“I am more than just an attorney. I am a friend, a business adviser, a confidant, and, at the end of the day, I am the person that you can absolutely rely on to act in your best interest, even when you may feel like you are up against the entire world.”
James is an attorney in Obermayer’s Business & Finance Department, focusing his practice real estate and zoning matters. James prefers to take a more holistic approach to his practice. He believes in building a strong foundational knowledge of his client’s current business and financial goals, as opposed to just addressing the immediate need.
James decided that he wanted to be a lawyer when he was eight years old. His father, who was an ironworker, was hurt on the job. James’ family went into financial hardship, losing their home as a result. James felt powerlessness in defending himself and his family. He swore that he would become an attorney so that he would be able to help others in the way that he once needed help.
When he’s not working, James partakes in a variety of hobbies. He enjoys backpacking, playing the guitar, reading historical works and classic literature, playing rec league softball, and volunteering for organizations focused on fighting poverty and homelessness.
Prior to joining Obermayer, James was an attorney at a respected Pittsburgh firm where he gained extensive experience in commercial and residential real estate transactions, real estate development, real estate tax, land use, zoning, real estate contracts, title insurance and real estate litigation. During his time at the firm, he was also Acting Solicitor for the Lawrenceville United Community Development Corporation.
Some of James’ most notable cases include:
- Argued over two hundred and fifty (250) residential and commercial real estate assessment appeals, including three (3) on behalf of cooperative housing associations before the Allegheny County Board of Viewers, resulting in a combined reduction of assessed value of $8,382,000;
- Successfully petitioned the Pittsburgh Zoning Hearing Board for land-use and zoning variances for relocation of national headquarters of home health care company;
- Successfully argued landlord-tenant jury trial including successful Motion in Limine and obtained a Jury Verdict for Plaintiff-clients and denial of Defendant’s counterclaims;
- Established a real estate closing company which consummated approximately one hundred (100) residential and commercial real estate transactions per year.
James was also formerly the owner of a real estate closing company that focused on assisting first-time home buyers. During this venture, James consummated about one hundred and eighty (180) residential and commercial real estate transactions.
James is currently affiliated with the Allegheny County Bar Association, the Washington County Bar Association, the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and the Pennsylvania Association of Justice.
The Incline, a Pittsburgh-based news source, named James as “Who’s Next” for Housing/Real Estate in 2017.
James is also a past president of the Pittsburgh Rainmakers Chapter of Business Networking International (BNI), and organization dedicated to inter-business networking and referrals. In 2016, he was a fellow for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the New Leaders Council.