James Jennings is a trial lawyer with more than 40 years’ experience in civil litigation in federal and state courts.

His practice focuses on commercial litigation, defending personal injury claims, product liability actions, toxic torts, and the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).

James handles a wide range of cases for industrial, transportation, local government, and commercial clients throughout Virginia and in neighboring states. He is a past president of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, the Virginia chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, which is composed of select trial lawyers from the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

The Virginia Association of Defense Lawyers honored James with the 2014 Excellence in Civil Litigation Award. His previous awards include the Defense Research Institute’s Exceptional Service Award and being elected to the Virginia Law Foundation. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America, Virginia Super Lawyers, Chambers USA-Leading Lawyer, and as a Legal Elite in Virginia Business magazine. James also holds a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review rating. In 2015, James received the Leaders in their Field distinction from Chambers USA. He is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation.

The Texas native received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University in 1965 and then entered the U.S. Navy. After his Naval service, he returned to the law school, where he served as an editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and graduated magna cum laude. He has been an adjunct professor at the Washington and Lee School of Law.

James served on Averett University’s Board of Trustees and has served in the community on the boards of directors of Downtown Roanoke Inc., Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Opera Roanoke, and many others.

Affiliations

James has served in legal and leadership roles in the following organizations:

  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation—Fellow
  • American Board Trial Advocates—President, Virginia Chapter (1995-96)
  • America Inns of Court—Master of the Bench
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys—President (2001-02)
  • Defense Council Journal—Board of Editors (1986-88)
  • Defense Research Institute—Board of Directors (2001-03); Chairman, Railroad Law Committee (1984-87)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Council
  • Journal of Civil Litigation—Chairman, Board of Editors (1990-94)
  • Municipal Liability Reporter—Board of Editors (1990-93)
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Roanoke City Bar Association—Board of Directors (2002-04)
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys—President (1988-89)
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Bar Association—Chairman, Committee on Professional Responsibility (1982-85)
  • Virginia Law Foundation—Fellow
  • Washington and Lee School of Law—Law Council (1995-98)

Thought Leadership

Recognition

Thirty-nine Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for 2020 | August 16, 2019

Five Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized by Chambers USA | May 24, 2019

Twenty-two Woods Rogers Attorneys Named 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers | April 11, 2019

Thirty-nine Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America | August 16, 2018

Twenty-three Woods Rogers attorneys awarded honors by Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine | April 20, 2018

Thirty-six Woods Rogers Attorneys Are Recognized by Best Lawyers in America | August 15, 2017

Chambers USA Guide Recognizes Three Woods Rogers Attorneys and Two Practice Areas | June 13, 2017

Twenty-one Woods Rogers attorneys awarded honors by Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine | May 1, 2017

Thirty Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized as 2017 The Best Lawyers in America | August 16, 2016

Two Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized as Leaders in Their Field | May 2, 2016

Twenty-two Woods Rogers Attorneys Awarded Honors by Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine | April 7, 2016

Thirty Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized as 2016 Best Lawyers in America | August 19, 2015

Twenty-Two Woods Rogers Attorneys Awarded Honors by Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine | April 9, 2015

James W. Jennings, Jr. Receives 2014 Excellence in Civil Litigation Award | October 20, 2014

Thirty-four Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized as 2015 Best Lawyers in America | August 22, 2014

20 Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars | July 10, 2014

33 Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America 2014 | August 15, 2013

Lawyer case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by the lawyer.