James W. Bryan has practiced in the area of civil litigation with a concentration in insurance coverage, bad faith litigation, tort litigation, trucking industry defense, truck cargo claims, commercial litigation, environmental law and lender liability. He has litigated in the federal and state courts of North Carolina including the North Carolina Business Court. He is a member of the firm's business litigation practice group and is co-chair of its insurance litigation committee and insurance bad faith defense group as well as its trucking and transportation committee and truck accident defense group.
An occasional seminar presenter, Mr. Bryan has participated in transportation litigation, insurance coverage, civil procedure, ethics and evidence seminars. He is frequently involved in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation involving construction disputes, as well as trucking accident defense litigation and motor carrier regulatory and compliance matters. He had two lengthy federal court jury trials in 2012 - a two-week and three-week - involving insurance, construction, and lender liability.
Mr. Bryan is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association and North Carolina Trucking Association. He is also chair of the Amicus Brief Committee of the Trucking Industry Defense Association.
He is a member of the Defense Research Institute's Insurance Law, Commercial Litigation, Diversity, Life Health Disability and Trucking Law Committees. He is the current Chair for the DRI's Insurance Law Committee's First Party Property subcommittee.
Mr. Bryan is also a member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section (and on its Council 2002-2005) and the Litigation Section.
· Jim Bryan and Taylor Stukes co-authored an article entitled, "Bad Faith in Absence of Breach of Contract?" Featured in For the Defense magazine, a publication of the Defense Research Institute.
· "Observations from the Trenches of Truck Wreck Litigation", N.C. Trucking Association webinar, May 3, 2011.
· "Debunking Lost Future Earnings Damages", The Transportation Lawyer, February 2011
· "Property Insurance Policies: The Covered Causes of Loss and Excluded Perils", Exploring Property Insurance and Construction Law Issues, Defense Research Institute, June 2010.
· Jim Bryan and Dennis Lynch co-authored an article entitled "Rolling Out CSA 2010 - The New Motor Carrier Safety Compliance" for The DefenseLine. The DefenseLine is the quarterly publication of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association.
· On May 19, 2010, Jim Bryan and Taylor Stukes filed an amicus curiae brief in a case pending before the North Carolina Supreme Court on behalf of the Trucking Industry Defense Association. Read the brief here. On October 8, the State Supreme Court adopted the position argued in the brief and reversed the court of appeals decision. Read the opinion here.
· Co-Author, Duty to Settle Third Party Claims, Property Loss Research Bureau/Liability Insurance Research Bureau, National Claims Convention, San Antonio, March 2010
· "The Nuts and Bolts of Declaratory Judgement Actions", presented at the North Carolina Bar Association's Insurance Law Update CLE, Grandover Resort, Greensboro, North Carolina, November 6, 2009
· "Right to Independent Counsel?", Coverage Magazine, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of American Bar Association's Section of Litigation, Vol. 19, No. 3, May/June 2009
· Umbrella Policies: The Duty to Drop Down", Property Loss Research Bureau/Liability Loss Research Bureau, National Claims Convention, Seattle, March 2009
· Co-Author, Who's Responsible for Financial Responsibility?, Defense Research Institute's Trucking Law Committee, In-Transit, August 2007. The article features a recent NC Court of Appeals decision which held that a liability policy for a commercial vehicle automatically provides minimum of $750,000 of coverage, despite the owner requesting and paying for lesser coverage.
· Co-Author, Amicus Curiae brief in the Supreme Court of North Carolina on behalf of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., v. Terry Davis Armwood, Jr.; Et al., April 2007
· Co-Author, Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of the Trucking Industry Defense Association in the case, Lamson & Sessions Co. v. ATS Logistics Services, Inc., November 2006
· Co-Author, North Carolina Chapter in the Defense Research Institute's Insurance Bad Faith: A Compendium of State Law (2006)
· Contracts and Insurance Protections for Motor Carriers, National Tank Truck Carriers Association, Board of Directors Meeting, August 2004
· Co-Author, North Carolina Chapter in the American Law Firm Association's A Fifty-State Reference of Significant Case and Statutory Law Related to Life, Accident and Health Insurance Claims and Litigation (2003 Edition)
· Just Exactly Where is That Petroleum Contamination Coming From?, Environmental News, North Carolina Bar Association, 2003
· Hold Harmless, Indemnity, Subrogation and Additional Insured Insurance in Transportation Contracts, Annual Meeting, National Tank Truck Carriers Association, April, 2003
· Brownfield's Agreements: A Prospective Developer's Road to Success, Environmental News, Vol. 13, No. 2, March, 2002
· Auto Exclusion in General Liability Insurance Policies, For the Defense, Vol. 43, No. 12, December, 2001
· The Saga Over MTBE Continues, Takes New Turn, Environmental News, Vol. 13, No. 1, December, 2001
· A Lesson in Avoiding Liability on the Internet, BizLife Magazine, March, 2001
· A Practical Guide to Federal Court Rules and Procedures in North Carolina, National Business Institute, June, 2000
· Insurance Coverage Laws in North Carolina, National Business Institute, June, 1996
· Damages Recoverable in Commercial Cases and Their Proof, Commercial Litigation in North Carolina Handbook, Law Practice Handbooks, 1995
· Program Chair, DRI's Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute conference in April 2013
· Chair, First Party Property subcommittee, Defense Research Institute's Insurance Law Committee
· Member, Defense Research Institute's Insurance Law, Commercial Litigation, Diversity, Life Health Disability and Trucking Law Committees
· Member, Trucking Industry Defense Association
· Member, North Carolina Trucking Association
· Member, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
· Lender Liability/Jury Trial - Defended lender liability claims against state bank in three-week jury trial in federal district court in Greensboro, NC in 2012. Obtained favorable defense verdict that is up on appeal.
· Insurance Bad Faith - Defended commercial lines insurer for seven years (2002-2009) in bad faith litigation in NC state court involving builders risk insurance, mold infestation, alleged insurance fraud in claim submission, alleged additional insured coverage, construction project failure, Chapter 11 bankruptcy of project owner, SIU investigation, and appeal of discovery dispute over insurer's work product. Successful in resolving the matter late in discovery phase.
· Insurance Coverage/E&O/Motion to Dismiss - Obtained for insurance company an order dismissing the corporate policyholder's insurance coverage action in NC state court on a professional liability E&O policy where claimant made tortious interference with contract claim against policyholder after the expiration of the policy.
· Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith/Credit Life/Motion to Dismiss - Obtained for insurer an order of dismissal of the insured's insurance coverage/bad faith action in federal court in NC in regards to a credit life insurance policy due to misrepresentation.
· Insurance Coverage/CGL/Construction Defects - Won summary judgment motion for insurance company in insurance coverage case involving construction defect claims, owned property exclusion and trigger rule.
· Insurance Coverage/Commercial Auto/Summary Judgment - Won summary judgment for insurer in federal court in NC on grounds that the auto exclusion applied to bar coverage under a CGL policy for a catastrophic truck accident.
· Insurance Coverage/Affirmance on Appeal - Obtained NC Court of Appeals' affirmance of summary judgment entered by trial court for CGL insurer on construction defect claims.
· Title Insurance/Affirmance on Appeal - Prevailed in NC Court of Appeals for insurance company in title insurance case concerning adverse possession.
· Environmental/Consent Decree - Negotiated consent decrees for Fortune 100 company in underground storage tank case involving soil and groundwater contamination at convenience store gas station next to elementary school.
· Environmental/UST - Defended and obtained dismissal of NC state court action for gas station owner against NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources after multiple expert witness depositions revealed lack of merit for claim under NC Oil Pollution & Hazardous Substances Control Act.
· Environmental/Notice of Violation/Air Quality - Successful in persuading NCDENR's Division of Air Quality to agree to a substantial reduction of monetary penalty for alleged violation of air quality permit of manufacturer client.
· Environmental/Insurance Coverage - Obtained settlement for insurer in a ten- year coverage dispute concerning underground storage tank insurance for oil company insured at convenience store gas station.
· Truck Accident Defense/Jury Trial - Settled double fatality truck accident case for Kodiak truck owner-operator after 7 days of jury trial in NC state court.
· Truck/Bus Accident/Jury Trial - In stipulated liability case, able to hold down the jury's damage award to 25% of what plaintiff asked for in closing argument. Successful in motions to exclude testimony of plaintiff's vocational expert and economist expert.
· Cargo Loss/Carmack Amendment - Settled cargo loss claim for motor carrier in NC state court concerning stolen trailer of cell phones where interpretation of Carmack Amendment played significant role.
· Trucking Regulatory Compliance/USDOT - Negotiated a settlement for trucking company with US Dept. of Transportation concerning civil penalty assessments for alleged violations of federal motor carrier safety regulations.
· Motor Carrier Permit Violations/North Carolina - Obtained judgment for trucking company against State Highway Patrol for wrongful penalty assessment for alleged violation of trip permit for overweight load. Won on appeal.
· Transportation Contracts - Drafting and negotiating of transportation contracts on behalf of motor carriers and shippers.
· Premises Liability/Jury Trial - Obtained defense verdict of no liability for municipality in trip and fall case in NC state court.
· Automobile Negligence/Jury Trial - Won defense verdict of no liability for automobile operator in motor vehicle negligence case.
· Compelling Arbitration - Successful on motion to compel arbitration on insurance company's behalf in insurance coverage/bad faith action in NC state court concerning commercial crime policy with corporate policyholder, and successfully opposed assertion by corporate insured that the insurer waived the right to arbitration after filing the first action in New York.
· Colony v. Peterson, 2012 WL 1867047 (May 22, 2012, M.D.N.C.) and 2012 WL 4369666 (Sept. 24, 2012, M.D.N.C.)
· Daily Express, Inc. v. Bryan E. Beatty, Secretary of Crime Control & Public Safety, 688 S.E.2d, 791 N.C.App. (2010)
· Wachovia Bank v. Clean River Corporation, 178 N.C. App. 528, 631 S.E.2d 879 (2006)
· Miller v. Owens, 603 S.E.2d 168 (N.C.App. 2004)
· Ayers v. Patz, 2002 WL 1901906, N.C.App. (Aug. 20, 2002)
· Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. v. Gulf Ins. Co., 2001 WL 34000140, 2001 NCBC 3, N.C. Super. (Jan. 31, 2001)
· Markham v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 125 N.C.App. 443, 481 S.E.2d 349 (1997)
· Hunter v. Newsom, 121 N.C.App. 564, 468 S.E.2d 802 (1996)
· Fidelity National Title Ins. Co. of Tenn. v. Kidd, 99 N.C.App. 737, 394 S.E.2d 225 (1990)
Jim Bryan to Serve on Board of Greensboro Bar Association
Bryan's election, to a three-year term, happened at the association's meeting on April 21st.
"Electronic-device manufacturers may avoid liability for injuries caused by distracted drivers"
Nexsen Pruet attorney Jim Bryan offers insight to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly in an article about a "case that could indicate limits on manufacturers' liability for accidents involving distracted drivers."
"Court strikes down attorney fee award because DOT was 'substantially justified'"
Nexsen Pruet's Jim Bryan speaks to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly about the February 16th ruling in Daily Express, Inc v. Beatty.
Jim Bryan Admitted to Practice before U.S. Supreme Court
Waiver of Right of Appraisal in Property Insurance Claims
Attorney Jim Bryan authored an article for DRI addressing issues surrounding "whether a party has waived the right to invoke the appraisal process in the adjustment of a property claim."
"Leader Spotlight" - Jim Bryan
The Voice a publication of DRI (Defense Research Institute) featured Jim Bryan (Business Litigation) in its "leader spotlight" section of its e-blast this week.
Carolinas Insurance Litigation - Legal Review
This edition contains the following articles:
-Bad Faith in Absence of Breach of Insurance Contract?
-Certificates of Insurance and Additional Insured's.
International Law Update
Appeals court says international contract requires litigation in England.
"Debunking Lost Future Earnings Damages"
Jim Bryan and Taylor Stukes co-authored an article for The Transportation Lawyer, a joint-publication of the Transportation Lawyers Association and Canadian Transport Lawyers' Association.
Environmental Disqualifying Event
Nexsen Pruet attorneys Jim Bryan and Ernie Pearson write about a new term environmental lawyers need to know - "environmental disqualifying event."
The Carolinas Insurance Litigation Review
This issue of the Carolinas Insurance Litigation Review includes:
- "Challenging Policyholder Claims for Bad Faith and Punitive Damages" for North Carolina
- "Combating Policyholder Bad Faith and Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Claims" for South Carolina
The Lawyer's Corner - Spoliation of Evidence
Nexsen Pruet attorney Jim Bryan authored an article entitled "Spoliation of Evidence" for the October 2010 edition of the North Carolina Trucking Association Maintenance Council e-Newsletter.
The Lawyer's Corner - Admissibility of Guilty Pleas
Nexsen Pruet attorney Jim Bryan authored an article entitled "Admissibility of Guilty Pleas" for the August 2010 edition of North Carolina Trucking Association Maintenance Council e-Newsletter.
Amicus Curiae Brief for Trucking Industry Defense Association
On May 19, 2010, Jim Bryan and Taylor Stukes filed an amicus curiae brief in a case pending before the North Carolina Supreme Court on behalf of the Trucking Industry Defense Association. The Brief supported the position of Canal Insurance Company. Bryan and Stukes argued in their brief that the North Carolina Court of Appeals wrongly upheld a trial court's interpretation of a provision in a trucking company's insurance policy that defined who was an "insured" under the policy and had coverage. Judge Steel man of the Court of Appeals wrote a dissenting opinion.
"Court strikes down attorney fee award because DOT was 'substantially justified' "
The Nuts and Bolts of Declaratory Judgment Actions
Actions for declaratory judgment are a common feature of a litigator's insurance coverage practice. Sometimes they can be simple and straightforward and other times they can be complex, protracted and expensive. This article is intended to address many of the substantive and procedural issues that arise in declaratory judgment actions.
Defenses for Cargo Loss Claims Under the Carmack Amendment
Cargo travels this nation by truck through hundreds of miles and through the hands of multiple parties before it reaches its destination. During the journey, the parties involved in the transport of the cargo face constant risks for legal liability for damage or loss of cargo.
"Umbrella Policies: The Duty To Drop Down," 2009 Claims Conference, Property Loss Research Bureau/Liability Insurance Research Bureau, Seattle
Property Insurance: Covered Causes of Loss and Excluded Perils
Dominant features of property insurance are the covered causes of loss and the excluded perils. This is true for commercial property policies including builder's risk, as well as homeowner's policies. These features are the focus of this chapter.
Amicus Curiae brief in the Supreme Court of North Carolina on behalf of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., v. Terry Davis Arm wood, Jr.; Et al.
The Excess Insurer Lament: When Is The Primary Layer Exhausted?
Fourth Circuit Chapter in the Defense Research Institute's Spoliation of Evidence: A Compendium of State and Federal Law - 2006
North Carolina Chapter in the Defense Research Institute's Unfair Trade Practices: A Compendium of State Law - 2006
CLIENT ALERT: 2005 Amendment Reduces Risks Associated with Redeveloping Brownfield's
The South Carolina Brownfield's Voluntary Cleanup Program now provides additional liability protection for developers of contaminated lands.
Waiver of Right of Arbitration Upon Participation in Litigation
An examination of the circumstances under which a party may be found to have waived its right to arbitrate when having already participated in litigation.
Business Litigation Review - Punitive Damages
The Business Litigation Review is offered as a service to Nexsen Pruet, PLLC clients and friends. This review covers punitive damages law in North Carolina and in South Carolina.
"Contracts and Insurance Protections", American Law Firm Association's Transportation Practice Group Seminar, April 2003
Just Exactly Where is That Petroleum Contamination Coming From?
Just Exactly Where is That Petroleum Contamination Coming From?, Environmental News, North Carolina Bar Association, 2003
Brownfield's Agreements: A Prospective Developer's Road to Success, Environmental News, Vol. 13, No. 2, March, 2002
Auto Exclusion in General Liability Insurance Policies
The Saga Over MTBE Continues, Takes New Turn
The Saga Over MTBE Continues, Takes New Turn, Environmental News, Vol. 13, No. 1, December, 2001
Nexsen Pruet Insurance Brochure
CIVIC & PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
· Greensboro Bar Association (President-Elect)
· 18th Judicial District of the North Carolina State Bar (President-Elect)
· Guilford Inn of Court (master)
· Trucking Industry Defense Association
· North Carolina Trucking Association
· North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
· Defense Research Institute
· Greensboro Bar Association
· Greensboro Bar Association's Community Involvement Committee (chair)
· City of Greensboro's South Elm Street Community Advisory Team Committee (member)
· YMCA of Greensboro's Alex Spears Branch Board of Management (past chair)
· Leadership Greensboro (2003-2004)
· North Carolina Bar Association