Biography

James A. Shapiro has practiced law for more than 32 years and served as judge, appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court, between 2007-2012. His extensive legal experience includes civil and criminal cases—both plaintiff and defendant, federal and state, prosecution and defense, private and government practice, teaching law school, testifying as an expert witness, and serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. Shapiro is dedicated to ensuring that every resident who interacts with the Cook County justice system is treated fairly, equally, and with respect. As part of his dedication to fighting hate, he is active in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where he was recently elected a National Commissioner.

During his five years as a judge he heard both civil and criminal cases. In October 2017, the Chicago Council of Lawyers rated him Qualified, stating he “has had substantial litigation experience in both civil and criminal law matters, and in both trial and appellate court matters. He received praise from practitioners for his legal ability and for his diligence both as a practitioner and as a judge.”

Shapiro currently concentrates his practice in arbitration/mediation and defense, where he stays up to date with innovations and best practices in the legal profession. He also enjoys officiating weddings in both English and Spanish, and as Decalogue Society of Lawyers President from 2007-2008 strongly advocated for full marriage equality for the LGBT community. His work in the community shows his dedication to diversity, inclusion, and equality. He believes strongly that, in our current climate, it is more important than ever for good judges to protect the constitutional rights of every American.

James Shapiro attended Trinity College and William and Mary Law School. He is an avid Chicago Cubs fan, and some of his most enjoyable moments have been shared with his children at Wrigley Field and at Cubs Spring Training.


Resume

James A. Shapiro has practiced law for more than 27 years in addition to over five years as judge, appointed and reappointed by the Illinois Supreme Court between 2007-2012. His extensive legal experience includes civil and criminal cases—both plaintiff and defendant, federal and state, prosecution and defense, private and government practice, teaching law school, testifying as an expert witness, and serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. Shapiro is dedicated to ensuring that every resident who interacts with the Cook County justice system is treated fairly, equally, and with respect.

Career Highlights:
8/31/07-11/30/12 Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County. Heard both criminal and civil, cases, including felonies, misdemeanors, commercial and tort litigation, and landlord/tenant disputes. Rated “Highly Qualified” by Chicago Bar Association.
5/1/89-11/95 Assistant United States Attorney, Chicago, Illinois. Civil and Criminal Divisions. Wide variety of criminal and civil prosecutions, and civil defense, including white collar crime, drug forfeiture, employment discrimination, and federal appeals. Briefed, argued, and won cross-burning appeal that created circuit split.
Quasi-Judicial Experience:
1996-2007 Hearing Board Officer, (Chair, 1998-2007), Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Presided over attorney disciplinary hearings, including high-profile cases such as In re Miriam Santos and Associate judge bribery case.
1997-2007 Chair-Qualified Arbitrator, Cook County Mandatory Arbitration.
2013-present Chaired hundreds of arbitrations in personal injury, Magnuson-Moss (“lemon law”), property damage, and contract cases.
Expert Witness:
2015-2017 Draiman v. Seiden (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois) (legal malpractice).
2014 American Academy of Forensic Scientists v. Bowers (Academy disciplinary hearing) (expert witness on expert testimony)
1998 Omega Wrecking Co. v. Elgin State Bank, 94 CH 7452 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois) (reasonableness of fearing government investigation).
Other Legal Experience:
6/1/16-present Principal, Law Office of James A. Shapiro, P.C. Federal and state criminal litigation.
6/1/13-5/31/16 Member, Robinson, Shapiro & Schwartz LLC. Civil and white collar criminal litigation.
3/13-present Mediator/Arbitrator, Resolute Systems, LLC. Mediate and arbitrate personal injury, employment, and commercial litigation cases.
12/1/12-5/31/13 Principal, Law Offices of James A. Shapiro, P.C. Mediation and arbitration; civil and white collar criminal litigation.
12/1/06-8/31/07 Managing Partner, Shapiro & Brindley, Chicago, Illinois. State and federal criminal litigation. Voted Illinois “Super Lawyer,” 2007. Member, Federal Defender Panel and Chicago Bar Association In-Court Bar Attorney program.
2/1/00-11/30/06 Partner, Shapiro & Schwartz, Chicago, Illinois. State and federal criminal litigation, employment discrimination, commercial litigation, personal injury, civil, and criminal appeals.
10/98-1/31/00 Of Counsel, Applegate Valauskas Rosen & Bernstein, Chicago, Illinois. Criminal and commercial litigation, employment discrimination, personal injury, civil, and criminal appeals.
12/95-10/98 Principal, Law Offices of James A. Shapiro. Commercial litigation, white collar criminal litigation, personal injury, civil, and criminal appeals.
5/1/88-4/30/89 Associate, D'Ancona & Pflaum, Chicago, Illinois. Commercial and employment litigation.
5/28/85-4/15/88 Associate, Hinshaw, Culbertson, Moelmann, Hoban & Fuller. Insurance defense and employment litigation.
Teaching Experience:
January, 2014 Adjunct Professor, Loyola University School of Law, Intensive Trial Advocacy.
2003-2009 Adjunct Professor, John Marshall Law School.
1993-2003 Guest lecturer, Negotiations seminar (taught Federal Plea Negotiations), Chicago-Kent School of Law
Summer 1999 Lecturer on American Criminal Justice Issues, German-American Institutes in Freiburg, Tübingen, and Heidelberg, Germany.
Publications:
2017 “ADL and Merit Selection,” Decalogue Tablets (Spring 2017).
2016 “The Shochet’s Dilemma: Hobby Lobby and Judaism,” Decalogue Tablets (Fall, 2016).
2015 “Criminal Practitioners Beware: That “Non-Conviction” of Supervision May Count as a Conviction for Federal Purposes” Decalogue Tablets (Fall 2015).
2015 “Political Protest and First Amendment Challenges,” Decalogue Tablets (Spring 2015).
2010 Co-author with Hon. Stuart Katz, “Plea and Sentencing” and “Criminal Practitioners Beware,” Chaps. 9 and 19, IICLE Criminal Practice Handbook.
2010 Lead Casenote, Renico v. Lett, Illinois State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section newsletter
2008 “Comity of Errors: When Federal Sentencing Guidelines Ignore State Law Decriminalizing Sentences,” 41 Akron L. Rev. 231 (2008).
1996 Co-Author, “Sentencing Illegal Aliens Convicted of Illegal Reentry After Deportation: A Proposal for Simplified and Principled Sentencing,” 8 Fed. Sent. Rptr. 264.
1995 Co-Author, “Federal Sentences for Aliens Convicted of Illegal Reentry following Deportation: Who Needs the Aggravation?” 9 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 451 .
1992 Co-Author, “Choice of Law Under the Federal Tort Claims Act: Richards and Renvoi Revisited,” 70 N.C. L. Rev. 641
Education:
J.D. 1985 William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.
Honors: Order of the Barrister.
Best Oralist and First Place Team, William and Mary Federal Courts Moot Court Tournament
State Scholar
A.B. 1981 Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. Double major, History and Philosophy.
Foreign Languages:
Proficient Spanish and German, moderate French.
Bar Association and Other Memberships:
Alliance of Illinois Judges (Director, 2010-2015)
Chicago Bar Association (In-Court Bar committee, former Chair, Lawyer Referral Committee)
Chicago Council of Lawyers
Chicago-Lincoln Inn of Court
Decalogue Society of Lawyers (President, 2007-08)
Illinois Judges Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Jewish Judges Association
West Suburban Bar Association