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James B. Irwin




Jim is a nationally recognized attorney who has an impressive trial record both in federal and state courts. Jim serves as lead trial counsel in national multidistrict litigations typically handling bet-the-company litigation. He focuses on the defense of purported class actions, mass-tort matters, and other complex civil litigation and has appeared in matters before the Supreme Court of the United States. Jim is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist on mass-tort litigation.


Representative Matters / Experience

Jim’s mass tort, complex litigation and class action experience includes:

  • Levaquin MDL: Bellwether Trial Counsel
  • Xarelto MDL: Defendant's Liaison Counsel
  • Birmingham Hips: National Coordinating Counsel
  • Pedicle Screws: National Coordinating Counsel
  • Propulsid: National Liaison Counsel
  • Zirconia Hips: National Counsel
  • Fen/Phen Diet Drugs: Regional Trial Counsel
  • Latex Gloves: Regional Trial Counsel
  • Municipal Hand Gun Litigation: Louisiana Counsel
  • Sulzer Hips: Louisiana Counsel
  • Cell Phones: National Coordinating Counsel
  • Blood Product: Hemophilia and AIDS- Louisiana Trial Counsel
  • Vitamin Antitrust: Louisiana Trial Counsel
  • Asbestos: Louisiana Trial Counsel
  • Pesticides: Louisiana Trial Counsel
  • Reyes Syndrome: Regional Trial Counsel
  • Termiticides: Louisiana Trial Counsel
  • Insecticides: Louisiana Trial Counsel
  • Sutures: Louisiana Trial Counsel

Jim has also handled numerous, individual pharmaceutical and medical device cases involving such products as: anti-depressants, antibiotics, vaccines, patches, knee replacements, hip replacements, stents, diabetes drugs, opiod painkillers, IBS drugs, migraine drugs, and anti-organ transplant rejection drugs.


  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America: Mass Tort Litigation/ Class Actions - Defendants (2012 New Orleans Lawyer of the Year), Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (2014, 2018 New Orleans Lawyer of the Year), Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2016 New Orleans Lawyer of the Year)
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide, Product Liability & Matt Torts, Band 3
  • Legal Media Group's US Expert Guide, Product Liability
  • Benchmark Litigation: Local Litigation Star, Product Liability
  • AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell rating
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers (Top 10 Lawyers in Louisiana; Top 50 Lawyers in Louisiana and New Orleans)
  • America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • International Who's Who Legal: Commercial Litigation, Life Sciences, and Product Liability Defence
  • CityBusiness Leadership in Law, 2006
  • New Orleans Magazine Top Lawyers: Insurance Law, Mass Tort Litigation/ Class Actions, Product Liability Litigation


  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, President (2000), Guest Lecturer
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • New Orleans Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute, State Representative (1992-1999), Guest Lecturer
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • New Orleans Bar Association


  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University Law School (1973)
  • B.A., Kenyon College (1969)


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Louisiana state courts
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana

Military Service

  • United States Marine Corps, 1970-1976

Publications and Presentations

  • Effective Use of Documentary Evidence
    CLE Manuscript of the Civil Litigation Process in Louisiana State Courts Seminar, Louisiana State Bar Association April 2004
  • How to Persuade a Jury to the Defense View of Key Issues in Drug or Medical Device Litigation
    Manuscript of the DRI: Drug and Medication Device Litigation Seminar May 2002