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John E. James

Of Counsel
Attorneys Main

John E. James, a retired Potter Anderson partner, practiced in various litigation areas including: insurance coverage litigation, in which he has represented Fortune 500 and other corporate policyholders in litigation against their insurance companies with respect to coverage for environmental, asbestos, other products, employment, D&O, property, fidelity, business interruption and other liabilities; commercial litigation, in which he has represented parties in various forms of business litigation relating to contract disputes, bankruptcy actions and business tort suits; and corporate governance litigation. His trial experience includes serving as counsel for major corporations in the two longest civil jury trials in Delaware State Court history.

John's speaking engagements include:

  • Speaker on a program entitled, "Ace in the Hole or Cheap Trick? Invoking Arbitration Clauses in Coverage Litigation," at the March 2010 annual meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation in Tucson, Arizona
  • Speaker on a program entitled, "10 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About Commercial Insurance Coverage," presented at the April 2009 ABA Litigation Section's Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "Not Just An Ordinary Day In Court: The Insurance Coverage Jury Trial," March 2006 Annual Meeting of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, Tucson, Arizona
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "Hollywood Squares for Busy Litigators: Do You Know if Your Client Has Insurance Coverage?," August 2005 Annual Meeting of the ABA, Chicago, Illinois
  • Emergence of the New Asbestos Coverage Litigation Wave: An Overview, May 2004 Annual Meeting of the ABA's Litigation Section, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Co-Chair, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee's 2004 Annual Conference, Tucson, Arizona

Representative Matters

John's primary practice area for almost twenty-five years was the representation of policyholders in complex insurance coverage litigation against their insurers. These actions involved claims implicating various types of coverage, including 

Environmental liabilities:

  • Hercules Incorporated v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Company,  C.A. Nos. 92C-10-105 and 90C-FE-195-1-CV (Consolidated) (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • Monsanto Company v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, C.A. No. 88C-JA-118 (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • North American Philips Corporation v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, C.A. No. 88C-JA-155 (Del. Super. Ct.)

Directors' and officers' liabilities:

  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's et al., C.A. No. 4791 (Del. Ch.)
  • AT&T Corp. v. Clarendon America Insurance Co., C.A. No. 04C-11-167 (JRJ) (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • Sun-Times Media Group, Inc. v. Royal & SunAlliance Ins. Co. of Canada, C.A. No. 06C-11-108(RRC) (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • Cirka v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., C.A. No. 20250-NC (Del. Ch.)

Tobacco liabilities:

  • Liggett Group Inc. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company, C.A. No. 00C-01-207 (HDR) (Del. Super. Ct.)

Asbestos and other product liabilities:

  • Conagra Foods, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co., C.A. No. 09C-02-170(FSS) (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • Viking Pump, Inc. et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company et al., C.A. No. 1465-VCS (Del. Ch.)
  • Federal Insurance Company v. Alpharma Inc., C. A. No. SOM-C-2003-06 (N.J. Super. Ct.)
  • Hercules Incorporated v. OneBeacon America Insurance Company, C.A. No. 02C-11-237 SCD (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • I.U. North America, Inc. v. A.I.U. Insurance Company, C.A. No. 01C-02-007 (MJB) (Del. Super. Ct.)
  • Shook & Fletcher Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Safety National Casualty Corporation,  C. A. No. 04C-02-087 (MMJ) (Del. Super. Ct.)

Employee benefit liabilities:

  • Alpharma Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Company, 04-3536 (KSH) (D.N.J.)

Loss mitigation:

  • Oxford Health Plans, Inc. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation, C.A. No. 03-04-268 (WCC) (Del. Super. Ct.)

9/11 liabilities:

  • Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Royal Surplus Lines Insurance Company, C.A. No. 06C-09-261 (SCD) (Del. Super. Ct.)

Katrina damages:

  • Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's v. Tyson Foods, Inc., C.A. No. 07C-06-256 (JEB) (Del. Super. Ct.)

Maritime liabilities:

  • Aspen Insurance UK Ltd. v. BJ Services Company, USA, C.A. No. 09C-07-170 (JOH))
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University of North Carolina, J.D., 1979

Brown University, M.A., 1973

Davidson College, A.B., cum laude, 1972; Phi Beta Kappa

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Delaware, 1979

    United States District Court for the District of Delaware

    United States Courts of Appeal for the Third and Fourth Circuits

Professional Activities and Honors

Delaware State Bar Association; Litigation Section; Tort and Insurance Section

American Bar Association

Litigation Section and its Committees on Insurance Coverage Litigation, Commercial and Business Litigation, Pretrial Practice and Discovery and Trial Practice

Co-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section (2006-2009); past Editor-in-Chief, Coverage (bi-monthly journal published by the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section); past Vice Co-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section

Business Law Section and its Committees on Corporate Governance and Business and Corporate Litigation

Tort and Insurance Practice Section and its Committees on Insurance Coverage Litigation and Professionals’, Officers’ and Directors’ Liability

United States District Court for the District of Delaware, District Court Advisory Committee (1995-2004); Court appointed Ombudsman (2003-2007); Court appointed Special Master (2005-2010)

Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America 2016 in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Insurance