Libertyville Legal, LLC

Firm Overview

We are a general practice firm focused on litigation. Our experienced attorneys help both individuals and businesses in a wide variety of areas. We have recently successfully represented clients in complex litigation, contract enforcement cases, property law disputes, Traffic, DUI, and Criminal Defense cases, Juvenile Court matters and Collection Matters.
Main Office
Libertyville Legal, LLC
121 W. Church Street
Libertyville  IL  60048
Phone
  • (847) 549-0600
Fax
  • (847) 549-0312
Websites

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?
Yes. We meet with clients either by phone, in our office, or at the client's home. This initial meeting is free of charge.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
We have a variety of fee structures available for different cases. These include flat fees for specified services, hourly rates with retainers, and contingency fee arrangements. Which fee structure is appropriate for a given case can only be determined after a free initial consultation with us.
Hourly Rates
Currently $300 per hour, but flat fees available. We accept credit cards.

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and by appointment.
Office Manager
Jacquie Velez
Emergency After Hours
No
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish.
DUI and DWI
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Operating Under the Influence (OWI- watercraft)
Attorneys in Illinois are prohibited from claiming specialties in an area of law, and no specialty is claimed herein. Information in this section is provided for information purposes only, and in accordance with this website's format.

This law firm prides itself in providing high-quality representation to our clients charged with DUI. DUI law in Illinois is remarkably complex, and the results that can be reached on a given case vary widely, so effective representation counts!

A skilled DUI attorney must have a strong grasp of both civil law (which governs driver's license issues), traffic law, and criminal law, and must possess a strong understanding of chemistry and bioscience as well as confidence in the courtroom.

Punishment for DUI in Illinois is severe. In Lake County, even a first-time DUI offender can expect to pay between $2,400-$3,600 in fines and court costs, plus about $1000 for a BAIID machine (ignition interlock device), plus pay for and complete between 10 and 75 hours of mandatory treatment classes, plus pay $250 to reinstate their drivers license, plus pay hundreds more in donations, and perform dozens of public service hours. Jail time for a first time offender is unlikely with effective representation, but it always a possibility. With effective representation, some, or perhaps even all of the above consequences can be avoided.

For repeat offenders, and those whose intoxication causes injuries or death, the punishments are much, much harsher, and the challenge is greater for even an experienced DUI attorney to acheive a result that will allow their client to keep his/her job, minimize or avoid an otherwise lengthy jail sentence, and minimize the long term impact to driving privileges.

If you have been accused of DUI, it is very important to seek help from an experienced DUI attorney right away. Your attorney can petition the judge to rescind (remove) the license suspension, but time is limited. Indeed, the upper hand in negotiations may be seized by swiftly filing a Petition to Rescind. It is crucial that your DUI case is accurately analyzed from the beginning and actively managed throughout by an effective, experienced attorney.

When handling any DUI case, the DUI lawyer must be aware of how the different areas of law interact with one another and be prepared to seek flexible, custom-fit solutions in unique cases. Every case and every client present new challenges. A DUI attorney that tells you that DUI cases are all the same is wrong.

This firm understands that it is often the family who suffers when a family member is charged with DUI. This law firm believes that every single client's case is an opportunity to help not just a person, but a whole family find their best path forward in the face of extreme adversity.

This firm takes pride in its comprehensive representation of individuals charged with DUI. After a Free Consultation, clients are quoted a single flat fee which includes unlimited court appearances, unlimited consultation via face-to-face meetings, email, letters, text messages or phone calls, unlimited letters to prosecuting authorities/police, and hearing on any motions the attorney may file in the case, as well as a trial in front of a judge, if desired. Eliminating per-hour charges on cases such as this allows the attorney and client to focus on the optimum strategy on a case, regardless of how much attorney time is required.

We know that for those accused of DUI, it can seem that the world is against them. We stand with our clients during this difficult process by providing advice, counsel, and effective representation.
Criminal Defense
Criminal Defense includes the defense of Ordinance Violations, Misdemeanors, Felonies, and Juvenile Delinquency Matters.
Attorneys in Illinois are prohibited from claiming specialties in an area of law, and no specialty is claimed herein. Information in this section is provided for information purposes only, and in accordance with this website's format.

This law firm provides representation for those who have been, or who may be, charged with a criminal offense, regardless of whether the matter is charged as an Ordinance Violation, a Misdemeanor, a Felony, or as a Juvenile Delinquency case. With experience both prosecuting and defending cases such as these in courtrooms throughout the state, our attorneys have gained tremendous experience applying flexible approaches to unique situations.

Beyond mere knowledge of the law, Criminal matters require great discretion, experience, and energy, as well as strong oral advocacy skills and courtroom presence. In Lake County and Northern Cook County, judges expect attorneys to practice at a high level of professionalism and those who fail to present their clients' cases effectively do not achieve optimal results.

What is the proper approach in a given case? It depends on too many factors to list here. The best path forward for a person accused of a crime may be to challenged the government's case against them directly by immediately setting a matter for trial. On a different case, the police's conduct in gathering evidence may have violated the Constitution, and thus it is appropriate to ask the judge to suppress (throw out) the illegally-obtained evidence. For another case, the best approach may be to seek to negotiate a favorable plea deal that allows for the case to be dismissed, and eventually expunged (erased) in the future. Sometimes the attorney's knowledge of the judge or the prosecutors handling the case can be leveraged for the benefit of the client's cases. In our experience, it is typically a combination of all of these approaches, tempered by the experience and good judgment of a skilled Criminal Defense attorney yields the best results.

Many, many criminal offenses in Illinois have 'special characteristics' and mandatory minimum sentences that dramatically alter how a case should be approached. For example, a cannabis charge can result in a loss of federal student loans, taking "good deals" on numerous offenses can result in driving suspensions, and many offenses, such as Resisting Arrest are not eligible for the generally favorable result of Court Supervision. As a result, only experienced Criminal Defense attorneys who keep abreast of the rapidly-changing law in this area can properly advise clients. You should not trust your case to an attorney who only dabbles in this complex field of law.

This firm takes pride in its comprehensive representation of individuals charged with Criminal Matters. After a Free Consultation, clients are quoted a single flat fee which includes unlimited court appearances, unlimited consultation via face-to-face meetings, email, letters, text messages or phone calls, unlimited letters to prosecuting authorities/police, and hearing on any motions the attorney may file in the case, as well as a trial in front of a judge, if desired. Eliminating per-hour charges on cases such as this allows the attorney and client to focus on the optimum strategy on a case, regardless of how much attorney time is required.

We know that for those accused of Criminal Offenses, it can seem that the world is against them. We stand with our clients during this difficult process by providing advice, counsel, and effective representation.
Traffic Tickets
Traffic Tickets includes charges for minor moving violations, tickets issued in vehicle crashes, Aggravated Speeding (26 or more over), Driver's License Matters, Driving in Suspended/Revoked Licenses, and DUI.
Attorneys in Illinois are prohibited from claiming specialties in an area of law, and no specialty is claimed herein. Information in this section is provided for information purposes only, and in accordance with this website's format.

This law firm provides representation for those who have been, or who may be, charged with Traffic Violations. With experience both prosecuting and defending cases such as these in courtrooms throughout the state, our attorneys have gained tremendous experience applying flexible approaches to unique situations.

Beyond mere knowledge of the law, Traffic Matters require great discretion, experience, and energy, as well as strong oral advocacy skills and courtroom presence. In Lake County and Northern Cook County, judges expect attorneys to practice at a high level of professionalism and those who fail to present their clients' cases effectively do not achieve optimal results.

What is the proper approach in a given case? It depends on too many factors to list here. The best path forward for a person accused of a Traffic Violation may be to challenged the government's case against them directly by immediately setting a matter for trial. In a collision case, the other party must attend court on the day of trial, or the case will likely be dismissed. If the complaining witness does show up, though, a trial can still be won by effectively cross-examining witness reveal weaknesses in the government's case against the accused motorist. On a different case, the police's conduct in gathering evidence may have violated the Constitution, and thus it is appropriate to ask the judge to suppress (throw out) the illegally-obtained evidence. For another case, the best approach may be to seek to negotiate a favorable plea deal that allows for the case to be dismissed, pursuant to successful completion of the court's supervision, and then eventually expunged (erased) in the future. Sometimes the attorney's knowledge of the judge or the prosecutors handling the case can be leveraged for the benefit of the client's cases. In our experience, it is typically a combination of all of these approaches, tempered by the experience and good judgment of a skilled Traffic attorney yields the best results.

In Traffic Matters, it may be possible to secure a Deferred Prosecution, which is often the best result that can reasonably be achieved. A Deferred Prosecution means that the government agrees to a long continuance in the case. During the continuance, the accused driver will be expected to make a donation to a charity, perhaps perform community service and/or take a traffic class, and remain arrest free. If the accused driver does so, the case is then dismissed.

Traffic law in Illinois is more complex than many, even attorneys, appreciate. Every year the law in this area changes, often dramatically. Recently, the Illinois General Assembly (our legislature) dramatically increased the penalties for speeding. Now, if you are clocked speeding in excess of 26 mph over the limit, even as a first time offender, you will be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor; over 35 over the limit will result in a Class A Misdemeanor. These are both extremely serious (jailable!) charges, which if not handled by a skilled Traffic Attorney, must be disclosed on future job applications, and will lead to starkly higher insurance costs. An experienced Traffic Attorney can effectively negotiate resolutions to these cases wherein the prosecution agrees to reduce the charges to petty offenses.

This firm takes pride in its comprehensive representation of individuals charged with Traffic Matters. After a Free Consultation, clients are quoted a single flat fee which includes a set number of court appearances, unlimited consultation via face-to-face meetings, email, letters, text messages or phone calls, unlimited letters to prosecuting authorities/police, and hearing on any motions the attorney may file in the case, as well as a trial in front of a judge, if desired. Eliminating per-hour charges on cases such as this allows the attorney and client to focus on the optimum strategy on a case, regardless of how much attorney time is required.

We know that for those accused of Traffic Violations, it can seem that the world is against them. We stand with our clients during this difficult process by providing advice, counsel, and effective representation.
Litigation
Litigation includes resolution of disputes involving property, money, and other matters, whether or not a court case is actually filed.
Attorneys in Illinois are prohibited from claiming specialties in an area of law, and no specialty is claimed herein. Information in this section is provided for information purposes only, and in accordance with this website's format.

Litigation is resolution of disputes through our court system. It takes many forms, and takes place in many forums. Not all disputes must go to court, and if it can be avoided, most people would prefer to reach agreement without filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Before entering into a dispute that might end up in court, it is wise to consult with an experienced Litigation Attorney.

Experienced Litigation Attorneys can advise individuals and small businesses whether they have (or their opponent has) a valid claim for compensation, breach of contract, or under other legal theories. Whether a valid claim exists is of course the first concern, but it is only the starting point. A second, morey crucial question is whether the claim is "worth it" to pursue. Inexperienced (or perhaps greedy) lawyers correctly advise their clients that they have a case, but fail to disclose that the client will pay far more in legal fees than they can ever win in court. This is not effective representation, and it is not the practice of this law firm.

This firm is experienced representing individuals and small businesses in a variety of disputes. These disputes typically involve money and/or property, and are commonly referred to as Commercial Litigation. Commercial Litigation includes actions for breach of contract, fraud, for collection on promissory notes and other debts, and defense of these matters as well. It can involve Mechanic's Liens, actions for the recovery or personal property, arguments regarding intellectual property rights, disputes with Associations, Boards, and Corporations and former business partners. Commercial Litigation often includes matters that can be classified as Complex Litigation.

Complex Litigation means a matter that may be litigated in more than one action, venue or courtroom. Sometimes one aspect of a case must be resolved in Chancery (property) Court, before the remainder of the parties' dispute can be addressed before a Law judge (breach of contract and other matters). Sometimes different geographical areas are involved. Sometimes criminal court, family court, or other legal arenas are implicated as well. Clients embarking on potentially complex cases absolutely need to consult with an experienced Litigation Attorney as soon as possible, because the stakes and costs in these cases can be staggering.

Seldom is the case that cannot be negotiated prior to trial. Experienced Litigation Attorneys will spend considerable time meeting with their clients to discuss settlement alternatives and strategies. A client should be well-advised regarding their best case, worst case, and most likely result, should a case proceed to trial. Only when armed with all of the above information can a client properly determine their Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). A strong, shared understanding of the client's BATNA is crucial to decision-making when the stakes and emotions are high.

Negotiation of disputes prior to, and during lawsuits is an area in which this law firm has extensive experience. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which includes mediation, arbitration, and settlement as facilitated by a judge is a tool that can be used to solve disputes, but experienced Litigation Attorneys are well-aware that the days and weeks before an ADR session are absolutely crucial, and a great deal of planning and strategic thinking is required to secure an optimum result for clients.

If negotiation fails, trial is inevitable. As such, to secure peace (settlement), the experienced Litigation Attorney prepares for war (trial). This firm has successfully litigated hundreds of contested motions, and won dozens of trials.

This Law Firm prides itself in providing confidential, custom-tailored advice to clients with Litigation Matters. We offer free initial consultations on a confidential basis, and services pursuant to hourly arrangements, as well as contingency fees, flat fees, and payment plans.
Commercial Real Estate
Commercial Real Estate Transactions and Contractual Matters
Attorneys in Illinois are prohibited from claiming specialties in an area of law, and no specialty is claimed herein. Information in this section is provided for information purposes only, and in accordance with this website's format.

This firm provides representation of individuals and businesses in transactions involving commercial real estate and advice regarding contractual matters.

All clients are offered free initial consultations on a confidential basis, either over the phone or at our office in Downtown Libertyville. After the consultation, clients are quoted either a flat fee or given an hourly retainer agreement pursuant to an agreed-upon scope. This office represents individuals, partnerships, businesses, and similar entities regarding commercial property transactions and contractual matters involving commercial property in Illinois only.

Is your firm willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?

Yes. In fact, wherever possible, Libertyville Legal, LLC will offer flat-fee pricing for legal services, because we know that is what clients want.

What are your policies about dividing work within the firm to make the process most cost-effective for the client?

People pay good money for the relationship they have with their attorney. For that reason, clients receive their attorney's cell phone number and the open invitation to call if needed. Additionally, to the extent possible, all communication will go through the attorney directly to ensure accuracy, timeliness, and the highest possible level of service.

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?

We are well experienced in alternative dispute resolution, which in this area of the country most often takes the form of arbitration and mediation. All cases are different, but most cases do indeed settle prior to trial, and we are ready to utilize all avenues to achieve the best result for our client. How often do we do this? Whenever it makes sense. If the dispute opponent in the matter is willing to negotiate, how I advise my clients to proceed will be specific to that case. Please see "Firm Specialties; Litigation" for a more in-depth answer.

Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?

Our attorneys volunteer their time assisting non-profits, and provide pro bono legal services for deserving clients in their individual capacities.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Here you will find an attorney that is friendly, approachable, experienced, and innovative, with the courtroom experience you need to secure optimum results.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

We partner with our clients to ensure they are fully informed, active participants because an educated, involved client is in a much better position to assist his or her attorney in reaching the optimal result.

I often say that my role as attorney is to give advice, and it is the client's job to make decisions. Only a fully-informed client can do this. I do not expect my clients to take my advice without providing them with all the reasons for and against taking a given course of action. I am very comfortable explaining the legal principles at play in a case on a granular level. Some clients prefer the 10,000 foot view as well, but all things being equal, more information is way to go.

The reason this is preferable is that there are points in every case where a die is cast, a bell is rung, or a threshold is crossed; after a certain point, there is no going back. Thus, in the moment before the decision is made, it is of paramount concern to me that my client has the best information and analysis available to them, and all their questions have been answered, so that they may make optimal choices.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Yes.

What are your firm's strengths and style?

Our strengths include trial experience and flexibility.

Trial experience means that if a case cannot be resolved through negotiation, I am not afraid to take the matter to trial and either prove our case or challenge the case against my client. Not all cases settle, and trial attorneys must be ready to take every single one of the cases on their docket to trial, if necessary.

Clients often tell me that I am very good at explaining complex situations in laymen's terms. All trial lawyers pride themselves on their communication skills, and I do believe that this strength carries over into all other aspects of legal representation. My clients regularly compliment me on how I am able to tell their story, whether to a judge, jury, or other party, that portrays client's situation in the best possible light without losing credibility.

Often times, the law is but a backdrop for a dispute, and the dispute is the culmination of the parties' relationship, and may be years in the making. The matter that is on my desk is far bigger than the pieces of paper that make up the court case. Because of this reality, flexibility, creativity, professionalism, and hard work are all crucial to achieving results that are acceptable, if not desireable, to all parties. Negotiation is hard work, and to resolve difficult, complex disputes (or simple disputes with difficult people) both honey and vinegar have a role, as do persistance, respect, and square-dealing.

This firm's style is personalized and hands-on. Clients get my cell phone number. I recognize that while the client may be the person whose name is on the summons to appear in court, the client's family is just as important. Every case is different and requires a specialized approach. If cases are approached in a cookie-cutter manner, a 'solution' that would work in other situations might fail to address the real issue(s) in this case, or worse, might create new problems.

This is one of the reasons this firm offers free initial consultations. Only after meeting with a client can I both: 1) determine if I am the best attorney to represent you, and if so, 2) formulate a plan to best represent you.

If it turns out I am not the best attorney for your case, I have a very robust network of attorneys I trust to serve my client referrals, and play an active role in any case I refer to another lawyer.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others

In my opinion, trial experience is the foundation upon which an attorney must build their practice. I do not think an attorney can do a good job without the confidence that the attorney can take a case to hearing or trial effectively, making his client's best points, and anticipating and addressing his opponent's attacks. From trial experience and in resolving thousands of cases short of trial, this firm is deeply knowledgable of all the factors that lead to a successful resolution of a dispute, and to the efforts necessary to minimize the risk of future problems.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Passion. There are many areas of law that are interesting, from an intellectual standpoint, and many areas of practice that are lucrative. In the end, after 13 years of practice, I have determined that my passion lies in representing individuals and small businesses. My clients are families in and around Lake County, Illinois, and I take great pride in representing them effectively.

Tim Johnston

I have been in active litigation practice since 2004, with significant experience in criminal and civil litigation. In that time, I have appeared for hundreds of clients in over thirty county courts throughout Illinois as well as in Federal Courts. While the majority of cases settle prior to trial, I have personally tried over three dozen cases to Illinois judges and juries, conducted well over a hundred evidentiary hearings, and argued hundreds of disputed motions. I am also experienced in the myriad of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options available to disputants. This broad-based experience is founded in years of practice in civil, chancery, probate, criminal, and traffic courts.

In addition to representation in legal disputes, my firm provides services in contract drafting and review, LLC and Corporate entity selection and incorporation and annual services, as well as in commercial business transactions, mechanic's liens and real estate matters, and advice, planning and consultation in confidential matters.

My clients are regular people. They are individuals and small business owners who have legal issues in Lake County and Chicagoland. Each of my clients have different needs, goals, and hurdles in front of them. Together, through thoughtful, confidential advice, I listen to and work with my clients to find their best path forward.

My firm is located at 121 West Church Street, in the heart of Historic Downtown Libertyville. I grew up in Libertyville, graduating from Libertyville High School in 1997 with Honors. I obtained a Bachelors of Science from Miami University School of Business in 2001 as a Marketing Major, and attended the University of Cincinnati, College of Law. Currently, I reside in Mundelein, Illinois, with my wife, Dr. Amanda Johnston, D.V.M. (veterinarian), son Merritt, dog and cat.

I am currently a Member of the Board of Directors of the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County, and an active supporter of Affordable Housing and other charitable causes. I regularly volunteer at schools teaching legal concepts and civics and am always interested in opportunities to give back to the community.
License
  • Bar Number: 6284320
    Illinois , 2004
Education
  • Miami University
    Bachelor of Science, Marketing , 2001
    College Fraternity Chapter President & Judicial Board Chairman;
    Student Government;
  • University of Cincinnati College of Law
    Juris Doctor , 2004
    Moot Court Honor Board;
    Student Court Justice;
    Law Teacher (High School Curriculum);
    Cincinnati Youth Collaborative Mentor

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