James A. Plaisted


James A. Plaisted


Practice Areas




Chambers USA 2019 Reports

James Plaisted is held in high regard by interviewees, one of whom labels him "a fantastic lawyer." He is recognized for his expert handling of both trial proceedings and internal investigations on behalf of major corporate clients.


James A. Plaisted has decades of experience as a criminal defense attorney, civil litigator and prosecutor. He has argued successfully before the United States Supreme Court, the New Jersey Supreme Court, and other appellate courts in New York and New Jersey, and has handled over 40 appeals to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Jim has defended numerous corporate officers in federal and state cases involving tax allegations, securities allegations, bank misapplication, environmental offenses and fraud charges. He has handled civil and criminal Clean Water Act and other environmental cases in both federal and state courts for Exxon Mobil, international shipping companies and other corporations. Johnson & Johnson, Novacare and BioMet have utilized Jim to represent various officers and sales agents, including the former presidents of Ortho Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, in Food and Drug Administration-related matters.

Jim has served as chief of the Fraud and Public Protection Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, as president of Rutgers University Law School’s Willard Heckel Inn of Court, and as a master and chairman of its Program Committee. He has also been a lecturer in civil and criminal trial advocacy for the U.S. Justice Department Advocacy Institute. Jim is recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil and Criminal Trial Lawyer.

Reported Decisions

  • United States v. A Parcel of Land, Bldgs., known as 92 Buena Vista Ave., Rumson, N.J., 113 S.Ct. 1126, 122 L.Ed.2d 469, 61 USLW 4189 (1993)
  • DeVesa v. Dorsey, 134 N.J. 420, 634 A.2d 493 (1993)
  • Christiania Insurance Co. v. Great American Insurance Co., 979 F.2d 268 (2d Cir. 1992)
  • In Re The Grand Jury Empaneling of the Special Grand Jury, 171 F.3d 826 (3d Cir. 1999)
  • Kopin v. Orange Products, Inc., 297 N.J. Super. 353 cert. den. 149 NJ 409 (1997)
  • NJ Racing Commission v. Lapoff, 95 N.J.A.R. 2d 22 (1995)
  • US v. Kopp, 951 F.2d 521 (3d Cir. 1991)
  • United States v. Kruckel, 1993 WL 76648,(D.N.J. 1993) and 1994 WL 774645 (D.N.J. 1995)
  • In Re: Cendant Corporation Securities Litigation, 109 F.Supp.2d 285 (2000)
  • Shea v. Office of Thrift Supervision, 934 F.2d 41 (3d Cir. 1991)
  • State v. XYZ Corp., 119 N.J. 416, 575 A.2d 423, 59 USLW 2071 (1990)
  • In the Matter of Walsh Trucking Co., Inc. v. Insurance Co of North America, 838 F.2d 698 (1988)
  • In Re Grand Jury Empanelled 3-23-83, 773 F.2d 45 (3d Cir. 1985)
  • United States v. Canel, 569 F.Supp. 926 (1982) and 708 F.2d 894 (3d Cir. 1983)
  • United States v. Musto, 540 F.Supp. 318 and 540 F. Supp. 346 (D.N.J. 1982)
  • United States v. Uzzolino, 651 F.2d 207 (3d Cir. 1981)
  • United States v. Cuthbertson, 630 F.2d 139 (3d Cir. 1980)
  • In the Matter of Grand Jury Empanelled, February 14, 1978, 597 F.2d 851 (3d Cir. 1979)

Representative Matters

  • Recently prevailed after a three day evidentiary hearing in federal district court in suppression of all statements and evidence precluding a suitcase of cocaine on the grounds that a Homeland Security Agent coerced the defendant psychologically and thereby overbore the will of the defendant. Thereafter, the case was dismissed.
  • Obtained a decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court granting corporations equal rights under our state statutes to expungement of their criminal records (State v. XYZ Corporation).
  • Litigated significant insurance coverage cases (e.g. Christiania Insurance Co. v. Great American Ins.).
  • Represented state court judges and lawyers in ethics and other matters including appearances before the New Jersey Supreme Court (e.g. DeVesa v. Dorsey).
  • Pursued intellectual property cases (e.g. Kopin v. Orange Products) and successfully represented NFL and other sports figures, including the then leading trainer in the trotting industry, from efforts to bar him from the horse racing industry (N.J. Racing Commission v. LaPoff).
  • Successfully defended doctors, lawyers, healthcare providers and other professionals in restrictive covenant and matters before the DRB and the New Jersey Medical Board.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Alderman, Boonton, New Jersey
  • Trustee, Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
  • President, Rutgers University Law School’s Inn of Court (the Willard Heckel Inn)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDLNJ)
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals and various Federal District Courts


  • B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University, 1969
  • J.D., Washington University Law School, 1972
  • Comments Editor, Washington University Law Review, Order of the Coif

Honors and Accolades

  • Chambers USA, Business Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2017-2019
  • Department of Justice, Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, 1979, 1982
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, 1983
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2005-2020
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent

The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.

The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings list is issued by Martindale-Hubbell. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.martindale.com/Products_and_Services/Client_Review_Ratings.aspx.

The Chambers USA ranking list is published by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.chambersandpartners.com/.

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