Jim Morgan 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 Womble’s local government defense team, 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 Morgan 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.
Jim’s proficiency and success at all levels of civil litigation, coupled with his attention to detail, have served to strengthen his client relationships, resulting in long-term loyalty, appreciation and respect.
Jim is regularly asked to write for and lecture at seminars and Continuing Legal Education forums throughout the State of North Carolina on various topics dealing with the practice of civil litigation.
Jim joined Womble in 1986. Jim is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife Susan.
Honors and Awards
- In 2013, Jim was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only to select trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years’ trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state.
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Litigation – First Amendment, Litigation – Health Care, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2003 – Present
- Honoree, Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigation Lawyers in Government, Business Litigation, Appellate, 2023
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. After a month-long trial, which garnered extensive media coverage, and seven days of jury deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Forsyth County, finding that the County and its paramedic were not negligent.
- 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. After a two-week trial, the jury found that the Sheriff’s Office and its officers were not negligent.
- 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). The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Sheriff, finding that he did not violate the 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. The jury found in favor of the City and its officers, holding that the defendants were not liable.
- Successfully represented North Carolina hospitals and medical professionals in medical malpractice and business litigation.
- Won a high-profile lawsuit in federal court in which plaintiff sued the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and several of its officers, alleging that the officers had wrongfully accused and arrested the plaintiff for his wife’s murder, resulting in the plaintiff spending over a year in prison, and losing his successful business. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and its officers were sued under state and federal law for wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution, and obstruction of justice, among other things. After the District Court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Jim convinced the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to completely reverse the District Court, and to order that summary judgment be entered in favor of defendants. Jerry Anderson v. Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, et al., 524 Fed. Appx. 854 (4th Cir. 2013).
- Successfully defended the Rowan County Register of Deeds in a lawsuit in state court alleging that the plaintiff was wrongfully discharged for political reasons in violation of the North Carolina Constitution. Jim won a motion to dismiss on behalf of the Rowan County Register of Deeds, and then convinced the North Carolina Court of Appeals to affirm. Sims-Campbell v. Welch, 769 S.E.2d 643 (N.C. App. 2015).
- Won a high-profile federal court lawsuit alleging that Davidson County’s display of “In God We Trust” on the County’s governmental center violated the Constitution. The case attracted national media attention. Jim convinced the District Court to dismiss the lawsuit, and then convinced the Fourth Circuit to affirm the result. Charles Lambeth, et al. v. Davidson County, 407 F.3d 266 (4th Cir. 2005).
- Prevailed in a federal court lawsuit in which the plaintiff corporation alleged that Ashe County violated the federal and state constitutions by blocking the plaintiff from building an asphalt plant. The District Court granted Ashe County’s motion for summary judgment. Jim convinced the Fourth Circuit to affirm. Tri-County Paving v. Ashe County, 281 F.3d 430 (4th Cir. 2002).
- Successfully defended Chatham County in a federal sex discrimination lawsuit brought by former county employee who alleged that she was fired because of her sex. After a jury trial, Jim convinced the federal judge to grant judgment as a matter of law in favor of Chatham County. Jim then argued the case at the Fourth Circuit, convincing the Fourth Circuit to affirm judgment in favor of Chatham County.