Jim Sanders joined Neal & Harwell in 1978 and is one of the Firm’s most experienced Members. He serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee. Jim is among a select group of lawyers nationwide to whom clients, both corporations and individuals, turn in significant investigations and trials. He has tried cases all over the country, many of which lasted months. This experience in these types of cases is rare in the legal profession and usually involves leading a team of lawyers from other firms and in-house counsel.

Jim has been recognized in a number of “best lawyers” lists, but the most significant recognition, in his opinion, is being inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1997. The College’s Fellows are chosen by invitation only and Fellowship is limited to one percent of the total lawyer population of the state in which the lawyer practices. He has been a participant for the past few years in the Forum on Corporate Enforcement | Cambridge Forums.

Among Jim’s notable trials are The Twilight Zone trial (representing Director John Landis) and the Exxon Valdez trial in Alaska. In both, Jim served as co-counsel with the late James F. Neal. Others include two trials in Baltimore County, Maryland, representing ExxonMobil in a gasoline line leak that involved hundreds of plaintiffs. In addition to the normal media coverage, Jim’s role, examination of witnesses, and arguments in these cases are mentioned in the following books:

C. Cosslett, Lawyers at Work
D. Legedoff, Cleaning Up
R. LaBrecque, Special Effects
S. Coll, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

Representative Matters:
  • The Twilight Zone trial representing Director John Landis – Co-counsel with the late James F. Neal
  • Exxon Valdez trial in Alaska – Co-counsel with the late James F. Neal
  • ExxonMobil trial in Baltimore County, Maryland regarding a gasoline line leak that involved hundreds of plaintiffs
  • Southeastern Conference – Co-counsel in an antitrust, right to publicity case brought in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • General Motors in various proceedings arising out of the GM ignition switch recalls involving the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and others
  • Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. in cases filed in connection with the 2008 coal ash spill at the Kingston, Tennesseee fossil fuel plant
  • Steward Health Care System, LLC in a case filed in Chancery Court in Nashville, Tennessee
  • NBCUniversal in a defamation case brought in State Court in Nashville, Tennessee
Professional & Civic Affiliations
  • American College of Trial Lawyers – Fellow
  • American Bar Association – Member
  • Tennessee Bar Association – Member
  • Nashville Bar Association – Member
  • Vanderbilt Law School Board of Advisors
  • Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Vanderbilt University