James R. Carty
Jim concentrates his practice in the area of insurance coverage, and provides advice to London Market insurers for claims involving CGL, D&O, E&O, and manuscript policies. Jim has considerable experience providing advice for cyber liability and technology claims.
He has been named a Southern California Rising Star by Los Angeles Magazine for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Southern California Rising Stars are lawyers under the age of 40 who have been in practice for 10 years or less and are chosen as a result of a survey completed by California Super Lawyers. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in California are named to the Rising Stars list.
On November 1, 2004, Jim delivered oral argument in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Respondent taxpayer in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Banks, Case No. 03-892.
The decision is reported at 543 U.S. 426, 125 S. Ct. 826, 160 L. Ed. 2d 859 (2005). The case involved the federal tax treatment, to an employment discrimination and civil rights discrimination plaintiff, of the attorney contingent fee portion of a recovery. Although the government prevailed in the Supreme Court, the President, a week before oral argument, signed into law changes in the Internal Revenue Code granting relief to taxpayers on this issue.
Jim earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago (2001), where he graduated second in a class of 207 students. He also earned an M.B.A in Finance from the Keller Graduate School of Management (1998), and a B.A. from Marquette University (1993). While in law school, Jim served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Charles R. Norgle, Sr., of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Before moving to Southern California, Jim practiced with Mayer Brown in Chicago, in its tax controversy group. Jim also practiced with Cotkin & Collins in Los Angeles, where his practice focused on insurance coverage (primarily on behalf of policyholders), reinsurance, professional liability, and appellate. Jim is a member of the State Bars of California and Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Notable cases Jim has litigated include:
Banks v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 345 F.3d 373 (6th Cir. 2003) (delivered oral argument and briefed) (obtaining reversal of tax court decision on two separate issues: 1. tax treatment, to employment discrimination plaintiff, of attorney contingent fee portion of litigation recovery; and 2. deductibility of alimony payments).
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Banks, 543 U.S. 426 (2005) (delivered oral argument and briefed) (tax treatment, to employment discrimination plaintiff, of attorney contingent fee portion of litigation recovery).
Stringfellow Acid Pits claim (2004-09). Assisted with recovery, on behalf of policyholder State of California, of hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds to defend and settle pollution liability claims arising from the Stringfellow Acid Pits litigation.
Legal malpractice claim (2005). Represented Southern California law firm specializing in intellectual property law against claim by former client for alleged failure to procure insurance coverage for patent infringement cross-complaint. Served as second chair in arbitration, resulting in complete defense verdict.
Hyundai Motor America v. National Union Insurance Co. Assisted in representing major automotive manufacturer in securing defense and indemnity coverage for underlying lawsuit involving alleged patent infringement in connection with interactive web-based advertising.
Breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence claims (2011). Assisted in representing insurance broker in action involving alleged bad faith denial of insurance coverage for arson to new home. Drafted summary judgment motion successfully resulting in plaintiff settling for cost waiver.
Bad faith, breach of contract, and fraud claims (2011). Assisted in representing insurance broker in action alleging bad faith denial of insurance coverage, breach of contract, and fraud in connection with alleged motorcycle theft. Drafted demurrer, resulting in plaintiff settling for cost waiver.
Wrongful termination claim (2012). Assisted in representing private college; drafted summary judgment motion successfully resulting in plaintiff entering into settlement favorable to client.
Progressive West Ins. Co. v. Wang (Los Angeles County Superior Court) (2012). Represented defendant against subrogation action by insurer. Prepared petition for a writ of mandate to Court of Appeal regarding trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss for failure to serve summons within three years. Trial court had ruled that the three-year period was “tolled” during the time a default judgment obtained by incorrect proof of service was in effect. Court of Appeal issued a rare “suggestive Palma notice” to trial court that it would issue a peremptory writ of mandate in the first instance. Resulted in trial court vacating denial of motion, and entering new order granting motion to dismiss.
November 2014 – the Firm defended national Washington D.C. based cable trade association in a federal trade libel case brought in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Plaintiff corporation sought over $5 million in damages. After moving for summary judgment on behalf of the trade association and for sanctions under Rule 11, plaintiff corporation dismissed the entire action with prejudice for a waiver of costs prior to the hearing on summary judgment and sanctions motions.