Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP
A trusted advocate and accomplished litigator, Jim Phillips advises and represents businesses, business people and professionals in litigation and other disputes with third parties and the government. He is frequently called upon to take the lead in disputes in the public eye. For a full list of Jim's representative experience, please click on the Experience tab.
Jim is known for his effective advocacy in the courtroom, and has litigated complex business matters in federal and state courts in North Carolina and across the United States. He has led the defense of significant claims for violations of the federal and state securities laws, and has litigated numerous intellectual property and trade secrets cases, many of which involved preliminary hearings seeking injunctive relief. In addition, Jim has litigated cases involving contracts, real property, employment issues, tax issues, defamation, construction issues and a variety of business torts.
Recently, Jim has represented the Office of the Governor of North Carolina in a series of high-profile lawsuits challenging legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly. Those cases, grounded in the separation of powers provision of the North Carolina Constitution, challenged laws revamping the State Board of Elections, embedding political hires of the previous Governor in state government, requiring confirmation of the Governor’s cabinet appointments, reducing the Governor’s ability to appoint judges, and undermining the Governor’s authority over the state budget.
For several years during the 1990s, Jim served as Legislative Counsel to the Honorable Jim Hunt, Governor of North Carolina. Jim currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. He previously served on the boards of BEST NC and the James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. Jim has chaired the N.C. Bar Association's Administration of Justice Committee. Jim also served on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, chairing the Board from 2006 through 2008.
Jim has significant complex business litigation experience, both in North Carolina and in venues throughout the nation. He has represented clients in matters involving intellectual property, federal securities law, contracts, real property, state insurance regulation, defamation claims, First Amendment rights, construction issues, tax matters, employment matters, and other sophisticated commercial controversies.
He is regularly engaged to defend national and regional accounting firms, law firms, and other businesses against claims alleging professional negligence or violations of securities laws. He has appeared in state and federal courts in North Carolina and other Southeastern states on related matters.
Because of his background in state government, Jim has the ability to design and implement strategies directed at regulators which frequently lead to positive results for clients.
In addition to his trial practice, Jim regularly appears on behalf of clients in the telecommunications, retail, hospitality, healthcare, and financial services industries in administrative proceedings. He represents clients in hearings before the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the North Carolina Property Tax Commission, the North Carolina Tax Review Board, and the North Carolina Board of Elections, as well as in a number of proceedings before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
In the last several years, Jim has represented a number of cities, school boards, and public bodies across North Carolina who have challenged legislation restricting or taking their authority. Jim continues to represent municipalities, school boards, or other public institutions in matters relating to the balance of power and constitutional law issues. He recently represented the City of Greensboro and obtained a preliminary injunction halting implementation of fundamental changes to Greensboro's form of governance.