In 1988, Jim Mondl graduated from the top of his law school class: 1st out of 88 students. He was one of those rare people who enjoyed law school. Law made sense. After serving as law clerk with the Illinois supreme court, Jim began litigating maritime cases, where he learned something else: he connected with jurors. For over 30 years, Jim has been recognized three times for defense verdicts ranking among the largest defense verdicts in the State of Missouri. Spanning more than 20 years of jury trials, Jim racked up more judgements against plantiffs who sued his clients than plaintiffs won against Jim's clients. That is, while defending several multi-million dollar cases at trial, the total jury verdicts against Jim’s clients were smaller than the verdicts Jim won against those who started the lawsuit.*
Providing honest legal advice and aggressive defense of his clients, Jim’s client list grew. Jim hired other lawyers to help with his cases, and he found his time devoted to overseeing other lawyers and managing a legal business, with a dwindling amount of his time devoted to actually practicing law.
In 2020, Jim returned to practicing law.
Jim has represented dozens of barge lines in litigation, and he knows the barge transportation industry. A former competitive skier with the Lake St. Louis Ski Club, and past ski club president, he knows boats, boating regulations, and boating safety. He is an underwater tour guide for scuba divers in Bonne Terre Mine and, as an instructor, has certified hundreds of scuba students. Jim has defended hundreds of recreational boating accidents and hundreds more of commercial shipping accidents, and particularly Jones Act cases. He argued the Jones Act and maritime law to the Illinois Supreme Court, winning back the right of Jones Act employers to trial by jury in Illinois state courts. He has never lost an appeal.
With his current law practice focused on handling every aspect of his clients’ cases, Jim is returning to what has made him successful: attention to clients and to details. “When I stand before a jury, I tell my client’s story. My client’s story is what wins the jury over. My role in the courtroom is to engage the jury in that story.”