- J.D., Duke University School of Law
- B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Duke University
- Ohio Bar
- Georgia Bar
- American Board Association
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Georgia Bar Association
- American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
- Society of Ohio Hospital Associations
- Dayton Bar Association
- American Immigration Lawyer Association
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit
ShareholderJames A. Dyer
Jim chairs SS+D’s Litigation Department. He has almost 40 years of experience resolving complex disputes through litigation and other alternative methods. Jim’s practice focuses on the following areas:
- Business Litigation
- Competition Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Employment and Covenant Not to Compete Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Healthcare, False Claims Act, and Qui Tam Litigation
- Policyholder Rights
- Immigration Litigation
Jim received his B.A., magna cum laude, in 1977, and his J.D. with distinction in 1980, both from Duke University. In law school, he earned Order of the Coif (top 10%) honors. Prior to helping found Sebaly Shillito + Dyer in 1986, Jim was an associate at King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jim has served as lead trial counsel for a variety of companies, including Fortune 500 corporations and small family businesses. His individual clients have included corporate executives, inventors, shareholders, partners, investors, and victims of discrimination and clergy abuse.
Jim has tried many matters to courts, juries, administrative judges, immigration judges and arbitrators involving trademark infringement, false advertising, contracts, leases, asset purchase agreements, trade secrets, fiduciary duties, interference with contracts, conspiracy, insurance coverage, wrongful discharge, fraudulent transfers, corporate veil piercing, consumer protection statutes, unjust enrichment, healthcare regulatory matters, sexual harassment, covenants not to compete, administrative rulemaking, asylum issues, and other commercial and employment matters.
Jim has numerous highlights in an extensive legal career, including the following notable litigation resolutions:
- Counsel of record in over 100 reported federal and state cases from coast to coast.
- Trial lawyer for copyright and trade secret claim involving software and mobile applications (iOS and Android) against a Swedish conglomerate in the global automation space.
- Following multiple-week trials, obtained a $23+ million jury verdict for a government contractor from a publicly-held company based on theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and other claims. The verdict included $17 million in punitive damages. The award was remitted by the Court to over $15 million with attorney fees and interest and was upheld on appeal.
- Successfully represented the State of Ohio as Special Attorney General in a Federal Court claim for $400 million by a local school board. As part of the resolution, negotiated end to court-ordered busing in the City of Dayton arising from a then 30-year old civil rights action that had twice been to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Represented national HVAC supplier in a case involving alleged non-compete and theft of trade secret claims. Filed companion case in Federal Court against competitor for unfair competitive acts.
- Co-counsel for three current or former Fortune 500 companies in Federal Court action against numerous defendants (including several Fortune 500 companies), seeking potentially tens of millions of dollars in contributions for environmental cleanup costs related to a private landfill. Lengthy trial set to begin shortly after the EPA issues the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study analysis.
- Co-counsel in a patent claim against competitor brought by former world-class CrossFit athlete who now owns company selling specialized sports equipment.
- After lengthy false advertising injunction hearing, obtained an injunction requiring the infringer to repackage a consumer electronic product.
- Participated in ten+ week trial to judgment for Trustee and participants in ERISA ESOP matter against several defendants after settlement with Trust Bank defendant.
- Following a six week trial in Federal Court, obtained a defense verdict in favor of a family of shareholders in a suit brought by Fortune 200 company claiming over $50 million for alleged fraudulent asset transfers.
- After an evidentiary hearing, won preliminary injunction for Fortune 500 company against an employee of Fortune 100 company based on non-compete and theft of trade secrets.
- Won defense judgment for Miami University in a Title IX claim involving the elimination of sports teams that was upheld on appeal.
- Obtained judgment ordering return of antique Daimler-Benz with seven-figure valuation to an elderly client who had last seen the vehicle in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War II. The vehicle turned up 50 years later in Dayton. Involved issues related to common law conversion, the Hague Convention, and various other international treaties signed before and after World War II.
- Won earn-out arbitration following the sale of company in the robotic end-of-arm tooling space against a company owned by large a Swedish conglomerate.
- Successfully defended Bowling Green State University and its officers in multiple lawsuits involving RICO, civil rights, and sexual harassment claims. After the trial in Court of Claims, obtained Order dismissing all allegations against University officials.
- Co-counsel in two insurance coverage cases for a Fortune 200 company against dozens of insurers at various coverage layers.
- Successfully mediated claim involving structural integrity of roof on large public arena caused by defective product.
- After an evidentiary hearing, defeated preliminary injunction request brought by a hospital against Fortune 500 healthcare insurer seeking to prevent termination of provider agreements.
- Obtained judgment after trial for manufacturer against insurer ordering payment of policy limits for policyholder in connection with funding repurchase of shares from disabled former executive.
Good litigators are also great counselors (and terrific card players). Jim is all of that. But, like is said of other litigators at SS+D, clients really appreciate Jim’s relentless pursuit of their objectives. Jim goes to bed sharing in the worry about his clients’ problems. Then once a case is evaluated and client objectives are prioritized, he pursues matters in and out of the courtroom with a tenacious, “dog on a bone” drive to gather the necessary evidence and nail liars.
Paraphrasing Stephen Covey, all cases should begin with the end in mind. Jim is a skillful trial lawyer, and his planning for eventually stepping into the courtroom for trial starts on day one of any engagement. This approach promotes transparency and client involvement from the outset of each matter and often results in resolution long before a trial begins. And this mindset promotes efficiency by avoiding unnecessary and costly discovery or motion practice that does not fit into the trial plan.
- Designated Ohio and Corporate Counsel Super Lawyer By Law & Politics Media Inc. (2006-2009)
- Dayton Business Journal Who's Who in Law and Best of the Bar
Community Board Affiliations
- Elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church
- Board, African Refugees and Immigrants Community Center