Jim is a trial lawyer. His varied trial practice focuses on high exposure cases in courts across the country. He has substantial mass tort and class action litigation experience and currently serves as co-chair of the firm's food borne illness litigation practice group. His first chair trial experience includes personal injury, products liability, premises liability, transportation, insurance coverage, land valuation and ERISA cases. He has won jury verdicts in both state and federal court trials.
Much of Jim’s work currently focuses on the defense of food-related litigation, such as food borne illness cases and labeling claims, and the counseling of food companies on regulatory compliance and litigation avoidance. Jim regularly advises manufacturers, distributors and retailers on matters related to FDA, USDA and TTB compliance. He is the co-author of Food Safety Law, the fifth release of which will be published by American Lawyer’s Media this year.
In addition to these focused areas, Jim has defended clients in a variety of other adversarial arenas, including high exposure cases before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and numerous arbitration panels. He has briefed and argued appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and 11th Circuit, and the full Virginia Workers Compensation Commission.
From 1990 to 1995, Jim served as an Airborne Ranger and Light Infantry Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist's Badge, Air Assault Badge and Expert Infantryman's Badge.
Following law school, Jim served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard L. Williams, Senior U.S. District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. While earning his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, he won the John Kingdon Award for Outstanding Oral and Written Advocacy and the Stephen P. Traynor Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocacy. He was also named the winner and outstanding oralist in the William M. Lile Moot Court Competition.