James Gotz is the chair of Hausfeld’s US-based Environmental & Product Liability Practice Group. For the past thirty years, from his office in Boston, he has represented claimants across Massachusetts and nationally in complex tort litigation, ranging from environmental tort cases on behalf of state governmental agencies and water authorities, to catastrophic injury pharmaceutical product liability and toxic tort actions.
James leads the firm’s deep-bench US environmental team in representing public entities against chemical companies responsible for contaminating drinking water supplies and other natural resources. That includes the first-in-the-nation case seeking to hold chemical manufacturers responsible for contamination from decades-long release of 1,4-dioxane into groundwater, as well as the first state-wide dioxane case against those same companies.
James also brings his complex litigation experience and best practices to several of the firm’s current human rights and social justice cases, including the firm’s efforts to hold the Government of South Sudan accountable for atrocities suffered by NGO workers at the Terrain Hotel in 2016.
Additionally, James is a leader in the prosecution of pharmaceutical and medical device mass torts, starting with the Fen-Phen Diet Drug MDL in Philadelphia in the late 1990s and, more recently, his successful resolution of the GranuFlo MDL litigation in Boston. James has been judicially appointed or invited to leadership roles in multiple drug and device MDLs, contributing his experience and skills to matters such as legal challenges to the admissibility of expert opinions (so-called Daubert challenges), litigation strategy, litigation management, and global resolution. In addition, he has contributed to thought leadership on MDL-related issues through Emory Law School’s Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims and advocated at hearings before the federal Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules concerning proposed changes to Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, “Testimony by Expert Witness.”
No matter how challenging or adversarial the situation, James remains thoughtful, calm, and considerate while still securing the greatest possible success for his clients. His consistent winning results prove the value of his uniquely attentive approach and demonstrate the knowledge and wisdom that comes from his wide range of complex civil litigation experiences.
James represents individuals and governmental entities who have suffered catastrophic damages caused by the negligence or misconduct of corporations threatening the public health of communities across the US. James’ current clients and matters include representing one of the largest water authorities in the country seeking billions of dollars in just compensation against manufacturers of 1,4-dioxane, leading state-wide prosecutions seeking significant compensation against chemical manufacturers for extensive damage to natural resources, and counseling states and cities to address their gun violence crises. James also represents individuals seeking redress and compensation for human rights and social justice violations.
Suffolk University Law School, J.D. (with honors), 1994
University of Michigan, B.A., 1991
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Bar Association (Former Member, Civil Litigation Section Council)
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (Former Member, Board of Governors)
Boston Bar Association (Former Co-Chair, Tort Committee)
American Association for Justice (Past Chair, Section on Toxic, Environment and Pharmaceutical Torts)
Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop (Faculty Member, 2009-2011, 2014-2015)
WHAT OTHERS SAY
- Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, 2022
- Top Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer since 2019
- Invited to participate as a faculty member for Harvard Law School’s Annual Trial Advocacy Workshop from 2009-2011 and 2014-2015, in recognition of his skills as a trial lawyer.
- Frequently invited as a thought leader to speak about current issues in mass torts and drug/device MDLs at academic forums including the Duke Law School’s Bolch Judicial Institute and Emory Law School’s Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims.
- "The State of Daubert Law and Strategies for Overcoming Expert Challenges," American Association for Justice Annual Convention, Section on Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Litigation (July 2020), Speaker