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He has litigated some of North Carolina’s most high-profile cases, including the Duke Lacrosse case and Alan Gell’s death row appeal.
Jim Cooney is the Practice Group Leader of the Business Litigation Practice Group at Womble Carlyle. He practices both civil and criminal law, including trial and appellate work. He is recognized as one of the leading health care litigators and “white collar” criminal attorneys in the State of North Carolina, and has represented numerous businesses and individuals in connection with catastrophic tort cases, significant business disputes and internal investigations in both State and Federal court.
Jim Cooney has represented individuals and businesses in some of the most difficult and high-profile cases in North Carolina. Over the past several years he:
Jim has tried more than 60 jury cases to verdict in civil and criminal cases and argued more than 45 appeals in the State and Federal courts. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Permanent Member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. Jim has been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2000 in both civil and criminal litigation. He is the only attorney selected as one of the top trial lawyers in North Carolina in civil and criminal work; in 2006, 2007. 2008, 2009 and 2010 he was selected as one of the top ten civil attorneys in North Carolina. In 2007 he was the top vote recipient for criminal attorneys in North Carolina and in 2011 was voted the best attorney for “Bet Your Company” cases. In 2004 he received the N.C. Bar Association’s William Thorp Pro Bono Award and in 2010 the N.C. Bar Association’s Wade Smith Professionalism Award for Criminal Defense. He is a member of the “Legal Elite Hall of Fame” in North Carolina.
Jim has lectured extensively throughout North Carolina and the country to law-enforcement groups, attorney organizations and law schools. In recent years he has spoken at the Nebraska Defense Attorneys’ Conference, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the California Criminal Defense Lawyers Death Penalty Conference, the Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the National Meeting of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), the Federal Bar Association of Jacksonville, Florida, the Palm Beach Bar Association (Law Day Lecture), the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the National Association of Legal Investigators, the Toledo Bar Association, the New England Conference of Special Investigators, the National Meeting of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (Forensic and Eyewitness Seminars), the Florida Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, the Utah Civil Defense Attorneys Association, the North Carolina Homicide Investigators Association, and the Arizona Public Defenders’ Conference. He has given invited lectures at the University of Virginia School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, Campbell Law School, the University of South Carolina School of Law, the Charlotte School of Law, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Jim graduated from Duke University in 1979 with a B.A. in History and Political Science, summa cum laude with distinction in History. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1982 where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Research and Projects Editor of the Virginia Law Review. From 1982 to 1983, he was a Law Clerk to the Hon. John D. Butzner, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Jim practiced law with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman in Charlotte from 1983 through 2000 before joining Womble Carlyle. He is a past-President of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, and has served as the Chair of the Civil Litigation and Courts Committees of the Mecklenburg County Bar, the Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association AIDS Task Force, a member of the Advisory Commission on the Rules of Civil Procedure for the North Carolina General Assembly, and a member of the Special Select Commission of the State Bar of North Carolina investigating the Hoke/Graves Ethics Prosecution. He and his wife, Betsy, were married in 1979 and have three daughters and two grandchildren.
Financial Sevices Litigation
Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Member, Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, LLP, Charlotte, NC, 1989-2000
Associate, Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, LLP, Charlotte, NC, 1983-1989
Law Clerk, the Honorable John D. Butzner, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, Richmond, VA, 1982-1983
Summer Associate, Arnold & Porter, 1981