James P. Hanratty

Office Managing Attorney

    Jim is the managing attorney and Casualty Supervisor for the Jacksonville office.  In this capacity, Jim oversees a team of experienced attorneys handling corporate, commercial and civil litigation matters including workers’ compensation across Northern Florida.

    Jim transferred to the Jacksonville office in 2012 after a 23-year career defending manufacturers, hospitals, trucking and transportation carriers, retail establishments and construction professionals throughout Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Jim is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer and has taken over 150 civil jury trials to verdict since 1989.

    In Florida, Jim has put his broad based experience to work by assuming the statewide supervision of matters for key clients in a wide range of cases including products liability, trucking and transportation, commercial premises liability and construction related injuries. Jim continues to handle significant and catastrophic injury cases involving automobile and general liability claims with an emphasis on the defense of brain injury claims. He is also experienced in representing health care professionals in medical malpractice claims. Jim has also expanded his practice to include representing condominium and homeowners associations as well as representing employers in matters involving ADA, FLSA/Wage & Hour, and Title VII before the EEOC and the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

    Jim maintains a Martindale-Hubbell rating of AV® Preeminent™, the highest rating for professional competence and was recognized in 2010 as a Super Lawyer. He is board certified in Civil Trial Law by The Florida Bar. Jim is licensed to practice in all state and federal District Courts of Florida.

    Significant Representative Matters

    A defense jury verdict in a tort/underinsured motorist suit directly against an insurance carrier where the plaintiff claimed brain injury and demanded $1.25 million.

    Resolution of a wrongful death action against a manufacturer of a forklift by establishing that the incident was not caused by a defect in the product.

    Resolution of a claim during trial of a dentist who, as a result of an auto accident, was left with neurological damage to her right arm. Economic experts claimed her professional loss due to the inability to practice dentistry was in excess of $3.4 million, but the case was settled during trial for approximately 24% of that number, due in large part to the cross examination of plaintiff's expert revealing several inconsistencies.

    Supervised and coordinated several protective investigations for national construction firm requiring immediate response and scene inspection within hours of incidents to preserve the evidence and coordinate defenses often leading to the prevention of claims.

    Successfully coordinated investigation and defense of Japanese manufacturer of industrial machinery in an amputation case leading to dismissal of client before trial.

    Successfully defended National Restaurant Chain in multi-party litigation involving catastrophic injuries by using social media discovery to defeat emotional distress claims due to scarring.

    Successfully defended a watercraft manufacturer at jury trial in a product liability action involving allegations of brain injury.

    Obtained a defense jury verdict in a premises case on behalf of a national tax firm arising from a fall with serious injuries including a fractured femur with placement of intramedullary rod.

    Obtained a defense jury verdict in a product defect/Magnuson-Moss action alleging personal injury due to inhalation of toxic mold and chemicals.

    Successfully defended recreational vehicle retailer in multiple claims arising from allegations of product defect and "downstream distributor" claims including successful use of dispositive motions.

    Successfully defended automobile accident case at jury trial involving catastrophic injuries and liability questions involving complex accident reconstruction issues and vehicle dynamics.

    Successfully defended regional construction firm at jury trial in claim involving allegations of complex medical conditions arising from a low speed impact accident.

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Top 5 Challenges Relative to Workers' Compensation Claims, Property and Casualty Claims and For Mediators, FCCI Educational Conference, October 2018

    Defending Catastrophic Injury Claims - How to Stack the Deck in Your Favor, Marshall Dennehey Florida Claims Symposium – Casino Royale, Tampa, FL, September 20, 2018

    "Courtroom Warriors" Present: Trying Your Case To A Defense Verdict; "Opening Statements; Making A Good First Impression," Cleveland Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, August 2008

    Use, Selection of Expert Witnesses, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, 2003

    Insurance Relations Round Table, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, 2003

    Defense of Wrongful Death Case, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, 2002

    Law Office Management, University of Akron, 1992, 1995

    Insurance Seminar, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1992

    Published Works

    "Reducing Workplace Accident Liability," Wholesale & Distribution International, Winter 2014

    "Benefits of Involving Counsel When an Accident Occurs," Defense Digest, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2013

    "A Defendant's Guide To Approaching Head Injury Cases," Law360.com, February 8, 2013

    "Benefits of Involving Counsel When an Accident Occurs," Construction Executive, December 2012

    "Avoiding Headaches in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases," Defense Digest, Vol. 18, No. 4, December 2012

    "Opening Statements: You Never Have a Second Chance to Make a First Impression," OACTA Quarterly Review, Vol. 2, Issue 4, Winter, 2009-2010

    "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason In Ohio," Defense Digest, Vol. 14, No. 3, September 2008

    "Selection, Use, Care and Feeding of Expert Witnesses," OACTA Review, Winter 2002

    "Discovery In a Slip/Trip and Fall Case," OACTA Quarterly Review, Vol. 33, No. 2, Spring, 1998

    Media Commentary
    Military Service

    United States Army Reserve, 1981-1990

    University of Akron School of Law (J.D., 1989)
    Walsh University (B.A., 1986)
    Honors & awards
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
    Florida Trend's Legal Elite - Civil Trial
    Ohio Super Lawyer
    Associations & memberships
    American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
    American Bar Association
    Florida Bar Association
    Jacksonville Bar Association
    Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1989-1993
    Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (Chair, Insurance Relations Committee, 2002-2007; Chair, Trial Tactics Committee, 2009-2012)
    Ohio State Bar Association
    Stark County Ohio Bar Association
    West Virginia Bar Association
    Year joined

    Board Certified Specialist, Civil Trial Law, The Florida Bar