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James R. Griffin

James R. Griffin


Practice Areas


  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D. (cum laude), 1997
  • Purdue University, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 1994

Bar Admissions & Licenses

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan

James Griffin practices in the areas of energy, land use, business and real estate litigation, environmental law, government relations.

Jim has been actively representing energy companies in the Midwest United States for more than a decade. He has led successful permitting efforts for numerous utility scale wind energy projects, including some of the first wind energy projects developed in the Midwest. Jim has also represented solar energy project developers on multiple utility scale solar energy projects, and several dozen community solar energy projects.

Jim’s clients at Schain Banks especially rely upon his skills and expertise when facing organized project opposition. His knowledge and expertise in renewable energy, combined with his extensive land use litigation background, have supported project efforts to overcome and defeat uninformed local objections, and successfully obtain permit approvals. Jim has also successfully defended project entitlements against third-party lawsuits in court.

In addition to assisting with project permitting efforts, Jim advises energy clients on leasing, easement and land control matters. Jim also represents clients in performing due diligence relating to the acquisition and financing of energy projects. Along with other Schain Banks team members, he works to obtain economic incentives for project developers.

Beyond his renewable energy practice, Jim represents developers of commercial, industrial and large residential projects. Recent examples of his successful projects include a $50M surgical and medical center, commercial composting facility, Chicago industrial planned development, and a residential development of a former golf course by a national homebuilder.

Jim also maintains an active litigation practice, focusing on land use, real estate and business disputes.

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Wind Energy Association