- Labor Relations / Collective Bargaining
- Labor and Employment
- Labor and Employment Litigation
- Education Litigation
- University of Virginia, J.D., 2011
- Dillard Fellow
- Executive Editor, Virginia Journal of Law and Technology
- Miami University of Ohio, B.A., 2006, History and American Studies, summa cum laude
- Phi Beta Kappa
Licensed to Practice
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
- Ohio Supreme Court
James focuses his practice on education law, particularly First Amendment issues specific to school districts. He advises clients on labor and employment matters, contract disputes, public record request compliance, and policy drafting. James has complex commercial litigation experience, and has managed several cases from initial phases of discovery through trial.
James began his career as a public school teacher. He taught fourth and fifth grades in the Mississippi Delta as a member of Teach For America. As a Dillard Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Law, he mentored first-year students in writing and research skills. James’s law practice reflects his commitment to education and his first-hand knowledge of the legal challenges that school districts face today.
- Advises clients how to navigate potential violations of the Establishment Clause and Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Drafts school board policies, such as anti-fraternization, open enrollment, and student attendance policies.
- Advises clients on state employee hiring requirements under Ohio law.
- Drafts agreements between school districts and third parties for the provision of healthcare services and special education needs.
- Drafts legal memoranda, motions, and pleadings for complex commercial litigation, including motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, and discovery motions.
- Drafts discovery responses and objections as well as affirmative discovery requests.
- Prepares for and attends depositions and witness preparation sessions.
- Prepared for and attended trial in Chancery Court (DE) and prepared for and attended court hearings in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
- Manages large-scale electronic document review projects for complex commercial litigation and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, as well as creates and implements review protocols for contract attorney teams regarding relevance, privilege, and confidentiality.
- Drafts motion to dismiss for school district for employment-related litigation.
- 2019 – Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Area of practice: Schools & Education.
- House Bill 491: A Treasure Trove of Legal Changes Affecting Ohio School Treasurers
- Non-teaching employees can coach too, right? The legal implications of hiring non-teaching personnel
- New Ohio Law Changes Student Discipline Procedures and School Resource Officer Requirements
- Post-Parkland protests pose array of legal questions
- Protests Post-Parkland: The legal ramifications of the rising tide of school protests
- #MeToo 101: What districts need to know about the #MeToo movement in schools
- When Litigation Strikes! Public Records, Litigation Hold Letters & Electronic Discovery (April 2016)
- Dangerous Apps (April 12, 2016)
- Sports Law Presentation (April 2016)
- Managing Social Media Identity (March 11, 2016)
- “Legal Aspects of Internships: Legal Issues Employers Should Know,” Cleveland Internship Summit, co-hosted by the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, February 10, 2016.
- Social Media Presentation (Public Forum & Employees) – Cuyahoga County and Summit County ESC (January 21 and February 12, 2016)
- Ohio Case Law & Legislative Update (September 24, 2015)
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
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