James V. Etscorn

Partner

Orlando
T +1.407.649.4067
F +1.407.841.0168

Overview

Jim Etscorn is a skilled trial lawyer who has been recognized for his experience in defending product manufacturers and business entities in product liability litigation and complex commercial litigation. His extensive experience in the swimming pool industry has led to regular engagements by corporations to advise and defend them in wrongful death cases, and his knowledge of this sensitive area has led to his further involvement in wrongful death cases stemming from product defects, product warnings, chemical and carbon monoxide exposures, and exposure to Legionella. Jim is trusted for his sound judgment in advising corporate clients involved in crisis situations and catastrophic matters, and for providing advice regarding the prevention and defense of traumatic cases.

Jim is the managing partner of BakerHostetler's Orlando office, where he is responsible for the management and professional development of more than 100 attorneys and staff. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2010. Jim is the former leader of the firm's national Product Liability team, continues to lecture on product liability matters and has presented on the topic of swimming pool accident prevention at the World Aquatic Health Conference.

Select Experience

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.
Commercial Litigation
  • 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. (April 2014)
  • Obtained a defense verdict after trial in a tortious interference case filed against clients in Seminole County, Florida. (June 2014)
  • 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 for an IT firm, in a large breach of contract claim worth several million dollars, a defense verdict when court determined that no breach had occurred during the termination of an IT firm.
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Experience

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.
Commercial Litigation
  • 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. (April 2014)
  • Obtained a defense verdict after trial in a tortious interference case filed against clients in Seminole County, Florida. (June 2014)
  • 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 for an IT firm, in a large breach of contract claim worth several million dollars, a defense verdict when court determined that no breach had occurred during the termination of an IT firm.
  • 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.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Orlando: Commercial Litigation (2015 to 2018)
    • Orlando: Litigation – Intellectual Property (2010 to 2018)
      • Best Lawyers® 2016 "Lawyer of the Year"
    • Orlando: Product Liability Litigation – Defendants (2010 to 2018)
  • Florida Trend "Legal Elite" (2005 to present)
  • Orlando Magazine "Best Lawyer" (2010 to present)
  • Florida "Super Lawyer" (2007 to 2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent

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

  • Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida: Board of Directors
  • Orange County Compact (high school mentoring): Board of Directors
    • Past Chair, Board of Directors
  • Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission: Board Member

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1987
  • Florida

Education

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