Law Office of Tom James
(320) 237-2711

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and Southwestern University, Tom James has received numerous awards and honors for his service to the community and his commitment to improving the administration of justice. These include, among others, certificates of commendation from a former governor of the State of Minnesota and from the Hennepin County District Court Judges and Court Administrator's Office. As a law student, he was a recipient of the prestigious American Jurisprudence Award for achievement in the study of the legal profession, along with Top Student awards in constitutional law and several other subject areas. He also gained experience through his participation in a judicial externship program in the busy Los Angeles County Superior Court, honing his legal research and writing skills by preparing draft judicial opinions and legal memoranda. After moving to Minnesota, he worked for the Hennepin County District Court for five years before entering private practice in 1995.

Mr. James is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Minnesota; the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., and also represents clients in Trademark Trials and Appeals Board proceedings. He is a long-time member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Hennepin County Bar Association.

He has a broad range of experience in a variety of fields, including appeals, family law, probate, employment law, defamation, civil litigation, criminal and juvenile defense, business start-ups, non-profits, copyright, trademark, and First Amendment cases. Notable appellate court victories include Ellshoff v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (establishing depression as a medical illness coming within the coverage of the Family Medical Leave Act); and Kinley v. Peck (vindicating the First Amendment right of noncustodial parents to practice religion in the presence of their children.) In addition, he has written amicus curiae briefs on behalf of such diverse non-profit organizations as RKIDS (Remember Kids In Divorce Settlements), CPR (Center for Parental Responsibility) and the Arab-American Anti-Defamation League. He has ghostwritten winning appellate briefs and legal memoranda for pro se litigants, as well.

Currently, he practices primarily in the areas of appellate advocacy, family law and intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights.) Although no longer representing clients in contested child custody cases, he offers qualified parenting time expediter services for those seeking a more economical and less contentious alternative to litigation.

In addition to practicing law, Mr. James is the author of a book on domestic violence, and has published articles in professional journals such as Minnesota Bench & Bar, the Responsible Divorce newsletter, and Podiatry Management. He also maintains a blog on law-related topics, including a continuing series on the history of child custody law.

When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his children and training for marathons.