Ridge & Downes - Law Firm

James M. Ridge

Jim was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. He graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep High School and received his undergraduate degree from St. Louis University.  He received his Law degree from DePaul University School of Law in 1974. After graduating from Law School, he began practicing law in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jim returned to the Chicago area in 1976 and was hired as an associate at the law firm of Perz & McGuire, concentrating his practice in Workers’ Compensation and Third Party Injury Cases. He became a partner in 1980 and the Senior Partner of the firm in 1985.

In addition to a full schedule of trial work, Jim also spends a substantial amount of his time giving legal presentations to various labor groups. He instructs members about both their rights and benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and also issues associated with other statutory and common law cases including personal injury, product liability and medical malpractice.

Jim has been recognized for his charitable and civic contributions by many organizations. In 1997, the Illinois Police Pension Fund Association selected Jim as “Man of the Year” for his work employing a successful legislative plan that restored police officers’ and firefighters’ benefits under the Worker’s Compensation Act that had been preempted by various local municipalities. Jim also received the “Blue and Gold” Award from the Fraternal Order of Police in 2004 for his outstanding contribution to the FOP and the Law Enforcement Community in the State of Illinois. This is the highest award given to a non-sworn officer by the FOP. Jim is also a member of the Illinois Law Enforcement Educational Fund board of directors.

Jim’s favorite charitable organization is the Guide Dogs of America (GDA). In association with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers he has sponsored the training of a number of guide dogs. Once these dogs complete their vigorous training they enable the blind to live and work with greater independence. Jim has also been honored on several occasions by “In Search of a Cure” for his support of autism research. He is also pleased to support “DADS” – Dollars Against Diabetes. For several years, Jim has joined “Team Trooper” to shave his head at an annual St. Baldrick’s event raising money to help end childhood cancers.

Jim is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, the American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association. 

To contact Jim, click here.




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