James M. Doerfler

James M. Doerfler



  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, 1992, J.D., Order of the Coif; Managing Editor of the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution; 1990 Moot Court Competition Oral Finalist and member of the Winning Moot Court Team
  • University of Notre Dame, 1989, B.A., magna cum laude, Economics

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit

Since joining Reed Smith, Jim has developed a diverse practice involving a broad range of commercial and energy-related litigation and transactional matters. His work has included litigation and transactional work for energy and alternative industry clients related to facilities matters concerning long-term supply contract disputes, construction projects, frack water treatment plants, leasing disputes, injunction proceedings, and landowner complaints related to gas drilling operations.

He has complemented this energy industry experience with transactional and drafting work specific to construction industry projects. Jim's experience at the firm has involved him in private and public commercial construction projects with subcontractors, general contractors, corporations and institutions, commercial contract disputes, and securities-related litigation. Representative cases in the construction sector have involved construction payment, defect and/or delay claims regarding school buildings, power plants, steel mills, pharmaceutical plants, wastewater treatment facilities, courthouses and commercial office buildings.

Employment History

  • 1998 - Reed Smith
  • 1995 - Hoffman Electric, Inc.
    • Project manager, estimator and corporate secretary for a commercial electrical contractor – Responsibilities included overseeing numerous commercial construction projects in which the company served as subcontractors to general contractors or worked for corporate and institutional organizations directly
  • 1994 - Zeiger & Carpenter (Columbus, Ohio)
    • Litigation Associate – Defended class action lawsuits against major automobile manufacturers in various jurisdictions; helped obtain commercial free speech decision protecting automobile manufacturer marketing program

Professional Affiliations

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Construction Law Section – Council Member (elected three year term)
  • American Inns of Court
  • Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera – Corporate Counsel


Jim and his wife, Theresa (B.A. Notre Dame, 1989), reside in Pittsburgh with their four daughters. Jim is a competitive distance runner who has completed six marathons in recent years, each one faster than the last, with five Boston marathon qualifying times. Jim has also rowed with a local Men’s Masters crew club team, and is a devoted follower of the Notre Dame Women’s Rowing Team, for which his oldest daughter currently rows.