About James M. Quigley
In family law cases there are many critical considerations, but none more important than selecting the right representation. In selecting an attorney, there is no substitute for experience.
For nearly 30 years, James M. Quigley has focused his practice exclusively on family law in Cook, Lake, DuPage, and other counties throughout the state of Illinois. During his career James has tried cases in nine counties throughout the State of Illinois.
As an equity partner at Beermann LLP, Mr. Quigley provides knowledgeable and compassionate guidance born from years of experience litigating and mediating some of the most complex and sensitive divorce and family law cases. Mr. Quigley reassures his clients through thoughtful guidance, sensible legal insight, and tenacious advocacy.
Known for advising high-profile private individuals in complex and confidential divorce proceedings, Mr. Quigley uses law, reason, and competitive determination to pursue justice and successful outcomes for his clients. Mr. Quigley has been on the forefront of battles related to child custody cases, involving allegations of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. As a father of four, he is committed to protecting children’s interests and their future during any family law process.
Mr. Quigley has always had a keen interest in people and sports, which allowed him to be equally adept in the mediation and collaborative law contexts as well as in the courtroom. He is widely recognized as a leading fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and diplomat in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers (ACFTL), while also being a Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). Mr. Quigley lectures frequently on a variety of family law topics, including custody, relocation, complex financial issues including property division, support/maintenance, and current caselaw, as well as advanced trial tactics and techniques.
- J.D., DePaul University, 1992
- B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1989
- Illinois, 1992
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1992
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- American Bar Association
- American College of Family Trial Lawyers
- American Society of Legal Advocates
- Chicago Bar Association
- DBR Chamber of Commerce
- DuPage County Bar Association
- Forensic Forum
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
- Lake County Bar Association
- Northwestern Suburban Bar Association
- Super Lawyers
Above all else, honesty and objectivity are at the core of my professional philosophy. Inherent in the nature of family law is intense emotion and uncertainty. It is very difficult for clients to navigate through the hurt and pain of a divorce and be able to look beyond their current circumstances in order to envision life after divorce. This is where an honest and objective strategy must be made clear from the beginning.
I have been involved in many cases throughout my career where it has become apparent to me that the opposing counsel has likely made promises to the other spouse that simply cannot be met. As difficult as it may be for a client to hear the truth of his or her circumstances, I believe an honest and upfront assessment is critical. While many lawyers may tell their clients what they want to hear in an effort to make them feel better in the short-term, this will end up costing them time and money in the long run when it becomes apparent that these expectations simply cannot be met. Having candid discussions about the process, the expense, and the likelihood of success in a truthful and objective fashion is critical, in my opinion, for the fair and proper representation.
In my own practice I have had situations where I have had disagreed with my own clients, because they may have wanted to pursue a particular course of action for a more emotional reason, as opposed to a logical or tactical reason. Ultimately, it is my job to steer a client in the direction that will put them in the best possible place both financially and with respect to the client’s children and family as a whole, regardless of whether they can understand that path while in the midst of such a difficult process.
I have found it to be true that most people, after a divorce has concluded, begin to see things more clearly and can truly begin to heal. Accordingly, I firmly believe that guiding my clients through a difficult family law process in an objective, honest manner with a clear strategy designed to achieve the best possible result and bringing the matter to its final conclusion, is one of the most important aspects of what I do as a family law attorney.
Highly regarded as one of the most prominent family law attorneys in Illinois, James M. Quigley has practiced family law in the Domestic Relations divisions of Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County for nearly 26 years. Early in his career, Mr. Quigley headed the family law department of a firm providing legal benefits for the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), representing a wide array of Chicago Police Officers, Chicago Firemen, Illinois State Police Officers, and their families. He developed strong and effective litigation skills early in his career, arguing custody matters, issues pertaining to pensions and deferred compensation plans, and property disputes in divorce.
Prior to becoming an equity partner at Beermann Law, Mr. Quigley founded Quigley & Associates, PC, a full-service family law firm representing a broad-based clientele in divorce and related matters. In 2005, he merged his law firm with Beermann Law to surround himself with the talent and resources of one of the largest family law firms in Illinois, becoming the youngest partner of the firm at that time.
Since 2005, Beermann has more than doubled in size and currently has approximately 45 full-time attorneys, fully capable of handling family law matters of any size or complexity. As a partner at Beermann, Mr. Quigley has served as lead counsel on a substantial number of high-level divorce trials, achieving major victories in divorce cases involving disputes over custody and removal, sophisticated financial disputes, large child support and maintenance awards, business valuation disputes, and dissipation of assets.
While Mr. Quigley is recognized for his practical approach to dispute resolution in divorce and family law matters, his reputation has been built upon, and grown out of his trial advocacy and litigation skills in the courtroom. He combines an insatiable competitive spirit and fearless approach, with a willingness to litigate any divorce or family law matter when necessary to protect his client’s rights under the law. Paramount to his success as a trial lawyer is his uncanny ability to quickly assess any situation and develop and implement a successful strategy tailor-made to the individual client’s needs and desired outcome.
Mr. Quigley founded Beermann’s Family Law Sports and Entertainment Division, which was born out of hid representation of a wide array of professional athletes, entertainers, and other high-profile individuals such as Chicago Bulls legend, Michael Jordan, and others. He identified the specialized and particular needs of individuals in this arena and has formed a practice group within the firm that addresses the unique aspects of these cases. Mr. Quigley strives to utilize the same level of discretion necessary for his high profile or celebrity clients, to all of his clients, regardless of their profession, as he understands the very personal nature of divorce and family law matters.
The staple of his practice has always been representing families, from business owners doctors, lawyers, accountants, software developers, and business executives, to police officers, firefighters, contractors, school teachers and others. It remains at the core of his practice to help families of every nature and kind, navigate through the complexities of divorce litigation and other family law matters in a manner targeted to achieve the best possible result for his clients, and at the same time, striving to preserve the family dynamic despite the emotional distress and trauma divorce can cause.
Mr. Quigley has tried a number of sophisticated financial cases, but it is the custody and removal cases that often times create the greatest challenges for families. Custody, visitation, and removal disputes can be particularly destructive to families, but at times necessary to ensure a parent’s right to enjoy his or her relationship with children born to individuals as part of a marriage or even outside of a marriage. Mr. Quigley believes that a parent-child relationship, above all else, is the highest priority in a divorce or family law situation. Issues such as whether a child should live with the mother or father, or whether a parent should be permitted to remove a child from the state of Illinois are some of the most difficult and challenging cases Mr. Quigley has litigated throughout his career.
While Mr. Quigley is most noted for his trial and litigation work, the majority of cases that he handles are settled short of trial. It is fundamental to his approach to every case that trial should be avoided, if possible, due to the extraordinary cost associated with trying cases, as well as the tremendous emotional destruction that trial can have on families. Mr. Quigley strongly believes in the value of a negotiated settlement where individual litigants have some element of control as to the outcome of their financial or family disputes.
One way in which James helps clients avoid the expense and acrimony of trial and contested litigation is through the utilization of prenuptial or premarital agreements, as well as postnuptial agreements. Understanding the value of premarital negotiations, as well as how individuals can protect non-marital assets can alternatively save individuals substantial time, money, and emotional duress later in life.
Mr. Quigley combines his vast experience, trial and litigation skill, strategic analysis, understanding of the law, competitive spirit and care and compassion for his clients that set him apart from his contemporaries and competitors in the area of divorce and family law.
- Custody: Interview with James M. Quigley, 2015
- Grandparents Rights, Lake County Bar Association, 2015
- A Spirited Debate about the Meaning of Lifestyle, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2015
- Preparing for Financial Mediation: Cook County, McHenry County and Beyond. American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2014
- The Synergy between Divorce and Estate Planning Lawyers, Schiff Hardin, 2014
- Representing Celebrities and Professional Athletes in Family Law Matters, Chicago Bar Association-YLS Family Law Committee, 2014
- Parental Alienation and Domestic Violence: A need for Immediate Action, The Forensic Forum, 2014
- Protecting Assets with or without a Prenuptial Agreement, The Northern Trust and Fiduciary Partners, 2014
- Custody and Removal, Lake County Bar Association, 2014
- Business Valuation, Financial & Tax Issues in Divorce, 2014
- Attorney’s Fees, Lake County Bar Association, 2013
- Issues in Estate Planning and use of Insurance in Divorce, Chicago Bar Association, 2013
- Family Law Issues Affecting Athletes, Priority Sports Agency PLAN, 2012
- Illinois Rules of Evidence, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2012
- Athletes and Entertainers in Divorce. Washington County Bar Association, 2011
- Evidentiary Rule Changes/Update, Lake County Bar Association, 2011
- Ethics of Celebrity Representation, SRR Webinar, 2010
- Issues Affecting Athletes and High Wealth Individuals in Divorce, Sports Lawyers Association Seminar, 2010
- Case Law Update, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2010
- Making a Bad Business Valuation Go Away, 2010
- Asset Protection from a Divorce Lawyers Perspective, 2010
- Top 10 Mistakes in Business Valuations, Lake County Bar Association, 2009
- Case Law Update, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2009
- Asset Protection from a Divorce Lawyers Perspective, 2009
- The Price of Scoring Off the Court: Athletes and Child Support, Priority Sports & Entertainment, 2012
- The Ethics of Representing Athletes and Entertainers in Family Law Matters, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin & SRR Journal, 2011
- Top 10 Mistakes in Business Valuations, The Docket, 2009
James M. Quigley is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Fellows of the Academy concentrate their practice on all issues related to divorce and family law matters and are highly skilled negotiator’s and litigators who represent individuals in all facets of family law. Fellows of the AAML across the United States are generally recognized by judges and attorneys in the area of family law as having a high level of knowledge, skill and integrity. Membership in the AAML demonstrates recognition by one’s peers as being one of the best family law practitioners in Illinois. To be eligible for membership in the AAML, Mr. Quigley had to be in practice and admitted to the bar for at least 10 years and devote at least 75% of his practice to family law, pass a written national examination on wide ranging issues pertaining to matrimonial and family law, demonstrate involvement in the study and/or improvement matrimonial law, such as publishing articles or continuing education presentations, and then pass an oral examination by the local chapter. Mr. Quigley has served on the Board of Managers beginning in 2012, and he has recently been elected as the Second Vice President.
Mr. Quigley is also a member of the American College of Family Trial (ACFTL) which is a national trial organization comprised of 100 top divorce trial lawyers selected from within the AAML.
Of other notable distinctions, Mr. Quigley is annually recognized as one of Illinois’ “Leading Lawyers,” an honor awarded to fewer than 5% of lawyers in state of Illinois. Mr. Quigley also continues to be recognized annually as an Illinois “Super Lawyer.” “Super Lawyers selects attorneys using an extension process.” Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third-party research and evaluated using 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers represents no more than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois. In addition, Mr. Quigley has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” each year since 2018.
Mr. Quigley has appeared in and on a variety of media outlets providing legal analysis for a number of local and national media outlets including, but not limited to MSNBC, Fox News Channel, the Today Show, NBC Chicago, CBS Chicago, ABC Chicago, FOX News Chicago and has appeared in a variety of celebrity outlets such as People Magazine, Life & Style Weekly, OK! Weekly, and US Weekly, as well as others.
Mr. Quigley served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the DePaul University College of Law – Family Law Center, where he attended law school and where he also assisted his partner, Miles Beermann, in teaching a family law trial skills class. Mr. Quigley regularly lectures on a variety of family law and matrimonial matters as part of his continuing legal education.
“James is fearless, relentless and compassionate when it comes to advocating for his clients…”, while establishing and maintaining realistic expectations, based upon his vast experience, for his clients.
Prior to meeting James, I had worked with a number of attorneys that were supposedly highly regarded, but never achieved results for me or my family. During the time that James has represented me, I have observed him representing me in court and many occasions and have compared him to my prior attorneys as well as others in the court room and hands down James is one of the toughest, most relentless and professional trial lawyers in the divorce courts. Tough as James can be in court, he at all times has remained objective and strategic, while still listening to my concerns, fears and goals. James has taken the time to understand me and my needs and has helped me at times to step out of the motion of my situation so that I can understand his advice rationally and logically.
James’ personality is confident, sincere and understanding and approaches his peers and judges in the same straightforward, honest dinner in which he has dealt with me. James is clearly a competitive individual who is results-oriented and driven to achieve the best possible results for his clients. Being a great litigator allows James to negotiate matters short trial, which in the long run has proven best for me financially and for my family.
Family is clearly a priority to James and he has always considered my children’s best interest as part of his advocacy for me.
I highly recommend James M. Quigley for any individual seeking a respected, experienced, knowledgeable, skilled and understanding family law or divorce lawyer. An added benefit of hiring James is his firm’s Business Law group that has been helpful to me in assisting me in ancillary, but related legal matters. Beermann has a tremendous team of extremely smart, talented and effective attorneys.”
“My brother started divorce proceedings four years ago. As this progressed, I became more involved in the actual logistics of the case and how it developed. He had four different lawyers representing him during that time, who could not help him through this process. Luckily we found Mr. Quigley’s law firm. We were immediately impressed with the professionalism and empathy that he showed. He was very clear in his communication and kept us informed as to the plan of action and any changes or developments as things progressed. His team was also professional, and very personable. They worked with us to get everything done in a timely, cost efficient manner. We felt well prepared and confident that we knew everything that was going on. I cannot recommend Mr. Quigley and his team strongly enough–My brother is now divorced!!!!!”
“At the time I filed my divorce, I had been employed in the legal arena for 15+ years, so I had an expectation of my how attorney would behave, communicate and interact. The first attorney I engaged was of the mindset ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ which is sometimes otherwise known as ‘the boys’ club.’ As soon as this became evident to me I sought out a new attorney as I was not looking to partake in this type of behavior which I knew would not serve the best interests of my children or myself, either financially or emotionally.
At this time I engaged Attorney Quigley, who handled the remainder of my divorce proceeding. I met Attorney Quigley initially for an hour consultation. He was timely, very professional and inquisitive about the facts of my current situation, including my minor children (then ages 6 and 4) and whether they had their own attorney. At the time they did not, and Attorney Quigley insisted that engaging an attorney for them was critical. Attorney Quigley’s understanding of custody issues and his recommendation to engage an attorney for the children was instrumental in keeping the divorce proceeding moving forward.
Throughout the entire process Attorney Quigley was proactive (not reactive), professional, timely, actively listened to my concerns, receptive to my ideas and solutions, especially with regard to parenting issues, and advised of both realistic and legal ramifications.”
“Subsequent to the conclusion of my divorce, I have referred several friends and co-workers to Attorney Quigley and will continue to do so.”
“Extremely lucky to have an incredibly talented lawyer in my case. Extremely knowledgeable and worked to get me the best possible outcome imaginable.”
“Two miracles happened last week. George Clooney got engaged and James Quigley was able to get me divorced. James and his partner Shana Vitek did in two months what no attorney could do in three years. I have been separated for three years. My ex-husband changed legal teams three times. The final team was cut throat and out to ‘squash’ me as my ex-husband told me. It was then that I hired James to advocate for me. He was extremely compassionate to my cause. He was able to get me an excellent settlement within two months. I highly recommend him.”
“James was very responsive to emails and calls from me about my case. The advice I got from James was dead on. I would recommend him for any family law case; he knows his stuff inside and out.”
“I have and will continue to recommend Mr. Quigley to anyone in need of a divorce attorney. Mr. Quigley was professional, knowledgeable throughout a very difficult divorce. Mr. Quigley was sensitive to my case as it related to my children and their well being emotionally and financially throughout the process. I found Mr. Quigley to be reasonable and also aggressive towards hostile parties involved in the divorce never wavering from requiring everyone to do what was right and fair. I would also add I never found the fees Mr. Quigley charged were questionable or unfair.”
“I contacted James when I was almost in the end of my final custody trial (it was already a 3.5 years child custody and divorce battle). I was informed that my case was not looking good for me including the custody evaluation report. My case was unfavorable for me because of the false accusations and restraining orders against me from my ex. The truth was that that those accusations were lies and the evaluation report was done according to those lies. I knew that I had been doing the right thing all the time and it was not fair the way that everything was against me. When I received the bad news that I would lose the custody of my son in the final trial, I contacted James for advice. After my first meeting with James, he gave me hope and he decided to take my case even though it was little time left for final trial. James and Jared were able to help me with the lawyer’s transition. When James took over my case, James and Jared came with strategy. It took James and Jared one year to turn my case around. The end result of my long/nasty custody battle (4.5 yrs. total) is that I didn’t have a final trial and the best is that my ex gave up and let me keep my son. It is priceless what they did especially when they helped a father who deserved to keep his son despite of all the false accusations against me. I have a new beginning and I’m extremely grateful that I contacted James.
I highly recommend James and Jared.”
“I have a real “war of the roses” situation that requires court appearances every so often for the past 3 years and James’ command of the courts and knowledge have helped our case stay the course. He and Shana really get that it is about the kids and the big picture of getting on with life. The resourcefulness of James and the team has helped immensely in a very difficult emotionally charged situation. I would highly recommend this firm.”
“I am lucky to have found such a knowledgeable and helpful attorney in James Quigley. Just from my initial consultation with him a few years ago, I knew he was not your typical lawyer. I was happy and impressed with the results he was able to obtain for me when he represented me in my child support matter, so when I found myself in need of legal assistance once again, but now in a personal injury matter, I felt confident he would stir me in the right direction, which he did. He referred me to an attorney within his Firm to assist me in the personal injury case, which resulted in a great settlement and yet another great experience with James and his Firm. There is no question, that he is someone I will continue to highly recommend for any legal needs as my experience with James Quigley and his Firm in both my family and personal injury matters were both great, despite the circumstances surrounding both of the cases. I will continue to highly recommend his services!”
Family Law Client
“I walked into Mr. Quigley’s office only 4 months ago, and today I am divorced. His office has been with me all the way, even though problems plagued our progress.
My divorce was not standard, it was an international divorce involving a spouse in foreign country, and still we prevailed.
Mr. Quigley has my respect and excellent feedback for taking care of my situation.
Of particular mention are the people from the firm, all of them are very professional, and personable, especially Mr. Jason Hurst, Justino Mirabelli, and Shanna Vitec, who I had pleasant contact with during this ordeal.
I highly recommend Beermann for everyone looking to be free from an irreconcilable marriage, looking for a new start.
Thank you Mr. Quigley for everything. I am very grateful for this site, and the results.”
“James is a top notch attorney – extremely knowledgeable, personable and highly regarded. I would highly recommend him and his associates at Beermann.”
“I have dealt with many attorneys over the years and James is a dedicated and loyal professional who is more concerned with his client’s well being than running up fees. He takes a real interest and always gets the job done in an efficient manner. Takes a genuine interest in his clients, even after the case is over.”
“James did an excellent job explaining the law pertaining to child custody. His main concern was to make sure that the children ended up in a positive healthy environment. He exhibited honesty and professionalism and was always available which helped ease the anxiety that sometimes comes with change. I felt confident in his ability to get the job done in a timely matter and he showed patience in order to get the right result. His experience as a family lawyer is a great asset for his clients. My experience with James was 100 % positive and I would recommend him to anyone that is need of an excellent attorney.”
“The situation of divorce/legal annulment is extremely uncomfortable, but James Quigley made me feel completely at ease with the entire process. I felt like I was his only client at the time of my case, even though I know James works on several very high-profile cases. He was able to look at the facts of my short marriage, and convinced the judge that a legal annulment was in order given the circumstances. I would not have gotten that ruling with any other lawyer and am eternally grateful for his dedication.”
“I think a great divorce attorney should have a lot of knowledge in their area. They need to know how to meet with the client, opposing attorneys, judges, and juries. They need to know how to write letters, motions, and briefs. They need to have the ability to argue positions and advocate for their client. They need to research statues and case laws as well as facts underlying cases. They also must have excellent communication and negotiation skills. James not only has all of that he was aggressive when he needed to be and less aggressive when he need not be. He stayed diligent in researching my case. He was sympathetic and had an understanding approach, but at the same time he was tough when he needed to be. He was always available and accessible to me. He did not just responded when my phone rang, he made other peoples phones ring when I needed him to. I felt he really knew the law. He did what he said he would do and got it done when he said he would. He has a confidence about himself but not arrogance. I would recommend him to anyone. I could not have asked for anyone better”