James W. Springer

James W. Springer

Peoria, Illinois
phone 309-676-1381
fax 309-676-0324

James received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Illinois in 1967. He went on to receive a Masters degree in Anthropology in 1972 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Anthropology in 1973 both from Yale University. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois in 1986. James is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of Illinois and United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

Before becoming an attorney, James was a Professor of Anthropology for several years; he was an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Liberal Studies Program at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He has taught in the OLLI program at Bradley University. He joined the Kavanagh firm as an Associate in 1988 and became a Member of the Firm in 1995. James has published several articles on the topics of Torts, Civil Procedure, and Worker's Compensation. In addition he has co-authored the supplement to Expert Witnesses in Commercial Litigation for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's practitioner's handbook on Business Litigation.

James is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Peoria County Bar Association, which awarded him its Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award for 1996. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Peoria Civic Opera (now Opera Illinois) and the Western Avenue Greenway Project, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Heartland Festival Orchestra.

Areas of Practice:

State and Federal Civil Litigation
Worker's Compensation
Employment Law

Bar Admissions:

Illinois, 1986
U.S. Federal Courts, 1986
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1993
U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, (General Bar), 1986
U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1988
U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 1996                                                                      U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Trial Bar), 2012.


University of Illinois College of Law, Urbana, Illinois, 1986
Juris Doctorate cumlaude

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1973
Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1972
M.Phil., Master of Philosophy

University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 1967
A.B., Bachelor of Arts cumlaude
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma

Published Works:

  • When Home is Not So Sweet:  Suing for Defective Residences.  Illinois Bar Journal, 102:  546-553. 2014.
  • Experts Cannot Testify About the Law -- or Can They?, Illinois Bar Journal, 98: 98-105, 2010
  • Retaliatory Discharge Under Federal Maritime Law, Inter-Business Issues, August 2006, pp. 42-43, 2006
  • Reconciling the Heart Attack Cases II, Illinois State Bar Association Vol.41, No.2, pp. 1-5, Worker's Compensation Law, 2004
  • Expert Testimony in Commercial Litigation, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education pp8S-1 - 8S43. Co-author Charles G. Roth, In Business and Commercial Litigation, 2003
  • The Legal Status of Local Public Entities Under Illinois Tort Law, Tort Trends Vol. 37, No.4, pp.3-6, Illinois State Bar Association, 2002
  • Admissibility of Evidence of Other Wrongful Acts in Insurance Litigation, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Quarterly 52:530-544, Federal Rules of Evidence, 2002
  • Recent Cases on Retaliatory Discharge, InterBusiness Issues, October 2002 p-28, 2002
  • The Use of Requests for Admission of Fact in Proving a Litigant's Case, What are the Limits? Trial Briefs Vol.46, No.5, pp.3-5, Illinois State Bar Association, 2001
  • American Indians and the Law of Real Property in Colonial New England, The American Journal of Legal History Vol. 30, No. 1, January, 1986
  • Legal Ethics and the Public Official Illinois Bar Journal Vol. 79, No. 1, January, 1991
  • Some Observations on the Legal Status of American Indians and American Indian Tribes, Illinois State Bar Association Vol.31, No.2, pp. 3-7, Human Rights, 2004

Classes/Seminars Taught:

  • Workers Compensation Law + Practice Seminar, Sterling Education, 2010 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Illinois State Bar Association, 1986 - Present
  • Peoria County Bar Association, 1988 - Present