James P. Bonner, represents both plaintiffs and defendants in litigations and arbitrations venued throughout the country. In addition to his ongoing representation of victims of terrorist attacks, Jim frequently serves as counsel for corporations, entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and large investors in litigations and arbitrations arising from mergers, acquisitions, and breaches of product development agreements and in cases involving securities fraud and other business torts. In those matters, Jim has secured recoveries totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for his plaintiff clients and has won numerous dismissals for defendants he has represented.
Jim served as counsel for the plaintiffs in Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, where the victims of the 1983 Iranian terrorist attack upon the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon and other judgment creditors recovered nearly $1.9 billion secretly held by Iran’s central bank in a New York financial institution. He successfully argued Peterson in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Jim was also part of a trial team named 2016 “Trial Lawyers of the Year” by Public Justice in connection with their representation of the plaintiffs in Linde v. Arab Bank. That award “recognizes the work of an attorney or team of attorneys working on behalf of individuals and groups that have suffered injustice and harmful abuse.” The Arab Bank jury trial produced the first verdict ever against a financial institution for providing material support to a terrorist organization’s attacks upon American citizens. Following that trial, the Arab Bank case settled for a confidential amount on the eve of the first trial scheduled to assess the plaintiffs’ damages.
Jim has also served as lead plaintiffs’ counsel in numerous large, complex securities and consumer protection class actions. He represented the class in In re Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, N.V. Securities Litigation, a securities class action that produced settlements totaling more than $180 million. At the time of the Lernout settlements, the recoveries included the third-largest ever settlement with an auditing firm, the sixth-largest settlement ever in a litigation involving a bankrupt issuer and a $60 million recovery against a European bank in connection with an innovative liability theory related to SEC Rule 10b-5(a) and (c). Jim also represented a number of New Jersey public pension funds in In re Tyco Securities Litigation, where he helped secure settlements totaling $85 million for Jim’s institutional investor clients, a recovery that represented a multiple of more than 50 times the amount those funds would have achieved had they participated in the settlement in the related class action.
Other matters in which Jim has also played a principal role include: In re Dreyfus Aggressive Growth Mutual Fund Litigation, a securities class action brought on behalf of investors in two Dreyfus mutual funds that produced a $20.5 million settlement amounting to over 90% of class members’ claimed damages; In re Winstar Communications Inc. Securities Litigation, a securities class action that produced over $40 million in settlements, including a substantial recovery secured in connection with the pursuit of innovative claims brought against a business partner of a securities issuer; In re CyberGuard Securities Litigation, a $10 million settlement that resulted in the collection of approximately 90% of the damages claimed by class members; Baird v. Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc., an action brought on behalf of purchasers of certain RCA and Proscan televisions in which Jim obtained a 100% recovery for the repair costs that consumers incurred as a result of the defects alleged by the plaintiffs as well as certain enhanced warranty benefits; Argyropoulos v. HomEq Servicing Corp., where Jim obtained 100% refunds of the late fees paid by certain class members on their mortgage payments and 65% refunds of the late fee payments made by the remaining class members; and Heller v. Circle K Stores, Inc., where Jim secured preliminary and final injunctions prohibiting the defendant from imposing certain taxes upon class members.
Recent commercial litigation and arbitration matters in which Jim has served as counsel include:
- Representing a private equity fund and its principal in an arbitration involving alleged breaches of fiduciary obligations and theft of trade secrets that produced a $22.5 million award in favor of the Firm’s clients after a nine-day hearing;
- Representing entrepreneurs who sold their business to a government contractor in an arbitration related to earn-out compensation that produced a $20.5 million arbitration award in favor of the Firm’s clients and a favorable settlement of the subsequent judicial proceedings related to the attorneys’ fees payable to the Firm’s clients;
- Securing a $32 million judgment on behalf of a mezzanine lender in litigation arising from a failed real estate loan;
- Securing a confidential settlement on behalf of the former shareholders of a start-up medical device company in connection with an arbitration involving claims that a large, public company failed to fulfill its contractual obligation to develop the shareholders’ innovative cardiac care product for commercial purposes;
- Securing a multi-million settlement of securities fraud, suitability and breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted on behalf of companies that invested in auction rate securities that failed at auction, leaving the Firm’s clients holding illiquid securities with minimal value;
- Successfully defending one of New York’s largest telecommunications contractors in an antitrust action involving alleged efforts to monopolize the market for the installation of telecommunications equipment and wiring in New York City in an action that produced a summary judgment ruling in the defendants’ favor;
- Securing a multi-million-dollar settlement on behalf of venture capital funds, entrepreneurs and other former shareholders of a start-up pharmaceutical company that sold a promising product to a large, public corporation that allegedly failed to fulfill post-sale obligations to develop the sellers’ product for commercial purposes;
- Successfully representing one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies in connection with breach of contract claims related to the failed design and implementation of a complex billing system by a software company and a consulting firm; and
- Securing the dismissal of claims asserted by the limited partners of real estate partnerships against the mezzanine lenders who financed failed commercial real estate projects.
J.D., Harvard Law School, 1992
- cum laude
B.A., Rutgers University, 1989
- with highest honors
United States District Court:
District of New Jersey
Eastern District of New York
Southern District of New York
United States Court of Appeals:
United States Supreme Court:
HONORS / AWARDS
New York Super Lawyers
Trial Lawyer of the Year, Public Justice