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James P. 
DuChateau

Partner

jduchateau@heplerbroom.com

312-205-7710

Chicago, IL

 

Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, n/k/a UIC John Marshall Law School, J.D., 2008
  • University of Wisconsin, B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science, 2002

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • U.S. District Courts for the
    • Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois
    • Eastern District of Missouri
    • Southern District of Indiana
    • Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • District of Colorado
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Practice Description


James P. DuChateau concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial and insurance coverage litigation in state and federal courts throughout the Midwest and Mountain West, including:

  • First-party property claims
  • Commercial general liability defense
  • Prosecution of declaratory matters under personal and commercial policies
  • Defense of bad faith and extra contractual liability matters

He counsels both property and casualty carriers during the claims process, where he regularly conducts examinations under oath, generates coverage opinions, and counsels his clients regarding the same.

Additionally, Mr. DuChateau’s practice encompasses the representation of financial institution clients in both U.C.C. and R.E.O. matters, as well as trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation.

Prior to joining HeplerBroom in 2016, he practiced with a regional full-service defense firm, where he represented both corporate and municipal clients in insurance coverage matters.

Bar/Professional Associations


  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
    • Board of Directors (2017-present)
    • Associate Editor, IDC Quarterly (2016-present)
    • Chair, Young Lawyers' Committee (2016-2017)
    • Vice Chair, Young Lawyers' Committee (2015-2016)
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Legal Assistance Foundation of Greater Chicago

Awards, Honors & Distinctions


  • Illinois Leading Lawyers
    • Emerging Lawyer (2015-2020)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers (2021)
    • Rising Star (2014-2020)
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
    • Volunteer of the Year (2019)
  • Legal Assistance Foundation Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year (2014)

Law School Honors/Involvement


  • Dean’s List
  • Dean’s Scholarship
  • Herzog Moot Court Orator

Published Legal Writing


  • “Coverage Implications When an Insured Fails to Appear for An Examination Under Oath,” HeplerBroom Blog (September 10, 2020). (This blog post can be read here.)
  • “Developments in Judicial Estoppel following Seymour v. Collins,” HeplerBroom Blog (October 19, 2017). (This blog post can be read here.)
  • “ISBA v. Tuzzolino: A Significant Extension of the Illinois Innocent Insured Doctrine.” NSPII News (Spring 2014).

Legal Lectures & Presentations


  • “Updates on Illinois Insurance Law,” Spring Symposium, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (2015).

Representative Cases


  • Obtained dismissal of insured’s federal complaint for breach of contract and statutory bad faith arising from a claim for additional, uncovered damage to a commercial property in Chicago. (New Revelation Ministries, Inc. v. Consolidated Ins. Co., N.D. Ill., 2018)
  • Secured dismissal of U.C.C. Article 9 claims against secured lender following the plaintiff-debtor’s default on a series of commercial credit obligations and subsequent collateral replevin and liquidation. (Berns v. State Bank of Herscher, Kankakee County, Ill. 2018)
  • Prevailed and achieved a dismissal, with prejudice, of a federal complaint for breach of contract and statutory bad faith based on the claim-preclusive effect of a fully-paid appraisal award and the existence of a bona fide dispute regarding post-award coverage. (70th Court Cond. Assn. v. Ohio Security Ins. Co., N.D. Ill., 2017)
  • Obtained dismissal of a policyholder action for declaratory relief, breach of contract and statutory bad faith relative to client’s partial denial of the insured’s claim for property damage related to a putative high wind and hail event. (Far West Church of Christ v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., Cook County, Ill., 2017)
  • Secured a substantial presuit settlement with an umpire who presided over a property insurance appraisal and fraudulently concealed his pre-appraisal association and representation of both the insured’s public adjuster, as well as its appraiser. (Church Mut. Ins. Co. v. Confidential Umpire Defendant, 2016)

For a complete list of Representative Cases, click here.

HeplerBroom LLC COVID-19 Response

HeplerBroom has been diligently working on its response and continuity plan to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our clients as our top priority.

To help ensure everyone's continued health and well-being, effective March 17, 2020, all attorneys and staff began working remotely. We continue to assess the situation and will return to our physical offices when appropriate.

To ensure this, the firm has identified essential personnel in each office who will make certain that critical firm functions that cannot be done remotely continue to be handled. We have put in place protocol for those essential personnel to make sure they are keeping healthy per the CDC cleaning and sanitizing recommendations. All teams have back-up personnel and procedures that we will follow to make sure all deadlines are met and clients receive the same great service and work product that we have always been proud to provide.

HeplerBroom's IT department has been working hard to make sure all remote employees are set up with equipment and access from home to limit disruption to our clients. Maintaining security and confidentiality has remained, and will continue to remain, at the forefront of all processes and procedures, at all levels throughout the firm.

The firm has created emergency communication measures to communicate any changes to this plan to employees and are communicating on a regular basis with any and all new resources and helpful information during this uncertain time.

During these fluid and unpredictable times, HeplerBroom will continue its commitment to great service and results for our clients, all while keeping safe and healthy.

Wishing you and your families good health.

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