Meet James Knibbs
Candidate for Circuit Court Judge
James Knibbs began his legal career as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney in 1985 and later returned from private practice to serve as a Supervisor in the Special Prosecutions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office under State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine.
While serving as an Assistant State’s Attorney, Knibbs tried serious felony cases including winning jury trial convictions in Murder, Attempt Murder, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, Armed Robbery and Reckless Homicide cases as well as other felony jury and bench trials.
In his 34 years as a criminal and civil law litigation attorney, Knibbs has also been a law partner in Chicago trial law firms. When he left office in 2008, State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine recruited Knibbs to be his law partner at a well-respected Chicago law firm. Knibbs’s civil law experience is diverse, including representing over 60 Chicago Police Officers in federal lawsuits, and representing people who suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of others. Knibbs currently practices in a national civil litigation firm handling litigation cases in Cook County, other Illinois counties, and federal court.
In addition to his legal practice, Knibbs taught Trial Advocacy at Loyola Law School for several years. Knibbs has also been active in several Chicago Bar Association Committees, including the Judicial Evaluation Committee, and Chair and Instructor of the Federal Trial Bar Training course.
Knibbs has been involved in the community attempting to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods. Knibbs co-founded and was the main moderator and speaker for “Choices and Decisions” program, anti-violence program where convicted felons would speak directly with Chicago Public School and parochial school students in a safe setting about the importance of making good choices, and the often-tragic consequences of making bad decisions. Many area high schools took part, including Bogan, Clemente, Mount Carmel, St. Laurence, and Brother Rice, as well as Gunsalus Scholastic Academy and St. Christina elementary school. Knibbs has also served as a board member of the Southwest Beverly Improvement Association, and has spoken at Morgan Park High School Career Days and other events, including serving as the commencement speaker.
James Knibbs has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by Chicago Lawyer magazine, and a “Leading Lawyer” by Leading Lawyers magazine, including for 2020. In addition, Knibbs has published articles related to his career, including Lessons Learned from Dick Devine, which was published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He has also written chapters for legal publications, including a chapter in Current Trends in White Collar Issues in Inside the Minds: Managing White Collar Crime Cases published by Aspatore (Reuters).