James has been practicing law since 1988. He was in private practice in Hamilton from 1988 to 2004, where he worked primarily in the area of family law but also conducted numerous criminal and civil trials. He then worked as in-house counsel at the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton from 2004 to 2014. James returned to private practice in Family Law with Lazier Hickey in November 2014, and came to Ross & McBride as a result of the two firms' merging in March 2016.
During his career as a litigator, James has gained extensive courtroom experience, appearing regularly at the Superior Court of Ontario and the Ontario Court of Justice, as well as the Divisional Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal. He has presented numerous motions, appeals and trials before Judges alone and with juries.
As a passionate advocate, James understands that family law matters do not always need to be resolved in court, but when they do, experience, toughness and credibility matter. James has experience representing clients through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation. He will work with clients to listen, understand and create a plan to solve the complex issues which arise during difficult emotional times.
James received his Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University in 1983 and his L.L.B from Queen’s University Law School in 1986. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1988. He has been asked to provide continuing legal education presentations to family lawyers on trial practices and techniques through both the Hamilton Law Association and the Organization of Counsel for Children’s Aid Societies. He also conducts an annual comedic “roast” of the Hamilton family law bench and bar known as “Groundhog Day”.
As a passionate cyclist, James is involved in both road and mountain bike charity rides, races and “Gran Fondos” across the province.
Areas of Expertise
Organizations and Activities
- Law Society of Upper Canada
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- Hamilton Law Association
- Hamilton Lawyers’ Club
- Hamilton Family Law Sub-Committee
- Hamilton Family Law Lunch Bucket Law Committee
In the Community
- Executive member of the Family Law Committee of the Hamilton Law Association
- Organizer and Judge of Air Cadet League Effective Speaking and Debating competitions
- Guest Lecturer at McMaster University Child Health, Mohawk College Law and Security, Trios College Paralegal, and Niagara College Public Relations Programs
- Former President Hamilton International Air Show, Director Air Cadet League of Canada
- Sessional Instructor 2015 - Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Management, McMaster University, DeGroote School of Business