James F. Clayborne, Jr., Partner

Location: Belleville, Illinois
Phone: 618-239-0187
Fax: 618-416-7556
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Practice Focus and Client Representations

James Clayborne has a broad-based litigation practice that includes an emphasis on matters involving municipal law, product liability, commercial litigation, personal injury, class actions, and workers’ compensation.

His commercial litigation clients have included such major corporations as Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, U.S. Bank National Association, ND, The Good Year Tire & Rubber Company, Hooters of America and Darden Restaurants, Inc. Mr. Clayborne is the corporate counsel for the City of East St. Louis.

Professional Background

Mr. Clayborne is a founding Partner of Clayborne, Sabo and Wagner LLP. Prior to coming with Clayborne, Sabo and Wagner LLP, he was a partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP for twenty-three years. Since 1995 Mr. Clayborne has served as an Illinois State Senator for the 57th District. He has held a number of Committee and Leadership positions within the Senate and currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader. His extensive public service career also includes a number of positions from 1988 to 1990 with the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office (Assistant State’s Attorney, Child Support, Misdemeanor Supervisor, Juvenile Supervisor, Felony Probation Revocation Supervisor, and Felony Prosecutor), an internship with the Dade County State’s Attorney’s Office, and a judicial clerkship with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. He also served a judicial clerkship with the Legal Service of Eastern Missouri.

Mr. Clayborne is the recipient of the Legislative Excellence Award from the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois. He was awarded the Regional Commerce and Growth Association of Metropolitan St. Louis’ Statesman Award in 2005, 2006 and again in 2007. Mr. Clayborne has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell for ethics and legal ability.

Mr. Clayborne was extremely active in the Illinois Bar Association (Young Lawyers Division, 1991-1996, Under 35 Delegate to the ABA, 1992, Board of Governors, 1995-1996), including service on a variety of task forces and committees (Ad Hoc Committee on Membership from Large Firms, Ad Hoc Committee on Mandatory Legal Education, Administrative Law Council, Mineral Law Committee, State and Local Tax Law Section and Task Force on Governance for the New Century). His other professional affiliations include the National Bar Foundation (National Task Force Illinois State Bar), the East St. Louis Bar Association, the St. Clair County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 1991-93), the Metro East Bar Association (Vice Chair, Young Lawyers Division), and the Advisory Group for Civil Justice Reform Act Southern District of Illinois.

Community Service Activities

Mr. Clayborne has served in a wide range of leadership roles with community service organizations, including State Community College (Business Advisory Board), the Private Industry Council (Former Board Member SDA 24), the St. Louis Sports Commission (Board of Directors), the Prairie State 2000 Games, and Junior Achievement. In 1994, he served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Festival in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clayborne’s business leadership positions have included the First Illinois Bank Community, Advisory Board since 1995, and the Board of Directors for Southern Illinois Health Care Foundation. Mr. Clayborne also organizes annual trips for local minority high school students who are high performers to primarily minority colleges and universities they could not otherwise afford to visit or consider. Places on these trips are highly sought after since often the students are accepted into the schools and receive scholarship offers during the visit.

Areas of Practice

Municipal Law
Class Action Litigation
Insurance Defense
Products Liability Litigation
Commercial Litigation

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