James A. Plaisted, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. Photo


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 more than 40 appeals to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jim was part of a team of Pashman Stein attorneys, together with co-counsel, that was named as a finalist for the 2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year award by the Public Justice Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington. The recognition of the firm and co-counsel was for the work procuring a settlement of up to $25 million in favor of a statewide class of inmates and their families in an action against a prison technology company, and its subsidiaries, regarding overcharged inmate calling services.

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 one of the world's largest publicly traded energy providers, international shipping companies, and other corporations. Several major pharmaceutical and health care companies have utilized Jim to represent various officers and sales agents, including former presidents, 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.

From 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."


Representative Matters

Our firm is proud of the results it has achieved for clients, some of which are noted here.  Of course, each legal matter is unique on many levels, and past successes are not a guarantee of results in any other pending or future matters.

  • Obtained a dismissal after prevailing in 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. 
  • Obtained a decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court granting corporations equal rights under 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 matters before the DRB and the New Jersey Medical Board.
  • Together with co-counsel, obtained a settlement of up to $25 million in favor of a statewide class of inmates and their families in a class action lawsuit against Global Tel Link Corp. (GTL), a prison technology company, and its subsidiaries, regarding overcharged inmate calling services.

Reported Decisions

  • Bobbie James et al. v. Global Tel Link Corp. et al., docket number 2:13-cv-04989-WJM-MF
  • 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)


Honors & Recognitions

  • Selected for inclusion in 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
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2005-2022
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent lawyers

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 https://chambers.com/about-us/methodology.

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

News & Insights


Speaking Engagements



Community & Professional

  • 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 Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • 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

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