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Hon. James E. Snyder (Ret.)

Hon. James E. Snyder (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Accounting Finance
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Class Action and Mass Tort
Construction Defect
Cybersecurity Data Breach
Education Law
Franchise Distribution Law
Governmental Public Agency
Higher Education - JAMS Solutions
Personal Injury Torts
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. James E. Snyder (Ret.) joins JAMS in Chicago following 16 years of distinguished service as an associate judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Prior to his retirement in 2023, Judge Snyder presided over a Law Division commercial litigation calendar, including bench and jury proceedings, in matters involving employment, construction, government and whistleblower claims, qui tam and statutory false claims, professional negligence, contract matters, lending and debt.

Judge Snyder has presided over tort matters, including personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability claims, and served as the supervising judge of the circuit court’s Municipal Jury Trial Section and as supervising judge of the court’s Law Division Mandatory Arbitration Program. 

Judge Snyder is a sought-after speaker in employment and fair housing law and is a frequent lecturer on subjects including access to justice, self-represented litigants and combatting implicit bias in legal decision-making.

On the bench, Judge Snyder handled a diverse array of matters, including:

Representative Matters

  • Arbitration
      • Women's Healthcare v Ambrose: Adjudicated dispute regarding enforceability of an arbitration award in a breach of employment contract claim between physician and medical practice
  • Business Commercial
      • Jose Baez v. Rose McGowan: Disposition at law of defamation claims by plaintiff-attorneys and the defendant’s California Anti-SLAPP defenses based on social media statements of a public figure
      • APS Holmes v. Sorkin: Adjudicated dispute regarding the sale of an accounting brokerage practice
      • Bravilor v. Kraft Heinz: Adjudicated multimillion-euro/dollar contract claims and counterclaims between a Dutch manufacturer of coffee-making systems and a food products company
      • Pacific Ethanol, Aventine v. Indek: Adjudication and disposition by settlement of a fraud dispute and contract disputes concerning the performance and merchantability of industrial scale, regulated manufactured products
      • Atlas SN v. Navistar: Adjudication and disposition by settlement of a fraud dispute concerning the performance and emission standard compliance of truck engines
      • Taty Development v. Radarsat Inc.: Bench trial of a contract dispute between a general contractor and a subordinate contractor
      • Lukas v. Redmon's Village Towing: Bench and jury trial on consumer and statutory fraud claims
      • Breitweiser v. Highland Capital: Adjudicated matter involving dispute over brokerage commissions
      • Lakeshore Holdings v. LHC Loan LLC: Adjudicated matter regarding purchase and sale of rights of membership interests
  • Cybersecurity Data Breach
      • Park Hotels & Resorts (Hilton) v. BMO Harris and BMO Harris and Post Integrations v. Park Hotels & Resorts (Hilton): Adjudicated contract claims, counterclaims and equitable claims between a national hotel brand, a credit card processing company and a banking institution regarding computer system security breaches and customer data theft by foreign criminal actors
  • Employment
      • Davis v. City of Chicago, Independent Police Review Authority: Adjudicated and presided over jury proceedings of employment and government whistleblower claims concerning the investigation of police misconduct allegations
      • Daglas, et al. v. State of Illinois and Rutherford (former state treasurer): Adjudicated whistleblower, Ethics Act and retaliation claims of former state employees regarding their participation in the investigation of a claim of sexual harassment against a public official
      • Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association v. Rice: Disposition by settlement of a claim of officer embezzlement of funds from an LGBTQ community sports network
      • Urban v. J.P. Morgan Chase: Adjudicated dispute on res judicata and estoppel effect of prior FINRA proceedings on a race discrimination claim
      • Wynn v. State of Illinois: Adjudicated whistleblower case involving report of irregularity in state audit
      • Corah v. Bruss Co.: Adjudicated claim regarding report of OSHA standards breach at slaughterhouse
      • Reed v. Getco: Adjudicated whistleblower claim regarding noncompete and payment dispute between developer and trader
      • Jae Ryong Ryou v. Jae Woong Yoon: Adjudicated wage and hour statutory claims
  • Insurance
      • Orland LP v. LaSenza: Disposition at law of claims regarding real estate and defenses of force majeure and impossibility in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Professional Liability
      • AS&GG v. Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Adjudicated contract and professional negligence claims (architect and engineer) concerning elevator systems on the expansion of a prominent cultural institution
      • Estate of Nelson v. Katten Muchin: Adjudicated and presided over jury proceedings of professional negligence claims (attorney) concerning the estate, educational foundation and intellectual property of American designer George Nelson and his family (settled mid-trial)
      • King Koil Licensing Co. v. Fox, Hefter, Swibel: Adjudicated and presided over jury proceedings of professional negligence claims (attorney) concerning the intellectual property interests and contracts of a consumer product brand licensing company
      • Dubin v. Levenfeld Perlstein: Adjudicated dispute for legal malpractice where developer sued firm for lost profits stemming from legal advice (affirmed on appeal)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • President, Illinois Judges Association, 2018–2019
  • President, Alliance of Illinois Judges, 2010–2011
  • Faculty, National Judicial College, 2020–2023
  • Chairman, Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education, Advanced Judicial Academy, 2016–2017
  • Past Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Illinois Supreme Court
  • Founding Member and Former General Counsel, Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the AIDS Care Housing Initiative

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Sebastian Patti Judicial Excellence Award, Alliance of Illinois Judges, 2023
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Illinois Judges Association, 2022
  • Honoree, Justice John Paul Stevens Award, Chicago Bar Association/Chicago Bar Foundation, 2021
  • Distinguished Alumni, Northern Illinois University, Colleges of Law and Liberal Arts, 2021
  • Alumni Service Award, Northern Illinois University, College of Law, 2000

Background and Education

  • Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County (Chicago), 2007–2023
    • Law Division, Commercial Litigation Individual Calendar, 2013–2023
    • Supervising Judge, Law Division Mandatory Arbitration Program, 2021–2023
    • Supervising Judge, First Municipal District, Jury Section, 2010-2013
    • Illinois Supreme Court Appointment, March 2007
  • General Counsel, Illinois Human Rights Commission, 2000–2007
  • Law Office of James E. Snyder, 1994–2000
  • Senior Attorney, Chicago Housing Authority, 1988–1994
  • J.D., Northern Illinois University College of Law, 1988
  • B.A., History, Northern Illinois University, 1987


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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