James R. Sturdivant

James R. Sturdivant: Attorney with Sirote & Permutt, P.C.


Jim represents and defends clients in criminal and white collar matters, whether brought by the U.S. Justice Department, the Alabama Attorney General, the United States Attorney, or local district attorneys. A former federal prosecutor, he represents individuals and corporate clients facing federal grand jury and law enforcement investigations, as well as securities fraud and tax allegations. He assists businesses, professional, governmental and nonprofit organization on strategies to avoid becoming the target of an investigation and he aggressively represents his clients at trial. In addition to white collar cases, Jim’s state court criminal practice also focuses on alcohol and substance abuse issues. Jim serves as Municipal Judge for the City of Vestavia Hills.Recently, Jim obtained an L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Awards & Accreditations

•Best Lawyers in America
•Mid-South Super Lawyers
•AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

Outside the Office

Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church
Adult Sunday School Classes, Frequent Speaker
United Methodist Church, North Alabama Conference
Lay Speaker
Municipal court judge City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, 2016 - present

Married to Susan Robertson Sturdivant

Professional Profile


•The Best Lawyers in America
•Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2007-2018
•DUI/DWI Defense, 2010-2018
•Best Lawyers 2013 DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer of the Year in Birmingham
•Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2009-2016
•AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•Birmingham Magazine Top Attorney, White Collar Defense/Anti-trust and Criminal Defense

Thought Leadership

•Portfolio of civil litigation matters includes estate litigation, litigation against governmental entities, professional licensure proceedings and commercial disputes
•Federal prosecutor, U. S. Department of Justice, Birmingham, Alabama
•Attorney, Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 1988-92. Assigned as the sole defense counsel for the entire post from 1989-92, representing soldiers facing trial by court-martial or administrative separation actions
•Knowledgeable and experienced in the highly specialized area of federal criminal sentencing


Sirote Attorney Jim Sturdivant was quoted today in an AL.com news story regarding Gov. Bentley - 4/5/2016

Sirote s Attorney Jim Sturdivant announces representation of Calhoun County elementary school principal facing criminal charge - 11/6/2015

Sirote & Permutt Announces 47 Attorneys Selected as The Best Lawyers in America for 2016 - 8/17/2015

Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2015 - 5/27/2015

Seven Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Named to Birmingham Magazine’s 2015 Top Attorneys - 4/15/2015

Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2015 - 8/19/2014

Birmingham Magazine Selects Sirote Lawyers as 2014 Top Attorneys - 6/6/2014

Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2014 - 4/28/2014

Sirote & Permutt Attorney Jim Sturdivant to Speak to Alabama State Bar White Collar Crime Committee - 3/28/2014

Best Lawyers Recognizes 46 Sirote Attorneys as the Best Lawyers in America for 2014 - 8/16/2013

Sirote Client Successfully Overcomes Alabama Attorney General s Efforts to Seek Prison Time - 8/14/2013

Sirote & Permutt Announces 30 Attorneys Selected as Alabama Super Lawyers 2013 - 6/14/2013

Sirote s John Cooper & Jim Sturdivant Designated Lawyers of the Year for 2013 - 12/28/2012

Best Lawyers Recognizes 43 Attorneys from Sirote & Permutt as the Best Lawyers in America for 2013 - 11/5/2012

Birmingham Magazine Names 14 from Sirote as Top Attorneys - 2/2/2012

Jim Sturdivant to Serve on Executive Board for Boy Scouts of America - 11/17/2010

Best Lawyers has selected 32 attorneys from Sirote & Permutt for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America for 2011 - 8/27/2010

31 Sirote Attorneys Listed In Best Lawyers - 8/7/2009

Publication Recognizes 20 From Sirote As Super Lawyers - 5/19/2009

Birmingham Magazine Recognizes 17 From Sirote As Top Attorneys - 3/10/2009

Sirote Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2009 - 9/26/2008

Speeches & Publications

•Author, Sirote's Tax Controversy Blog
•Author, Right to Remain Silent? Not Really, The Counselor, 2013
•Author, The Exceptional Foundation Jingle Bell Ball: Entertaining the Community, Sirote Supports, December 2012
•Author, Driver's License Suspended Due to 'Leadfoot Disease?' Relief is Available , The Counselor, Summer 2010
•Author, The Spouse as Witness: When Does the Law Forbid One Spouse from Testifying Against the Interest of the Other, The Counselor, Fall 2010
•Author, “US Supreme Court Dramatically Limits Federal Sentencing Guidelines”, The Counselor, Spring 2008
•Author, “Consequences of DUI at Home and in the Workplace”, The Counselor, Spring 2007
•Speaker, When a Child is Harmed: Representing a 'Good' Parent or Caregiver Under Investigation For Abuse or Neglect, Birmingham Bar Association, 2015
•Speaker, Preliminary Hearings, Samford University, October 2013
•Speaker, “You've Discovered Fraud...Now What? Practice Points and Suggestions from a Criminal Law Perspective”, Evidence of Fraud Seminar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, August 2008
•Speaker, “Dealing with Uncle Sam: Basic Principles in Responding to Federal Law Enforcement Contracts”, Government Contractors Seminar; Huntsville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce, March 2008
•Speaker, “The Impact of Gall v. United States on Federal Sentencing”, Criminal Justice Section of the Birmingham Bar Association, February 2008
•Author, “The Impact of Gall v. United States on Federal Sentencing”, Birmingham Bar Association Journal, Winter 2008
•Speaker, “Criminal Issues that Arise During E-Discovery”, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education, November 2007 in Birmingham, Alabama; December 2007 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
•Author, “Criminal Law”, Alabama Association of Paralegals, Inc.Winter Seminar, February 2007
•Author, “A Breach in the Wall: Federal Investigators Demand Corporations Disclose Attorney-Client Communications and Work Product”, Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, May 2006
•Speaker, “What to Do When the Wolf (Government) is at the Door: Dealing with Uncle Sam: Responding to Federal Law Enforcement Contacts”, Alabama Bar Association, Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Alabama, June 2005

Areas of Practice (9)

  • Health Care
  • Litigation
  • Tax
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate & Regulatory Compliance
  • Criminal Law
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Tax Controversy & Litigation
  • White Collar Investigations & Defense

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
205-930-5124  Phone
205.212.3839  Fax
University Attended:
Auburn University, BA, 1984
Law School Attended:
University of Alabama School of Law, JD, 1987; Alabama Law Review; Army ROTC Scholarship; Designated a Distinguished Military Graduate; Varsity football walk-on, 1980-81; University of Alabama, L.L.M., Taxation, cum laude, 2017
Year of First admission:
1987, Alabama; 1992, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama and U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; 1996, U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama


•National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
•Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
•Birmingham Bar Association
•Executive Committee, three year term, 2009-2011
•Criminal Justice Section, Former Chair
•Alabama State Bar
•American Bar Association
•Criminal Justice, White Collar Crime, and Tax Sections

Captain, US Army, JAGC, 1988-1992
Birth Information:
Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 1962

Peer Reviews

  • 4.9/5.0 (17 reviews)
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Principal on 07/03/14 in White Collar Criminal Defense

    Excellent lawyer

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Partner on 07/01/14 in White Collar Criminal Defense

    Jim Sturdivant is of the highest character and very knowledgable in his field. He is a very competent and compassionate lawyer who fights hard to protect the rights of his clients. I have referred family members to him He handled their legal matters... Read more

    Read more

    Jim Sturdivant is of the highest character and very knowledgable in his field. He is a very competent and compassionate lawyer who fights hard to protect the rights of his clients. I have referred family members to him He handled their legal matters with the highest of professionalism. Read less

    Read less

See All 17 Reviews »

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0 (1 review)
  • 100% (1 recommendation)
  • Communication

  • Responsiveness

  • Quality of Service

  • Value for Money

  • Recommended 5.0/5.0 Rated on 04/20/11 in General Practice.

    Mr. Stuedivant represented my son in a case where my son had a small amount of marijuana in his possession.

    Mr. Stuedivant represented my son in a case where my son had a small amount of marijuana in his possession. Read less

    Read less

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Birmingham, Alabama

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