Overview

A past President of the North Carolina State Bar, Jim Dorsett practices in the areas of business, trusts and estates and insurance litigation. His work includes claims such as will caveats, legal malpractice cases, contract suits and products liability cases in the state and federal courts. He has appeared on behalf of air carriers and their insurers in accident and other lawsuits. A certified mediator, his work extends to alternative dispute resolution and counseling. He has successfully defended a variety of negligence actions and has obtained seven figure awards on behalf of plaintiffs in meritorious personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Jim remains active in professional and volunteer activities and currently serves on the North Carolina State Bar Client Security Fund Board of Trustees, on the Executive Committee of the American Board of Trial Advocates ENC Chapter (Past President) and as NC State Chair for the International Society of Barristers (Past Board Member). Jim previously served as President of the American Counsel Association and of the International Society of Barristers Foundation. Active in community service, Jim has also served as President of Food Runners Collaborative, Inc., on the boards of other charitable organizations including Legal Services of North Carolina and on the Board of Visitors of Davidson College. He is Past President of the Rotary Club of Raleigh and remains active in its service projects.

Areas of Focus

Credentials

Recognition

  • John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, North Carolina State Bar (2024)
  • Judge David Daniel Award for Excellence in the Legal Community, Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2023)
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Citizen Lawyer Award, North Carolina Bar Association (2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Commercial Litigation (2006-2024)
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation (2006-2024)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2020)
  • Marquis Who’s Who in American Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated

Education

  • Wake Forest University, J.D., 1977
  • Davidson College, A.B., 1974

Certifications

Affiliations

  • American Bar Foundation
    • North Carolina State Fellowship Chair (2016-2021)
    • Life Fellow (2000-present)
  • North Carolina State Bar
    • President (2002-2003)
    • Client Security Fund, Board of Trustees (2021-2026)
    • Grievance Committee Chair (1999-2000)
    • 10th Judicial District Bar Councilor (1992-2000)
  • North Carolina State Bar Foundation
    • President and Chair (2020-2023)
    • Board of Trustees (2011-2023)
  • International Society of Barristers
    • North Carolina Fellowship Chair (2010-present)
    • Fellow (1995-present)
    • Board of Governors (2001–2007)
  • International Society of Barristers Foundation
    • Board of Trustees (2007-2018)
    • President and Chair (2015-2017)
  • Rotary Club of Raleigh, President (2019-2020)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • President, Eastern North Carolina Chapter (2012)
    • Board of Directors (2012-present)
  • American Counsel Association
    • Board of Directors 
    • President (2005-2006)
    • Secretary-Treasurer (2006-2012)
  • American Bar Association, House of Delegates (2004-2008)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow (2007-2014)
  • North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society
    • President (2011-2012)
    • Board of Trustees (2005-2014)
  • State of North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission, Certified Mediator
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Food Runners Collaborative, Inc. 
    • President (2009-2010)
    • Board of Directors (2006-2012)
  • Davidson College, Board of Visitors (2007-2015)
  • City Club Raleigh 
    • Board of Governors (2000-2023)
    • President and Chair (2015-2020)
  • Wake County Bar Association
    • Past Director
    • Past Endowment Chair

Experience

  • Successfully defended and prosecuted multiple trust and estates cases including obtaining $20 million and $7.6 million settlements for clients in complex will caveat matters.
  • Multiple recoveries for brain injury victims including jury verdict of $2.4 million for teenager suffering “mild brain injury” from accident.
  • Recovered $9 million structured settlement for decedent’s estate arising from trucking accident.
  • Represented international privately held soft drink manufacturer and distributor in securing $19 million settlement for violation of shareholder rights.
  • Obtained $5 million award for maker of in ovo poultry inoculation system in breach of contract action against international conglomerate.
  • Successfully defended west coast micro-chip designer in trade secrets litigation.
  • Assisted national bank in achieving seven figure reduction in real property taxation.
  • Recovered award for national food distributor against competitor for unfair trade practices.
  • Secured awards for minority shareholders in closely held family business disputes.
  • Obtained summary judgment for manufacturer in pharmaceutical plant explosion case.
  • Secured judgments in various lawsuits regarding alleged negligence and breach of warranties in construction, and in the manufacture and sale of multiple products.
  • Obtained defense verdicts for vehicle manufacturers in wrongful death and injury actions.
  • Successfully defended airlines and insurers in wide variety of claims.
  • Obtained jury verdict in blasting case for contractor sued by adjacent property owner.
  • Secured dismissal of intellectual property malpractice suit against national law firm, and successfully defended legal and accounting firms in various claims and suits for alleged malpractice.
  • Successfully defended principals in shopping centers sued by other investors for alleged breach of contract, negligence, fraud and unfair trade practices and recovered defense costs from insurer.

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