With a background in biotech research and experience defending health care, pharmaceutical industry, and manufacturing industry clients in litigation, James Mills is adept at quickly understanding the scientific, business, and legal nuances of even the most complex matters.
James focuses his practice on product liability and environmental litigation, with a particular emphasis on cases involving toxic and hazardous materials. Clients value the technical knowledge, analytic abilities, and strong communication skills he applies to handling their cases. He is noted for effectively weaving written materials, testimony, and other documents into compelling stories that fuel successful motions and arguments.
Prior to joining RSHC, James worked at Chicagoland area law firms representing clients in product and premises liability cases involving toxic tort allegations, as well as medical malpractice and wrongful death actions. He has represented both defendants and plaintiffs, giving him insight into multiple aspects of litigation strategy.
Before embarking on his legal career, James earned a Master of Science degree in Bioinorganic Chemistry and worked at a biotechnology start-up company.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of physician accused of improperly treating a hiatal hernia in a 35-year-old patient causing psychological and physical damages. Successfully deposed numerous treating physicians and Plaintiff’s expert witnesses, obtaining testimony sufficient to lead the Court to rule that, as a matter of law, Plaintiff could not meet his burden regarding breach of duty and causation.
- Successfully negotiated a six-figure settlement in a claim against a neurosurgeon alleging malpractice leading to a 22-year-old Plaintiff to be in permanent vegetative state. Plaintiff’s initial settlement demand was more than $50 million, in part because the Plaintiff had a child with mental deficiencies. James learned the medicine necessary to defend the case through his extensive conversations with Defense experts. Because of his time and commitment, James sewed enough doubt into Plaintiff’s case through expert deposition and motions in limine to drive the value below seven figures: a huge win for client under the circumstances.
- Obtained summary judgment, sua sponte on the eve of trial, on behalf of client under a novel theory of malpractice leading to the inability to have children. James came into the case after dispositive motions were filed and denied by the Court. Drafted numerous motions in limine, attacking, element by element, the claims by Plaintiff. The Court, after having granted motions in limine essentially barring Plaintiff from claiming damages from the inability to reproduce, and on moving sua sponte, summarily judged for client on all claims.
- Successfully defended a group of claims against a hospital system based on a failure to supervise a physician that was later incarcerated for sexually assaulting numerous patients and improperly prescribed opiates. Through vigorous research of the elements, and applicable law, garnered sufficient admissions from Plaintiffs and offered sufficient expert support for the theory that not only is there no duty for a hospital to supervise a physician, but it is also improper for them to do so because it is the physician that has the expertise in medicine, not hospital administrators.
- Successfully defended a nursing home against claims of negligence arising from a fall from a medical lift device. Plaintiff sued the assisted care facility and manufacturer of the lift device under various theories. Ultimately, convinced Plaintiff’s counsel to voluntarily dismiss the nursing home because he knew the record and provided succinct and to-the-point analysis during numerous discussions with Plaintiff’s counsel.
- Successfully negotiated a large volume case settlement on behalf of a Fortune 100 product manufacturer in cases alleging asbestos exposure leading to mesothelioma or lung cancer. Used his rigorous preparation and superior knowledge of the facts of the cases and application of the law of the proper forum to provide significant value to client. Settled ten cases, including the case of a 48-year-old terminal Plaintiff for less than $200K while receiving more than 50 dismissals.
University of Kansas, J.D., 2015
University of Kansas, M.S., 2012
University of Missouri-Kansas City, B.S., Chemistry, 2006
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
State Bar of Wisconsin
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Young Lawyers Committee
Drug & Medical Device Committee
Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee
Illinois Defense Counsel
Honors & Awards
Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Medical Malpractice Law, 2021-2023), Best Lawyers®