James W. Shelson

Jim Shelson represents clients in a range of commercial litigation matters. His litigation experience includes toxic torts, products liability, business torts and commercial disputes, consumer finance and lender liability, coverage disputes and bad-faith claims. He has represented clients from many industries, including chemical and product manufacturing, aviation, agriculture, insurers, banks and other financial institutions and lenders, telecommunications companies, automotive suppliers and casinos.

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Jim Shelson represents clients in a range of commercial litigation matters. His litigation experience includes toxic torts, products liability, business torts and commercial disputes, consumer finance and lender liability, coverage disputes and bad-faith claims. He has represented clients from many industries, including chemical and product manufacturing, aviation, agriculture, insurers, banks and other financial institutions and lenders, telecommunications companies, automotive suppliers and casinos.

Mr. Shelson’s practice often involves technical expert evidence in the areas of toxicology, epidemiology, medical science and causation in tort cases, as well as complex business and financial analysis in commercial disputes. Mr. Shelson is also experienced in the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques to resolve claims.

Mr. Shelson is licensed in Mississippi and Alabama. His jury trial and appellate experience includes both state and federal courts. Mr. Shelson’s state court trial experience includes both the circuit and chancery courts of Mississippi. He is the author of Mississippi Chancery Practice.

Mr. Shelson is the practice group coordinator for the general litigation group in Phelps Dunbar’s Jackson office. He received an AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Shelson is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, an invitation-only association of corporate and defense attorneys, where he serves as chairman of the Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee.

Experience

  • Represented clients in toxic and environmental tort cases involving more than 4,000 plaintiffs.
  • Directed verdict for waste management company in business tort case alleging tortious interference with contract.
  • Represented lender in several consumer finance cases involving more than 1,000 plaintiffs.
  • Jury verdict for bank in three-week lender liability case.
  • Jury verdict for drug store chain in case alleging client failed to protect customer’s personal identifying information.
  • Jury verdict for stock brokerage firm accused of fraud.
  • Verdict for bank in case alleging improper wire transfer of funds.
  • Verdict for company in contract dispute involving ownership of stock.
  • Represented agriculture company in an arbitration involving a complex intellectual property dispute. 
  • Successfully defended numerous products liability and personal injury claims.

Insights

Publications
  • “Using Documents Obtained in Discovery in the U.S. in Foreign Proceedings,” Trial Practice Journal (Summer 2015)
  • "Increased Viability of Divisibility Defenses Under CERCLA,” IADC Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee Newsletter (June 2015)
  • “Deposition Tips for Young Lawyers,” Trial Practice Journal (Fall 2014)
  • “BP Fights Fifth Circuit Ruling On Deepwater Horizon Settlement,” IADC Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee Newsletter (April 2014)
  • “Attorney Fees Now Easier to Recover in Patent Litigation,” Trial Practice Journal (Spring 2014)
  • Co-Author, “Changes in the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (Third Edition),” Defense Counsel Journal (July 2013)
  • “Revisiting the Misuse of Public Nuisance Law to Address Climate Change and Chevron in Ecuador,” IADC Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee Newsletter (June 2013)
  • "Substantial Factor Causation in Asbestos Litigation,” IADC Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee Newsletter (January 2013)
  • “Recognition of Foreign Judgments by U.S. Courts,” IADC Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee Newsletter (February 2012)
  • “Supreme Court to Review Constitutionality of Health-Care Law,” Trial Practice Journal (Fall 2011)
  • "The Misuse of Public Nuisance Law to Address Climate Change," Defense Counsel Journal (April 2011)
  • Co-Author, "Effective Motion Practice in Trial Courts," Trial Practice Journal (Summer 2006)
  • Author, Mississippi Chancery Practice (2000 edition)
Speaking Engagements
  • Presenter, CLE Presentation, “Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Take Three” (July 2012)
  • Presenter, CLE Presentation, “Medicare Set-Asides in Personal Injury Litigation” (October 2011)
  • Presenter, "CLE Presentation, "New Reporting Requirements for Settlements With Medicare Beneficiaries" (December 2010)
News

Memberships & Affiliations

  • The Mississippi Bar
  • Alabama State Bar
  • American Bar Association (Trial Practice Section and Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section) 
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • Capital Area Bar Association (Pro Bono Award, 2010-2011)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (Chair, Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee)
  • American Bar Foundation (Fellow)

Recognition

  • Pro Bono Award from the Capital Area Bar Association (2010-2011)
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America© - Environmental Law, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants, Commercial Litigation
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers (Top 50 in Mississippi: 2016, 2014)