James P. Bonner
Jim represents both plaintiffs and defendants in litigations and arbitrations venued throughout the country. He 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.
Jim is also a leading advocate on behalf of victims of terrorism. He 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 three appeals in the Peterson matter in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Jim was also part of a trial team named “Trial Lawyers of the Year” by Public Justice in 2016 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 settlement with an auditing firm, the sixth-largest settlement in a litigation involving a bankrupt issuer, and a $60 million recovery from a European bank. 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, a recovery that represented a multiple of more than 50 times the amount those funds would have achieved had they participated 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; and In re CyberGuard Securities Litigation, a $10 million settlement that resulted in the collection of approximately 90% of the damages claimed by 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 multi-million dollar 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; 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.