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Thomas James of Michigan Auto Law named “Up & Coming Lawyer 2011”

December 8, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for taking cases to trial and protecting auto accident victims with successful jury verdicts, passion and dedication

This week, one of our personal injury attorneys, Thomas W. James, has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Up & Coming Lawyer” for 2011.

Up & Coming Lawyers are Michigan attorneys who have been practicing for 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves from the thousands of other Michigan lawyers, based upon their accomplishments. The legal newspaper picks these lawyers as poised for even greater things.

Tom is a true trial attorney. That alone distinguishes him from most personal injury lawyers who play the game and settle for what the insurance company has on the table. Tom helps people injured in car accidents, but also focuses a large part of his legal practice on attendant care claims and No-Fault insurance lawsuits. Tom has more than 25 trials under his belt so far – a remarkable achievement in and of itself – and he is a tenacious advocate for his clients.

Most non-lawyers won’t appreciate this achievement, but I’d wager almost all of the 40,000 plus lawyers in Michigan will never have 25 trials in their entire careers. Tom’s hit this number zealously representing his clients in his first 10 years. For personal injury and auto accident attorneys, this is unheard of.

Tom was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Up & Coming Lawyer for many other reasons, such as his extensive legal and civic involvement, as well as his trial results — (You can find more information about Tom by reading his lawyer bio). For instance, Tom has already negotiated many million-dollar settlements for his clients, some of which are records in the jurisdiction where the underlying auto accident occurred.

Tom also tried his first case within three months of passing the bar and becoming a new personal injury attorney at Michigan Auto Law.

He hasn’t stopped since.

In 2008, Tom teamed up with me on Broeren v. Bates, and helped obtain a $5.6 million dollar verdict for a Macomb County man run over by a pickup truck – the largest reported auto negligence verdict for the year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In Broeren, Tom conducted the direct examination of five lay witnesses and cross examined the defendant. In the same year, Tom also obtained a $2.9 million verdict for a client who was in a rear-ended in Soto v. Hill, an Ann Arbor, Michigan case that was tried in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

Last year, Tom helped me to win a $3.5 million jury verdict in Fairley v. Schiber Trucking Company, a Jackson County, Michigan case, where the plaintiff was seriously injured after his minivan was rear-ended by a semi-truck and pushed into another oncoming truck. The insurance company had only offered $500,000 to settle the case, increasing the offer to $1 million at trial. Tom did an excellent job with the key lay witnesses, including the spouse of the victim. Fairley v. Schiber was the top-reported truck accident verdict for the year.

Here’s a Michigan Lawyers Weekly story about Tom and his award.

A side note: Tom has also been named a Michigan Super Lawyer – Rising Star. This honor is for attorneys who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less. Tom was voted a Michigan Super Lawyer – Rising Star by his peers.

There’s a luncheon today at the Troy Marriott to honor the Up & Coming Lawyers in Michigan.

Congrats, Tom, for all of your hard work and dedication to your clients.

Related information:

Thomas James is a Michigan Association for Justice Pacesetter

Michigan personal injury attorney featured in Michigan Lawyers Weekly for pre-law experience, quick trial results


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