Resolving complex business disputes has been 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 brings a keen understanding of alternate dispute resolution techniques to his clients' problems. He 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 currently serves on the Council of the Dispute Resolution Section of the NC Bar Association. 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 and is now certified as a mediator in North Carolina, specializing in complex business disputes and class actions. Jim brings to bear a complete arsenal of techniques and skills for evaluating and solving business disputes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

In recent years, Jim’s practice has 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 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.

Jim is 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 90-lawyer Business Litigation Practice Group from 1996-1998 and again from 2006-2012, and he headed the Financial Services Litigation Team from 2013-2018.

Presentations and Publications

Publications

  • 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) 

Presentations

  • Lecturer, “The Case for Early Mediation,” American Corporate Counsel Association, Charlotte Chapter (November 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

  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Member, Dispute Resolution Section Council, 2016 – present
    • Litigation Section and Constitutional Law Section; Chair, Large Law Firm Committee, 1997-1998
  • 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 2008-10
  • 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 2018 Ranked Lawyer, Litigation - General Commercial, North Carolina 
  • Super Lawyers Honoree, 2006 - 2019
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field(s) 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™ 2018 M&A Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Received the Best Lawyers™ 2016 Real Estate Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • BTI Consulting, Client Service All-Star (2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (AV rating)
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.

  • 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)
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Bar admissions

1973, North Carolina

Admitted to practice before:

  • United States Eastern, Middle and Western District Courts of North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Education

  • J.D., 1973, University of North Carolina School of Law
    • Member, Associate Justice, Holderness Moot Court
    • Member, National Moot Court Team
    • North Carolina Law Review
  • Union Theological Seminary (N.Y.), 1969-70
    • Rockefeller Brothers Fellow
  • B.A., 1969, Davidson College
    • cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • McConnell Scholar
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