James T. Williams


Office: 423.785.8244 | Fax: 423.321.1576


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  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Involvement
  • In-Depth
  • Overview

    James Williams is a trial and appellate attorney, representing large and small companies in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings. He has served as lead trial counsel in a variety of disputes involving millions of dollars, injunctive relief, punitive damages and insurance bad faith. He has argued cases before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Tennessee Court of Appeals. James served as Chair of the Litigation Department from 2013-2019.

  • Experience

    • Successfully defended Tennessee’s largest health insurer in ERISA action by medical provider challenging procedures used for recovery of overpayments. Brown v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., 827 F.3d 543 (6th Cir., 2016).
    • Actively represents major life, health and disability insurers in state and federal courts in Tennessee and Georgia under ERISA and non-ERISA group plans. These matters involve a wide range of issues including ERISA preemption, exhaustion of administrative remedies, denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Lead trial counsel for disability insurer in action to recover insurance benefits, punitive damages and other "bad faith" remedies. After a week length jury trial, the case resolved favorably just prior to closing argument.
    • Lead trial counsel in the successful defense of action to enforce non-solicitation covenants and damages for interference with contract.
    • Recent successes include: Gunn v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tenn., 2012 WL1711555; Cooper v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, 2011 WL 703935 (E.D. Tenn. Feb. 17, 2011); Crox v. Unum Group Corp., 655 Fed. Appx. 490 (6th Cir., 2016); Nelson v. Unum Group Corp., 2014 WL 3908183 (Aug. 11, 2014).
    • Represented the FDIC as receiver of failed financial institutions, as part of a team conducting professional liability investigations and prosecuting D&O lawsuits.
    • Lead counsel in obtaining defense verdict in professional negligence claim arising out of $1.5 million sale of property. Affirmed, Land v. Dixon et al., 2013 WL 6182040 (Tenn. App.)
    • Represented one of the nation's largest chemical manufacturers as part of a team defending multi-million dollar claims arising out of CO2 conversion facility.
    • Represented publicly-traded consumer products company as part of a team defending hundreds of claims filed in multiple state and federal jurisdictions including multi-district litigation in In Re Phenylpropanolamine ("PPA") Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1407 (W.D. Wa).
    • Successfully handled appeal for cell tower company whose applications for seven separate cell tower sites had been denied by zoning board and district court. Sixth Circuit reversed trial court and awarded all seven permits. State of Tennessee, ex rel., Wireless Income Properties, LLC v. City of Chattanooga, et al., 403 F.3d 392 (6th Cir. 2005).
    • Successfully represented trucking company before Tennessee Supreme Court in case that determined effect of Social Security offset in workers' compensation cases. McCoy v. TTC Illinois, Inc., 14 S.W.3d 734 (Tenn. 2000).

    Recent Publications:

    • Authored Tennessee Chapter of The Law of Life Insurance published by DRI
    • Authored Tennessee Chapter of Insurance Policy Rescission Compendium published by DRI
  • Education

    • J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law, 1993
      • Comment Writer, Tennessee Law Review
    • B.S., Business Administration, University of Georgia, 1989
  • Involvement

    Bar Admissions
    • Tennessee
    • Georgia
    Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Tennessee
    • Tennessee Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia
    • Tennessee Bar Examiner, 2006-2016 
      • One of ten attorneys in Tennessee who drafts and grades essay questions for February and July Bar Exams
    • The Best Lawyers in America© - Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, 2017
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers®, 2013-2014, 2017
    • American Bar Association
    • Chattanooga Bar Association
    • Defense Research Institute
    • International Association of Defense Counsel
    • State Bar of Georgia
    • Tennessee Bar Association
    • King of the Mountain Road Race – Race Director since 2005
    • St. Matthew’s Homeless Shelter – Regular Overnight Volunteer

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