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James D. Abrams

Ranked by Super Lawyers

JAMES D. ABRAMS regularly represents clients in all aspects of civil litigation with a concentration on commercial matters. He has a proven track record of successfully resolving disputes inside, as well as outside, of the courtroom. He has experience in both trial and appellate courts.

Jim thrived over a progressively-challenging twenty-year period as a corporate executive where he helped to build emerging-growth companies and start-up ventures in the direct marketing, retail, and consumer products industries. This breadth of prior business experience brings him real-world perspective which benefits his clients today.

Jim’s litigation career is exceptional in the fact that he has successfully represented both plaintiff and defendant parties in matters spanning a range of distinctive legal disciplines relating to:

  • Intellectual property
  • Trade secret
  • Lanham Act
  • Breach of contract
  • Securities fraud
  • Liability
  • Complex mediation

In addition, he has represented an array of enterprises, both public and private, across industries including energy and utilities, consumer products, commercial real estate, manufacturing, and professional and business services.

Jim is known for the candor he brings to his practice of law, as well as the strong financial acumen and well-developed problem solving and strategic planning skills he possesses. These traits balance his trial, advocacy and negotiation talents, which he exercises daily on behalf of his clients. His talents also attract out-of-state clients with requests for him to serve as local counsel.

Achievements and Awards

  • Awarded an "AV Peer Review Rating" (Preeminent) by LexisNexis/Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2012 – 2017)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Appellate Law (2016 – 2018)
  • Listed as an Ohio Rising Star by Super Lawyers (2007 – 2011)
  • Recipient, the Legal Aid Society’s Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award (2009)
  • Recipient, Capital University’s Alumni Outstanding Service Award (2010)

Professional Memberships and Community Service

  • ProMusica Chamber Orchestra: former Vice President of the Board of Trustees
  • Huckleberry House: past Treasurer, Vice President and member of the Board
  • Columbus Bar Association: Member, former Board of Governors 2012; member of Investment Committee and Finance Committee
  • Columbus Bar Association: Professional Ethics Committee (PEC) (2 yr. term starting 2017)
  • Columbus Bar Foundation: Trustee and Fellow
  • Columbus Bar Association: former Chair, Pro-Bono Committee
  • Columbus Bar Association: former Co-Chair, Federal Courts Committee, 2006 - 2007
  • Capital University Law School: former President and Member of the Board of Counselors; Strategic Planning Committee; Carnegie Project: Educating Lawyers, Working Group Member
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association: Co-Chair, Programs Subcommittee of the Litigation Section Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
  • The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • American Inns of Court: past Program Chair
  • Council for Ethical Leadership at Capital University: Former Executive Committee Member, Advisory Board Member

Speeches and Publications

  • Co-Author: "The Justice Gap and Pro Bono Legal" ABA Litigation Section, Winter 2017
  • Co-Author: "Voluntary Payment Doctrine: A Useful Affirmative Defense or Instrument of Evil?" ABA Litigation Section, June 2016
  • Co-Author: "Campaign Ethics: A Reason to Forego Judicial Elections," ABA Litigation Section, February 2016
  • Author: "Persistence Conquers an Imperfect Legal System," Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, Spring 2012
  • Author: “What's Wrong with Hearsay?” Journal of the Trial Evidence Committee Proof, Spring 2010
  • Author: “Managing Costly Litigation,” CWS Newsletter, Vol. 3, 2009
  • Author: “So You Think Your Trade Secrets Are Protected,” CWS Newsletter, Vol. 2, 2008
  • Author: “A Missed Opportunity: Medical Use of Marijuana is Defensible.” Case Note: U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis, Capital U.L.R. 31 Vol. 4
  • “Preparing a Fact Witness for Deposition,” Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, Fall 2007

Other Professional Experience
Prior to his legal career, Jim built an impressive resume of practical business experience as a senior executive, serving both publicly traded and privately held businesses, including as CFO for GAP, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Jim was an extern to the Honorable Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio.  For Harold’s Inc. (A National Specialty Retailer), he was a member of the Board of Directors and former chair of the Audit Committee.