James V. Ferolo



Mr. James V. Ferolo’s practice is concentrated on counseling local government entities and special districts in the areas of local government law, economic development matters (annexations, tax increment financing, special assessments, special service areas, economic development incentives), employment law, real estate law, construction law, federal and state grant compliance matters, municipal finance, library law, Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, Local Records Act, State Officials and Employees Ethics Act compliance matters, meeting procedure matters, contract matters , including Intergovernmental Agreements, planning and zoning matters, including representation of clients in civil litigation, administrative proceedings and alternative dispute resolution forums in the state and federal court systems.

He also engages in corporate law, representing multiple businesses in the formation and management of ongoing corporate entities including guiding corporate entities in compliance matters. Mr. Ferolo currently serves as the principal attorney for the Village of Wheeling, Village of Vernon Hills, and the Village of Beach Park. He also represents several other governmental entities in litigation matters. His public sector litigation experience includes Section 1983 federal claims and other federal and state statutory cases, tort immunity, zoning appeals, condemnations, pension and employment matters.

Mr. Ferolo graduated from Northwestern University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, double majoring in Economics and Political Science. He was recognized for academic excellence in Political Science, earning membership into Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society). He received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1992. While attending law school, he was a member of the Dean’s List and was named a Semi-Finalist in the Loyola University Intra-School Moot Court Competition. Mr. Ferolo served as a Student Intern in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Professional Affiliations

  • James is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Attorney’s Committee, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association. He also has served on the ISBA’s Local Government Law Section Counsel since 2015 and is the current Chairperson of the Local Government Law Section Counsel from 2021-2022. Furthermore, James is a member of the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association and International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Awards and Recognition

  • James has been named a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media, a peer-recommended distinction awarded to fewer than 5% of attorneys in Illinois.



  • “Municipal Sign Ordinances in the Post-Reed World: How Can Municipalities Continue to Regulate Signs Without Violating the First Amendment?” – co-author, SIU Law Journal, 2022
  • Chapters on “Municipal Finance and Taxation” and “Zoning Controls” – co-author, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education
  • Chapter on Open Meetings Act– co-author, Illinois Township Clerk’s Handbook, 2014
  • “Duties of the Local Election Official” and “The Election Objection Process” – co-author, Illinois Municipal Review, 2016

James is also a contributing author to the following publications of the Illinois Municipal League Manuals:

  • The Sunshine Laws (OMA & FOIA)
  • Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts
  • Manual on Police and Fire Disciplinary Matters
  • Manual on Conflict of Interests and Liability of Illinois Elected Officials
  • Manual on Illinois Sunshine Laws
  • Home Rule versus Non-Home Rule
  • Municipal Forms of Government
  • Financing Municipal Improvements

Southern Illinois University Law Journal

  • “Municipal Sign Ordinances in the Post-Reed World: How Can Municipalities Continue to Regulate Signs Without Violating the First Amendment?”



  • James has spoken on a variety of municipal law topics at seminars and annual conferences conducted by various organizations including the Illinois Municipal League where he presented on Bidding, Conflicts of Interests, Freedom of Information, Tort Immunity; the Illinois Institute for Local Government Law regarding Special Service Areas; the Lake County Municipal League regarding Clerk Responsibility During Elections and Cannabis Legalization; the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education – Local Government Law Institute and the National Business Institute.
  • He is a founding faculty member of the Local Government Law Institute formed in 2012. Annually, the Institute speaks to over 100 practicing municipal attorneys regarding various topics of interest to local governments.