James A. Morris

Attorney

JimMorris-01
JimMorris-01

James A. Morris

Attorney

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

James A. Morris is a first chair trial lawyer. He is licensed to practice law in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado. His specialties include products liability litigation, serious personal injury trial law, FELA claims, labor and employment litigation, and corporate governance.

Mr. Morris is the owner of Morris Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Morris has worked in large firms in the past and has supervised associate attorneys and legal staff over the last 20 years. Mr. Morris has handled numerous cases involving the pharmaceutical, oil and gas refining industry as well and associated contractors, railroads, and medical providers. He routinely handles trucking accidents, mesothelioma cases, and catastrophic injury cases. He is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with numerous trials, mediations and arbitrations to his credit. Mr. Morris is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and he has been named to the Texas Super Lawyers as published by Texas Monthly Magazine from 2007 to 2012. Mr. Morris moved his practice to California in 2013.

Expertise

Mr. Morris has first chair trial experience in a number of significant pharmaceutical and toxic tort cases. He is an expert in jury selection, evidence and procedure, direct and cross-examination and argument.

Mr. Morris’ most recent trial occurred in Oakland, CA in December 2014 where he represented a mesothelioma victim to a successful confidential resolution after 5 weeks of trial. Mr. Morris has tried cases in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California and Nevada.

He has represented union members in arbitrations involving discipline and contract interpretation. His trial practice has included grade crossing injuries, explosions, electrocutions, and numerous product failures.

Significant Cases

Scroggin v. Wyeth and Upjohn 586 F.3rd 547(8th Cir, 2009, writ denied) In March of 2008, Mr. Morris received a jury verdict of $29,870,000.00 against Wyeth and Upjohn on behalf of Donna Scroggin, a breast cancer survivor in Little Rock, Arkansas. The verdict was the first plaintiff’s verdict in MDL 1507 that oversees the Hormone Replacement Therapy Litigation in the United States Federal Court System. Mr. Morris tried the case start to finish against teams of attorneys from Williams and Connolly and Kaye Scholar. The verdict included $2.75 million in actual damages against both defendants and $19.760 million in punitive damages against Wyeth and $7.360 million in punitive damages against Upjohn. The case was appealed to the 8th circuit and U.S. Supreme Court. Both courts refused to reverse the award.

In May of 2007, Mr. Morris obtained the first verdict against Pfizer in the Hormone Replacement Therapy litigation in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. (Simon v. Wyeth and Pfizer). After four weeks of trial, the Jury awarded Merle Simon $1.5 million in actual damages.

In 2004, Mr. Morris obtained the first intermediate opt out verdict in the country arising from the national settlement of diet drug litigation under MDL 1203. The jury awarded Deborah Hayes $1.4 million for mild aortic regurgitation. Wyeth’s stock sank 7% as a result of the verdict. (Hayes v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals). Mr. Morris also obtained the first intermediate opt out verdict in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas consolidated Fen-Phen litigation. (Clepper v. Wyeth).

Mr. Morris obtained the first verdict against PPG Industries in the history of asbestos litigation for seven families valued at over $13 million. (Sonnier v. Pittsburgh Corning, et. al.). Mr. Morris also tried the first asbestos case in the country against Union Carbide and Montello Supply Company. (McKenzie v. Union Carbide).

He has tried numerous cases involving personal injuries in State and Federal Courts. He participated in the discovery of the State of Texas v. The American Tobacco Industry. He has successfully handled products liability cases involving Hormone Replacement Therapy, Fen-Phen, Baycol, Ephedra, PPA, Levaquin and Propulsid. Over the years he has successfully handled a number of labor and employment matters including arbitrations, contract negotiations, and Title VII matters on behalf of employees and various labor unions.

Following the Sonnier verdict, Judge James Mehaffy summed up Mr. Morris’ talent in the courtroom in a handwritten note to Walter Umphrey, “He is cool, articulate, and very persuasive- if any one person has made the difference in this case, it’s Jim Morris.”

SIGNIFICANT CASES

Cimino v. Raymark Industries; State of Texas v. The American Tobacco Companies; Greer v. Calaveras Asbestos, Ltd.; Bertha Thomas v. Omega Psi Phi; Sonnier v. Pittsburgh Corning & PPG; McIntosh v. Baptist Hospital; In re: W& G Trucking; Hayes v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; Simon v. Wyeth and Pfizer, Scroggin v. Wyeth and Upjohn.

PRIOR EMPLOYMENT

  • Weitz and Luxenberg- Managing Attorney CA Office-2012-2015
  • MORRIS LAW FIRM-2009-2012
  • BRENT COON AND ASSOCIATES-2006-2009
  • PROVOST HUMPHREY LAW FIRM- 1988-2006; EQUITY PARTNER
  • 1987-1988- LAW OFFICES OF JAMES W. MEHAFFY, JR.
  • 1987- JEFFERSON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE-Prosecutor
  • 1986-1987- COMBINED LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS

EDUCATION

  • BAYLOR UNIVERSITY- BA- POLITICAL SCIENCE-1983
  • SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW- JD- 1986

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND LICENSES

  • STATE BAR OF TEXAS-1986 TO PRESENT
  • STATE BAR OF COLORADO- 2004 TO PRESENT
  • STATE BAR OF PENNSYLVANIA- 2007 TO PRESENT
  • STATE BAR OF NEW YORK-2013 TO PRESENT
  • STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA- 2014 To PRESENT (Passed it the first time at age 52)
  • BOARD CERTIFIED IN PERSONAL INJURY TRIAL LAW SINCE 1991, RECERTIFIED IN 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011
  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT-CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
  • UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
  • UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS
  • UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
  • MARTINDALE HUBBELL AV RATING
  • LIFE FELLOW OF THE TEXAS BAR FOUNDATION
  • AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE-Sustaining Member
  • CONSUMER ATTORNEYS OF CALIFORNIA
  • CONSUMER ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES (CAALA)
  • TEXAS TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
  • SOUTHEAST TEXAS TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION-Vice President 2003 and President for 2004 & 2005
  • MILLION DOLLAR ADVOCATES FORUM
  • Voted “Best Attorney” in the 2003 Port Arthur News reader’s poll.
  • 2007-2012 TEXAS SUPER LAWYERS

Mr. Morris has spoken at numerous CLE conferences on issues involving trial practice and persuasion. He has authored outlines and trial aids that are available upon request. He is a master graduate of the Rapport Leadership Institute.

PUBLICATIONS

Drug Injury-Liability, Analysis and Prevention, Second Edition, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, 2005 (Co-author of Chapter 16: Danger at the Drugstore: Some Practical Comments on Pondimin and Redux Litigation)

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our offices

  • Beaumont Office

    215 Orleans St.
    Beaumont, TX 77701

  • Houston Office

    300 Fannin St.
    Suite 300
    Houston, TX 77002

  • Burbank Office

    4111 W. Alameda Avenue
    Suite 611
    Burbank, California 91505

  • Denver Office

    3801 E. Florida Ave.
    Suite 905
    Denver, CO 80210-2500

  • Philadelphia Office

    1500 Walnut Street
    Suite 2000
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Nashville Office

    1102 17th Avenue, South
    Suite 305
    Nashville, TN 37212

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