Close up black and white Illinois law books.
Headshot of Jim smiling directly at the camera wearing a black suit and a red tie on a gray backdrop.

Jim W. Scales

Practice Areas
  • Litigation 
  • Appellate Law 
  • Trust & Estate Litigation
Education
  • Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 2021) 
  • Elmhurst University (B.A., 2018) summa cum laude
Admissions
  • 2021 Michigan 
  • 2022 U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan 
  • 2023 State of Illinois
  • 2024 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Jim guides companies, individuals, estates and municipalities through a wide array of litigation  matters across a broad array of practice areas including commercial litigation, estate  litigation, property disputes and constitutional law disputes. 

Prior to joining Rathje Woodward LLC, worked for a preeminent law firm in Grand Rapids,  Michigan. During law school, Jim clerked for Judge James Snyder in the Circuit Court of Cook  County. 

Jim received his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School where he was a member  of the Dean’s List for three semesters and received Faculty Awards in Legal Writing and  Research II as well as Advanced Lawyering Techniques. Jim also served as the President of  the Notre Dame Moot Court Board and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers  Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Art of Advocacy.  

Prior to Notre Dame, Jim received his B.A. in Political Science from Elmhurst University where  he was a four-year varsity letter winner and captain of the varsity football team. He also  captained Elmhurst University’s Mock Trial team, leading the team to a berth in the national  championship. Jim was a finalist for the Founders Award for Senior of the Year in 2018.

Top Grade Aggregates, LLC v. Twp. of Richland, No. 361743, 2023 WL 4144564 (Mich. Ct. App. June 22, 2023): Secured the reversal of a Townships denial of a license to a gravel mining operation in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Scott Alan Hill v. Marengo Township: Secured dismissal of claims against Township by developer based on the Townships decision to change the number of permits to grow Marihuana within the Township.

Rosenfeld v. Talent Strategy: Defended client in a two-day evidentiary hearing involving a motion for preliminary injunction brought by a former employee attempting to avoid the enforcement of a non-compete agreement he previously entered into with Scales’s client. The Court denied the employee’s motion for preliminary injunction resulting in the employer’s non-compete being upheld.

Alicia Small v. Corrigan Oil: Represented a business that operates a convenience store. During early-COVID, Executive Orders from the Governor and directives from the CDC and OSHA required “essential businesses” that wanted to stay open, to take certain preventative measures such as putting up plexiglass shields on countertops. The client complied and in April 2020, while handing merchandise to the plaintiff, the plastic shield was knocked over, hitting the plaintiff and causing injury. Relying on the State legislature’s measures making businesses immune from tort claims arising out of conduct designed to comply with COVID mandates the premises liability case was dismissed at the outset of the complaint.

Village of Climax v. Lawrence Memorial District Library: Secured the dismissal of a suit which sought to revoke appointments to a district library board at the earliest stage possible ensuring that the already seated district library board members would not have their appointments revoked by a township board seeking to replace them with its own members.

Witherspoon v. McIntosh: As first chair at trial, successfully defended client against a plaintiff who sought the enforcement of a land contract. The Court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety at the conclusion of trial finding the plaintiff had no cause of action against Scales’s client.

  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • 2021 International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Art of Advocacy
  • 2018 Elmhurst University Political Science Student of the Year

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