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James B. Irwin

Founding Partner


Jim, a founding partner of Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, is a nationally recognized attorney who has an impressive trial record both in federal and state courts. Before retiring in 2018, Jim served as lead trial counsel in national multidistrict litigations typically handling bet-the-company litigation. His practice focused 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