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 substantial 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 Board of Directors of the International Society of Barristers Foundation, the North Carolina State Bar Council’s Client Security Fund Board of Trustees and the American Counsel Association, for which he previously served as President. He currently serves as President of the Board of Governors of City Club Raleigh, and on the Board of Visitors of Davidson College. He has also served as President of Food Runners Collaborative, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, and on the boards of other charitable organizations. He is Past President of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Eastern North Carolina Chapter.

Areas of Focus



  • Judge David Daniel Award for Excellence in the Legal Community, Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2023)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Citizen Lawyer Award, North Carolina Bar Association (2021)
  • Best Lawyers®
    • 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


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

Bar & Court Admissions



  • American Bar Foundation
    • North Carolina Chair (2015-2021)
    • Fellow 
  • North Carolina State Bar
    • Client Security Fund, Board of Trustees (2021-2026)
    • ABA House of Delegates State Bar Delegate (2004-2008)
    • President (2002-2003)
    • Grievance Committee Chair (1999-2000)
    • 10th Judicial District Representative (1992-2000)
  • North Carolina State Bar Foundation
    • President and Chair (2020-present)
    • Board of Trustees (2011)
  • International Society of Barristers
    • North Carolina Fellowship Chair (2010-present)
    • Fellow
    • North Carolina State Chair (2011-2012)
    • Past Director
    • Board of Governors (2001–2007)

  • International Society of Barristers Foundation
    • Board of Trustees (2007-2018)
    • President and Chair (2010-2012)
  • Rotary Club of Raleigh, President (2019-2020)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, President, Eastern North Carolina Chapter (2012)
  • 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
    • Board of Directors (2010)
  • Davidson College, Board of Visitors (2007-2015)
  • City Club Raleigh 
    • Board of Governors Chair
    • President (2015-2019)
  • Wake County Bar Association
    • Past Director
    • Past Endowment Chair


  • 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 summary judgment in condominium suit for allegedly defective piping.
  • Obtained defense verdicts for vehicle manufacturers in wrongful death and injury actions.
  • Recovered 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.
  • Successfully defended airlines and insurers in wide variety of claims.
  • Obtained jury verdict in blasting case for contractor sued by adjacent property owner.
  • Obtained $7.6 million settlement for client in complex will caveat matter.
  • Secured dismissal of intellectual property malpractice suit against national law firm.
  • Successfully defended investors in a shopping center sued by other investors for alleged breach of contract, negligence, fraud and unfair trade practices.



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