James B. Zouras

Partner and Founder

An accomplished trial lawyer, Jim Zouras is a tireless advocate for ordinary people victimized by corporate negligence and greed.


As lead counsel,

recovered millions of dollars for Home Health Care Clinicians misclassified as exempt from overtime under federal and state wage laws


$6,000,000 wrongful death settlement

for the family of a Chicago worker


Secured over $100,000,000 in unpaid wages

and other damages for victims of illegal wage practices and negligence nationwide

Jim has helped recover hundreds of millions in individual and class actions arising under the federal and state wage and hour laws, biometric privacy and other complex litigation, along with wrongful death and other catastrophic personal injury actions. In addition, Jim has helped secure groundbreaking and precedent-setting court decisions in the areas of wage and hour law, consumer fraud and employee privacy.

Jim has been appointed lead or co-lead counsel on hundreds of class actions throughout the United States. He has successfully tried over a dozen major jury trials and argued over 15 appeals as lead appellate counsel before federal and state appellate courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court. Jim is also a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Jim has received multiple awards and accolades throughout his career. In 2000, the Chicago Law Bulletin named Jim one of the “Top 40 Lawyers Under Age 40,” one of the youngest lawyers ever bestowed this honor. In addition, for each consecutive year since 2009, Chicago Magazine has recognized Jim as an Illinois Super Lawyer, a distinction given to no more than 5% of the lawyers in the state. Jim was also selected to the 2015 list of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Jim’s peers also think highly of his legal knowledge and capabilities. They have rated him the highest level of professional excellence, 5.0 stars on Martindale-Hubbell, the gold standard in attorney ratings. Jim also has a 10/10 Suberb rating from AVVO – an online legal services marketplace.

Listen to Jim explain the Biometric Information Privacy Act on the ‘Employee to Lawyer’ podcast here.



Jim and his cases have been profiled by numerous media outlets including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, Billboard Magazine and TMZ. Jim was also interviewed by CBS Consumer Watch. Jim is frequently invited as a speaker at national class action litigation seminars.


Professional and Community Activities

  • Established endowed scholarship fund at University of Illinois at Chicago: 2021
  • Invited speaker at National Employment Lawyers Association (IL): 2021
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Volunteer: 2008-Present
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association: 1997-Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association: 1997-Present
  • National Employment Lawyers Association: 2007- Present
  • Invited speaker at Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education: 2018-2022
  • Invited speaker at Illinois State Bar Association: 2018-2019
  • Invited speaker at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association:  2016
  • Contributing Author, American Bar Association Federal Labor Standards Legislation Subcommittee, Midwinter Report: 2016
  • Invited speaker at the Chicago Bar Association: 2008 and 2016
  • Invited speaker at the Practicing Law Institute: 2012 and 2015
  • Invited speaker at the Bridgeport Continuing Education Wage & Hour Seminar: 2012 and 2014
  • Chicago Food Pantry Volunteer: 2012


DePaul University College of Law, J.D., with honor, Order of the Coif, 1995

University of Illinois Chicago, Political Science, with distinction, 1992

Admitted to Practice:
Illinois, 1995
United States Supreme Court, 2017
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1996 (admitted to Trial Bar)

Admitted pro hac vice in the Central District of Illinois, the District of New Jersey, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District of Maryland, the Southern District of Ohio, the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the District of Massachusetts, the Western District of Washington, the District of Minnesota, the Southern and Northern Districts of Iowa, the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, the Western District of North Carolina, the Superior Court for the State of California, the Northern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Missouri and the Eastern District of Michigan.


What Our Clients Are Saying

The law firm, Stephan Zouras, handled a matter for me that was very problematic - I cannot be too specific because of the nondisclosure agreement, but suffice it to say that they came through for me FAR beyond my expectations - TWICE, in TWO separate cases. I will DEFINITELY use them in the future if I ever have any similar cases against unfair employers. Anyone that thinks attorneys are not accessible needs to hire this firm. Every staff member (Kerry, Ryan, many others) was polite, and professional, understanding, kind, and sympathetic. Thanks again, to all of you on my settlement!

- Don D.

Jim Zouras is a dedicated and caring professional who fights for the rights of ordinary people. Throughout what could have been a difficult process, I always felt Jim “had my back” and was looking out for my best interests.

- Stephanie L.

I worked with Andy Ficzko, an associate of Stephan Zouras. I cannot thank the team, especially Andy, enough for helping me to settle a dispute that I had for a few years. I didn't know where to go and am so thankful that I was directed to use this group. Andy worked hard and was persistent in getting a settlement for me. He always kept me in the loop, did what was in my best interest and never gave up. After years in this dispute, it only took a few short months for Andy to help me walk away with a win. He worked hard to help me and I am so appreciative to him! This is the best group around! Thank you and here's to continued success!!

- Jennifer S.

I was a part of a class action suit which Teresa Becvar handled. Numerous times I had questions and Teresa always returned my phone calls or emails quickly. She was courteous and knowledgeable and encouraging. I am feeling so blessed with the outcome of our lawsuit and I appreciate everything STEPHAN ZOURAS LLP, ATTORNEYS AT LAW DID FOR ME.

- Erika

I would highly recommend that you use this firm. Anna at Stephan Zouras, LLC is an incredibly compassionate person, one who's committed to resolving your case. I couldn't be happier with the results pertaining to my case. And most importantly, they are extremely knowledgeable and informative to clients. Thank you Anna and all the staff at Stephan Zouras. My extended family SALUTE!

- Mr. JB

I couldn't have been happier with Ryan Stephan. I handle securities administrative work and it's difficult to find someone to help when I need advice and legal assistance. Ryan is not only knowledgeable but communicative and responsive. I'm grateful to have him in my corner and highly recommend him and his firm.

- Mary

Stephan Zouras law firm is one of the best. My personal experience with Teresa and the firm was phenomenal. Teresa always kept me informed and genuinely showed she cared. I would recommend this firm and Teresa to anyone looking for honest people that will fight for you and go the extra mile.

- LaChelle

I worked with Jim Zouras and it was a pleasure. He told us what to expect and what NOT to expect, and that is exactly how things happened. He talked to me like I had a brain but was not a lawyer and I appreciated that. Hope I never need him again but would hire him again in a second.

- April W.

Ryan represented me and my co-workers as part of a large class-action lawsuit against our former employer for multiple violations of labor law. I did not choose him myself, but am so glad somebody found him because he is one of the best attorneys I've ever met. He is dedicated and driven by a sense of moral justice which is increasingly uncommon in any industry today. When working with me, he was incredibly professional combining a sense of empowerment and ferocity in his approach. He is sensitive to his clients' needs and is able to craft a deadly offense while maintaining only the position that his client(s) desire. He ensures that his clients get a stellar advocate in court who will serve as their voice. He won our case resulting in recompense for hard-working people who were unfairly denied pay for work they performed for their company across the course of several years. If you are looking for an OUTSTANDING attorney, Ryan Stephan is your guy.

- Erica

I was always kept in the loop with my suit, and their persistence has paid off in the long run. I would recommend this firm to anyone looking to do a class action lawsuit. Ryan and the staff at Stephan Zouras are the best!

- Liz F.

If you need a hard-working, detailed, compassionate and cooperative class action attorney, this is your guy [Andy Ficzko]! He keeps in constant contact so you are always in the loop. No question goes unanswered and he makes you feel valued. Unlike some lawyers, he is not pretentious, but very professional and thorough. He handled my case seamlessly and it only required one visit to his office. From beginning to end, my case was completed in about 11 months. I am very happy with the outcome of my case!

- Cheryl

Ryan worked me while I was part of class action against a former employer who was in violation of various labor laws. He was very pleasant to work with. My overall experience with the firm was very positive and I highly recommend him and his team.

- Hassan

Jim Zouras and the legal team at Stephan Zouras did a thorough and outstanding job recovering overtime wages against a former employer. The case was handled as a class action, and Jim and his staff were complete professionals in promptly responding to calls, emails, answering questions, and keeping all of us informed throughout the process. They are dedicated to their work and exceeded our expectations. I would gladly recommend their services to anyone having issues with their employer.

- Kristin

A great firm to deal with - very personable. Kept up to date on the case and always gave me options. Ryan, his staff and the receptionist were all very nice and helpful at all times. Very satisfied with the results of the case. If you ever need an attorney he will be there for you and walk you through it.

- Brent

I worked with Jim Zouras as well as Teresa Becvar in a class action and won with a settlement that benefited a large group of fellow former employees. Communication was always very good and they were always helpful in answering any questions as well as preparing me for what was coming and what to expect.

- Ryan

This review is long overdue but my sentiments are still as overwhelmingly positive and strong for the firm-especially Ryan, Haley and Emily many months later. From day one Ryan made me feel like my case was his most important case, that I was not who was wrong, and that more than anything they were on my side. Their firm and the way they listen and make you feel is why I imagine one would go into practicing law. During my deposition the court reporter even commented how nice Ryan was- there is no need to be a jerk to get what you want. I'm not saying I would do this again but if Ryan and Haley were on my team I would not hesitate. In the end it was not like TV but Ryan is a true Hollywood hero in my world! And Haley a virtual rising star. I am forever grateful for them and helping me close an ugly chapter in my life.

- Roxann P.

Let me say I've sought out the assistance of this firm on three different occasions and I was never let down. This last time around it was a bit more involved with frequent visits and conference calls. When I tell you that they are great people to work with you can bet on it. Andy, Ryan and Anna were always on top of the matter along with updates all the time. They are awesome at what they do and I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND this firm to address your needs. Thanks again team for believing in me and seeing me through it all.

- Jeff

Teresa is a patient and very efficient lawyer. She has excellent communication, is detail oriented, calm and supportive. She helped me with a legal matter and was outstanding. I would recommend her to anyone in her area of specialty.

- Unpaid Wages Client
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