James T. Smith

Biography

VICE CHAIRMAN

James T. Smith has more than 35 years of experience in complex commercial litigation, products liability, and white collar criminal defense nationwide. He serves both corporate and individual clients in a wide variety of industries including technology, transportation, healthcare, aerospace, and defense, in disputes involving fraud and abuse, intellectual property, corporate governance, government and internal investigations, white collar criminal defense, breach of contract and related claims, and many other areas. Jim formerly served for eight years as chair of Blank Rome’s Litigation Department, overseeing more than 250 attorneys across nine practice groups and 14 offices. Prior to that, Jim was the practice group leader for the Commercial Litigation group for six years.

Jim served as a law clerk to the Honorable Genevieve Blatt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

For more than a decade, Chambers USA has recognized Jim as a leader in general commercial litigation, noting recently that he is considered to be a “fantastic litigator.” Some of the sources quoted in Chambers said:

2020: James Smith is “a meticulous litigator who knows his business.”

2018: He is able to “strategically think ahead and figure out the best route to that solution better than anyone I have ever met.”

2017: “He is brilliant, super well-prepared and relentless,” reports one impressed source, who also singles out Smith’s “client-oriented” approach.

2016: “He is as smart as can be—the most strategic thinker I’ve met in my life.”

Experience

  • Unanimous defense verdict in the first Philadelphia talc products liability trial for Johnson & Johnson. Jim leads the legal team for the hotly contested litigation nationally as part of Johnson & Johnson’s core “talc trial team.”
  • Successful resolution of high-profile criminal and civil proceedings for a publicly traded medical device manufacturer. These cases were challenging, complicated, and received national media attention.
  • Favorable settlement for the defense in a case alleging violations of the Alien Tort Statute. This litigation, followed by the national media and referenced in a New York Times best seller, involved enhanced interrogation techniques for high value detainees captured in foreign countries.
  • Largest owner of shopping malls in the United States—in a nationwide class action brought by former tenants alleging a RICO conspiracy to overcharge for electricity.
  • Favorable settlement for a majority owner of a sports team in an action involving family assets worth over a billion dollars. Jim continues to represent the family enterprise in other ancillary trust litigation and a variety of other matters.
  • Over $50 million recovery of private equity investors’ funds lost due to negligence by auditors who failed to detect ongoing fraud.
  • Dismissal of $250 million lender liability claim and related bankruptcy proceeding against a publicly traded commercial lender. Jim also secured a judgement that this case was filed in bad faith.
  • Successful summary judgment against plaintiffs who made a $600 million claim involving theories about alleged effects of violent video games for a publicly traded video game manufacturer.
  • Highly favorable resolution of criminal and civil fraud prosecution for a publicly traded defense contractor.
  • $50 million dollar jury verdict in a case involving breach of contract, fiduciary duty, trademark infringement, conversion, and other claims for a publicly traded branding company.
  • $30 million arbitration award for a transportation systems service provider. The case involved claims that shareholders of a newly acquired company misrepresented its financial condition.
  • Successful result for financial services software provider after bankruptcy litigation arising from the acquisition of a business solutions provider valued at $825 million.
  • $9 million dollar jury award for an aerospace and defense company in a trial involving breach of contract, fraud, and other claims.
  • Withdrawal of complaint and court-imposed sanctions against plaintiffs after defending a class-action against a food-processing company. The claims involved allegations of toxic-tort exposure to children while in utero.
  • No damages awarded against a defense company in an arbitration where claimant sought $175 million in damages for breach of contract and related claims.
  • Multimillion-dollar jury verdict for publicly traded major defense contractor involving theft of intellectual property claims.
  • Over $20 million jury verdict for individual victim of severe personal injury.  

News & Views

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Recognitions

  • 2022, "Best of the Bar: Business Litigation," listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal
  • Litigation: General Commercial Law, listed in Chambers USA
  • AV Preeminent®, listed in Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2006–2023, Commercial Litigation in Philadelphia, listed in Best Lawyers in America©
  • 2004, 2006–2022, “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” in Business Litigation, listed in Super Lawyers©

Credentials

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Education

  • Temple University, BA, magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, JD