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. 


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


  • 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


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