James H. Heller, chair of the firm's Product Liability Practice Group and co-chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, joined the firm in August 1985. Jim is a member of the firm's Board of Directors. Jim practices out of the Philadelphia office. Jim handles complex commercial disputes and catastrophic personal injury claims. He has vast litigation experience, including product liability and toxic tort claims, in both individual and class actions, and has appeared in state and federal courts across the country.
During his tenure at Cozen O’Connor, Jim has had extensive litigation experience, trying more than 50 cases to verdict or judgment in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Jim is the national coordinating attorney and national trial attorney for an international product manufacturer. He has litigated hundreds of products' liability matters throughout the United States, many of which involve serious personal injury or wrongful death claims from residential fires or neurological injuries from exposure to carbon monoxide. A number of these claims have been pursued on a class action basis.
Jim has also litigated numerous commercial disputes, including claims of fraud, complex breach of contract actions, shareholder derivative actions and litigation arising out of the sale or merger of publicly held companies. He has prosecuted fraud practices by health care providers, attorneys, and claimants. He also has intellectual property litigation experience having prosecuted claims throughout the United States for patent, copyright, and trademark infringement.
Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan in 1982, and his J.D. at the University of Miami in 1985. He is a member of Phi Alpha Delta.
August 19, 2021
Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
May 28, 2021
Super Lawyers has selected 47 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
March 29, 2021
The American Lawyer profiled Jim Heller as part of its Litigation Leader series, which features the country's biggest firms' litigation practice leaders.
September 14, 2020
Jim Heller was quoted in the Wall Street Journal discussing whether or not manufacturers will be held liable for any injuries or deaths during Hurricane Sally.
August 20, 2020
Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).
June 05, 2020
Super Lawyers has selected 58 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
October 09, 2019
Jim Heller was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer discussing the multibillion-dollar verdict that the jury ruled against Johnson & Johnson this week.
August 28, 2019
Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
May 21, 2019
Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
January 28, 2019
Jim Heller, co-chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law's 360 article, "Punitives Promise Fiercer Fight In Philly Risperdal Trial."
December 17, 2018
Jim Heller, vice chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "The Verdicts That Left A Mark In 2018."
September 11, 2018
Cozen O’Connor has elected shareholders James H. Heller, Lori Kalani, Howard Maycon, and Martin Schrier to the firm’s board of directors.
August 22, 2018
One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
August 09, 2018
Jim Heller, chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer's article, "Pa. High Court's 'Roverano' Ruling Likely to Reshape Strict Liability Litigation."
June 12, 2018
Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
April 04, 2018
James Heller, vice chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department and chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice, was quoted in Law360's "Prescribing Doc's Testimony Key In 2nd Philly Xarelto Trial."
March 28, 2018
James Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was admitted as a sustaining member to the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC).
December 06, 2017
James Heller, chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "$28M Philly Xarelto Verdict Ripe For Reversal, Attys Say."
November 03, 2017
James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in Law 360's article, "Xarelto User Faces Hard Sell In 1st Philly Mass Tort Trial."
November 02, 2017
James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer article, "With Upcoming Xarelto Bellwether It's All Eyes on Philadelphia."
August 23, 2017
Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.
August 23, 2017
James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in Law360's article, "3 Trial Losses Won't Doom Xarelto Patients."
April 12, 2017
James Heller, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, was quoted in a Law360 article that discusses a recent jury verdict that shows that juries can bring back large verdicts despite an absence of physical injuries.
July 08, 2016
Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability practice, discusses the Risperdal mass tort in the Legal Intelligencer.
February 11, 2016
Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability practice, discusses the impact of the Philadelephia pelvic mesh verdict on Johnson & Johnson in Law360.
January 01, 2016
James Heller, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation department, discusses the first case to hit trial from Philadelphia’s pelvic-mesh mass tort program in The Legal Intelligencer.
October 06, 2015
Jim Heller discusses the recent decision by a Pennsylvania federal court in which the jury found that Johnson & Johnson’s over-the-counter Children’s Motrin did not cause a child to develop a life-threatening skin disease.
September 04, 2015
Jim Heller discusses Johnson & Johnson’s upcoming Pennsylvania federal court trial alleging children are developing a skin condition after taking the company’s pain reliever, Children’s Motrin.
June 01, 2015
Jim Heller discusses the third settlement in Philadelphia’s Risperdal mass tort, Walker v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which was settled for a confidential amount the day opening arguments were scheduled, and the possibility of this leading to a global resolution to the litigation.
May 26, 2015
Jim Heller discusses arguing to the jury whether Risperdal caused any of plaintiffs' injuries or damage rather than arguing their warning labels were sufficient.
March 31, 2015
In an article titled “Defense Focus in Risperdal Cases May Shift to Causation,” Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Products Liability Practice Group, discusses the two defenses available to Janssen Pharmaceuticals following verdicts in the first two Risperdal cases: the first for failure to warn and the second for causation. As for whether Janssen should drop its failure to warn defenses entirely, Jim said, “I abandon defenses when the jury gets angry at the evidence … here I don't think that either jury has gotten angry. But I clearly would focus my defense on causation.”
June 05, 2014
In an article titled ''Could GM be charged with murder?'' Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Products Liability Practice Group, discusses a defective ignition switch in millions of General Motors’ cars that has led to at least 13 deaths since 2001. The Department of Transportation has fined the automaker $35 million for inaction regarding the switches, and the Department of Justice may impose an even bigger fine on the automaker. Given that people died as a result of the defect, could the U.S. government opt to charge GM with murder too?
March 31, 2014
Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Products Liability Practice Group, commented on GM’s recall of 1.6 million cars. Jim commented in a Reuters article picked up by many publications including CNBC.
August 31, 2013
Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Products Liability Practice Area and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, discusses the impact of public opinion and the media on the NFL Concussion settlement in a Philly.com article ''Public relations was an incentive in NFL concussion deal.''
January 17, 2013
In an article titled, ''Cheat Sheet: A Guide to Navigating Two New Federal Consumer Safety Measures,'' Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Product Liability Practice Group, advises companies on combating negative consumer reports, and complying with the regulatory requirements of the CPSIA.
May 28, 2009
Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that 52 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia and West Conshohocken offices have been named 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics, and will appear in the June 2009 issues of Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
February 10, 2015
In an article titled ''Lacrosse Equipment Manufacturers Facing Challenges,'' James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, and Christopher Passavia, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and their abrupt announcement in November 2014 that it had voided the manufacturer's certification of two of the nation's most popular lacrosse helmets (Cascade's R model and Warrior's Regulator model). The announcement quickly led to the filing of two putative class action consumer lawsuits against Cascade, one of which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and a lawsuit by NOCSAE against Warrior in federal court in Missouri.
February 11, 2014
In products liability actions, plaintiffs use prior consumer complaints as evidence that a defect existed or that the defendant ignored a known defect. Precluding these prior consumer complaints is important to the defense, because this evidence has significant potential to prejudice the jury and lead to the imposition of liability in cases where plaintiffs have failed to produce sufficient proof of a defect. For these reasons, defendants must challenge the admissibility of prior consumer complaints. Defendants should argue that the communications are not substantially similar to the facts, circumstances and defects claimed in the case at issue (and are, thus, not relevant), and are inadmissible hearsay.
Events & Seminars
October 28, 2014
- New Orleans, LA