James Bilsborrow

Associate Attorney

  • Focus: Environmental Pollution, Consumer Protection
  • Phone: 212-558-5800
  • Fax: 212-344-5461
  • 700 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Biography

One of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had at Weitz & Luxenberg involved helping create a medical class-action settlement for victims of the BP oil spill cleanup. Their plight was deeply troubling to me because, without our involvement on their behalf, they stood to receive nothing in the way of compensation for chemical-based exposure injuries they had suffered. They likely would have been simply forgotten and neglected. Instead, they will now be entitled to receive preventive care and mental health treatment, in accordance with a protocol we secured for them. It’s a victory they and, really, all of the Gulf Coast deserved. What it shows when you get right down to it is that dedicated advocates like those you find here at Weitz & Luxenberg can make a difference on behalf of their clients.

It takes a uniquely compassionate and caring attorney to understand and be able to properly act upon the needs of victims of environmental disasters, toxic torts and consumer-targeted wrongdoing. James Bilsborrow is just such a lawyer. He has been an associate attorney in our Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection group since joining the firm in 2011.

Among his more prominent cases, Mr. Bilsborrow participated extensively in the multidistrict litigation brought by us 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 which 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 which 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 Corp. 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; he also represents class members seeking damages for economic losses as a result of GM’s concealment of the defect. Throughout the GM litigation, Mr. Bilsborrow has served as the second-chair attorney to Ms. Greenwald, the plaintiffs’ liaison counsel. 

Mr. Bilsborrow — a New York metro area ”Super Lawyers Rising Star” — is also active in the firm’s data breach litigation initiatives. He is at the forefront of actions against major healthcare organizations Excellus, Anthem and Premera Blue Cross 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.  For the Excellus litigation, Mr. Bilsborrow serves as second chair to co-lead interim class counsel Robin Greenwald.

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 is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, a privilege he attained in 2009. He is also admitted to practice in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and in the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Third and Fifth circuits.

In 2008, Mr. Bilsborrow completed the juris doctor program offered by William & Mary School of Law. He distinguished himself there by graduating second in his class and by securing a place in the school’s Order of the Coif, which recognizes the academic achievements of the top 10 percent of students. Additionally, the school conferred upon him in the 2007-08 academic year its Best Student Note award for his authorship of “Sentencing Acquitted Conduct to the Post-Booker Dustbin,” a work published in the William and Mary Law Review. These honors represent an extension of those he earned while a political science and philosophy major at the University of Chicago (he was on the Dean’s List every year between 1999 and 2003).

Mr. Bilsborrow at present belongs to several professional organizations, including the American Association for Justice (AAJ) in which he serves as a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, which prepares and reviews the organization’s positions on relevant policies. He also is on the Rule 23 Subcommittee of the Class Action Litigation Group, tasked with critiquing and commenting upon proposed changes to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In 2015, the 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. Mr. Bilsborrow is also active with the Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Program as an attorney providing pro bono legal services to low-income residents of Brooklyn.

Publications

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

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