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Illinois Civil Defense Lawyers

In all of our practice areas, much of our success at The Sotos Law Firm is due to the quality of the investigations we perform for our clients. It is critical to be proactive in questioning the veracity of any charges that may be brought against you or your agency. We ask the tough questions at the outset in order to develop and implement the most effective defense strategy available. We believe that decisions about whether to litigate a case to trial or to seek an amicable resolution should be made as soon as possible in order to avoid wasting money and time. Our prompt investigations enable us to thoroughly evaluate your case at the outset, and lay out a defense strategy in which you will have complete confidence.

Our case results demonstrate our enviable success rate and the vast wealth of our experience in a wide range of civil defense issues. Our first priority is always to ensure your professional reputation is vigorously defended, regardless of the charges brought against you. As Chicagoland municipal defense attorneys, we are dedicated to expertly defending police officers, prosecutors, other government professionals, and governmental entities accused of wrongdoing.

Police defense cases include anything from wrongful prosecution to excessive force, false arrest, search and seizure, or racial profiling. The attorneys at The Sotos Law Firm have been achieving outstanding results in defending these types of cases for over a quarter century.

Prosecutor defense strategies for malicious prosecution and wrongful conviction claims can be complex and require extreme knowledge and diligence in ferreting out the facts of a past criminal prosecution. Understanding the intricacies of the immunities prosecutors enjoy is critical to the defense of such cases. We have successfully defended Illinois prosecutors in these cases not only in state and federal trial and appellate courts, but also in the United States Supreme Court. We are also experienced in handling ARDC complaints against prosecutors and advising clients on the best course of action for such claims.

Jail defense Defense of correctional facilities is another area in which The Sotos Law Firm has extensive experience. These cases often involve an inmate or class of inmates claiming some form of mistreatment or neglect and require an aggressive and firm response. Our lawyers have been working with Illinois correctional facilities on such cases for many years, and we fully understand, and are able to persuasively articulate, the administrative burdens and security concerns that can lead to such claims.

Employment defense cases are becoming increasingly prominent as more and more laws are created in an attempt to redress all forms of employment discrimination. While some of these claims have merit, many others simply reflect a disgruntled employee attempting to make a federal case out of an appropriate, though difficult, employment decision. As experienced employment discrimination defense attorneys, we can help you determine the veracity of any claims, what defenses are available under the law, and what course of action best enables you to address the matter and move forward with your business.

Municipal tort cases require experienced Illinois municipal torts attorneys with comprehensive knowledge in all matters of tort liability and immunities. At The Sotos Law Firm, we have in-depth knowledge of the Tort Immunity Act, having successfully defended numerous municipal liability cases, including negligence, personal injury and willful misconduct.

Land use services offered by The Sotos Law Firm include extensive experience successfully defending municipalities and county governments against litigation arising from zoning issues, special uses, licensing, annexation and development agreements, among many other issues.

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All of us at The Sotos Law Firm sincerely appreciate the hard work public and private sector Illinois professionals perform every day and are proud to offer our services on their behalf. Contact us to discuss your legal defense issue with one of our experienced attorneys.

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What does it mean to have The Sotos Law Firm represent your case? View our past case results page to learn more.



The firm is led by James Sotos, who possesses over twenty-five years of experience representing public and private sector clients in federal and state litigation at the trial and appellate levels. During that time, Jim has distinguished himself as one of a handful of attorneys who has argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court, and he has achieved an enviable rate of success in the arena of Illinois governmental litigation. Jim enjoys Lexis-Nexis, Martindale-Hubbell's preeminent AV peer review rating and has been recognized both as an "Illinois Super Lawyer" by "Law and Politics" and the publishers of Chicago Magazine and as an Illinois Leading Lawyer by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Jim also lectures and publishes frequently on government liability and ethics and writes the weekly column "In Federal Courts" for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Jeffrey N. Given

Jeff began his legal career at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago where he engaged in commercial and constitutional litigation. Jeff left Kirkland to establish a successful entrepreneurial business before returning to the practice of law at the City of Chicago Law Department. Jeff served seven of his ten years at the Law Department as the Chief Assistant responsible for managing all aspects of the City's representation in litigation alleging misconduct by the Chicago Police Department. Jeff graduated cum laude from Indiana University Law School in Bloomington, Indiana in 1983. During law school, Jeff was selected for law review and was awarded the ABA Annual Award for best performances in Land Use and Local Government law courses. Jeff graduated cum laude with distinction in major from Carleton College in 1978 where he earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies.

Caroline Jamieson Golden

Before joining The Sotos Law Firm, Carrie was a partner at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg where she worked in the commercial litigation department for seven years. She also brings with her valuable experience from internships at the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois and for the Honorable Ann C. Williams, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Carrie graduated from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, Illinois in 1992. While in law school, Carrie earned the prestigious position of DePaul Law Review Editor. Carrie's academic excellence in law school earned her membership in the Order of the Coif. She also received American Jurisprudence awards in Procedure and Evidence. Carrie graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in Finance.


John has been representing the interests of law enforcement since 1994, when he started as a law clerk with the Office of the Legal Advisor for the Boston Police Department. John is a 1996 graduate of Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, after having been accepted as a third year visiting student by Chicago-Kent College of Law. After graduation, John worked with Russell Hartigan & Associates in Chicago where he engaged in municipal, civil rights, and insurance defense, having successfully tried several cases to verdict. After working with two other attorneys from Hartigan & Associates for a short time in a start up firm, John joined Jim Sotos in 2000. John has been a regular presenter on liability risk issues for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police since 2009, and recently lectured on the topic of recent trends in qualified immunity at the Illinois Midwest Police and Security Expo held in Peoria, Illinois in August, 2011. John is also a 1993 graduate of DePaul University College of Commerce, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Economics.