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As Assistant General Counsel, Jim Tolpin advises the firm in the areas of professional responsibility and risk management, including on issues involving conflicts, legal ethics, firm policy, and litigation.

Before becoming Assistant General Counsel, Jim was a shareholder in the firm's International Litigation Department, representing clients in a wide range of domestic and international commercial litigation matters before federal and state courts and arbitration panels. He joined the firm in 1997 after working as law clerk to U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King of the Southern District of Florida and, before that, as a reporter and editor at the (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Sun-Sentinel.


  • Professional responsibility
  • Risk management
  • Intra-firm compliance
  • Supervision of outside counsel



  • Represented professional basketball player in dispute with major sports agent and premier Russian basketball team; guided same basketball player through NBA and foreign eligibility hurdles.
  • Defended international air courier against competitor's injunction action brought under the Lanham Act and state-law unfair trade statutes.
  • Defended Argentina-based designer-manufacturer against action arising from construction of two prisons in Argentina.
  • Represented fine-art broker in dispute centered on indicted art dealer's fraudulent transactions involving works by artists Botero and Chagall.
  • Obtained full ownership of manufacturing business for shareholder in AAA arbitration involving competing shareholders' "shotgun offer."
  • Represented business owner against contractor who constructed three-quarter million dollar manufacturing plant at incorrect location.
  • Vindicated, in administrative proceedings, major insurance company's right to exclude coverage for mold-related losses from its homeowners and commercial multi-peril policies within Florida.
  • Defended seller of painting by deceased Cuban artist Carreño against purchaser's forgery claim.
  • Prosecuted specific-performance action for buyer of $40 million hotel against seller who claimed purchase contract failed for default.
  • Obtained judgment or settlement on behalf of quasi-public insurance trust in two dozen actions against non-paying physician-members.
  • Represented purchaser of million dollar property in action against seller who assigned incorrect version of long-term tenant's lease.
  • Obtained million-dollar award for intestate heirs and heir-finder service, and defeated ex-wife's competing claim premised on extraordinary doctrine of dependent relative revocation and on undue influence.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Real Estate, 2023-2024
  • Team Member, U.S. News – Best Lawyers, "Law Firm of the Year: Litigation - Real Estate," 2022
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Undergraduate-applicant interviewer for Columbia University Alumni Recruiting Committee, 2005-present



  • J.D., summa cum laude, University of Miami School of Law, 1996
    • Articles & Comments Editor, University of Miami Law Review
  • M.S., Journalism, Northwestern University, 1983
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1981
  • Hon. James Lawrence King, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 1996-1997
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida