As a recognized leader, national speaker, and Firm co-chair in E-Discovery, Jim Sullivan has guided clients through corporate discovery in some of the most complex federal and state court litigations. He is known for his passion for learning clients’ businesses, foresight, strategic advice, and ability to find new ways to advance clients’ interests. Jim developed the work ethic and direct communication style he brings to his practice in the blue-collar New England mill towns where he grew up. As a lifelong learner, he prides himself on applying and passing on to other attorneys the valuable lessons he has acquired in legal practice from his judicial clerkships and from mentors who preceded him in the firm’s leadership.

In Jim’s E-Discovery practice, he has led national teams in all phases of corporate discovery, including:

  • Serving as ESI Liaison counsel for defendants in federal multidistrict litigation and coordinated state court litigation;
  • Routinely working with clients on corporate fact investigation, document preservation, preparation of written discovery responses, and preparation of company witnesses for testifying at depositions or trials;
  • Negotiating protective orders and other joint filings with opposing counsel;
  • Briefing and arguing a broad range of motions arising from the discovery process such as motions regarding scope of discovery, confidentiality, and privilege issues;
  • Supervising document productions ranging from thousands to millions of pages and regularly counseling clients regarding information governance, litigation preparedness, and E-Discovery issues.

Jim’s E-Discovery practice is informed by his broad experience in pretrial, trial, and appellate practice. His experience also includes writing trial and appellate briefs, taking expert and fact witness depositions, and participating in all facets of trial preparation. In his combined experience prior to and with the firm, Jim has participated in more than twenty jury trials, numerous bench trials, and in more than a hundred appeals.

Jim also has experience evaluating environmental, products liability, and other litigation exposure for potential corporate acquisitions, as well as extensive experience with multidistrict litigation, mass tort proceedings, class actions, Daubert issues, punitive damages, choice-of-law, federal preemption, and civil and appellate procedure in general. His experience extends into the firm’s environmental practice, including with issues arising under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

With an interest in teaching, Jim has presented at national E-Discovery conferences, and published on E-Discovery, civil procedure, and appellate procedure in legal magazines such as ALM’s Legaltech News, DRI’s In-House Defense Quarterly, and DRI’s For the Defense. He reports on significant appellate jurisdiction and procedure cases from the District of Columbia Circuit and Federal Circuit as Regional Editor of Certworthy (the newsletter of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee). Jim also serves as Chair of the firm’s pro bono program and has experience with a diverse group of pro bono representations, including immigration, Social Security Disability, and child custody matters.

On several occasions, he has returned to his alma mater Georgetown Law to serve as an E-Discovery coach to the attorneys, discovery vendors, and other practitioners who attend Georgetown’s eDiscovery Training Academy. Jim was Managing Editor of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, and remains active with the law school, including as a J.D. admissions interviewer. As a former player, Jim also serves as an alumni mentor to student athletes on the Wesleyan University football team.

Prior to joining the firm, Jim served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Myron H. Bright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. During his clerkship, he worked on cases on appeal before the Sixth Circuit, Eighth Circuit, and Ninth Circuit. He previously served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Leonard N. Zito of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

Education

Georgetown Law (J.D., 2004) Wesleyan University (B.A., 2001)

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Accolades

  • Super Lawyers, E-Discovery, 2020, 2023, 2024
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2017 and 2018

Memberships

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • District of Columbia Bar E-Discovery Committee
  • Wesleyan Lawyers Association
  • The Sedona Conference

Cases

Insights & Events

The Firm congratulates fifteen attorneys named as 2023 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for Washington, DC. The annual publication lists the top five percent of attorneys in each state, as chosen by their peers through a…