Attorneys

Jonathan J. James, Esquire

Jonathan J. James is a 1987 alumnus of Temple University where he graduated cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy. Jonathan ran his own building and contracting business during which time he entered Widener University Law School. Jonathan was able to juggle his business with his studies, and received his J.D. in 1991. He began his law career as a solo practitioner and law clerk in the Philadelphia Municipal Court before becoming the founding partner of James & Jarrett, P.C. in 1997. James and Jarrett litigated numerous cutting edge employment discrimination cases in Federal Court, and led the way in New Jersey for clients suffering from gender identity disorder, now recognized as a disability under New Jersey law. Jonathan has extensive experience as a trial attorney in criminal and civil cases in both state and federal court. Jonathan is admitted to practice in both state and federal court including the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, District of Maryland, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Forth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of The United States. A tenacious cross-examiner, he is lead counsel in all of the firm’s complex litigation. A member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, he has lectured on trial skills and tactics. Jonathan has also lectured at Drexel School of Medicine in Philadelphia, on medical ethics and the law.

 

Michael C. Schwartz, Esquire

Michael C. Schwartz received his B.A. in American history from Cornell University in 1976, and his J. D. from The American University, Washington College of Law in 1982. Michael began his career as a solo practitioner in Washington, D.C., where he concentrated his practice in criminal defense. In 1984, he moved to Philadelphia to accept a position with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where he served as a senior trial and appellate attorney for over ten years. In 1995, Michael again opened his own law firm expanding his criminal defense practice into the area of civil rights. In 2003, Michael joined Jonathan J. James, Esquire, to form James, Schwartz & Associates, P.C. Michael has tried over 1,500 cases in state and federal courts, including capital and civil rights cases. Of note, in his capacity as mitigation counsel, Michael successfully averted the death penalty for several clients. Michael has prepared over 100 post-conviction petitions and appeals, and has argued dozens of cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Michael has also served on death penalty and civil rights continuing legal education panels.

 

Peter Thompson

Mr. Thompson earned his Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law and a LLM in Trial Advocacy, with Honors, from Temple University School of Law. Mr. Thompson is currently a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), is often called to guest lecture at law schools, colleges and universities and professional conferences regarding both immigration and trial advocacy, and is a member of both the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations, including the Immigration Law Committee. Mr. Thompson also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law, has coached a trial team at Temple University School of Law, has taught Immigration Law and International Law to Villanova University undergraduate students, and has taught Trial Advocacy at Rutgers School of Law – Camden. Prior to law, Mr. Thompson taught for several years on the Navajo Nation, Arizona, and worked as a news journalist for the Irish News in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Thompson focuses his practice upon representing people charged with violations under state criminal and/or U.S. immigration laws, and those seeking to lawfully enter and/or remain permanently in the U.S. Mr. Thompson began his legal career in 1999 with the prestigious Defender Association of Philadelphia where he represented thousands of people, adult and children alike, at every stage of the criminal justice process, including at trial (both bench and jury) and in direct appeal to the Superior and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In 2007 Mr. Thompson began serving as the Director of the Defender Immigration Project within the Defender Association. In this role he provided immigration consultation services for non-citizen clients, provided direct representation of non-citizens in notable cases and trained and advised, and continues to train and advise, members of the bar and bench regarding the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

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