James DeFranco


Trial and appellate lawyer in Illinois and Missouri concentrating in personal injury defense, property damage claims, premises liability, construction liability, engineering malpractice and wrongful discharge cases.  James E. DeFranco has tried over 95 jury trials in state and federal courts in Illinois and Missouri and holds the rank of Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates.

  • Education, Illinois State University (B.S., 1977);
  • Education: Southern Illinois University (J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 1981).
  • Admitted to Illinois Bar, 1981.
  • Admitted to Missouri Bar, 1983. Order of Barristers.
  • Recipient American Jurisprudence Awards in evidence and property law.
  • Law Clerk to Chief Justice Goldenhersh, Illinois Supreme Court (1981-1983).





  • “Opening Statements, “Trial Tactics Defense Litigation Manual, (DRI 2006, Pages 255-263)
  • Examinations Under Oath (Norcom Publications 2003)



  • Privacy v. Honesty – The Necessity of Full Disclosure of Medical Records, 21 IDC Quarterly No. 2 at 45 (Second Quarter 2011).
  • Barth v. State Farm – Leveling the Playing Field, 18 IDC Quarterly No. 3 at 8 (Third Quarter, 2008).
  • The Insurance Angle, The Investigator, I.A.A.I. Illinois Chapter News, Fall 2006
  • Selecting the Story to Tell the Jury, Trials and Tribulations, DRI Trial Tactics Committee, Spring 2006, pg 1.
  • Using Polygraph Results to Decide Good Faith Denial of Coverage Cases, 91 Illinois Bar Journal 26 (Jan. 2003)
  • The Burden of Proof in Arson Cases, 11 IDC Quarterly 6 (2001)
  • The Trial Court’s Discretion to Exclude Evidence of Convictions for Crimes Involving False Statement in Civil Cases, 5 IDC Quarterly 36 (1995)
  • Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations: The Viability of the Tort in the Employment Context in the Wake of Dake v. Tuell, 32 St. Louis Bar Journal, pg. 16 (1986)
  • Modifications of the Employment at Will Doctrine: Balancing Judicial Development of the Common Law with the Legislative Prerogative to Determine Public Policy, 30 St. Louis U.L.J. 65 (1985)
  • Retaliatory Discharge: Its Applicability to Employees Protected by a Just Cause Provision, 72 Illinois Bar Journal (1984)
  • A Comparison of the Non-Substantive Provisions of the UNCITRAL Convention on the International Sale of Goods and the Uniform Commercial Code, 23 Harvard International Law Journal 49 (1982)
  • Towards an Implied Warranty of Habitability in Sales of New and Used Homes in Illinois That is Consistent with the Underlying Reasons which Gave Rise to that Warranty, 4 Illinois Fund Concept 32 (1980)
  • The Penalty for Failing to Submit to an Examination Under Oath, 38 SIULJ 261 (Winter 2014)