James Jorden represents many of the country’s largest financial institutions in securities, corporate, and pension litigation. He is experienced in national class action litigation, having served as lead or associate counsel in over 100 securities, insurance, RICO, and other class actions. Over the past 20 years, he has also been lead trial counsel in more than 50 individual cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He has argued before the United States Supreme Court, eight of the U.S. circuit courts, and numerous state courts of appeal.
Jim is regularly retained as senior counsel by national insurance companies, mutual funds and banks. He has represented industry groups, including the American Council of Life Insurers, on complex commercial litigation matters. In addition to his trial and appellate practice, Jim represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department and state regulatory agencies.
His class action trial experience includes serving as lead defense counsel in a nationwide class action involving allegations of misrepresentation in the marketing of annuity products. The case expanded to cover other sales policies and practices becoming one of the largest class actions against a life insurer. He obtained a defense verdict after a three-week jury trial.
Jim has served as lead defense counsel in six of the most significant federal court of appeals and state supreme court victories involving class actions in the life insurance industry. In a suit alleging policy rate discrimination against more than 1.4 million putative class members, he defeated class certification in both the district court and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Thorn v. Jefferson Pilot Life Insurance Co., 445.F.3d 311 (4th Cir. 2006)). He has served as lead defense counsel in more than a dozen multi-district litigation proceedings involving the sale of annuities.
As lead counsel for an insurer during a six-week jury trial involving a complex joint venture contract, he obtained a defense verdict and a counterclaim award for his client in excess of $70 million. He recently represented a group of independent marketing organizations in a lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary” definition and standards under ERISA.
In addition to his litigation practice in state and federal courts, Jim has substantial experience representing his life insurance company clients as lead counsel in reinsurance disputes, including representation in contested arbitrations on behalf of both cedents and reinsurers. He also represents his insurance company clients in numerous state and federal regulatory hearings and multi-state market conduct examinations.
Jim is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. He is also chair of the firm’s life insurance industry group. He has previously served as an officer and member of the Board of Directors of American Bankers Life Assurance Company and American Bankers Insurance Group.
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