James D. Abrams

Partner Columbus


Jim represents clients in all aspects of civil litigation with a concentration in commercial matters. Before joining the legal field, Jim held leadership roles at both publicly traded and privately held businesses including serving as CFO at GAP, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. His deep knowledge of business allows him to bring a real-world perspective to client matters. Jim’s success in the corporate world also includes helping build emerging-growth companies and start-up ventures in the retail, direct marketing and consumer products industries. His unique background has led to a proven track record of successfully resolving disputes inside, as well as outside, of the courtroom.

Jim’s litigation career reflects success in representing both plaintiff and defendant parties in matters spanning a range of legal disciplines relating to:

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

Representing an array of enterprises both public and private, Jim’s success in the legal field can be seen in industries including retail, renewable energy and technologies, consumer products, commercial real estate, manufacturing and professional and business services. He has experience in both trial and appellate courts.

Jim is known for the candor he brings to his practice of law, as well as his strong financial acumen and strategic planning skills. As a formerly licensed CPA (inactive), Jim understands the financial implications of businesses challenges and can effectively evaluate damages in litigation matters. These traits balance his trial, advocacy and negotiation talents, which he exercises daily on behalf of clients. His talents also attract out-of-state clients with requests for him to serve as local counsel.

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.


All Service Areas


  • Capital University School of Law (2003)
  • California State University, M.B.A. (1973)
  • San Francisco State College, B.A. (1967)


  • Federal - Northern District of Ohio
  • Federal - Southern District of Ohio
  • Federal - 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
  • State - District of Columbia
  • State - Ohio
  • State - Arizona

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

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association

    Litigation Section Commercial and Business Litigation Committee: Co-Chair of the Diversity Subcommittee; Former Co-Chair, Programs Subcommittee; and Member of the Access to Justice Committee

  • American Bar Foundation


  • American Inns of Court

    Past Program Chair (2013)

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


  • Columbus Bar Association

    Professional Ethics Committee (2 yr. term starting 2017)
    Former Chair, Pro-Bono Committee
    Former Co-Chair, Federal Courts Committee (2006 - 2007)
    Former Member, Board of Governors (2012)
    Member of Investment Committee and Finance Committee

  • Columbus Bar Foundation

    Trustee and Fellow

  • The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

Community Involvement

  • Capital University Law School

    Former President and Member, Board of Counselors

  • Council for Ethical Leadership at Capital University

    Executive Committee Member
    Advisory Board Member

  • Huckleberry House

    Past Treasurer (through 2014)
    Vice President
    Board Member

  • ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

    Former Vice President of the Board of Trustees