James L. Simon

James L. Simon

DANVILLE — Urbana’s city attorney has been tapped as Danville’s new corporation counsel.

The Danville City Council tonight will consider approving the appointment of James Simon as corporation counsel, effective Feb. 24.

He takes the place of Charles D. “Chuck” Mockbee, IV who was appointed an associate judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit.

The city’s legal division consists of an attorney and two support staff members. The legal division prosecutes all city ordinance violation cases, which includes property maintenance and building code violations, as well as collection of delinquent bills owed to the city. The legal division also is responsible for preparation and enforcement of certain city ordinances and advising city officials and departments concerning the ordinances. In 2001, municipal court was added as an additional means for resolving legal matters.

According to Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr., the city had a good number of applicants for the corporation counsel position this time.

“We’ve had probably 16 applicants, of which we interviewed four,” Williams said.

The final two “really excellent” candidates, Williams told aldermen last month, “I feel we can’t lose either way” and “I think either of them you’d be happy with.”

Simon had been serving as city attorney in Urbana for the past eight-plus years. He has more than 44 years of professional legal experience advising, counseling and representing clients involving municipal and local government law, business transactions, commercial litigation, and dispute resolution.

Prior to practicing in municipal and local government law, Simon was a partner in several Chicago-are law firms and served as general counsel for a small investment firm. He was admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court and other Illinois courts in 1977. He also is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

He also has represented clients in a number of federal district and circuit courts of appeal around the country.

In addition to representing units of local government, Simon has represented a diverse clientele including business organizations, large healthcare institutions, trade associations, standards-setting organizations and not-for-profit organizations.

In the field of alternative dispute resolution, Simon has served as a mediator and as an advocate in numerous mediations usually involving complex matters and holds a certificate in mediation training. He also has served as panel chair in more than 100 small-case arbitrations for the Circuit Court of Cook County’s mandatory-annexed arbitration program.

In addition, Simon has taught negotiation and mediation to law students, lawyers, judges, local and state government officials, and other individuals since 2004. Prior to coming to east central Illinois, he was an adjunct professor of law at DePaul University College of Law and, since 2013, has been and remains and adjunct professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

He also was instrumental in the creation of the mediation in residential mortgage foreclosure program for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois which commenced operation in 2013.

Simon earned his Juris Doctorate degree with magna cum laude honors from DePaul University College of Law in 1977. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in industrial design from the University of Illinois.

In other business tonight, the city council will act on:

  • Approving a $295,100 contract with McDowell Builders for exterior siding and paint renovations to Danville Stadium. Funding would come from the city’s capital improvement reserves through a budget amendment.
  • Purchasing solid waste containers.
  • Approving an engineering services agreement for the 5th Street pump station rehabilitation.
  • Authorizing alley vacations on Gilbert and Oak streets.

The Danville City Council meets at 6 tonight via YouTube live streaming services. The link can be found on the city’s website at www.cityofdanville.org. Public comments can be submitted by 4:30 p.m. today to cityclerk@cityofdanville.org.

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