Professional Biography

I established the Law Offices of Clifford James in April 2005. My firm has handled a wide range of matters principally involving civil litigation and concerning commercial and intellectual property interests, including copyright and trademark infringement. The clients are diverse; my firm has represented musical artists (such as The Velvet Underground), graphic artists, contractors, entrepreneurs, investment advisors, physicians, and attorneys, as well as music labels, real estate development firms, and other corporations and organizations.

In addition to litigation, I have negotiated numerous contracts between leading physicians and hospitals in New York City and the Tri-State area.

I attended the Columbia University School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1978. I was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, an award given for academic excellence.

After graduating law school, I accepted a position as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of New York County under Robert Morgenthau, and prosecuted felonies and misdemeanors. I conducted jury and non-jury trials, preliminary and other pretrial hearings, and presentations of evidence to the Grand Jury, and supervised a complex and lengthy wiretap investigation into violations of the narcotics laws. I also drafted appellate briefs and presented oral argument to appellate courts.

After leaving the District Attorney’s Office, I practiced civil litigation in all courts and in arbitrations and mediation. I was a member of Shea & Gould, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010-1193 up to its dissolution in 1994. I was one of the founding partners of Fensterstock & Partners LLP, 30 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005, a litigation boutique. I have also been affiliated with Rubin, Bailin, Ortoli, Mayer, Baker & Fry, LLP and Barovick Konecky Schwartz Kay & Schiff, firms that specialized in entertainment and intellectual property matters.

I have a wide range of experience. I have tried to a jury verdict criminal and civil cases. I have conducted non-jury trials and hearings, and appellate oral arguments in federal and state courts. I have conducted arbitrations and mediations before JAMS, the American Arbitration Association, and the New York Commodities Exchange, and before former federal and state court judges, among other experienced practitioners. I have handled cases in the areas of intellectual property; misappropriation of confidential information and other business torts; legal malpractice, product liability; contract; construction; oppression, deadlock, and dissolution in close corporations; breach of fiduciary duty, employment (including of lawyers by law firms); real estate; trusts and estates; guardianship; and other areas.

Along with professors at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and other attorneys, I prosecuted Holocaust-related claims against the French national railroad, a case that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

I am a member of the American Bar Association and its sections on litigation and intellectual property, the American Association for Justice, the Federal Bar Council, the New York City Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers’ Association, and the New York State Bar Association.

I am admitted to practice in New York State, and I am a member of the bar of the federal courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.