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James W. Halbrooks

James W. Halbrooks


Jim Halbrooks has been with the firm since it was founded. Jim is a seasoned first-chair trial attorney defending catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases in the automotive industry, with a reputation for prevailing in courtrooms across the country.

Applying decades of familiarity with product safety and design issues, as well as a gift for clearly explaining complicated concepts, Jim has litigated dozens of liability cases involving seats, seat belts, passive seat belts, designated seating positions, transmissions, brakes, roof crush, crashworthiness, and handling and stability issues.

In 2004, Jim conducted a 53-day California trial, winning the first defense verdict in six years for Toyota’s popular 4Runner line. The roof crush verdict helped to strengthen Toyota’s trial credibility in subsequent rollover cases. He also coordinates Toyota’s national defense program for seat backs. In 1998, Jim defended General Motors in a landmark designated seating position case, Barryman v. General Motors. The National Law Journal named this case one of the "Top 10 Defense Verdicts of the Year."

Although Jim’s trials are concentrated in the challenging jurisdictions of California and Arizona, his extensive litigation experience encompasses courtrooms throughout New Jersey, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Jim previously was an educator at the University of Colorado and Regis College in Colorado. He also has taught at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota.

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1985
  • Arizona, 2006
  • Texas, 2004
  • California, 1999


  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law, J.D., 1985
    cum laude
  • Oklahoma State University, M.S., 1977
  • Oklahoma State University, B.S., 1975

    with honors

Professional Associations

    • American College of Trial Lawyers
    • International Society of Barristers
    • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • California State Bar Association
    • Arizona State Bar Association
    • Texas State Bar Association

Recent News, Events and Blogs

Name / Date / Type
Toyota Found Not Liable in 2009 Car Crash
April 9, 2013
Media Mention

Classes and Seminars Taught

  • Instructor, Legal Writing, William Mitchell College of Law, 1987 – 1989