James A. DeLanis

Baker Donelson Center
Suite 800
211 Commerce Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37201
T: 615.726.5613
F: 615.744.5613

Best Lawyers Award Badge

James A. DeLanis, shareholder in the Nashville office, concentrates his practice in business litigation, including contract disputes, banking and commercial paper, unfair competition, trade secrets, intellectual property, Tennessee tax and administrative litigation, arbitration and mediation. Before joining Baker Donelson in 1981, he served as a judicial clerk and as a Tennessee Assistant Attorney General.

Representative Matters

  • Represented bank on its fidelity bond claim.
  • Obtained a dismissal of a patent infringement case involving evaporative cooling garments.
  • Represented applicant for license to operate a pay-day lender business in a contested administrative hearing.
  • Represented clients in protecting their trademark rights.
  • Defended class action brought under Tennessee Antitrust and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Advised clients on non-compete agreements.

Representative Publications & Speaking Engagements 

  • Author – "What Happens if You Wait Too Long to File Your Patent Case?" Baker Donelson Intellectual Property Alert, September 30, 2015
  • Author – "Tennessee Courts Limit Banks' Liability for Failing to Inspect Construction Project Before Disbursing Funds," Tennessee Banker, November 2012
  • Moderator – ABA Intellectual Property Roundtable, 2008 – present
  • Author/Presenter – "What Business Lawyers Should Know About Arbitration," in house presentations to Baker Donelson attorneys, January – February 2009
  • Presenter – "Recent Developments in Converse Declaratory Judgment Actions and 'Use in Commerce' before the PTO," presentation to Baker Donelson Intellectual Property Group, January 2009
  • Presenter – "Emerging Issues in Trial Practice Caused by Facebook and Other Social Media," Nashville Bar Association meeting, July 2009
  • Presenter – "Preparing for Mediation," CLE workshop for the Tennessee State Attorney General's Office, June 16, 2009
  • Co-presenter – "Purchasing Contract Disputes," Lorman Educational Services, April 7, 2009
  • Author – "Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act Pre-Empts Consumer Claims Against Furnishers of Credit Information," 97 Tennessee Banker 21, February 2009
  • Presenter – "The Intersection Between Patent Law and General litigation," in house presentation to Baker Donelson Litigation Group, October 1, 2008
  • Presenter – "Trademark Law v. The Internet," ABA Intellectual Trademark Property Roundtable, Nashville, Tennessee, June 2008
  • Author – "If You Want To Do Business With Government, Follow The Rules Very Carefully," Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Industry, November 2006
  • Presenter – "Public Contracts and Procurement Regulations in Tennessee," September 2006
  • Presenter – "Taking and Defending Effective Depositions," April 2006
  • Author – "What Is A 'Metatag' And Why Should I Care," Nashville Bar Journal, June 2005, at 12 (also published in The IP Litigator)
  • Presenter/Panel Member – "Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation (with special emphasis on Tennessee antitrust litigation)," the ABA section of Business Law, March 2005
  • Presenter – "Preparing for Mediation," Nashville Bar Association seminar, September 2004
  • Author – "Arbitration, What You Do Not Know," Nashville Business Journal, May 2003
  • Co-author – "Resolving Contractual Ambiguity In Tennessee: A Systematic Approach," 68 Tennessee Law Review 73, 2000

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006 (Business Litigation)
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America® in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2016 – 2017
  • Member – Executive Committee of Intellectual Property Section of Tennessee Bar Association, 2006, 2007
  • Member – American (Member, Sections on Antitrust; Business Regulation; Intellectual Property; Litigation; Public Contract Law), Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 1995
  • Member – Dartmouth Lawyers Association
  • Former President – Middle Tennessee Dartmouth Alumni Association
  • Fellow – Nashville Bar Foundation
  • Chair – 2012 Campaign for Legal Aid Society and Pro Bono Program of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
  • Former Chair – Nashville Bar Association Circuit, Chancery and Federal Court Committees
  • Former President – Nashville Pro Bono Program
  • Former President, Secretary and Chair of Building Committee and Current Member of the Board – Nashville Humane Association
  • Chairman – Davidson County Election Commission, 2016 – present; Member, 2012 – present
  • Former Business Manager – Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
  • Former YMCA YCap Middle Tennessee Academic Tutor of the Year
  • Handball and Tennis Player


  • Tennessee, 1978
  • Ohio, 1979 (inactive)
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts in Tennessee
  • Appellate and Trial Courts in Tennessee


  • Vanderbilt University, J.D., 1978
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., 1975, cum laude, with honors