Jim chairs SS+D’s Litigation Department. He has almost 30 years of experience resolving complex disputes through litigation and other alternative methods. His practice focuses on the following areas:
- Business and Commercial Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Employment and Covenant Not to Compete Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Healthcare, False Claim Act, and Qui Tam Litigation
- Policyholder Rights
- Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Jim has served as lead trial counsel for a variety of companies, including Fortune 500 corporations and small family businesses. His individual clients have included corporate executives, inventors, shareholders, investors, and victims of discrimination and clergy abuse. Jim has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation by Law & Politics magazine and was selected by his peers to the Best of the Bar list published by The Dayton Business Journal. He has tried matters to courts, juries, administrative judges, and arbitrators involving trademark infringement, false advertising, contracts, leases, asset purchase agreements, trade secrets, fiduciary duties, interference with contracts, conspiracy, insurance coverage, wrongful discharge, fraudulent transfers, corporate veil piercing, consumer protection statutes, unjust enrichment, healthcare regulatory matters, sexual harassment, covenants not to compete, administrative rule making, and other commercial and employment matters.
Jim received his B.A., magna cum laude, in 1977 and his J.D. with distinction in 1980, both from Duke University. In law school, he earned Order of the Coif honors. Jim is admitted to the Ohio and Georgia bars. He is also admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Prior to helping found Sebaly Shillito + Dyer in 1986, Jim was an associate at King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia. Jim is a member of the American Bar Association (Litigation, Antitrust, Tort and Insurance, and Intellectual Property Committees); the Ohio State Bar Association; the Georgia Bar Association; the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association; the Society of Ohio Hospital Attorneys; and the Dayton Bar Association. Jim also serves as a Mediator for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in Dayton.
Jim has numerous highlights in an extensive legal career, including the following notable litigation resolutions:
- Following a multiple-week trial, obtained a $23+ million jury verdict for a government contractor from a publically-held company based on theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and interference with contractual rights. Verdict included $17 million in punitive damages awarded after a second trial.
- Successfully represented State of Ohio as Special Attorney General in a Federal Court claim for $400 million by local school board. Following dismissal of those claims, helped negotiate end to court-ordered busing in the City of Dayton arising from a 30-year old civil rights action that had twice been to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- After lengthy preliminary injunction hearing in a trademark and false advertising case, obtained injunction requiring infringer to repackage a consumer electronic product and then negotiated a favorable settlement prior to full trial on the merits.
- Following a six week trial in Federal Court with one of his partners, Toby Henderson, obtained a defense verdict in favor of a family of shareholders in a suit brought by Fortune 200 company claiming over $50 million for alleged fraudulent asset transfers.
- After evidentiary hearing, won preliminary injunction for Fortune 500 company against employee of Fortune 100 company based on non-compete and theft of trade secrets
- Won judgment that was upheld on appeal by Miami University to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
- Obtained judgment ordering return of antique Daimler-Benz with 7-figure valuation to elderly client who had last seen the vehicle at his vacation villa in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War II. The vehicle turned up 50 years later in Dayton. Involved issues related to common law conversion, the Hague Convention, and various other international treaties signed before and after World War II.
- Successfully defended Bowling Green State University and its officers in multiple lawsuits involving RICO, civil rights, and sexual harassment claims. After trial in Court of Claims, obtained Order dismissing all allegations against University officials.
- Successfully mediated claim involving structural integrity of roof on large public arena caused by defective product.
- After evidentiary hearing, defeated preliminary injunction request brought by hospital against Fortune 500 healthcare insurer seeking to prevent termination of provider agreements. Case was then voluntarily dismissed by hospital.
- On appeal after lengthy trial arising from a failed business joint venture, upheld judgment declaring software ownership rights and ordering payment for consulting services.
- Obtained judgment after trial against insurer ordering payment of full amount of coverage for policyholder.
Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
Designated Ohio and Corporate Counsel Super Lawyer (Top 100 Attorneys in Ohio and Top 50 in Cincinnati) by Law & Politics Media, Inc., 2006-2009
Dayton Business Journal Who’s Who in Law and Best of the Bar.