Jim advises clients on matters before federal and state agencies, including regulatory and compliance issues in jurisdictions across the country. He counsels clients on internal and government investigations, government contracting and procurement, congressional inquiries, federal and state campaign finance and election laws, federal and state ethics issues, and complex litigation matters. He has also represented colleges and universities in National Collegiate Athletic Association investigations. Jim not only has a keen understanding of the challenges businesses face in highly regulated environments, he is also uniquely experienced at handling high-profile legal matters that are likely to attract considerable media attention. He is also a political and legal contributor to CNN, appearing on AC360, Cuomo Prime Time, CNN Newsroom, The Situation Room, State of America, and New Day.
Jim served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel. In addition to having provided legal counsel to the President of the United States and his senior staff, Jim has provided legal counsel to the Governor of Pennsylvania and his senior staff and cabinet and a number of federal and state elected officials and handled high profile matters for private sector clients.
In his role as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Associate Counsel to the President, Jim provided counsel to the White House on matters involving government contracting, procurement, trade and transportation, and infrastructure. Jim had liaison responsibilities to the Department of Transportation and the General Services Administration. He played a significant role in the drafting and review of executive orders and was involved in the interview and selection process for United States Attorneys and Federal District and Circuit Court Judges. Jim served as an ethics official for the White House and had the responsibility of providing counsel on ethics and compliance matters including those involving the Ethics Act, Hatch Act, Stock Act, gift rules, financial disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Jim also served as counsel to the Presidential Transition and was as a member of the legal team during the 2016 Republican National Convention. Throughout the 2016 election cycle, Jim was a frequent contributor on NBC 10 Philadelphia.
From 2011-2014 Jim served as General Counsel to Governor Thomas W. Corbett and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In that role, he provided legal counsel to the governor and his executive staff. Jim managed a legal organization of nearly 500 lawyers who served as counsel to 36 executive agencies and independent boards and commissions. He provided counsel on all major procurements, transactions, litigation, and the preparation of legislation and regulations on behalf of the administration and Commonwealth agencies under the governor's jurisdiction. He managed a vast portfolio of work, including agriculture; banking and securities; primary, secondary and higher education; energy; environment; insurance and health care; labor and employment; municipal finance; pensions; taxes and revenues; and transportation and infrastructure. His responsibilities also included initiating and overseeing internal investigations as well as state agency engagement with the federal government on legal matters.
Having served as General Counsel to a legal organization with an outside counsel budget in excess of $30 million, Jim understands the fiscal challenges in-house legal departments face when it comes to outside counsel legal fees. While serving as General Counsel to the Commonwealth, Jim successfully implemented a program to reduce outside counsel fees by nearly twenty percent during his tenure. Jim was a featured panel speaker at the 2014 InsideCounsel magazine SuperConference, where he presented his model approach to many of the country’s leading in-house counsel.
Prior to joining Governor Corbett’s administration, Jim spent three years as Of Counsel at Cozen O’Connor handling litigation matters throughout the country. Jim also served as a senior aide in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he worked closely with the U.S. Attorney on public policy initiatives throughout the region. He was the liaison to federal, state, and local government and law enforcement officials and agencies. Early in his career, prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jim spent four years as a litigator handling cases throughout the region and country.
Jim is active in politics and in the community. Governor Tom Wolf appointed him to the board of directors of the Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corporation in September, 2019. Additionally, he was recently elected to serve on the board of councilors to The Pennsylvania Society and is on the board of trustees of Rosemont College. Jim has served as a campaign adviser and legal counsel to candidates running for federal, state, and local office. In 2004, he served as the regional field director for Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. Dedicated to his community, Jim has served as chairman of the executive committee for the Steward’s Alliance of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, an organization dedicated to the Archdiocese’s schools for special needs students. He also served as a founding member of the Athletic Advantage Fund and on the executive committee of the Christian Street YMCA. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, the President's Leadership Council for Drexel University, and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
Jim earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law, where he served as a student law clerk for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas Saylor. He earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University, where he was a member of the Temple Owls football team. Immediately following law school, Jim served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Vincent A. Cirillo, President Judge Emeritus of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.