James E. Britain

After graduating from Duke University’s School of Law and receiving his LL.M from Temple, Jim worked as a law professor at the University of Dayton School Of Law, from 1977-79, and New England School of Law, from 1979-82.  He then served as a judicial clerk for Chief Judge George Edwards, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for one year.

In 1983, he began the full-time private practice of law in the litigation department of one of the largest firms in Cincinnati, Taft, Stettinius & Hollister.  With the Taft law firm, Jim represented primarily mid-sized regional companies and large national companies.  These matters encompassed: construction litigation (representing owners, construction managers, design professionals, general contractors and subcontractors); insurance coverage claims, environmental disputes, production liability cases, contract and collection matters and personal injury cases.

Since 1995, Jim has practiced law in Bellingham.  He continues an active civil litigation practice, as well as regularly representing individuals and businesses in estate planning, probate, business formation and transaction and real estate matters.


  • LL.M. Temple University School of Law (1977), in Legal Education
  • J.D. Duke University School of Law (1975)
  • B.A. Washington State University (1972), highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa

Admitted to Practice:

  • Washington, 1975
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Ohio, 1983 – inactive

Community Service:

  • Past President, Whatcom County Bar Association
  • Past President and Board Member, LAW  Advocates (local volunteer lawyers program)
  • Past President and Board Member, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra
  • Board Member, City Club of Bellingham

Published Works

  • Product Honesty Is the Best Policy: A Comparison of Doctors’ and Manufacturers’ Duty to Disclose Drug Risks and the Importance of Consumer Expectations in Determining Product Defect, 79 Nw. L. Rev. 342, (1984)
  • Book Review: Modern Products Liability Law, 17 New Eng. L. Rev. 621, (1982)


  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation: Taking Fact Witness Depositions, May 2010, Whatcom County Bar Association
  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation: Duty to Warn, Nov. 1989, Cincinnati Bar Association
  • Speaker, Privacy and the Law Symposium, May, 1979, Sinclair College, Dayton, OH

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rating, Martindale & Hubbell (highest peer rating)
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Whatcom County Bar Association, Past President
  • LAW Advocates (Whatcom County volunteer lawyer program), Board Member, Past Chairperson, Pro Bono Cases & Participant in Street Law
  • Washington State Bar Association, Member