James M. Woolsey lll Member New York
Phone: 212.238.4800 Fax: 212.238.4848 jwoolsey@lcbf.com
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A second generation trial lawyer and founding member of the firm, Jim is regularly called upon by clients, including railroads, a multinational construction company, one of New York’s largest commercial property owners, municipalities and numerous insurance carriers, to represent them in all phases of litigation and dispute resolution.

Whether assisting and advising clients in the first stages of a pre-suit investigation of an incident, representing clients at trial before the U.S. District Courts and state courts throughout New York and other states or writing pre-trial and post-trial motions, appellate briefs or submissions to state and federal agencies, Jim takes a “hands on” approach to each case in which he is involved.

Jim regularly devotes his time to assisting railroads with their investigatory and litigation needs, including trying some of their most serious FELA and train accident cases, and also regularly handles complex cases involving the New York Labor Law, Federal and State Civil Rights Laws, toxic substance exposures, medical and dental malpractice claims, motor vehicle accidents and products liability actions.

Jim has made a career of going where and when he is needed to help clients get the results they expect. On a number of occasions he has been asked by clients to handle catastrophic personal injury claims shortly before trial – often outside of the New York City area.

Jim has been selected to the list of Best Lawyers in America for 2009-2014 and 2018-2020.  Best Lawyers is published by Woodward/White.  A description of their selection methodology can be found here.  No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Some of Jim’s results include:

  • Obtained voluntary discontinuance of civil rights and retaliatory termination claim by Comptroller of Municipality following completion of depositions.
  • Obtained a defendant’s verdict in a jury trial of a breach of employment contract claim.
  • Obtained a jury verdict assessing 50% contributory negligence against decedent passenger in wrongful death case against bus company.  The case settled for 1/3 of plaintiff’s pre-trial demand.
  • Defendant’s verdict in jury trial of FELA case involving chair collapse resulting in spinal injuries, surgery and total disability to railroad employee.
  • Defendant’s verdict in jury trial of FELA case involving lifting injury, multiple spinal surgeries and total disability to railroad employee.
  • Jury trial of FELA claim by railroad conductor involving reflex sympathetic dystrophy (“RSD”) with permanent total disability of dominant arm resulting in favorable verdict for defendant.
  • Jury trial of FELA claim by married 26 year old father of two who sustained amputation of a leg below the knee and a severe crush injury to other leg with permanent total disability and extensive future medical care and rehabilitation.  The jury returned a verdict within the parameters of high/low agreement.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing motorcycle-car collision case in which plaintiff sustained amputation of one leg.
  • Obtained a defendant’s verdict on punitive damages claim. Jury trial involving a construction accident on railroad resulting in one wrongful death claim and a total disability claim by second worker. Plaintiffs were awarded $1.425 million apiece, for which our client obtained full contractual indemnity from Third-Party Defendant plus interest, costs and expenses.
  • Jury trial involving railroad worker struck in head by trap door on train who sustained traumatic brain injury with claimed total disability.  The jury assessed plaintiff 50% contributory negligent resulting in a total verdict for plaintiff of $250,000.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of triple fatality wrongful death action involving automobile and train collision.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of Labor Law 240, 241(6) & 200 claim by laborer who sustained crush injuries, multiple fractures, head trauma, permanent limitation of use of both upper and lower extremities and total disability from all employment. Declaratory judgment action against defendant subcontractor’s insurance carrier, which had disclaimed coverage based upon claimed fraud of subcontractor, resulted in contribution of their policy limits to settlement.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing Labor Law 240, 241(6) & 200 claims involving fall by plaintiff from a six-foot ladder sustaining multiple cervical disc herniations and alleged total permanent disability from all employment. Summary judgment upheld by Appellate Div 4th Dept. and NY Court of Appeals (2012).
  • Wrongful death case involving Labor Law 240, 241 (6) and 200 in which plaintiff was survived by his wife and two minor children, settled at mediation by impleaded plaintiff’s employer under Workers’ Compensation’s grave injury exception, resulting in 1B carrier paying full $3 million settlement with no contribution by our client.

Practice Areas


New York, 1987
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court Western District of New York
U.S. District Court District of Vermont
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit

Honors and Awards

Best Lawyers in America, Railroad Law, 2009 - 2014, 2018 - 2020 [see text to the left]

Best Lawyers in New York Area, Railroad Law, 2009 – 2012


J.D., St. John's University School of Law, Jamaica, New York, 1986
Moot Court Board

M.A., University of Iowa, 1982

B.A., Cum Laude, Hobart College, 1980