James Montgomery, Sr.

Civil Plaintiff
James D. Montgomery and Associates, Ltd.
1 N. LaSalle Street
Suite 2450
Chicago, IL 60602

James D. Montgomery, Esquire. Named one of Chicago's 30 Toughest Lawyers by Chicago Magazine , James D. Montgomery career spans nearly one-half century. This seasoned litigator is respected and admired throughout national legal, professional, and academic circles.

In 2001, Mr. Montgomery secured settlements in excess of $24 million; including a record $18,000,000 settlement for the wrongful death of LaTanya Haggerty, a 26-year-old, computer analyst who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. In 2002, the Firm secured over $7.8 million in verdicts and settlements, including a record $4.4 million verdict in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for the wrongful death of a 32-year-old, autistic man who was killed while being restrained by three Metropolitan Nashville police officers.

So far this year, Mr. Montgomery has already secured settlements in excess of $14.4 million, including a $13.5 million settlement for catastrophic injuries sustained, by a six-year-old patron of a YMCA in Detroit, Michigan when a bank of lockers fell on top of him. Mr. Montgomery's office is currently working on several high-profile cases in Chicago: the Firm represents seven (7) of the twenty-one (21) victims of the E2 Nightclub Disaster who died in February; the Firm also represents the family of a woman who died when scaffolding fell from the John Hancock building in Chicago in March 2002; and the Firm represents Linda Will, the mother of Rashidi Wheeler, a Northwestern football player who died at an unauthorized football practice in August 2001.

In 1983, Mr. Montgomery was appointed Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, under the late Mayor Harold Washington, where he supervised a legal staff of over 190 lawyers . Also in 1983, he was named a Fellow of the prestigious, invitation-only, International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Presently, he is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and has previously served as president of the Cook County Bar Association. Mr. Montgomery has served on numerous advisory groups and committees: The Civil Justice Expense and Delay Advisory Group for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Judicial Evaluation Committees for the State and Federal Courts, just to name a few. He was recently appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as Chairman of a panel of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar, that screens candidates who seek to defend capital cases.

In 1999, the Illinois Academy of Lawyers inducted Mr. Montgomery as a Laureate in the Academy. As described in its bylaws, a Laureate must personify the greatness of the legal profession and help to establish and maintain its highest principles through a pervasive record of service to the law, the profession and to the public. In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Montgomery is a frequent lecturer in various seminars and trial skills workshops all over the country. He taught a trial advocacy class at DePaul University Law School and trial skills workshops for the National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He participated in a week-long trial advocacy workshop at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in January and in the Fall of 1993. Mr. Montgomery has taught several times at the University of Chicago Law School for its Intensive Trial Practice Workshop.

James D. Montgomery was born in Louise Mississippi on February 17, 1932 and earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1953. Mr. Montgomery earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois Law School in 1956. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the State of Illinois. Mr. Montgomery has also appeared before several other federal and state courts on particular cases.

In March 2000, Mr. Montgomery teamed up with famed attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., to form Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Montgomery, L.L.C. Referred to as the Dynamic Duo, the team of Cochran and Montgomery lead one of the most prolific personal injury firms in Chicago and throughout the country.

Areas of Practice:

Personal Injury

Medical Malpractice

Municipal Law

Criminal Defense

Civil Rights

Litigation Percentage:

95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

Illinois, 1956

U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1960

U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1957


University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois, 1956 J.D.

Honors and Awards:

Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1983 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships:

American Board of Trial Advocates, 1993 - Present Associate

Birth Information: