James B. Reed




  • J.D., Columbia University, 1988
  • B.A., University of Kansas, 1985


  • Arizona State Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • State Bar Ethics Committee since 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Courthouse Accessibility Subcommittee, Chair
  • Courthouse Access Advisory Committee (CAAC), Education and Outreach Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Credit Managers, Member
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IN THE NEWS: J. Ernest Baird, P.C. Partner Jim Reed featured in Arizona Republic profile

Attorney James Reed concentrates on breach of contract litigation, mechanic’s lien and public bond law, and copyright and life rights for film. In the area of commercial litigation, Mr. Reed has handled lawsuits involving state and federal bonded projects, lien rights on private projects, Uniform Commercial Code secured remedy enforcement actions, prejudgment writs of attachment/temporary restraining orders for corporate asset transfers, loan recourse agreements, commercial real estate transactions, fraudulent transfer actions, civil RICO defenses, breach of partnership and LLC agreements, commercial letters of credit, a software “planned obsolescence” mechanism in computer digital photography design for a nationally prominent jewelry catalog during the advent of digital photography in 1995.

In the area of construction litigation, Mr. Reed has litigated actions involving excavation, concrete pouring and curing, roof and truss safety, elevator defects, paint manufacture and industrial application with large volume home manufacturers and large retail centers, and electrical system design for fire safety. Mr. Reed has also handled litigation and workouts for the sale or rentals of front-end loaders, conveyors, forklifters, industrial paint mixers, precision boring equipment and multi-story industrial oven towers. Mr. Reed has used expert witnesses at most phases of building design and construction. At the judgment collections stage, Mr. Reed was one of the first Arizona attorneys to successfully garnish a spendthrift trust, originating with the Widener’s family’s demise on the Titanic.

Mr. Reed has been admitted pro hac vice numerous times in California, Nevada and Pennsylvania to act as lead counsel. He argued and won the first joint check rule decision in the Nevada State Supreme Court, which now affects payment by general contractors to subcontractors and suppliers for every construction project in Nevada for the last fifteen years. Mr. Reed served on the Arizona Contractors Association Legislative Committee and is currently a member of the Arizona State Bar Construction Law Section, and has written articles for local trade journals on lien and bond rights and construction industry economic forecasts. He has lectured on lien and bond rights and credit application drafting at the National Association of Credit Managers Southwest Construction Law Conference for the past ten years, including serving as featured Industry Day construction law lecturer for the 2004 NACM National Congress.

Mr. Reed has briefed and argued appeals before the Arizona, Pennsylvania and Ninth Circuit courts of appeal, and was lead counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court on an unsuccessful petition for writ of certiorari. Mr. Reed recently completed a three week trial in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in (ATF Agent) Jay Dobyns v. United States, covered in the Arizona Republic, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Reed’s successful representations include:

  • Judgment dismissing a $26 million fraud and civil RICO action, involving the Lake Havasu City electrical code and design requirements, plus 100% attorney fee award, upheld on appeal by Arizona’s Court of Appeals
  • Judgment for more than $1 million against Golf Illustrated Magazine for breach of contract and successful garnishment of Bank One Arizona, NA, for more than $100,000, upheld on appeal by the Arizona’s Court of Appeals and Arizona Supreme Court
  • Judgment in federal court against Social Security Administration with Arizona U.S. Attorney Civil Division Chief defending
  • Trial in U.S. District Court bankruptcy court finding non-dischargeable fraud by the debtor
  • Trial in Superior Court for violation of Arizona’s Fraudulent Conveyances Act with the Court finding a transfer of assets from a limited liability company to insiders
  • Summary judgment in favor of fixed base operator at the Lake Havasu City Airport, plus 100% attorney fee award
  • Defeated substantial damages claims by a Philadelphia Walmart against a paint manufacturer for claims of materials failure
  • Successful claim for equipment rental rights in Harkins Theatres construction in Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Successful claim for excavation contract breach for the Flagstaff High School renovation
  • Successful breach of contract claim for the general contractor for a Paradise Valley Danny’s Family Carousel construction
  • Successful payment bond disputed-claim representations against White Sands Missile Base, Davis Monthan Air Base and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
  • Successful workout of mechanic’s lien claim for six thousand doors installed at Wynn Resort and Casino in Las Vegas
  • Numerous large-scale phased housing mechanic’s lien representations against many of the largest homebuilders in Arizona, California and Nevada

Mr. Reed has also represented a wide range of clients engaged in film and television and handled life rights sales for film, licensing agreements, copyright infringement claims, and the trademark for celebrated Phoenix pastry chef Tammie Coe. Reed has formed numerous film production LLC’s, including representing the filmmakers for “Banking on Heaven,” with film clips airing on Oprah, CNN and Nightline. Reed was counsel of record for “Red, Blue and Green: One Man’s Fight to Bring Stevia to America’s Tables,” narrated by Ed Begley, Jr., and has negotiated deals with Fox Films, BBC Worldwide, TNT and SONY Television. In 2005, Jim drafted film-piracy protection, health, pension and performers with disabilities campaign platforms for the Screen Actors Guild presidential campaign for Morgan Fairchild, a longtime SAG Board member.

Mr. Reed is active with the Arizona State Bar, completing his fifth year on the State Bar Appointments Committee, which reviews all applicants and makes final recommendations for all State Bar committee and judicial commissions, including all trial and appellate commissions statewide. At the 2006 Arizona Judicial Conference, the Arizona Supreme Court awarded Reed the Court’s second highest attorney award for his leadership of a statewide, 40 courthouse survey for disability access.  The survey was the first of its kind nationally and resulted in Reed’s appointment to the Federal Courthouse Access and Design Committee for the U.S. Access Board under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Reed is also active politically, serving on the national political staff for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and as a democratic party field attorney and observation team leader for Washington County, Fla., during the 2000 Florida Presidential Election Recount. He served as an observation team leader for the Arizona 2002 governor’s election provisional ballot count, and his written testimony on polling place accessibility was solicited and accepted into the record by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for public hearings on the Florida 2000 presidential election. Mr. Reed was a disability policy advisor on four presidential campaigns, including the 2008 campaign for Hillary Clinton, as well as her 2006 U.S. senatorial campaign. In 2004, the Arizona State University Law School presented Mr. Reed with a Distinguished Achievement Award for his work on accessible courthouses and election polling places in Arizona. BizAZ Magazine recognized Reed as 1-of-14 “Up And Coming Arizona Attorneys.” He has appeared on television, radio and in the print media numerous times discussing legal representations and political policy, including the Wall Street Journal, CSPAN TV and Radio, the Arizona Republic, the Tucson Daily Star and KGUN9 News..

    • Fifth consecutive year as author of Arizona and New Mexico lien and bond law chapters for National Association of Credit Managers Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws
    • 2003 BizAZ Magazine “Up and Coming Arizona Attorney” (14 chosen)
    • 2004 National Construction Industry Day Speaker – National Association of Credit Managers National Congress
    • 2004 Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law Distinguished Achievement Award
    • 2005 appointee to the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee to the United States Access Board for federal building construction
    • 2005 member of the Aspen Institute Health Policy Roundtable with former OMB Director Franklin Raines and former FDA Commissioner David Kessler
    • 2006 Arizona Judicial Conference recipient of the “Access to Swift, Fair Justice” Award by the Arizona Supreme Court
    • 2007 and 2009 – panelist at Arizona State Bar Convention
    • 2009 Appointee to the Arizona State Bar Appointments Committee, which reports directly to the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors (completed fifth year of a six year term)
    • 2009 “Spirit of Service Award” – Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Credit Managers
    • 2010 Top Arizona Construction Attorney – AZ Business Magazine
    • 2004-2014 – Mechanic’s Lien and Bond Lecturer – Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Credit Managers annual conference
    • Field attorney/observation team leader for Washington County, Florida, 2000 Florida Presidential Election, legal team participant in Tallahassee, Florida for Vice-President Gore during 2000 recount
    • Field Attorney/provisional ballot count observation team leader for Yavapai County for 2002 Arizona Governor’s Election for Janet Napolitano
    • Quoted in The Arizona Republic, The Tucson Daily Star and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL as lead counsel for ATF Agent Jay Dobyns (ret.) in “Dobyns v. United States”

Dear Jim,
Thank you for hosting the Legal Insights Seminar. It was a big success in every way, congratulations! Your presentation was top-notch as always, there was lots of interaction, always a good sign!

Rich Adams
Southwest Business Credit Services


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