James E. Mitchell
As a consumer advocate, James focuses his practice on insurance coverage litigation by pursing claims for insureds against their insurance companies.
James was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. He is a graduate of Ransom Everglades High School in Coconut Grove, Florida. As a High School First Team All-American, James was recruited by and played water polo for Pepperdine University while obtaining his Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. At Pepperdine, James had the honor of competing internationally with the United States Water Polo Program.
After college, James continued his formal education by attending St. Thomas University School of Law. While attending St. Thomas, James participated in the St. Thomas Law Review, receiving the Staff Editor of Distinction Award in 2005. In addition, James served as a member of the St. Thomas Moot Court Team that competed in the Eighth Annual Wechsler Criminal Law Competition. James received book awards in Florida Civil Procedure, Legal Research and Writing, and Trial Advocacy Practice. Prior to graduating from St. Thomas, James completed an internship with Chief Judge Gersten of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal. James graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law ranked third in his class with Magna Cum Laude honors.
After graduation, James began practicing in the areas of insurance coverage litigation, commercial litigation, and professional liability defense, including achieving the following results:
After a two week jury trial, James successfully obtained verdicts in favor of his yacht owner client, whose insured yacht was partially submerged in an accident, taken to a ship yard for repairs, and then further and extensively damaged by the repairer. Although the repairs were never completed, the insurance company paid the ship yard for the repairs without the knowledge or consent of the insured yacht owner and then later denied coverage for the damages caused by the repairer. In addition to prevailing on the ship yard’s counterclaim for storage charges, James obtained jury verdicts against the ship yard for breach of repair contract and conversion for causing damages to the yacht, and against the insurance company for breach of the insurance policy for failing to properly compensate its insured yacht owner.
James obtained summary judgment in favor of a Canadian insurer in a million dollar priority of coverage dispute involving an accident with an uninsured motorist in Florida. James successfully argued the rental car company’s insurer, and not the Canadian insurer, was responsible for the first million dollars of uninsured motorist coverage despite the rental car agreement containing a waiver of uninsured motorist.
In one of only three Florida opinions to directly address electronic discovery, James obtained a successful appellate ruling quashing the trial court’s order permitting electronic discovery of a computer hard drive and cell phone, affirming an individual’s constitutional right of privacy.
James successfully defended a probate attorney from a $1,500,000 claim by an aggrieved beneficiary husband that argued the attorney had failed to timely amend his wife’s will resulting in his receipt of a significantly reduced distribution at her death. James successfully argued the husband lacked standing to assert these claims since he was not the actual client of the attorney and could not establish himself as intended third-party beneficiary when he sought to rely on extrinsic evidence to demonstrate the testator’s intent.
James has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers and is a member of the Florida Bar, Broward County Bar Association, and Broward County Justice Association. James is admitted to practice in the State Courts of Florida, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. James currently resides with his wife, Amanda, in Hollywood, Florida. His interests include surfing, snowboarding, spear fishing, and water polo.
Reported or Published Decisions
Crossing v. Fixel, 80 So. 3d 1036 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).
Holland v. Barfield, 35 So. 3d 953 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010).
Bluewater Trading LLC v. Fountaine Pajot, S.A., 335 Fed. Appx. 905 (11th Cir. 2009).