James Weatherholtz knows the construction industry. Growing up in a family of contractors, he learned the business from the ground up. He has used that experience for more than 20 years to serve clients in the construction and manufacturing industries.
James understands how projects go together, and that makes him especially good at working with building product manufacturers. He serves as national counsel for litigation claims administration and has defended clients in multiple class actions. He defends construction defect and surety claims for developers, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. James also drafts contracts, handles insurance and payment claims, and regularly assists developers and national homebuilders on issues related to construction.
He is a leader in the industry as well, currently serving as Chair of the DRI Product Liability Committee and formerly as Chair of the South Carolina Construction Law Section. James has also served as Chair of the (US) Construction Team at Womble Bond Dickinson.
Presentations and Publications
- Contributing Author, South Carolina Damages, South Carolina Bar, 2009
- Contributing Author, Construction Checklists, American Bar Association, 2008
- Co-author, Surety Law Chapter, SC Construction Law Deskbook, SC Bar, 2013
- Mitigating the Risk of Being Targeted in Class Action Lawsuits, November 2016, South Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel
- Defending Class Action Warranty Claims in Building Product Cases, February 2015, DRI Product Liability Conference
- Psychological Impediments to Mediation Success, April 2012, DRI Product Liability Conference
- Separating Product Liability Claims from the Construction Defect Case, April 2010, DRI Product Liability Conference
- Negotiation Tactics and Strategies, December 2009, SCDTAA Construction Law CLE
- I Don’t Want No Consensus DOCS Bond Forms, or Do I?, September 2008, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Fall Meeting
- I Like My Odds: Using Statistical Evidence to Defend your Building Products Case, February 2008, DRI Product Liability Conference
- Making Mediation Work - A Model for Clients and Lawyers, September 2006, DRI Construction Law Seminar
- Class Action Litigation for Construction Products Manufacturers, April 2006, Construction Marketing Research Council Annual Meeting
- Advanced Construction Law, August 2003 and November 2005, National Business Institute
- Construction Contracting for Public Entities in South Carolina, April 2001, April 2003, and May 2007, Lorman Education Services
- Wavier of Subrogation, May 2004, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Annual Meeting
Civic and Professional Activities
- DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar
- Chair, Product Liability Committee, 2019-present
- Vice Chair, Product Liability Committee, 2017-2019
- Program Chair, 2014 Product Liability Conference
- Chair, Building Products Specialized Litigation Group, 2010-2012
- South Carolina Bar
- Chair, Construction Law Section, 2012-2013
- Member, Judicial Qualifications Committee, 2009-2012
- Section Delegate, Construction Law, 2014-2015
- American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry
- Division 7 Steering Committee, 2006-2009
- Division 7 Liaison to the Publications Committee
- Charleston County Bar Association
- Member, Executive Committee, 2005-2006
- Charleston Contractor’s Association, associate member and speaker
- James Island Presbyterian Church, Board of Trustees, President, 2010-2017
- United States Army Reserves, 1992-1998
Honors and Awards
- Martindale-Hubbel®, AV Preeminent Rated
- Super Lawyers Honoree in Construction Litigation, Personal Injury – Products, South Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters), 2014 – 2021
- Recognized in Charleston Business Magazine’s Legal Elite, Construction, 2021
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Construction Law, 2014 - Present; Litigation - Construction, 2016 - Present; Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2019 - Present; Commercial Litigation, 2022
- Received the Best Lawyers™ Construction Law "Lawyer of the Year” award in Charleston, SC, 2019
- Selected to the South Carolina Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Construction Litigation, 2012 – 2013
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.
- Obtained an arbitration award on behalf of a developer in a breach of contract dispute.
- Achieved denial of class certification in multiple consumer class actions against leading building product manufacturer in cases filed in numerous states and consolidated in multidistrict litigation.
- Defense of a homebuilding company in a class action lawsuit involving contractual disclaimers.
- Defense of a water utility against a multi-million-dollar claim involving horizontal directional drilling and installation of an HPVC water line.
- As national counsel, successfully defended federal class action and MDL cases involving building products.
- Serves as national counsel for disputes and claims administration in multiple nationwide class action settlements involving building products.
- Defended regional developer in a series of construction defect lawsuits alleging multi-million-dollar repairs to condominium projects.
- Defended manufacturers of engineered wood siding and trim products, asphalt shingles, elastomeric coatings, decking products, laminated beams, OSB products, metal roof shingles, built-up roofing products and stucco cladding.
- Defended a joint venture general contractor in a trial involving a $5 million payment claim arising from a bridge replacement project.