Jim is a Shareholder and Co-Chair of the Elder Law and Compliance and Investigations practices at Maynard Cooper. He is also a member of the Financial Institutions, Corporate Governance and Fiduciary Litigation, and Commercial Litigation practice groups.
Currently, he is lead counsel for a natural gas pipeline seeking $50 million for substantial relocation costs to avoid long wall coal mining. He was lead counsel for a third party defendant in the multi-billion dollar Healthsouth accounting fraud litigation. In 2011-12, he successfully defended a major shareholder suit for a substantial, privately-held company. Jim generally represents directors and officers in fiduciary duty litigation, petroleum and natural gas pipelines, commercial lenders, insurance companies, public corporations and governmental units, and corporate defendants.
In the corporate litigation area, Jim has handled litigation and tried cases concerning pipeline-coal mining disputes, shareholder disputes, construction disputes, lender liability, products liability, securities, antitrust, computer software and hardware, insurance fraud, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, trademarks, toxic torts, environmental claims and general personal injury claims. He has defended multiple insurance sales practice cases in Mississippi. Jim’s Compliance and Investigations practice focuses on director/officer and fiduciary derivative litigation.
Jim’s talents consistently earn him recognition by The Best Lawyers in America© and Super Lawyers in several areas of practice. He is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2018 and again in 2019, Jim was distinguished as the Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation and ERISA Litigation respectively.
Jim earned his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, and he holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina. From 1972-1976, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, resigning with a rank of LT.
- In 2014 to present – Jim is lead counsel for Southern Natural Gas Co., LLC in a suit to recover significant costs to relocate from a long wall coal mine.
- In 2011-12 he represented a major shareholder of a privately-held company in Alabama and received a summary judgment on all claims.
- In 2012, Jim was primary counsel in a jury trial in Greene County, AL for an out of state company in the petroleum industry and received a defendant’s verdict in a property dispute alleging damages for loss of use and enjoyment, mental anguish and punitive damages.
- Jim routinely handles construction disputes on behalf of the Birmingham Airport Authority as well as private contractors.
- In addition, Jim has defended a national company in toxic tort litigation in state courts in Alabama
- Jim has been primary counsel for an Alabama public corporation defending a class action arising out of property acquisitions and received a summary judgment, affirmed on appeal.
- Served as primary counsel in substantial insurance-related litigation arising out of alleged accounting fraud in the healthcare industry. See in re Healthsouth Insurance Litigation, 308 F. Supp.2d 1253 (N.D. Ala. 2004).
- Representative clients include: The University of Alabama-Birmingham, The University of Alabama, Healthcare Realty Trust, Southern Natural Gas Co., LLC and the Birmingham Airport Authority.
- The Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation: Banking and Finance, Litigation: ERISA, Litigation: Mergers & Acquisitions (2006 – present)
- Best Lawyers® 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation: Mergers and Acquisitions; 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation: ERISA; 2012 and 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” for Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation
- Mid-South Super Lawyers for Estate & Trust Litigation, Energy & Natural Resources, and Eminent Domain (2016-present)
- Alabama Super Lawyers Mergers & Acquisitions (2012-2015)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Rating
Jim’s Affiliations & Civic Involvement
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
- Alabama State Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Kiwanis Club of Birmingham
- Monday Morning Quarterback Club
- Former Senior Warden, Cathedral Church of the Advent (Episcopal)
- Recipient of Alabama State Bar Resolution for representation of a convicted felon sentenced to life without parole, successfully obtaining a re-sentence that led to drug rehabilitation and ultimate release.