James Neudecker is a partner and trial attorney in Reed Smith’s Complex Litigation Group, the Associate Development Attorney for Reed Smith’s Northern California offices, and a member of the San Francisco office’s hiring committee and summer associate mentor committee.
James’ practice focuses on commercial litigation and arbitrations for companies in a variety of business sectors, including financial services, transportation, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, hospitality, and most recently, the on-demand gig economy.
James understands that every legal strategy decision is ultimately a business decision, and therefore, James views himself as a “partner” in his clients’ business operations, rather than merely a vendor of legal services.
Whether that means developing an innovative alternative fee arrangement that suits his clients’ needs for a particular case, to coming up with creative settlement constructs, to trying a case on the merits when necessary, James always litigates with an eye toward putting his clients’ “big picture” business objectives first.
James is also committed to pro bono work and civic work. James has recently represented, pro bono, San Francisco tenants facing eviction, and a Santa Cruz-based environmental group seeking to transfer land to the United States Bureau of Land Management for conservation purposes in litigation challenging the transfer.
James also volunteers with First Graduate, a San Francisco non-profit organization dedicated to helping students finish high school and become the first in their families to graduate from college.
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2002, J.D., Served on the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
- Saint Mary’s College of California, 1999, B.S.
Professional Admissions & Qualifications : California
- Represented the plaintiff in an arbitration between former partners of a medical partnership alleging breach of fiduciary duties and fraud. Obtained six-figure award following two-week arbitration.
- Represented manufacturers and distributors of welding rods in a lawsuit alleging that inhalation of fumes from welding caused neurological injuries to welders. Obtained complete defense verdict following six-week jury trial in Alameda County, California. James was also part of the appellate team that upheld the verdict on appeal. Following the defense verdict, James and the Reed Smith litigation team convinced numerous plaintiff attorneys to dismiss hundreds of similar lawsuits pending in California and across the country.
- Represented California’s largest school transportation company in a multi-year, highly contentious case under California’s False Claims Act (“CFCA”), involving sensational allegations regarding school bus safety, novel legal issues yet to be tried to verdict in a California State Court, and a number of third-party actors including the California Highway Patrol, the City Attorney’s office, multiple labor unions, and the local school board. The Reed Smith team negotiated a highly favorable settlement on the eve of trial, after shaping the conditions for trial by discrediting Plaintiffs’ credibility, and creating the opportunity to engage the local school board in a broader settlement dialogue.
- Represented a California municipality and First Transit, a transportation company awarded the municipality’s public bus contract, in a writ of mandate proceeding. The union that represented the drivers of a losing bidder filed a petition for writ of mandate seeking to compel the municipality to rescind and re-bid the contract awarded to First Transit. James obtained a dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage, convincing the court that the municipality had discretion to award First Transit a 10% “preference” under the California Labor Code.
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