James F. Botana


P 312-803-2506 F 312-787-4995


James F. Botana


James F. Botana is a principal in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents management in employment cases in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies in a variety of employment and labor-related claims.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, he was a prosecutor and a senior attorney in the Employment Litigation Department of the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. He has successfully prosecuted and defended numerous civil and criminal cases in trials and evidentiary hearings in federal and state courts. James has represented the City of Chicago in prosecuting criminal and quasi-criminal matters and has defended the City of Chicago in employment discrimination, civil rights, and insurance defense cases in state and federal court. Since joining Jackson Lewis in August 2000, James has continued to represent management before federal and state courts and administrative agencies in a variety of employment and labor-related claims. He currently serves as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel and represents the City of Chicago and its employees in a variety of claims.

James was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Spain. He is fluent in Spanish and is frequently called upon by businesses with large Spanish-speaking workforces to train managers and supervisors as well as non-supervisory employees in both English and Spanish in best employment practices and to conduct investigations of employment-related disputes.

James is the former co-leader of Jackson Lewis’ Hispanic-American Attorney resource group, a group of attorneys in the firm who provide assistance in workplace law matters to businesses with a large Hispanic workforce. James is also a founding member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. James was recently reappointed to a second two-year term on the Illinois State Advisory Committee (SAC) of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.


Honors and Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Employment Law – Management" (2023)
  • Negocios Now, "Who's Who in Hispanic Business" (2022)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®, "Super Lawyers" (2013-present)

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Federal Trial Bar
  • Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Children’s Center of Cicero and Berwyn, Board of Directors
  • Oak Park Children’s Clinic, Board of Directors
  • Foundation for Chicago State University, Board of Directors

Published Works

  • "Discrimination by National Origin," The Illinois Manufacturer (Spring 2003) [Co-Author]
  • "Habla Espanol," The Illinois Manufacturer (Spring 2002) [Co-Author]
  • “New EEOC Guidance on National Origin Discrimination Addresses Issues Arising from a Dramatically Diverse Workforce,” The Illinois Manufacturer