James Bilsborrow

Associate Attorney

  • Focus: Environmental Pollution, Consumer Protection
  • Phone: 212-558-5500
  • Fax: 212-344-5461
  • New York Office
    700 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Biography

Our clients are regular people whose lives were upended through no fault of their own. They have a strong advocate in Weitz & Luxenberg, and I am proud to work for a firm that fights for justice for each of our clients.

James Bilsborrow is an attorney in our Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection group, having joined the firm in 2011.

Among his more prominent cases, Mr. Bilsborrow participated extensively in the multidistrict litigation brought by Weitz & Luxenberg and other firms against BP, the United Kingdom-based petroleum giant responsible for the devastating 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In that action, Mr. Bilsborrow served as the second-chair attorney to our Robin Greenwald, who was a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. Mr. Bilsborrow worked closely with the Phase One trial team that ultimately secured a judicial finding that BP acted with gross negligence in causing the oil spill. Mr. Bilsborrow also served on the Medical Benefits Settlement team that negotiated a commitment on the part of BP to provide compensation and preventive treatments to Gulf Coast shoreline residents and to workers involved in the spill cleanup. Additionally, Mr. Bilsborrow was a member of the appeals team that successfully defended the economic portion of the BP settlement all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In another prominent multidistrict litigation, this time against General Motors LLC and arising from the car maker’s use of a dangerously defective ignition-switch system in millions of vehicles, Mr. Bilsborrow represents dozens of individuals injured while operating defective GM vehicles. In this role, Mr. Bilsborrow served as plaintiff’s trial counsel in a July 2017 bellwether case tried to jury verdict in the Southern District of New York. He also represents class members seeking damages for economic losses as a result of GM’s concealment of the defect. 

Mr. Bilsborrow is also active in the firm’s consumer class action initiatives. He is at the forefront of an action against major health care organizations Excellus and Lifetime Healthcare after hackers broke into those corporations’ computer systems and stole customers’ sensitive personal and financial records in furtherance of identity theft and other financial fraud crimes.  Mr. Bilsborrow serves as second chair to co-lead interim class counsel Robin Greenwald in this action.

Mr. Bilsborrow is also active in many of the firm’s initiatives seeking justice on behalf of property owners and residents exposed to the toxic chemical PFOA. He represents a putative class of property owners and residents of Hoosick Falls, New York, and Petersburgh, New York, pursuing tort claims against companies that allegedly used PFOA in their manufacturing processes. These lawsuits are ongoing.

In 2016, Mr. Bilsborrow served as court-appointed pro bono counsel to two former death row inmates who alleged that they were improperly confined for years in unconstitutional conditions of solitary confinement. Following oral argument, a unanimous panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the constitutional rights of Mr. Bilsborrow’s clients were violated and that the Due Process Clause limits the state’s ability to subject inmates to indefinite conditions of solitary confinement.

Prior to joining Weitz & Luxenberg, Mr. Bilsborrow worked as a law clerk for Hon. D. Brooks Smith of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Before that, he held clerked for Hon. Christopher C. Conner of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Bilsborrow at present belongs to several professional organizations, including the American Association for Justice (AAJ); the New York State Bar Association, where he serves on the Committee on Attorney Professionalism; and the New York City Bar Association, where he is currently the co-chair of the Torts Committee. In 2015, AAJ selected Mr. Bilsborrow as one of only 12 attorneys from around the country to attend the organization’s Leadership Academy — a program designed to equip promising young attorneys to become the next generation of top-tier trial lawyers.

He is also a member of the Next Gen Advisory Board for the Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims at Emory Law School and is a member of the drafting committee for the Duke Law Multidistrict Litigation Best Practices. Mr. Bilsborrow has also been named a New York metro area Super Lawyers Rising Star four years in a row.

Publications

  • “Sentencing Acquitted Conduct to the Post-Booker Dustbin,” 49 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 289 (2007)

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