James Bilsborrow is a partner at Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. and co-chair of the Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection group. James represents victims of environmental contamination, toxic exposure, and defective products in complex litigation nationwide. James is also active in many of Weitz & Luxenberg’s initiatives seeking justice on behalf of property owners and individuals exposed to the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS.
Environmental litigation makes up a significant portion of his work. James participated extensively in the multidistrict litigation brought by Weitz & Luxenberg and other firms against BP, the United Kingdom-based petroleum giant responsible for the devastating 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
A number of the firm’s consumer class action initiatives are spearheaded by James. He was recently appointed co-lead class counsel in an action against the western New York health care organization Excellus Health Plan after hackers broke into the company’s computer systems and stole customers’ sensitive personal medical information and financial records.
James is also active in pro bono causes. In 2016, he served as court-appointed counsel to two former death row inmates who alleged that they were improperly confined for years in unconstitutional conditions of solitary confinement. Following oral argument, a unanimous panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the constitutional rights of James's clients were violated and that the Due Process Clause limits the state’s ability to subject inmates to indefinite conditions of solitary confinement.
Prior to joining Weitz & Luxenberg, James worked as a law clerk for Hon. D. Brooks Smith of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Before that, he clerked for Hon. Christopher C. Conner of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
James belongs to several professional organizations, including the New York State Bar Association, where he serves on the Committee on Attorney Professionalism; the New York City Bar Association, where he serves on the Professional Responsibility Committee and as a member of the City Bar Working Group on Litigation Funding; the New York American Inn of Court; the New York Federal Bar Council; the Fellows of the American Bar Association; the American Constitution Society; and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). In 2015, AAJ selected James as one of only 12 attorneys from around the country to attend the organization’s Leadership Academy — a program designed to equip promising attorneys to become the next generation of top-tier trial lawyers.
James is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Complex Litigation e-Discovery Forum, a group dedicated to formulating best practices for e-discovery in complex litigation. In the past, he has served as a member of the drafting committees for the Duke Law Multidistrict Litigation Best Practices and as a member of the Next Gen Advisory Board for the Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims at Emory Law School. James has also been named a New York metro area Super Lawyers Rising Star for more than five years in a row.
Finally, James is an elected officeholder, serving as a Kings County Committee member in Brooklyn since 2016.