Attorney James A. Hochman

James A. Hochman


Practice Areas


  • Brown University, B.A. in English and American Literature (cum laude), 1971
  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., 1977

Bar Admissions & Licenses

  • Illinois, 1977

James A. Hochman heads our Real Estate Brokerage Law practice group and also practices in ourReal Estate practice group.

Jim represents many commercial real estate brokerage firms, landlords, tenants, and commercial real estate investors, assisting in all phases of commercial and residential real estate. He is also a licensed real estate managing broker.

Before joining Schain Banks, Jim was a Partner at two other law firms from 2005 to 2016. Prior to that, he operated a private law practice in Wheaton, Illinois concentrating in real estate and real estate related litigation. Additionally, before his return to private practice, Jim served as Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel to CBRE (formerly known as CB Richard Ellis and Coldwell Banker Commercial) for 22 years, where he represented CBRE in all aspects of its real estate services lines of business in 20 states in the Central United States. He has also served as general counsel to a real estate development firm specializing in condominium conversions, and, preceding that assignment, as branch counsel for a national title insurer.

Jim has handled hundreds perhaps thousands of residential transactions, many of which were the purchase or sale of condominium units. He represented a condominium developer in the late 1970’s handling “mass closings”, meaning the simultaneous sale of hundreds of units. Jim also represented 15 sellers of office condo units to a developer, while also negotiating the unit sellers’ lease back of their offices from the multi-unit investor, all as a prelude to the deconversion of that building.

Beyond Jim’s experience, he also actively supports license portability legislation for commercial real estate brokers, and he is the architect and drafter of statutes in several states on this issue.

Further, he sponsored (and co-authored) the Illinois Commercial Real Estate Broker Lien Act.

Several states have adopted similar statutes through his drafting and lobbying efforts including Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.

Jim serves as a faculty member for the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) teaching a course in commercial real estate leases and lease negotiations. Jim taught a course at John Marshall Law School (now known as University of Illinois Chicago School of Law) in the LLM for Real Estate Law Program in Real Estate Documents and Negotiation. After 22 years of service, Jim retired as a Commander in the United States Naval Reserve with his final assignments as special assistant counsel to the U.S. Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces. President of the Blue Spring Lake Management District, a 2010 home government entity in Jefferson County, Palmyra, Wisconsin, since 2010

  • Associate Member, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors
  • Instructor of the Year, SIOR, 2019
  • Award for Contribution to the Industry, SIOR, 2004
  • President and Chairman, Blue Spring Lake Management District, (2011-present)
  • Counsel on broker license portability
  • Brokerage agreements
  • Brokerage commission collections
  • Commercial real estate broker liens and foreclosure actions
  • Defense of Real estate broker license complaints before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
  • Authored, lobbied for, and testified in state legislatures on successful legislation including real estate broker lien rights (17 states including Illinois) and license portability (4 states)
  • Authors eight or more articles a year, including two quarterly columns on real estate legal issues for SIOR in the SIOR Report, both "Plain Speaking from a Lawyer" and "Issues of Lease and Contracts"
  • Was consulted and quoted in an NAR article on broker lien rights
  • Regular speaker for commercial real estate brokerage groups, including the Young Professionals Division of SIOR and Kansas City Regional Area Real Estate Realtors.
  • Multiple presentations over 40 years to many other groups - regularly speaks before real estate organizations (local and national) on a variety of topics.
  • Faculty member, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors as co-author of and presenter of its day long course on Understanding the Lease Agreement (offered 3-4 times a year across the nation) for approximately 20 years through the present.
  • Offers real estate managing broker and broker continuing education based on commercial real estate including numerous courses I authored including "Effective Negotiation Skills", "Avoiding Litigation", and "Getting Paid", all of which are licensed for continuing education credit for brokers.
  • Past faculty member, John Marshall Law School (now known as University of Illinois Chicago School of Law), LLM for Real Estate Law Program in Real Estate Documents and Negotiation.
  • Past faculty member, Chicago Kent College of Law.