James V. Etscorn

Partner

Orlando
T +1.407.649.4067
F +1.407.841.0168

Overview

A trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, Jim Etscorn has a broad practice representing companies in complex business litigation and disputes and products liability matters. Jim has successfully represented clients in bet-the-company litigation involving business torts, breach of contract actions, copyright and trade secret cases and health care disputes. He is trusted for his sound judgment in advising corporate clients involved in crisis situations and catastrophic matters.

Jim has decades of experience in the products liability arena involving wrongful death cases stemming from product defects, chemical and carbon monoxide exposures and explosions. He also helps clients design and implement product warnings, and routinely represents clients before the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in product recall matters.

Jim was elected as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America©. He is the managing partner of BakerHostetler’s Orlando office and is the former leader of the firm’s national Product Liability team.

Select Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Obtained summary judgment in a large contractual matter for a defense contractor.
  • Obtained a $2.3 million jury verdict in Bay County, Florida for client in a breach of contract action involving the reclamation of iron ore.
Product Liability Defense
  • Obtained defense verdicts for clients in numerous swimming pool wrongful death cases involving suction entrapment. Investigates these cases to determine cause and effect, and advises corporate executives and general counsel on the challenges presented by the cases. Has worked on the development of product warnings designed to prevent such accidents in the future.
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Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Obtained summary judgment in a large contractual matter for a defense contractor.
  • Obtained a $2.3 million jury verdict in Bay County, Florida for client in a breach of contract action involving the reclamation of iron ore.
  • Obtained a defense verdict after trial in a tortious interference case filed against clients in Seminole County, Florida.
  • Acted as lead counsel in large, multipatent and breach of contract case, obtaining a jury verdict that resulted in the award of several key patents to the client.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a corporate client involving an IT implementation, in a large breach of contract claim worth several million dollars.
  • Represented physicians’ group against major hospital for breach of contract and wrongful termination of physicians’ privileges. The court granted a temporary injunction, finding that the hospital could not terminate privileges simply because it had entered into a competing exclusive contract with another group.
  • Represented theme park in federal court during complex copyright action alleging copyright infringement from a plaintiff seeking several billion dollars in royalties, and obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the theme park.
  • Obtained dismissal of copyright and trade secret case filed in federal court against food processing client.
  • Obtained verdict and attorney’s fee judgment for vacation resort developer, resulting in appointment of receiver and replacement of new board of directors.
  • In high-profile case regarding attempted imposition of constructive trust as large tract of land, obtained a directed verdict on behalf of client.
Product Liability Defense
  • Obtained defense verdicts for clients in numerous swimming pool wrongful death cases involving suction entrapment. Investigates these cases to determine cause and effect, and advises corporate executives and general counsel on the challenges presented by the cases. Has worked on the development of product warnings designed to prevent such accidents in the future.
  • Represented a hospitality client in a wrongful death case involving a pool accident. Worked with and advised company executives on how to deal with different product liability issues and prevent them in the future.
  • Represents clients in the investigation and litigation of carbon monoxide exposure related to the incorrect venting of gas appliances, including heaters. Skilled in accident investigation and determining the origin of carbon monoxide exposure.
  • Litigated cases in several states involving Legionnaire's Disease caused by the exposure and inhalation of inappropriately disinfected water found in fountains, water systems and cruise ships.
  • Has handled product recalls before the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Florida: Commercial Litigation (2015 to Present)
    • Florida: Litigation – Intellectual Property (2010 to Present)
    • Florida: Product Liability Litigation – Defendants (2010 to Present)
      • Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" (2016, 2020)
  • Orlando Business Journal, "Litigation Giant" in Central Florida (2020)
  • Florida Trend "Legal Elite" (2005 to present)
  • Orlando Magazine "Best Lawyer" (2010 to present)
  • Florida "Super Lawyer" (2007 to 2020)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent; Distinguished

Memberships

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Federal Bar Association
    • Past President (1991)
  • Fifth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission (Appointed by Governor Crist, 2008)
    • Chair (2010 to 2011)
    • Vice-Chair (2009)
  • The Florida Bar

Community

  • Bishop Moore Catholic High School: Board of Directors
  • Morning Star Catholic Schools: Board of Directors
  • Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida: Board of Directors
  • Orange County Compact (high school mentoring): Board of Directors
    • Past Chair, Board of Directors
  • Orlando Economic Partnership: Board Member

Industries

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • Florida

Education

  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1987
  • B.S., Political Science, Florida State University, 1984, with honors