Meyers & Flowers, LLC
You often hear about small-town values from big-city attorneys in commercials, but Jim McPhedran, who grew up on a farm outside Oglesby, took his small-town values to Chicago and brought back his law degree to help the people of the Illinois Valley. He remains as committed to his community today as he was as a new lawyer over three decades ago.
"I learned a long time ago that you treat all clients the same," said Jim McPhedran. "Each deserves the same level of respect, consideration, and hard work, whether it is a straight-forward real estate transaction (not many are anymore) or a complicated personal injury case.”
Jim became a partner at Meyers, Flowers, Bruno, McPhedran & Herrmann after working side-by-side with renowned attorney Anthony Raccuglia.
Tony Raccuglia opened his Peru, Illinois-based law firm 60 years ago in his hometown of La Salle, focusing on civil litigation while also serving as an Assistant State’s Attorney. After his retirement from the State’s Attorney’s office in 1968, Tony continued to practice law as a plaintiff’s attorney in personal injury, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice as well as automobile negligence cases. Tony invited Jim McPhedran to join the firm not long after Jim graduated from law school.
"Tony Raccuglia was an icon in the legal profession and has a very distinguished career with many well-deserved accolades that spanned six decades. Working with Anthony C. Raccuglia & Associates provided an opportunity to help many different types of clients with challenging legal issues."
Anthony C. Raccuglia & Associates was one of few local law firms that won million-dollar verdicts in the LaSalle County area. Tony, Jim, and the firm's associates had tens of millions in settlements and verdicts during its years of existence.
Jim’s work on a pair of Appellate Court cases was precedent-setting for injured workers. The first case provided the potential to obtain penalties for the unreasonable failure to authorize prospective surgery even in a case where the employer had its own independent medical exam. The second case provided helpful protection to an injured worker from retaliatory discharge for the workers' pursuit of his lawful right to workers' compensation benefits.
Jim also had the privilege of being lead counsel on two Supreme Court of Illinois victories. One established a precedent providing insurance coverage to an injured Plaintiff for injuries caused by a driver of a vehicle that the independent driver did not own, which had not been furnished for the driver’s regular use. Another Supreme Court case established the precedent that one depositor of a joint bank account had the authority to pledge the entirety of the funds in an account.
In 2001, the firm represented a Democrat and Republican in challenging a Bureau County Board reapportionment plan that had been approved by the County Board. Jim took the lead in contending that the plan was not compliant with the statute, because it divided townships and municipalities unnecessarily, and boundary lines were not sufficient. In addition, the proposed plan would cost Bureau County taxpayers more over the next ten years than should be necessary. After short but intense litigation, a just resolution by way of settlement resulted in a different plan than originally passed.
The new agreed plan was believed statutorily compliant giving the voters and citizens of Bureau County a fair map from which to choose their County Board Representatives. The plan also provided a much easier and more economical procedure for the County Clerk to implement than the original reapportionment plan. This new plan was used for ten years and is believed to be similar to the policy still followed by the County. Raccuglia & Associates appreciated the opportunity to assist in doing justice for the citizens of Bureau County in that case.
The firm always prioritized giving back to their local areas, with both Tony and Jim serving as the La Salle city attorney over the last several decades. Jim has been appointed to this position through three different administrations and still serves as the city’s attorney to this day. Since taking office, the city has more than doubled in size.
“The decision to become a Meyers, Flowers, Bruno, McPhedran & Herrmann partner was an easy one," Jim said. "Each of my colleagues has the same commitment to making a difference in their clients' lives as I do. I consider it an incredible honor to continue work for my neighbors and friends in the local area, and one I have never taken for granted over more than 30 years."
Jim’s recent work on personal injury, automobile, and trucking accident cases resulted in multimillion settlements for local residents. In one case, a client was seriously injured while riding his motorcycle when he was struck by a van that ran a stop sign. It turned out that this was one of the last cases Tony and Jim worked on together. Tony laid a sound foundation for the auto accident and personal injury case by winning a major motion just a few months before his death.
After Tony passed away, even prior to an agreement being arrived at between Raccuglia & Associates and Meyers, Flowers, Bruno & Herrmann, Partner Craig Brown helped out by locating an additional expert without even knowing whether the two firms would agree to merge. The strong basis that Tony had set by winning the motion and additional workup prior to his passing, along with the expert that Craig Brown located, assisted Jim in negotiating a $5 million settlement shortly before the 2019 trial date. The historic settlement is one of the largest in the county for this case type. It compensates the client and his family for their significant damages suffered as a result of the accident.
Jim and Craig also very recently negotiated a $3.5 million settlement for another of Raccuglia & Associates’ clients. The client suffered a severe brain injury, amongst other injuries, during a horrifying car crash involving a semi-truck and trailer. The settlement will allow the client to obtain the ongoing care he will need over the rest of his lifetime to compensate him for his many permanent injuries and for the effect it has and will have on him for the rest of his life. Jim and his Meyers, Flowers, Bruno, McPhedran & Herrmann partners, including Craig Brown and Pat Herrmann, continue Tony’s other casework.
The Illinois Valley native received his undergraduate BS in accounting Summa Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University. Jim received his law degree from the John Marshall Law School with distinction and later also became a Certified Public Accountant. He’s been named an Illinois Super Lawyer. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, the LaSalle County Bar Association, and the Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and Illinois Certified Public Accountants Society.
Outside of the office, Jim has been involved behind the scenes in supporting the LaSalle-Peru High School wrestling program for over 25 years. Treva, his wife, and mother to their three sons, has been Jim’s biggest advocate, as is Jim for Treva. Treva is an active member of the community herself. She worked as a special education teacher at Lighted Way Children’s Developmental Center for over 25 years while also supporting the Special Olympics and being a member of Zonta International for a number of years.