James M. Burns is a co-founder of Genova Burns and is the firm’s Managing Partner. Jim is based in the firm’s Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey, offices.
Jim’s legal expertise spans the practice areas of Commercial and Regulatory Litigation, Insurance Law, Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law.
Commercial and Regulatory Litigation
Commercial litigation in numerous industries has been a major part of Jim’s practice for decades. This includes challenges on behalf of the business community against governmental regulation. As general counsel to New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, Jim handled on behalf of the retail industry a prominent constitutional challenge to legislation, including a successful suit to set aside a New Jersey statute which sought to require retail industry gift card issuers to transfer to the State as unclaimed property an estimated $100M in unclaimed gift card balances [N.J. Retail Merchs. Ass’n v. Sidamon-Eristoff, 669 F.3d 374 (3d Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 528 (2012)].
Hospital and Healthcare Law
Jim has over his career represented a large segment of New Jersey’s acute care hospitals in matters involving litigation, governance, mergers and business transactions, strategic planning, regulatory actions and other matters. On numerous occasions Jim has served as outside general counsel to acute care hospitals. He represented Somerset Medical Center in its merger with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
As co-Leader of the firm’s Insurance Law practice, Jim handles insurance law, licensing, regulatory and transactional matters on behalf of brokers and agents, insurers and other insurance industry entities. Jim is co-founder and President of the Hudson Insurance Federation of New Jersey (www.hifnj.org).
Labor and Employment Law
Jim has decades of experience handling the full range of employment litigation and labor law matters on behalf of management.
Jim has Board of Director and Audit Committee experience in the banking industry and higher education, in addition to numerous leadership roles on large nonprofit organization boards.
- New Jersey Community Bank, former member of Board of Directors, Audit Committee member. Through merger with 1st Constitution Bancorp.
- New Jersey Institute of Technology, former Co-Vice Chairman of Board, member of Audit Committee for $250M, 10,000 student public research university. Tenure marked by large scale campus expansion and redevelopment. www.njit.edu.
- Covenant House International, Board member for $140M international nonprofit with 18 affiliate entities across U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala (2013 – 2017). Member of Audit and Governance Committees. Significant role in insurance and risk issues. www.covenanthouse.org
There are numerous other leadership roles Jim has held in trade associations and in the public arena.
- Hudson Insurance Federation of New Jersey. www.hifnj.org. Co-Founder and President of insurance industry trade association.
- Special Counsel, Office of Governor-Elect James E. McGreevey (2001-2002). - As counsel to transition committee, personally developed and implemented plan to identify and remove from positions approximately 1,000 State of New Jersey personnel in preparation for incoming administration. Advised Governor-Elect and Cabinet on transitional matters
- American Liver Foundation
- America’s principal liver disease–related voluntary health association, headquartered in NYC with over 40 state chapters
- General Counsel (1995-2000)
- National Hemophilia Foundation
- America’s principal hemophilia related disease organization with over 35 state chapters
- General Counsel (1990-1995)
For a description of the selection process methodology for each of the publications and organizations which have included Genova Burns LLC in their rankings or awards, please click here.
- Represented the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association in New Jersey Retail Merchants Association v. Sidamon-Eristoff [N.J. Retail Merchs. Ass'n v. Sidamon-Eristoff, 669 F.3d 374 (3d Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 528 (2012)], in which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined a New Jersey state law that defined as unclaimed property unused gift card balances held by the retail industry.
- Represented major U.S. insurance brokerage firm in managing general agent contract dispute with insurer.
- Served as outside General Counsel to Somerset Medical Center prior to its merger with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
- President, Hudson Insurance Federation of New Jersey.
- New Jersey Community Bank, member of Board of Directors, Audit Committee (2017-April, 2018). (Merged with 1st Constitution Bancorp April, 2018).
- New Jersey Institute of Technology, Co-Vice Chairman of Board for $250M, 10,000 student public research university (2003 - 2008). Member of Audit Committee.
- Covenant House International, Board member for $140M international nonprofit with 18 affiliate entities across U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala (2013 - 2017). Member of Audit and Governance Committees.
- Community Health Charities, Chairman of Board, and member of Executive Committee of $80M organization which is nation's largest workplace giving federation in voluntary health sector operating through 40 state affiliate entities in the U.S. (2006 - 2011).
- Integrity House, Board member of $20M non-profit serving individuals with addiction and substance abuse (2012- 2017). Chairman, Strategic Planning Committee (2015 - 2016).
- ROI-NJ Influencers Power List - Lawyers: 2022 - 2023
* No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. See Awards/Honors Methodology.