James Schmidt is a shareholder in the firm’s litigation group. He advises individuals, families, and businesses on how to avoid disputes and helps resolve them when they arise. A seasoned advocate who has briefed cases before the Illinois and Michigan Supreme Courts and argued before trial and appellate courts across Illinois, James’s skill and experience give him the confidence to successfully take a case to trial or argue an appeal when a resolution cannot be reached. To James, his clients are real people with real problems; he recognizes that they are often in the most stressful situations of their lives and strives to be a calming, reassuring presence as he guides them through it.
Areas of Focus
- Business & Commercial Litigation
- Property Line and Drainage Disputes
- Conflicts Arising from Construction Contracts and Projects
- Disagreements regarding Trusts and Estates
- Wage Complaints
- Character and Fitness: Advice and Representation to Applicants for Admission to the State Bars of Illinois and Michigan
Born and raised in West Michigan, James has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major focus in legal studies and minor in Spanish from Grand Valley State University. He has a master’s degree from the George Washington University as well. Before coming to Illinois for law school, James worked for over seven years as a paralegal at a small legal aid office, where he gained valuable experience assisting the attorneys in a wide range of complex matters before state and federal courts. James received his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from the University of Illinois and secured a prestigious clerkship with the Honorable Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court immediately after graduating.
James is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Michigan, and the Central District of Illinois federal court.
Community and Civic Engagement
James is an avid volunteer. He has been a Little League baseball, AYSO soccer, and USA Boxing coach. He has mentored elementary and middle schoolers as a CU1to1 Mentor and assisted a mentee with reentry through Prison Fellowship Ministries. He is a lector at his church and has spoken with at-risk youth about the long term consequences of youthful indiscretions at a high school.
James and his family live in Champaign. A former amateur boxer, James keeps in shape with boxing and CrossFit workouts and enjoys riding his bike, golfing, and pranking his wife and children. James is a member of the Illinois State and Champaign County Bar Associations as well as the State Bar of Michigan.