Phone: (618) 277-1000
Fax No.: (618) 233-1637

Court/Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1976
  • Missouri, 1984
  • U. S. Court of Appeal for the D. C. Circuit, 1977
  • United States Court of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit, 1978
  • United States Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, 1978 & 1979
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 1979


  • Quincy University; University of Illinois (B.A., 1973)
  • Loyola University of Chicago (J.D., 1976)

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • The Chicago Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel

James C. Cook received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1973 and law degree in 1976 from Loyola University of Chicago.  He is licensed to practice law in the States of Illinois and Missouri and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States (1979), U. S. Courts of Appeal for the D. C. Circuit (1977), Seventh Circuit (1978) and Eighth Circuit (2002); and U. S. District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois (1978 and 1979).

Following graduation from law school in 1976, Cook served a two-year clerkship with Justice John T. Reardon of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District.  He joined the law firm in 1978 establishing a trial and appellate practice in the Federal and State Courts focusing on insurance defense in Southern Illinois including Madison and St. Clair Counties.

Litigation Experience:

Cook is experienced in trying major civil litigation including class actions, professional liability cases (medical, dental and attorney malpractice), automobile/product liability/employment liability/defamation cases and similar insurance-defense work, construction injury claims, industrial injury claims, and claims under the Federal Civil Rights Acts, Federal Employers Liability Act and environmental damage cases.  He has briefed and/or argued numerous appeals in the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth and Fifth Districts, Supreme Court of the United States and United States Court of Appeals, Seventh and Eighth Circuits and written amicus curiae briefs for the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and The Alton & Southern Railway Co.  He has also represented numerous Southern Illinois and Missouri local public entities and officials in police misconduct cases including alleged sexual misconduct, excessive force, search and seizure, and fatal police chases; official misconduct, Title VII cases and public sector employment discrimination matters.  He has handled RICO and securities fraud cases including “fraud on new market” claims involving public bond issues for hospital development, and professional negligence claims against bond counsel.

Representative Cases:

Lewis v. Union Pacific Railroad Police (USDC S.D. Ill. No. 11-cv-00579-JPG-DGW) (asserted unlawful traffic stop, arrest and search by railroad police officers).

Mabry v. Mercia International Products, Ltd. (1st Cir., Saline County, Ill., No. 2010-L-64) (product liability, assertion of Illinois jurisdiction over British manufacturer, Pennsylvania distributor).

Wiley v. Cronic, 2008 WL 450461, (S.D. Ill., Feb. 15, 2008) (Federal jurisdiction over Georgia sheriff; Interstate Transportation of Dangerous Criminals Act of 2000, 42 USC 13726 et seq.).

Trustees of Marion Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses v. City of Marion (USDC S.D. Ill. Nos. 07-cv-00530-GPM-DGW; 08-cv-00480-GPM-CJP) (due process challenge to annexation/zoning).

Wiley v. Hall County, Georgia (7th Cir. Jersey County, Ill. No. 06-L-18) (Illinois jurisdiction over Georgia sheriff for seizure of Illinois resident on Georgia warrant).

Protestant Memorial Medical Center v. Maram, 471 F.3d 724 (7th Cir. 2006) (declaratory and injunctive relief sought from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Illinois Department of Public Aid).

Cox v. Taylorville Police Department (USDC C.D. Ill. No. 06-cv-03197-HAB-BGC) (excessive force).

Bonner v. Union Pacific Railroad Company (USDC S.D. Ill. No. 06-cv-00226-DRH-DGW) (wrongful death claim, shooting by railroad police officer).

Murray v. Butler, 355 Ill.App. 3d 1208, 319 Ill.Dec. 318, 885 N.E.2d 589 (5th Dist. 2005) (table), cert. denied 547 US 1129, 126 S.Ct. 2024, 164 L.Ed.2d 781 (US 2006) (constitutionality of vehicle towing ordinance).

Snyder v. Nolen, 380 F.3d 279 (7th Cir. 2004) (quasi-judicial immunity of court clerk; denial of access to courts).

Kijonka v. Seitzinger, 363 F.3d 645 (7th Cir. 2004) (qualified immunity of prosecutor; probable cause to arrest).

Lott v. Ferrell, 109 Fed.Appx. 827 (8th Cir. 2004); E.D. Mo., No. 00-cv-0073-LMB, (denial of jail medical care).

ESM Development v. Dawson, 342 Ill.App.3d 688, 277 Ill.Dec. 30, 795 N.E.2d 397 (5th Dist. 2003) (limitation on use of equitable estoppel against public entity).

Anderson v. County of Montgomery, 111 F.3d 494, 37 Fed.R.Serv. 625 (7th Cir. 1997), overruled by DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607 (7th Cir. 2000) (Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 attorney sanctions).

Moore v. M. A. Mortenson Company (USDC S.D. Ill. No. 95-cv-00832-PER transferred to E.D. Mo. No. 96-cv-01356) (employment discrimination, sexual harassment).

Lynch v. Board of Education, 82 Ill.2d 415, 45 Ill.Dec. 96, 412 N.E.2d 447 (1980) (teacher’s apparent authority renders school district liable for negligence in unauthorized powder puff football game).

Listman, Bandy & Hamilton, Assn. v. Wilson, 94 Ill.2d 60, 67 Ill.Dec. 843, 445 N.E.2d 323 (1983) (effect of marital settlement agreement on distribution of insurance settlement).

Koehler v. Illinois Central Gulf R.R. Co., 109 Ill.2d 473, 94 Ill.Dec. 543, 488 N.E.2d 542 (1986) (amicus curiae; State Courts without jurisdiction to hear retaliatory discharge claim under Railway Labor Act).

HPI Health Care Servs., Inc. v. Mt. Vernon Hosp., Inc., 131 Ill.2d 145, 137 Ill.Dec. 19, 545 N.E.2d 672 (1989) (qualified privilege in intentional interference with contract).

Cook is a founding Board Member of The Bar Association for the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois, having served as its Secretary and President (2005-2007).  He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Illinois State Bar Association, Missouri Bar, Chicago Bar Association and Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.

He is principal author of Qualified Privilege in Intentional Interference with Contract Cases, 79 Illinois Bar Journal 90 (Feb., 1991).

Peer Review Rating: Martindale-Hubbell – AV rating.

Practice Areas

  • Bodily Injury
  • Personal Injury
  • Property Damage
  • Governmental Liability/Civil Rights
  • Environmental Liability
  • Personal/Commercial Auto
  • Professional Liability