Jim is a partner working out of the Pittsburgh and Los Angeles offices, who has specialized in appellate law for more than 35 years. He is certified as a specialist in the area of Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Jim is a fellow, director, and former president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is a member and former president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He is a founding member of the Third Circuit Bar Association and served as its second president. He also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Section on Appellate Courts and served as its chair. He served for three years on the California State Bar Committee on Appellate Courts and is the former vice-chair of the Federal Bar Association's Appellate Law and Practice Committee. Jim has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in Appellate Practice (2006-2016) and the Pittsburgh "Lawyer of the Year" for Appellate Practice (2013, 2017), as one of Pennsylvania's and Southern California's "Super Lawyers" in Appellate Law, a Benchmark Appellate Star in Pennsylvania, an American Lawyer Media Southern California Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law, and for admission into the American Law Institute. Additionally, Jim has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Jim has briefed and handled cases in the United States Supreme Court, the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Federal Circuit, the Court of Claims, the California Supreme Court, the California Courts of Appeal, the Washington Supreme Court, the Arizona Appellate and Supreme Courts, the Delaware Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Ohio Appellate and Supreme Courts, the Pennsylvania Appellate and Supreme Courts, the Texas Appellate and Supreme Courts, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and the Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and New Jersey Appellate Courts.
Areas of Substantive Expertise and Consultation
Jim's expertise spans a wide range of substantive areas including unfair competition, insurance recovery, coverage and bad faith, financial services, intellectual property, products liability, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and class actions. He has dealt with many specialized issues in each of these areas, including those involving preemption (federal and state), expert witnesses (federal and state) and consumer fraud (federal and state). In addition to briefing and arguing appeals, Jim regularly consults with trial lawyers on substantive and procedural issues in ongoing cases to help shape trial strategies and make the best record possible for an eventual appeal. These trial consultations also include briefing and argument, and the preparation of post-trial motions, writs, or interlocutory appeals as needed.
Representative Writing and Teaching
Jim is a frequent author and consultant for California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) on a variety of subjects involving civil litigation and civil appellate practice and received its "Spirit of CEB" Award in 2007. With Colin Wrabley, he received the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing for his 2014 article “Using Privately Provided Out-of-Court Relief to Defeat Class Certification.” He is the co-author of California's leading text on experts and a contributing author in texts on civil appellate practice. He has participated in multiple programs dealing with handling civil appeals, record protection for appeal, expert witnesses, and complex litigation. He is a co-editor and chapter co-author of PBI's Third Circuit Appellate Practice Guide and the Ninth Circuit editor and chapter author for the ABA's national compendium on Superseding and Staying Judgments. The following is a list of books to which Jim has contributed:
- Co-editor and contributor to the Practice Guide for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Co-editor and chapter author of Third Circuit Appellate Practices Manual (PBI Press 2007) (Second Edition 2010)
- Ninth Circuit editor of Superseding and Staying Judgments, national compendium (ABA 2007)
- Co-author of California Expert Witness Guide (CEB)
- Contributing author of Civil Appellate Practice (CEB 3d ed.)
- Contributing author of California Civil Writs (CEB 3d ed.)
- Contributing author of Civil Discovery Practice (CEB)
- Contributing author of California Complex Litigation Manual (Parker & Sons)
- Contributing author of A Litigator’s Guide to Effective Use of ADR in California (CEB)
- Consultant on California Practice Guide on Insurance Litigation (Rutter Group)