James P. Kelly

James P. Kelly

Partner, FKMA Law

James P. Kelly is an Equity and founding member of Franks, Kelly Matuszewich & Andrle, P.C. and is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, trial bar, and the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit.

Before attending law school, Mr. Kelly served as a United States Army Officer for 12 years.

As a McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney, he served as a Senior Litigation Attorney in the Civil Division for over 8 years. In that role, Mr. Kelly represented the McHenry County Board, McHenry County Sheriff, McHenry County Recorder of Deeds, McHenry County Clerk, McHenry County Planning and Development Department, McHenry County Transportation Department, and McHenry County Clerk. He advised the McHenry County Board on land use issues, contract approval, negotiation of complex contracts, approval of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), personnel policies, FOIA and OMA compliance, government financing and bond approval, budget and levy approval, and parliamentary procedures and acted as the Board Parliamentarian. In addition, he represented the County in State and Federal Court on cases ranging from land use and zoning cases to defending the County in civil rights (§1983) cases. Attorney Kelly possesses extensive experience in complex litigation and Bankruptcy matters.

In private practice he represents, individuals, corporations, municipalities and townships in litigation, as well as corporate and personal matters. He has represented individuals in divorces, criminal cases, juvenile court, probate and guardianship matters, corporate organization, bankruptcy, zoning issues, real estate transactions, and wills and trust matters. As corporate counsel, Attorney Kelly has advised local governments and businesses on a wide range of issues including land acquisition, financing, employee policies, and contracting. He has represented corporate entities before various administrative agencies, including the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, EEOC, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Labor, and Property Tax Board of Appeals. Attorney Kelly has extensive experience in representing townships and township road districts in complex litigation concerning land use, civil rights defense, retaliatory discharge, personal injury and breach of contract matters.


Areas of Practice

Municipal and Township Law

General Litigation

Commercial Litigation


Juvenile Law

Criminal Defense

Business Law


Wills and Trusts


Bar Admissions

State of Illinois (1991)

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1995)

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (1995)

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (2005)


Canisius College, Buffalo New York, Bachelor of Arts (1977)

Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago Illinois, Degree – Juris Doctorate (1991)

Membership (Professional)

Illinois Township Attorneys Association (President, Board Member, Secretary and Former News Letter Editor)

Illinois State Bar Association Commercial Banking Collections and Bankruptcy Law Section Council.

Illinois State Bar Association Local Government Section Council (Former Member)

Illinois State Bar Association General Assembly (Member 2013- 2015)

McHenry County Bar Association

Illinois Attorney General’s Environmental Network (Former Member)

McHenry County Council of Governments (Legislative Committee)

Membership (Community)

Crystal Lake Lions Club


Township Officials of Illinois (TOI) – Annual Meeting

Budget and Appropriation

Protection from Civil Rights Lawsuits

What You Need to Know About Concealed Carry (2014)

Medical Marijuana Law (2014)

Cook County Township Trustees Association

Duties of a Township Trustee (2013)

How to Conduct a Meeting (Robert’s Rules) (2018)

Illinois Township Attorneys Association (ITAA)

Duties of a Township Attorney (2013)

Ethics for Township Attorneys (2015)

Attorney Question and Answer Panel (2012 – 2022)

Township Highway Commissioners Duties and Responsibilities (2022)