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James P. Crawley

James P. Crawley

Chicago, Illinois

James P. Crawley has successfully handled high-profile personal injury and medical malpractice cases in his nearly two decades as an attorney. He has played an integral role on legal teams that obtained million-dollar-plus settlements on behalf of injured clients.

In peer reviews, James P. Crawley, attorney, has consistently received excellent ratings. When anonymously polled about his professional ability and expertise, his fellow attorneys have rated his ability as "very high".

Mr. Crawley is perhaps best known for his well-publicized representation of 35 school children and teachers poisoned by school lunches contaminated with near-lethal levels of anhydrous ammonia. Mr. Crawley met with family members of the children and led the legal fight to obtain justice on their behalf. Civil litigation prompted prosecutors to open a criminal investigation. As a result, criminal indictments were handed down against persons who knowingly allowed serving tainted food to children.

In addition to successful resolution of personal injury cases, the firm has taken on a number of matters on appeal. Mr. Crawley was part of the appellate team that created "new law" in Illinois allowing parents to seek compensation for the "loss of society" of a child that died in utero. Prior to that landmark decision, parents could not be compensated for loss of an unborn child's love and affection.
Among a select number of attorneys

After working for prestigious plaintiff's personal injury firms in Chicago, in 2001 Mr. Crawley opened James P. Crawley & Associates, Ltd., representing seriously injured individuals.

In December, 2005, Mr. Crawley was honored to be one of a select number of American Bar Association members to be personally sworn-in by the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to practice before that esteemed body, an honor held by less than 1 percent of the nation's attorneys.

Mr. Crawley is licensed to practice before:

• U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
-General Bar
-Trial Bar
• U.S. Supreme Court
• Illinois state courts

Mr. Crawley is a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America).
When asked about Mr. Crawley's professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of his professional responsibilities, his colleagues gave him the highest rating possible.

Educational background

• A lifelong resident of the greater Chicago area, Mr. Crawley was educated in Illinois and Missouri:
He grew up in a working-class family of labor union members and attended Joliet Catholic High School.
• He obtained his undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago, where he was graduated with honors and inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society for academic excellence and public service.
• He earned his law degree at Saint Louis University School of Law, where he served on the editorial staff of the Saint Louis University Public Law Review; a legal journal devoted to public interest law.

Public service
While in law school, he was one of the first student attorneys to work in the nation's first legal clinic devoted solely to addressing the legal needs of persons with HIV/AIDS.
He was part of the legal team that successfully forced the State of Missouri to provide life-sustaining antiviral medications to AIDS patients on Medicaid. Prior to that landmark federal decision, Missouri Governor John Ashcroft had refused to pay for AIDS medications with state funds.

The court decision continues to serve as legal precedent, prohibiting states from discriminating against Medicaid patients on the basis of their illness.

Mr. Crawley has:
• Served as a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Paul Simon
• Interned with the office of the Federal Public Defender
• Served as staff attorney for the Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County
• Clerked for the Honorable Joseph N. Casciato, Cook County Circuit Court Judge
• Worked in various executive-level positions involving fiscal management in county government 

He has also served as a director on a number of civic boards, including Jane Addams Hull House. He has provided pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

Areas of Practice

  • 33% Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
  • 33% Products Liability Law
  • 33% Other Injury Cases & Workers Compensation

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1989
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America, 2005


  • Saint Louis University School of Law, St Louis, Missouri
  • Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    • B.A. (Cum Laude) - May, 1986
    • Honors: Cum Laude

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for Justice
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
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105 West Adams Street, Suite 2800 Chicago, IL 60603 Map and Directions Phone: (312) 750-1300 Fax: (312) 492-4601 E-Mail the Firm