James J. Pizzirusso
While still in law school, James argued and won his first trial in the Court of Federal Claims under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program representing a family whose daughter had been severely injured (Dela Rosa v. Sec’y. of Health and Human Services, 2001 WL 1056928, NO. 93-433v (Aug. 14, 2001)). Since that time, he has pursued justice on behalf of his clients, both domestically and abroad, in a wide variety of practice areas and on behalf of notable clients -- including musicians and professional athletes. James’ distinctive approach to litigation has resulted in recoveries of hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients and class members and numerous professional accolades.
James is a partner in Hausfeld’s Washington, DC office. He has a diverse practice centering on consumer protection and cybersecurity/privacy law, antitrust law (with an emphasis in agriculture), environmental torts, and sports and entertainment law. In addition to practicing law, James has served as a Visiting Professor at George Washington University Law School.
James has led Hausfeld’s Consumer Protection practice group since the firm’s inception and courts have personally appointed him to leadership positions in numerous successful consumer fraud class actions including: In re Warner Music Group Corp. Digital Downloads Litig., No. CV-12-0559-RS (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity); James v. UMG Recordings, Inc., No. 11-CV-1613-SI (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity); Wolph v. Acer America Corp., No. CV-09-01314-VRW (N.D. Cal.) (disputed class involving defective computers certified on a nationwide basis, $22.7 million settlement later achieved); Radosti v. Envision EMI, LLC, No. 1:09-CV-00887-CCK (D.D.C.) ($17.5 million nationwide settlement); In re Tyson Foods, Inc., Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Consumer Litig., C.A. 08-1982 (D. Md.) ($8 million nationwide settlement); Brown v. Transurban (USA), Inc., No. 1:150CV000494-JCC-MSN (E.D. Va) (Co-lead) (nationwide settlement involving excessive toll lane fees); and In re Honey Transshipping Litig., 1:13-cv-02905 (N.D. Ill.) ($4 million nationwide Lanham Act settlement).
Other cases in which he has served as lead counsel include: In re Monsanto Company Genetically-Engineered Wheat Litig., 2:13-md-02473-KHV-KMH (D. Kansas) (chair of lead counsel group); U.S. Hotel and Resort Management, Inc. et al v. Onity Inc., 0:13-cv-01499-SRN-FLN (D. Minn.); and In re Sony PS3 “Other OS” Litig., No. CV-10-1811-RS (N.D. Cal.) (co-lead). He also been appointed to serve in a leadership capacity in several data breach cases including In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 14-25522 (D. Minn.) (Steering Committee on behalf of financial institutions, nationwide class certification granted, $60 million settlement approved), Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union v. Kmart Corp., No. 1:15-cv-02228 (N.D. Ill.) (One of three Co-Leads) ($18.5 million settlement); In re The Home Depot, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 14-md-02583 (N.D. Georgia) (Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee) ($25 million settlement pending); First Choice Federal Credit Union v. Wendy’s, Case No. 2:16-cv-00506 (W.D. Pa.) (Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee); In re Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Breach Litig., No. 3:15-md-2633-SI (D. Or.) (Executive Leadership Committee); and In re: Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. Data Security Litig., Civil No. 1:17-cv-514-AT (N.D. Ga.) (Co-Lead). James has also been involved in defective product cases such as Ross v. Trex Co., Inc., No. 5:09-CV-00670 (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement) and Pelletz v. Weyerhaeuser Company, No. C08-0334 JCC (W.D. Wash.) (nationwide settlement) and currently represents dentists seeking compensation from 3M related to defective crowns in Bhatia v. 3M Company, No. 0:16-cv-1304 (D. Minn.) (Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee).
In the antitrust practice area, James represents clients alleging price fixing and collusion in various agricultural sectors. He is one of the firm’s principal attorneys in In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litig., No. 2:08-cv-04653 (E.D. Pa.) ($136 million in settlements reached, class certification granted against remaining defendants) and In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litig., No. 4:10-MD-2186-BLW (D. Idaho) ($19.5 million settlement reached). He was also involved in In re: Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litig., 2:08-md-01000 (E.D. Tenn.) ($300 million settlement). Currently, James is also one of the firm’s attorneys working on In re: Packaged Seafood Products Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2670. He presently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA Antitrust Section’s Food and Agriculture Committee, having previously served as a Vice Chair from 2014-2016.
In the sports and entertainment area, James has represented several prominent musicians -- including Chuck D of Public Enemy (“Fight the Power”), Sister Sledge (“We Are Family”); Gary Wright (“Dream Weaver”), and hip hop group The Black Sheep (“The Choice is Yours”) -- in seeking compensation for unpaid digital download royalties from their records labels. He also represented several prominent retired football players, including Jim Brown and Billy Joe Dupree, in the Dryer v. Nat’l Football League, No. 0:09-cv-02182-PAM-AJB (D. Minn.) ($50 million settlement) asserting copyright and publicity rights claims from the NFL’s use of retired players’ images and likenesses.
Mr. Pizzirusso’s practice also includes domestic and international environmental and public health litigation. He successfully resolved the claims of numerous farmers and landowners in Barbados who suffered reduced crop yields and property damages as a result of a massive jet fuel spill. James has also represented farmers and other entities seeking damages related to unauthorized releases of genetically modified crops. Domestically, he has represented municipalities and individuals suffering harm related to lead paint and other toxic products.
In 2012, James was named as one of four “Rising Stars under 40” by Law360 in Consumer Protection and Privacy law. The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists recognized James as one of the leading US competition lawyers for plaintiffs in 2014. Additionally, The Benchmark Plaintiff Guide to America’s Leading Plaintiff’s Firms and Attorneys recognized James as one of the country’s top sixteen “Antitrust Litigation Stars” in 2012 and one of DC’s “Local Litigation Stars” from 2013-2015. Since 2016, James has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Washington, DC. Who’s Who Legal: Competition named him as one of the country’s leading antitrust practitioners in 2017. James has been asked to appear as a panelist at several conferences around the country and presented on topics including antitrust, consumer protection, toxic torts, and public interest litigation. James is also the author of several published papers.
James lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and two daughters.
George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors, 2001
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, B.A., summa cum laude, 1998
District of Columbia
The Supreme Court of the United States
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Sixth Court of Appeals
The Ninth Court of Appeals
Several Federal District Courts
Affiliations & Memberships
Named a Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer by the Lawdragon 500 (2019)
The National Law Journals- Cybersecurity Trailblazer (2017)
Co-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section’s Food & Agriculture Committee (2017)
Super Lawyers - Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Washington, DC (2016-2019)
Named in Who’s Who Legal: Competition 2017 as a leading antitrust lawyer in the U.S.
Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section’s Food & Agriculture Committee (2014-2016)
Named in “The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists (15th Edition)” as one of the leading US competition lawyers for plaintiffs (2014)
Benchmark Plaintiff Guide - Named as "Local Litigation Star" (2012-2014)
Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section’s Trade, Sports, Professional Associations Committee (2012-2013 ABA Year)
Benchmark Plaintiff Guide - Named as "Top Antitrust Star" (2012)
Adjunct Professor, Environmental and Toxic Torts, George Washington University Law School (2009)
Visiting Associate Professor of Clinical Law, Vaccine Injury Clinic, George Washington University Law School (2007)
News & Press
Mr. Pizzirusso’s practice was profiled in Lawdragon's, "Lawyer Limelight," January 2012
Author, "Proving Damages in Consumer Class Actions,” Newsletter of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Consumer Protection Committee (Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2016)
Co-author, “Contaminated Crops,” American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trial Magazine (Vol. 52, No. 8, August 2016)
Co-author, “From the gold mine to the courtroom — Toxic tort, silicosis and the largest class-action lawsuit in South African history,” Westlaw Journal, Toxic Torts (Vol. 30, Issue 8, May 30, 2012)
Author, “Liberalizing Rule 27 in the Twombly/Iqbal Era,” Law 360 (November 11, 2009)
Author, “Utilizing Novel Technologies to Sustain Trespass and Battery as Toxic Torts,” The Environmental Litigator (Spring, 2008)
Author, “Agency Rule-Making Power and the Clean Air Act: Putting the Brakes on American Trucking,” Spring 2001 Term: Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, Inc., 7 Environmental Law 729 (June, 2001)
Author, “Increased Risk, Fear of Disease and Medical Monitoring – Are Novel Damage Claims Enough to Overcome Causation Difficulties in Toxic Torts?” 7 Environmental Law 183 (September, 2000)
Presentations & Speeches
“Drafting a Reasonable Security Test,” Sedona Working Group 11 Mid-Year Meeting, September 2018 – Los Angeles, CA
“An Ethical Journey Through E-Discovery,” ANTITRUST LAW 2018 SPRING MEETING - AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, April 2018 – Washington, DC
“Ethics and Pitfalls to Avoid in Class Action Litigation,” CLASS ACTION ROUNDTABLE, April 2018, Rancho Palos Verde, CA
“Litigating Multistate Class Actions,” CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, May 8-10, 2017 - Phoenix, AZ
“Managing Class Action Cases,” CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 29, 2016 - Manalapan, FL
“Agricultural Antitrust: Cases and Issues,” AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL LAW ASSOCIATION (AALA) ANNUAL AGRICULTURE LAW SYMPOSIUM, October 7, 2016 - Oklahoma City, OK
“The Capper Volstead Act - Recent Lessons from the Trenches,” AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (ABA) ANTITRUST SECTION'S AGRICULTURE AND FOOD COMMITTEE, Dec. 9, 2016 (Teleconference)
“Transshipping and Neonics - Prospects for Litigation on Behalf of Honey Producers,” NORTH AMERICAN BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE, January 2014 – Baton Rouge, LA
“Non-Traditional Approaches to Class Certification,” CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 2014 – San Diego, CA
“Class Action Settlements,” CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 2013 – Boca Raton, FL
“A Bumper Crop of Attacks on Capper Volstead,” ANTITRUST LAW 2013 SPRING MEETING - AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, April 2013 – Washington, DC
“Ascertainability in Class Actions,” CONSUMER CLASS ACTION ROUNDTABLE - INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION (IIEF), November 2013 – Chicago, IL
“Nationwide Certification of Class Actions; Managing Class Actions,” CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 2012 – Santa Barbara, CA
“Ongoing Football Litigation,” INDEPENDENT RETIRED FOOTBALL PLAYERS SUMMIT & CONFERENCE, May 2012 – Las Vegas, NV
“Toxic Trespass and Other New and Emerging Toxic Torts,” ABA COMMITTEES JOINT CLE SEMINAR, January, 2008 – Snowmass, CO
“Outlook for Litigation,” NORTH CENTRAL REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELIMINATING CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING, September, 2006 – Chicago, IL
“Developing Novel Theories of Recovery in Toxic Tort Litigation,” CONTAMINATION EXAMINATION: A WORKSHOP ON THE CHANGING FACE OF CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION LITIGATION, September, 2006 – ABA CLE Program – Wilmington, DE
“Strategies for Pursuing Litigation Remedies,” NORTHEAST REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELIMINATING CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING, November, 2006 – Providence, RI
“Consumer Protection Law,” D.C. BAR ANIMAL LAW CONFERENCE, April, 2004 - American University Washington College of Law – Washington, DC
“Public Interest Tort Litigation: Using Private Tort Actions to Further Environmental Justice & Public Ends,” THE PUBLIC INTEREST ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CONFERENCE, March, 2003 – University of Oregon School of Law – Eugene, OR