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James A. DeLanis

Senior Counsel

James A. DeLanis 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.

Featured Experience

Represented a bank on its fidelity bond claim.

Represented the applicant for a license to operate a pay-day lender business in a contested administrative hearing. 

Defended against a class action suit brought under the Tennessee Antitrust and Consumer Protection Act.

Professional Biography

Overview

James A. DeLanis 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.

Mr. DeLanis has more than 35 years of experience resolving business disputes by litigation, arbitration or mediation. Before joining Baker Donelson in 1981, he served as a judicial clerk and as a Tennessee Assistant Attorney General.

Representative Matters
  • Represented a bank on its fidelity bond claim.
  • Represented the applicant for a license to operate a pay-day lender business in a contested administrative hearing. 

  • Represented clients in protecting their trademark rights.

  • Defended against a class action suit brought under the Tennessee Antitrust and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Advised clients on non-compete agreements.

  • Successfully appealed a complex property tax dispute involving an infrequently enforced intangible personal property tax levied against a Tennessee historical association. Presented arguments to an Administrative Law Judge and then made oral arguments on appeal to the Assessment Appeals Commission.
  • Successfully represented a non-profit organization in Tennessee in an investigation by the Tennessee Secretary of State. Representation included coordinating with the client's public policy firm and its in-house lobbyists, overseeing extensive document production and negotiation over the scope of that production, research  into and interpretation of a little used statutory scheme, as well as  coordination of the political aspects of the investigation. At the end of the investigation, the client was exonerated.
Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006 (Business Litigation)
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America® in Intellectual Property Litigation (2016 – 2020) and Commercial Litigation (2019, 2020)
  • 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
Publications
  • Author – "What Happens if You Wait Too Long to File Your Patent Case?," Baker Donelson Intellectual Property Alert (September 2015)
  • Author – "Tennessee Courts Limit Banks' Liability for Failing to Inspect Construction Project Before Disbursing Funds," Tennessee Banker (November 2012)
  • Author – "Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act Pre-Empts Consumer Claims Against Furnishers of Credit Information," 97 Tennessee Banker 21 (February 2009)
  • Author – "If You Want To Do Business With Government, Follow The Rules Very Carefully," Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Industry (November 2006)
  • Author – "What Is A 'Metatag' And Why Should I Care," Nashville Bar Journal, (republished in The IP Litigator) (June 2005)
  • 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)
Speaking Engagements
  • Moderator – "ABA Intellectual Property Roundtable" (2008 – 2018)
  • Presenter – "Developments in Intellectual Property over Summer Vacation," ABA Intellectual Property Litigation Roundtable Series (October 2018)
  • Presenter – "Recent Developments in Copyright Law," ABA Intellectual Property Litigation Roundtable Series (May 2018)
  • Presenter – "Improper Disclosures and Illegal Content on the Web," ABA Intellectual Property Litigation Roundtable Series (December 2017)
  • 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 2009)
  • Co-presenter – "Purchasing Contract Disputes," Lorman Educational Services (April 2009)
  • 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 – "The Intersection Between Patent Law and General litigation," in house presentation to Baker Donelson Litigation Group (October 2008)
  • Presenter – "Trademark Law v. The Internet," ABA Intellectual Trademark Property Roundtable, Nashville, Tennessee (June 2008)
  • Presenter – "Public Contracts and Procurement Regulations in Tennessee" (September 2006)
  • Presenter – "Taking and Defending Effective Depositions" (April 2006)
  • Presenter/Panelist – "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)

Education

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

Admissions

  • 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

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