James is a Director with the firm's Environmental and Litigation practice groups in its Washington, DC, office. James handles a wide variety of matters arising under all of the major environmental statutes with a focus on high-stakes environmental litigation, strategic regulatory counseling, permitting, and remediation.

Prior to joining Preti Flaherty, James served for more than 13 years with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. As Senior Counsel for the Department of Justice, James played a leading role in the most extensive enforcement initiative ever undertaken under the Clean Air Act. In that capacity, he was lead counsel on several of the largest and most high-profile enforcement actions in the nation during the past decade. James has managed every aspect of complex environmental litigation and led large teams through successful, multi-week trials with billions of dollars in relief at stake.

In addition to his litigation experience, James has extensive experience addressing compliance issues and negotiating settlements relating to a wide array of manufacturing industries throughout the country. His experience covers the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, RCRA, CERCLA, and the Park System Resource Protection Act.  During his public service career, James earned more than a dozen awards for his case work, including numerous Department of Justice special achievement awards, as well as Bronze and Silver Medals from EPA.

James is a graduate of William and Mary Law School. Following law school, he held a judicial clerkship with the Honorable James C. Fox of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina and was an associate at a notable law firm in Washington, DC, where he was co-counsel on a number of high-profile commercial disputes arising in the beer industry.

James lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two children.

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Gunston Soccer Club, Vice President and Coach

Firm Highlights


Municipal Update: Maine Legislature Acts to Clarify Sales of Tax-Acquired Properties

Early this week, in response to the  United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in  Tyler v. Hennepin County, Minnesota  (598 U.S. (2023)) , the Maine Legislature passed emergency legislation establishing a new process for...


2023 Maine Employment Law Summit

For nearly 30 years, Preti Flaherty's Employment Law team has provided Maine employers with practical guidance and best practices at our annual Employment Law Summit. Join us  Thursday, October 5  for the 2023 Employment...


Jeffrey Talbert Named to American College of Environmental Lawyers

Jeffrey Talbert, Chair of Preti Flaherty’s Environmental Law Group, has been invited to become a Fellow in the distinguished American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL). Membership in the premiere association of environmental lawyers is by...

Press Coverage

Maine Media Organizations Oppose Foreign Electioneering Ban

Question 2 on Maine’s November ballot asserts that corporations owned or controlled by foreign governments do not have the same rights to political speech as companies here in the U.S. and that foreign governments should be prohibited...


Schutz and Harriman Author Article for MLRC on Mill's Veto of Constitutionally Fraught Legislation

In an article for the Media Law Resource Center's July 2023 Media Law Letter,  Preti Flaherty attorneys Sig Schutz and Alex Harriman explore Gov. Janet Mills' recent veto of L.D. 1610, “An Act to Prohibit Campaign Spending...

Press Coverage

Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting Wins Public Records Dispute with York County Jail


Maine Law Amended to Require More Details When Public Employees Disciplined

Governor Mills recently signed a bill amending the public disclosure requirements for public employees who have been disciplined. Although widely reported as applying to police misconduct, the law applies to all government employees. The...


How to navigate the legal side of nondisclosure agreements

Preti Flaherty attorney Kristy Abraham has authored an article for  MaineBiz  on navigating the legal side of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), outlining six questions for organizations to review before entering into a NDA.


Matt Warner Named to Cannabis Law Journal Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers 2023

Preti Flaherty attorney and Cannabis Business Group member Matt Warner has been named to the list of Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers for 2023-2024. A joint publication of  Cannabis Law Report and  Cannabis Law...


Preti Flaherty Litigation Practice Group Adds Four New Attorneys

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the addition of four experienced Associates to the firm’s Litigation Practice Group: Stephen Garvey, Michael Hanify, Hanna May, and Tiffany Ottenga. Stephen Garvey is a graduate of Boston...