Jim retired from Womble Bond Dickinson on Dec. 31, 2023 after fifty years of law practice, but he continues to serve as a mediator with Miles ADR in North Carolina and other states. Resolving complex business disputes was the focus of Jim's practice since joining Womble Bond Dickinson (formerly Womble Carlyle) in 1985. In addition to his many years of litigation experience, including over 50 jury trials, Jim is certified by the NC Dispute Resolution Commission to conduct Superior Court mediations in North Carolina, and he is a court approved mediator in each of North Carolina’s federal courts. He has successfully mediated a variety of consumer class actions and commercial contract disputes. In the early years of alternative dispute resolution in North Carolina, Jim served on the North Carolina Bar Association's Committee (now section) which designed and implemented North Carolina's court-annexed dispute resolution process, and he served as Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the NC Bar Association in 2022-2023. In that role he led the Section's "Beyond Court-Ordered Mediation" initiative resulting in the formation of several task forces aimed at exploring new dispute resolution approaches for the twenty-first century. He has actively participated in the work of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, studying dispute resolution in the construction and financial services industries. Jim has represented clients in hundreds of mediations and arbitrations of complex business disputes and class actions.

Until his recent focus on mediation of business and commercial disputes, Jim’s practice centered on the representation of financial institutions in a broad range of matters arising out of the 2008 financial crisis. He has frequently represented clients in class actions and multidistrict litigation of antitrust, unfair competition, wage and hour and securities fraud claims, numerous construction disputes throughout the United States, corporate and partnership control disputes representing both majority and minority interests, commercial contract disputes for a wide variety of business clients in the United States and abroad, and conducting internal corporate investigations. Jim's interest in constitutional rights litigation continues, primarily on behalf of local governmental bodies in the education context.

Jim was a Senior Partner in the Charlotte office and a member of Womble Bond Dickinson’s 40-lawyer Financial Services Litigation Team. He was the Practice Group Leader of the Firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group from 1996-1998 and again from 2006-2012, and he headed the Financial Services Litigation Team from 2013-2018. He served on the Firm Management Committee for many years, and was awarded the Sandridge Award for service to the Firm as well as the Grady Barnhill Award for Litigation. 

Presentations and Publications

Publications (Partial List)

  • Best Practices: Preparing for Managing E-Discovery, Martindale-Hubbell Counsel-to-Counsel Roundtable, 2004
  • Contributor, Desk Book on Alternate Dispute Resolution in North Carolina, North Carolina Bar Association, 1991
  • Contributor, Preventing and Resolving Construction Disputes, Center for Public Resources, Inc., 1991 


  • “Saving Money Through ADR: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know About Damage and Loss Calculations in Disputes,“ Atlanta Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association, June 4, 2020
  • Lecturer, “The Case for Early Litigation Mediation,” American Corporate Counsel Association, Charlotte Chapter, Nov. 2018
  • Lecturer, “Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation,” American Conference Institute, New York, NY, January 29-30, 2014
  • Lecturer, “'New Cases, New Causes' in The Mortgage Crisis: How Current Credit Woes Affect You and Your Clients," NC Bar Association, September 18, 2008
  • “Current Developments in Business Litigation,” WCSR Business Litigation Retreat, September 2005 

Professional Activities

  • Bar Associations: Mecklenburg County Bar Association; North Carolina Bar Association (Litigation Section and Senior Lawyer Division; Chair, Large Law Firm Committee, 1997-1998), (Member, Dispute Resolution Section Council, 2016-present), (Chair, 2022-2023), (Immediate Past Chair, 2023-2024), (Chair, Committee on Task Force Organization, 2023-present)
  • Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont, 2001-2007 (President, 2004-2006)
  • Member, Select Drafting Committee of the N.C. Board of Bar Examiners, 1986-1993
  • Board of Directors, Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina, Inc., 1983-1987 
  • Clinical Adjunct Professor of Law, Wake Forest University (Trial practice), 1982-1987
  • Member, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution
  • Member, Womble Carlyle Firm Management Committee, 1990-98 and 2008-2010
  • Law Clerk, Hon. J. Braxton Craven, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 1973-1974
  • Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow, 1974-1976

Honors and Awards

  • Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Litigation: General Commercial, North Carolina, 2006 – Present
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Education Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Litigation – Banking and Finance, Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions, Litigation – Real Estate, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), 2005 – Present
  • Received the Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" Award in the fields of Litigation - Real Estate (Charlotte), 2016, 2020; Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions (Charlotte), 2018, 2022
  • Recognized by North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society for pro bono work, 2021
  • Super Lawyers Honoree in Business Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Antitrust Litigation, Securities Litigation, North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters), 2006 – 2019
  • BTI Consulting, Client Service All-Star (2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (AV rating)
  • Pen Sandridge Award for Service to the Firm (Womble Carlyle)
  • "The Grady": The Grady Barnhill Award for Outstanding Performance as a Litigator


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.

  • National-Alamo Car Rental System, USA, LLC v. Alaska Sales & Service, Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-01220 (United States District Court, D.S.C. (represent national car rental company in litigation against various franchisees)
  • Giabourani v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2:12-CV-42 (US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit) (Represented bank in obtaining summary judgment in the US District Court on all claims of lender liability arising out of the marketing, sale and financing of resort property in Western NC; aff’d 11/14/16 2016 WL 6677634)
  • Guilford County, ex rel. Thigpen v. Lender Processing Services, Inc. et al (NC Business Court) (Represent major national bank in defense of claims of Register of Deeds relating to “robo-signing” and improper utilization of MERS) (Motion to dismiss all claims granted)
  • Hamilton Country Club, LLC, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (US District Court, WDNC) (Represent client in claims arising out of an interest rate swap transaction)
  • Adams, et al. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., et al. (US District Court, EDNC) (Represented client in a mass action by 150+ Plaintiffs arising out of the marketing, sale and financing of coastal resort properties in NC and SC)
  • Triad Group, Inc. et al. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. (N.C. Business Court and AAA Arbitration) (Motion to compel arbitration granted by N.C. Business Court in litigation arising out of an interest rate swap transaction and AAA arbitration award rejecting Plaintiffs’ claims for damages 
  • Stephens v. Wachovia Corporation, No. 3:06cv246, 2004 WL 686214 (U.S. District Court, WDNC) (putative class action dismissed, and motion to compel arbitration and enforce customer’s class action waiver granted)
  • Howard Adams, et al. v. Action Ford, et al., C.A. No. 07-CP-02-1232 (represent national rental car company in defending “mass action” by consumer automobile purchasers against South Carolina automobile dealers) 
  • In re Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 1:04-CV-00416 (U.S. District Court, MDNC) (represent former company officer on this and related litigations including SEC and U.S. Attorney investigations)
  • In re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1486 (N.D. CA) (NC counsel in indirect purchaser class actions to obtain consolidation in pending multidistrict litigation)
  • In re Polyester Staple Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 3:03-CV-1516 (U.S. District Court, WDNC) (represented defendant in DOJ price-fixing investigation and subsequent civil litigation)Evening Post Publishing Co. v. Berkeley County School District (2011)