- J.D., University of Missouri School of Law, cum laude; Order of the Coif; Associate Editor-in-Chief and Note and Comment Editor, Missouri Law Review
- B.A., Drury University, summa cum laude
Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors' Rights
Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
Environment and Natural Resources
Consumer Protection Defense
eDiscovery and Information Management
ERISA and Benefits Litigation
Financial Institutions Litigation
Mediation and Arbitration Neutrals
Product Liability, Tort Law and Personal Injury
Real Estate Litigation
James focuses his practice on contract disputes, real estate claims, construction payment and defect claims, insurance coverage actions, and employment cases. As a former law clerk for the Supreme Court of Missouri, he has handled high-profile state and federal appeals as a replacement for trial counsel as well as handling litigation from start through jury trial to a verdict himself.
James has a broad range of experience in business and real estate disputes, including multimillion-dollar claims.
- Presenter, "How the Limited Scope of Discovery Affects Litigants," Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Expert Edge Lunch and Learn, May 2017
- Presenter, "Legal Aspects of Nonprofit Board Service," Legal Services of Southern Missouri Annual Meeting, 2017
- "Quasi-Contracts," Missouri Bar Desk Book on Contracts, Chapter VI, 2008 (author)
- "Dancing Around Employment At-Will: Can Fraud Provide Plaintiffs a Way to Hold Their Employer Liable?," Note, 65 Missouri Law Review 1003, 2000 (author)
- Retained by client after judgment had been entered against the organization, and the time for filing post-trial motions had expired, impacting a multimillion-dollar commercial development. Argued to the Court of Appeals the judgment should be overturned for plain error. After reversal of the judgment, aggressively litigated the case and multiple companion cases, obtaining summary judgment in client's favor.
- Defended age discrimination claim brought against client and successfully obtained summary judgment in client's favor. On appeal, defended summary judgment and received opinion from the Court of Appeals, affirming the judgment.
- Denominational entity in extensive litigation with a church attempting to disaffiliate. Obtained judgment awarding real property to the denominational entity and successfully defended judgment on appeal.
- Statewide elected public official in litigation alleging violation of Missouri's Open Records Law (Sunshine Law). Worked to find a resolution to resolve claims without necessity of trial.
- Contractor client in mechanic's lien litigation involving project developer, project lender, and multiple contractors and subcontractors. Obtained favorable judgment.
- Client against fraud claims related to the sale of real property. Represented the client at jury trial and obtained jury verdict in favor of client.
- Bank in claims brought by borrowers that loan proceeds were improperly distributed and loans were improperly given.
- Financial institution in its attempt to collect on Deed of Trust in a multimillion-dollar commercial project. Obtained an order restraining debtor from continuing destruction of improvements located on property.
- Receivership on multiple appeals by claimants before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
- Clients against municipality and a private land owner who obstructed a road and denied clients' access to a public cemetery.
- Client in a federal case brought by client's insurer who claimed client had only limited under-insured motorist coverage. Obtained summary judgment for client indicating the client could stack available coverages under policy and have access to six times more coverage than the insurer claimed.
- Material supplier in construction defect litigation. The case involved alleged damage to multiple condominium buildings, as well as claims against dozens of suppliers and contractors.
- Handled appeal of a $4.3 million medical malpractice claim as replacement for trial counsel after adverse verdict, raising constitutional claims regarding violations of a defendant's right to trial by jury.
- Home owner in suit against builder and real estate agent alleging negligent construction, fraud and violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. After jury trial, obtained judgment in excess of $250,000 in favor of client.
- Commercial building owner in a federal suit against property/causality insurer for failure to pay full insurance policy limits after the commercial building was destroyed in a tornado. Obtained million-dollar plus settlement for client prior to trial.
- Municipality in suit against multiple title insurers for undisclosed title defects. Obtained one of the largest settlements in Missouri for 2015, in excess of $90 million dollars.
- Financing placement specialist in suit with real estate developer who, after specialist succeed funding for the project, refused to pay finder's fee. Obtained settlement for client prior to filing suit.
- Business purchaser in federal law suit with seller of business for breach of contract, enforcement of promissory notes and fraud. After obtaining partial summary judgment in favor of client, favorably settled case.
- Property management company in federal suit by timeshare developer and owners' association involving claims of breach of contract, fraud and punitive damages totaling over $5 million dollars. After jury trial, receive jury verdict and judgment completely in favor of client on all counts.
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 2016-2023
- Super Lawyers® , Rising Star, 2012-2016