Jim is recognized as a highly skilled and accomplished trial attorney and civil litigator. With over 30 years of practice, Jim has acquired extensive litigation experience, handling complex legal issues in both state and federal courts. Jim has proven experience as a lead trial attorney, having tried and won a significant number of jury and bench trials in trial courts of all levels. He is also an accomplished appellate advocate, having handled over 125 appeals in state and federal appellate courts, including close to 50 oral arguments. 

Jim is the leader of the firm’s local government defense team in the US, and he is recognized as one of the leading litigation attorneys in the state of North Carolina in the area of defense of local governments and public officials. In addition, Jim has successfully handled a wide range of other types of litigation matters, including business litigation, civil rights defense, First Amendment and constitutional law, employment litigation, healthcare litigation, medical malpractice defense, catastrophic personal injury defense, and wrongful death.

Jim regularly represents North Carolina counties and public officials, as well as businesses, in difficult and high profile cases in federal and state courts across North Carolina.

Honors and Awards

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Litigation - Healthcare, Litigation - Labor and Employment, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2003 – Present

Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Won a high-profile wrongful death jury trial in state court, in which the plaintiff contended that Forsyth County and one of its paramedic’s negligence resulted in the death of plaintiff’s decedent.
  • Won a wrongful death trial on behalf of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and its officers, in which the plaintiff alleged that an inmate’s death in the Lee County Jail was caused by the defendants’ negligence.
  • Successfully defended the Sheriff of Iredell County in a federal trial in which the plaintiff alleged he was retaliated against and fired in violation of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Prevailed in a federal court jury trial in which the plaintiff alleged that the City of Hickory and three of its police officers wrongfully arrested the plaintiff and used excessive force on him in violation of federal and state law.
  • Successfully represented North Carolina hospitals and medical professionals in medical malpractice and business litigation.
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Bar admissions

1984, North Carolina

1985, Georgia

Admitted to practice before:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • United States District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia

Education

  • J.D., 1984, Wake Forest University of School of Law
  • B.A., 1980, Wake Forest University
    • cum laude