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BIOGRAPHY

 

James C. Baker focuses his practice on the areas of casualty insurance defense, gas and electrical utility defense, railroad and trucking defense, and commercial and construction litigation.  He has first-chaired more than 125 jury trials to verdict and represented clients in more than 400 non-jury trials, arbitrations, and mediations.

J.C. has extensive experience in responding to real-time catastrophic accidents and leading accident scene investigations and inspections, including for trains, motor vehicles, tractor/trailers, and electrical utilities.  His experience in investigating and defending catastrophic accidents includes:

  • Motor carrier and transportation litigation
  • Driver negligence
  • Hours of service, log falsification, and fatigue
  • Loading and tie-down
  • Speed
  • Mechanical and maintenance defects
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Use of global positioning devices
  • Use of electronic data recorders
  • Human factors
  • Biomechanical factors
  • Catastrophic brain and orthopedic injuries
  • Wrongful death
  • Ptsd and mental anguish
  • Toxicology
  • Mass tort actions
  • Spoliation issues
  • Toxicology
  • Utility lines
  • Fire and explosion investigations
  • Nfpa 921
  • Federal motor carrier safety regulations
  • Federal railroad and track safety standard regulations
  • National electrical safety code
  • National electrical code
  • Federal and State Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Acts

J.C. regularly speaks on matters involving trial practice and workers’ compensation, addressing self-insureds, the Arkansas Bar Association, insurance companies, and trade and industry associations. 

Education

  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Leflar Law Center, J.D., 1986
  • Hendrix College, B.A., 1983

Noteworthy

  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, since 2011
    • Insurance Law
    • Personal Injury Litigations - Defendants
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected to the Mid-South Super Lawyers List, since 2013
  • Recipient of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel Outstanding Defense Attorney Award, 2021-2022

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Key Matters

Representatives Appeals 

  • Jones Bros., Inc. v. Whitlock, 366 Ark. 254 (2006)
  • Thornton v. Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corp., 95 Ark. App. 151 (Ark. App. 2006)
  • CDI Contractors, LLC v. Allbrite Electrical Contractors, Inc.,780 So.2d 963 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001) and on second appeal 836 So.2d 1031 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003)
  • Stolze v. Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corp., 354 Ark. 601 (2003)
  • Woodline Motor Freight v. Troutman Oil Company, 327 Ark. 448 (1997)

Representative Trials       

  • Johnson v. First Electric Cooperative Corp., 2008.  Saline County, Arkansas, defense verdict in a wrongful death case arising out of an electrocution
  • Cook v. Clarksville  Refrigerated Lines, 2006.  Conway County, Arkansas, defense verdict in a wrongful death and personal injury case arising out of a commercial motor vehicle accident
  • DeWeese v. United Parcel Service, 2004.  Conway County, Arkansas, defense verdict in a wrongful death case arising out of a UPS package car accident and $5,000,000 verdict in favor of UPS driver on his counterclaim against the estate for personal injuries

Representative Clients

  • ACE Insurance Company
  • Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  • CDI Contractors, LLC
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Cigna Insurance Company
  • Entergy Arkansas, Inc.
  • Federated Rural Electric Ins. Co.
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
  • Progressive Northwestern Ins. Co.
  • Safeco Insurance Company
  • Summit Utilities
  • The largest Class One freight railroad in the country
  • United Parcel Service

Associations and Memberships

  • DRI (formerly Defense Research Institute)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Advocate
  • American Bar Association
  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Pulaski County Bar Association

Admissions

  • Arkansas, 1986
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
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