repairs vs improvements to real property (motion to dismiss granted as relation-back doctrine did not apply), § 3-102(a), notice, of the Tort Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10/3-102(a)) (voluntarily dismissed after motion to dismiss filed) and § 2-201, discretionary immunity of the Tort Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10/2-201) (dismissed after motion to dismiss filed).

EDUCATION

J.D., The John Marshall Law School, 2013
B.A., Political Science, Northeastern Illinois University, 2009
Student Government Association Senator
Ad Hoc Constitution Committee

COURT ADMISSIONS

Illinois State Court
Supreme Court of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois

EXPERIENCE

Judge, James, Hoban & Fisher, LLC. – Attorney
Judge, James & Kujawa, LLC – Paralegal
Judge, James & Kujawa, LLC – Law Clerk

Sjudge@judgeltd.com


George BrantGEORGE H. BRANT

George conducts complex litigation as both a trial and appellate attorney. He has enjoyed remarkable success the last few years. In Choate v. Indiana Harbor Belt Ry, 980 N.E.2d 58 (2012) and Brown v. Union Pacific R.R., 2013 IL App.(1st) 122496-U he was instrumental in persuading our appellate courts to adopt the legal principle that even minor children can appreciate the dangers presented by moving trains. Likewise, in Carney v. Union Pacific R.R., 77 N.E.3d 1 (2016), he was successful in persuading the Illinois Supreme Court to recognize that property owners may not be held responsible for construction activities conducted on their property if the owner did not retain a significant role in the construction enterprise, itself.

Furthermore, George is currently engaged in another appeal before the Illinois Supreme Court which raises complex constitutional law issues.

EDUCATION

L.L.M., George Washington University Law School, 1973
J.D., Indiana University School of Law, 1968
A.B., Indiana University, 1965

COURT ADMISSIONS

Illinois State Court
Supreme Court of Illinois
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District
U.S. Court of Military Appeals

PUBLICATIONS AND AWARDS

Federal Bar Association Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, 2018
Chicago Kent College of Law – Expert Witness Program
Illinois State Bar Association – Distinguished Counselor Recognition, 2018

EXPERIENCE
Judge, James, Hoban & Fisher – Of Counsel
Fedota & Childers – Partner and Of Counsel
Union Pacific Railroad – Senior Trial Counsel
Chicago and North Western Railway – Associate General Counsel – Litigation
Army Judge Advocate’s General Corp. – Captain, Trial Attorney

gbrant@judgeltd.com