Jim Davidson is a partner at Ice Miller and focuses his practice on commercial and employment litigation. Jim is a trial lawyer concentrating on significant, "bet-the-business" employment disputes and has been lead counsel in more than 70 jury trials including cases tried in state and federal court in Ohio and across the country. Jim tried three jury cases within 12 months (over 24 days in trial) during 2014. Among other things, on behalf of a public company, Jim has also successfully tried a collective action involving approximately 1,000 plaintiffs.
While many of Jim's notable engagements involve trial work, he is frequently called upon before problems occur to provide counseling to clients seeking to avoid litigation. In that regard, Jim often works with in-house counsel and other executives to devise front-end business solutions and strategies for litigation avoidance. Over the course of his career, Jim's trial experience has proved helpful in assisting clients in understanding the risks associated with litigation and evaluating other options for solving challenging employment problems.
Jim also has an active practice in the collective/class action area. His work in that area includes representation of significant employers in multiple jurisdictions, including California. Presently, Jim is representing three different employers in ongoing litigation in state and federal courts in California.
Several years ago, Jim led a team of lawyers in the successful representation of a public company in a collective action filed in Louisiana. That case is one of the very few private enforcement actions involving the question of whether retail assistant store managers may be properly classified as exempt from overtime pay. Following trial, the Federal District Court Judge issued a lengthy decision decertifying the proposed class of assistant store managers. The decision has been widely reported and cited as authoritative by other federal courts.
Jim also provides representation to companies in connection with the enforcement or defense of non-compete agreements. In that regard, Jim has tried many cases in state and federal courts concerning post-employment restrictions and ancillary trade secret issues.
Jim has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers®in America, Labor and Employment Law, since 2005. Separately, he has also been included in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, since 2006. Jim has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers each year since 2004 and was profiled in Ohio Lawyer's Weekly as a Top Ten Ohio Lawyer of the Year in 2001. Previously, Jim served as the deputy managing partner for Ice Miller, and as the former President of Schottenstein Zox and Dunn for over a decade.
In his free time, Jim enjoys golf, skiing and being ridiculed by his wife and three childlren. He lives in Dublin with his wife, Janis, and occasionally, his three children, Andrea, Robbie and Lauren.
Reported and Representative CasesIn 2014, Davidson tried three jury cases within 12 months (over 24 days in trial), and has more than 70 trials to jury verdict during his 34 year career.
Elefstrud v. Genesis Logistics, et al.
Currently representing the Defendants in a purported California class action asserting wage and hour claims. The Defendant recently secured an injunction in a previously-filed case which prohibits these Plaintiffs from pursuing certain claims.
Thomas v. Checksmart
Currently representing the Defendant in a purported California class action asserting wage and hour claims.
Carrie Rebello v. L.P.S., et al.
Represented the Defendants at trial where the Plaintiff claimed that certain whistle blowing activities caused the termination of her employment. After four days of trial, the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas directed a verdict in favor of all of the Defendants.
James G. Bowditch v. Mettler Toledo, Inc., et al.
Represented the Company and individual Defendant in age discrimination case. Plaintiff claimed a pattern and practice of age discrimination and attempted to prove that the Company’s legitimate business reason for his termination was a pretext for unlawful conduct. A jury trial was held in May of 2014, and after seven trial days, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Defendants.
Raquel Foster v. Idegy, Inc., et al.
Represented the Company and individual Defendant at a twelve day jury trial. Plaintiff claimed age discrimination and wrongful refusal to pay sales commissions. The jury returned a verdict for the Defendants on the age discrimination claim and returned nominal damages on the commission’s claim.
Kevin P. Pohmer v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.,
Represented the Bank in case in which Plaintiff, a former sales executive selling institutional products to large pension plans, asserted claims for: quantum meruit/unjust enrichment for alleged unpaid bonuses, whistleblowing and reverse race discrimination. In separate opinions, Judge Frye first granted summary judgment for the Defendant on the quantum meruit/unjust enrichment claim and subsequently granted summary judgment on the remaining claims. Those decisions were dated April 9, 2014 and April 28, 2014. The case is currently pending in the Franklin County Court of Appeals.
Garmaliel Aguirre, et al. v. Genesis Logistics, et al.
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
Represented commercial trucking operation against alleged class of commercial truck drivers, seeking relief under California law; among the claims asserted were violations of California's meal and rest break laws and violations of overtime and wage payment requirements; on behalf of the company, successfully secured dismissal on the majority of the claims. Recently secured an injunction from the court precluding the prosecution of certain claims in a copycat lawsuit.
Virginia Rodriguez, et al. v. Exel Inc., et al.
San Bernardino County, Superior Court, San Bernardino, Calif.
Represented international logistics company in alleged class-action in California involving allegations of meal and rest break claims and other California state law wage claims; successfully secured dismissal on the majority of the claims.
John Johnson, et al. v. Big Lots Inc.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
Represented national public company retailer in a collective action consisting of roughly 1,000 current and former assistant store managers alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act after a lengthy trial to Judge Vance; successfully obtained Order from the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, decertifying class.
Daniel Omiatek v. Big Lots Inc.
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York (Buffalo)
Represented national public company retailer in an alleged collective action; the U.S. District Court denied certification of the alleged class and determined that Plaintiff could only pursue individual claims.
John Gromek v. Big Lots Stores Inc.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
Represented national public company retailer in alleged collective action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; the court refused to certify alleged collective action and found that only individual claims could be asserted against the company.
Deborah Hunt v. Big Lots Stores Inc.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Represented national public company retailer in jury trial with allegations of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act; jury found unanimously in favor of employer on all claims.
Avis E. Buchanan et al. v. Consolidated Stores Corp. et al.
Won summary judgment dismissing a class action retail redlining complaint alleging racial discrimination in which the plaintiffs challenged the check acceptance policy of K-B Toys during the 1990’s in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The court dismissed all claims against Consolidated Stores, which owned K-B Toys for part of the period in question. In addition, the court granted three Daubert motions regarding the testimony of plaintiff’s three experts, resulting in the exclusion of all of the testimony of two, and most of the testimony of the third.
Anthony M. Stefanski v. W.W. Grainger Inc.
Secured summary judgment on behalf of W.W. Grainger, Inc. in defense of miscellaneous discrimination claims; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision.
"Trial Pros: Ice Miller's Jim Davidson," Law360, May 2016
Just Cause Analyzed, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2003
Arbitration Agreements Can Lessen Fear of Hiring, Business First, Dec. 12, 2003
Lawsuits Don't Have to Turn into PR Nightmare, Business First, March 24, 2000