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James M. Barton

James focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and insurance coverage disputes. He has experience in a variety of high value litigation, including corporate acquisition disputes, valuation proceedings, restrictive covenant enforcement suits, and mortgage backed securities claims. James's commercial litigation experience includes:

  • Breach of Contract Litigation (Michigan) - Recovered the full value of a multi-million dollar bad-faith lawsuit settlement on behalf of an insurer from the third party administrator whose failures led to the bad faith lawsuit.
  • Restrictive Covenant Litigation (Illinois) - Obtained a multi-million dollar recovery on behalf of individual brokers whose prior firm was seeking to deny them compensation and enforce onerous restrictive covenants following their departure to a competitor firm.
  • Breach of Contract Litigation (New York) - Represented one of three competing corporate groups in expedited injunctive proceedings in a three-way lawsuit lawsuit over the management and negotiated sale of a failing biofuel company.
  • Derivative Litigation (New York) - Represented outside directors in expedited injunctive proceedings in which plaintiffs sought-and failed-to block a related-party transaction as unfair to the subsidiary and its stockholders.

James represents both insurers and policy holders in coverage analysis and litigation both large and small. James's insurance coverage experience includes:

  • Declaratory Judgment (California) - Represented an insurer in declaratory judgment proceedings to determine coverage for a class action lawsuit seeking more than $2 billion in damages for violation of California privacy laws regarding the operation of toll roads.
  • Declaratory Judgment (Indiana) - Represented a manufacturer / policy holder in a declaratory judgment action against more than 20 insurers to determine coverage under dozens of policies spanning more than a decade for two product liability class action lawsuits seeking hundreds of millions.
  • Coverage Analysis (California) - Analyzed and advised on competing principles of California law as applied to a multiple-insured, multiple-claim exposure in excess of policy limits arising from the 2017 California Railroad Fire.


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300 South Wacker Dr., Suite 3250

Chicago, Illinois 60606

Phone: 312-466-7232

Email: James.Barton@ruberry-law.com

Practice Area:

  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Insurance defense and litigation
  • Insurance coverage litigation
  • Insurance coverage analysis


  • Illinois
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


  • Columbia University, J.D.
  • Yale College, B.A.