Jim graduated from Northside High School in Warner Robins, Georgia, where he was President of the Student Body, Honorary Mayor of the Town and selected as Most Versatile Student. He attended the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and graduated with a degree in psychology. He thereafter attended Southwestern University School of Law. He was on the Dean's List, President of the Student Bar Association, and was the recipient of the prestigious Frederick Graff Award for most outstanding student.
After graduation from Law School, Jim became an associate in the Law Offices of Edward L. Masry. Jim worked for several years as an associate attorney. In 1982 Jim became a partner. The Law Offices of Edward L. Masry was renamed The Law Offices of Masry & Vititoe.
In the 1990's, Jim and Ed handled the case now made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich, receiving what was then the largest toxic tort recovery in the history of American law on behalf of hundreds of residents of Hinckley, California, injured or affected by chemicals and toxins in their groundwater as a result of operations of Pacific Gas & Electric Company. In 2005, Ed Masry died and Jim and Steve became partners in the Accident Attorneys firm.
Over the past 20 plus years, Jim has specialized in civil tort litigation and has handled thousands of wrongful death cases, work-related injuries, and other personal injuries, including auto collisions, product liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, and environmental exposure. Recently, his focus and specialty has been brain injury cases including severe and mild traumatic brain injuries.
Jim received the United States Congressional Award for Trial Lawyer of the Year in 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Consumer Attorneys of California, the statewide trial lawyers organization, awarded Jim their "Trench Soldier of the Year" in 1996; "Presidential Recognition for Exceptional Contribution" in 1996; "Outstanding Consumer Advocate" in 1997; and the "President's Award of Merit" in 2000. In 2011, Jim, along with his partner, Steve, was nominated for "Trial Lawyer of the Year" and was one of the five finalists for the organization's top yearly award.
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ), a national trial lawyers organization, awarded Jim their President's Award in July 2001. He was appointed to the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice (formerly American Trial Lawyers Association) in 2001.
Jim is currently a member of the American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Consumer Attorneys of California, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has been named to Super Lawyers by Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine for 10 consecutive years. He also speaks around the country to lawyer groups on traumatic brain injury litigation, his specialty.
In his off hours, Jim enjoys traveling and has visited most of the major countries of the world.