Knox County Public Defender Jim Harrell has been named a Top 100 trial lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
Harrell, who was licensed to practice law in 1989, has served as Chief Defense Council for Knox County since 1991. He has worked closely with members of the judiciary in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
He also has served on various state, local and county committees as well as local civic organizations. Harrell also served as an intern in the Illinois Senate and in the Federal District Court of Central Illinois and as a faculty member for the Illinois Appellate Defender Office training unit held at Kent ITT School of Law.
A past president of Knox County Bar Association, Harrell also is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
According to the selection process, only the top civil plaintiff trial lawyers or criminal defense attorneys who are actively involved in trial practice or attorneys involved in the management of substantial personal injury or criminal defense law firms are evaluated for invitation as a top 100 trial lawyer.
Trial lawyers are evaluated in their respective states during the pending year of evaluation. Membership is not honorary, nor is it stagnant, and each year the attorneys are re-evaluated to determine whether their activity and accomplishments are such to qualify them for invitation.
The criteria used in the vetting and evaluation process includes but is not limited to the following:
• Reputation among peers, the judiciary, and the public.
• The previous years achievements and verdicts as a trial lawyer (civil or criminal defense).
• Jury verdict and settlement research.
• Board certification as trial specialist.
• Nominations from leading trial lawyers and/or The Association’s Executive Committee.
• Nominations from state and federal judges.
• Leadership and membership in national and state trial lawyer organizations.
• Rankings and ratings of the attorney by established organizations.