James Carlos McFall
James Carlos McFall’s practice focuses on media, sports, entertainment, and complex commercial litigation, including cases of alleged fraud, tortious interference, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of trade secrets. James also has significant experience representing large national banks and other financial institutions in a variety of matters, including multimillion-dollar disputes. He has represented lenders, corporate officers, and corporate directors in high-stakes corporate defense cases involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
James is experienced in all phases of litigation from investigation to trial, including depositions, preparing fact and expert witnesses to testify at trial and in depositions, arguing various evidentiary and dispositive motions, and making the opening statement and closing arguments to juries. In the fall of 2016, James tried a two-week jury trial involving claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty with respect to a real estate investment. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Jackson Walker’s client and awarded the client damages in excess of $12 million.
In other First Amendment media, and entertainment litigation, James has represented television networks, newspapers, journalists, internet publishers, film directors, and producers in cases of libel, defamation, and misappropriation of likeness in California and Texas. He has significant experience litigating disputes and arguing motions under the journalist’s shield law, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), state open records and meetings laws, and state anti-SLAPP statutes.
James’ sports and entertainment litigation experience includes the representation of professional athletes and professional sports franchises in commercial disputes. James also successfully defended the writer, director, and producer of the 2015 film Carter High, which chronicles the experiences of members of the storied 1988 David W. Carter High School football team leading-up to and following the team’s 1988 state championship victory, in a misappropriation of likeness claim filed by individuals depicted in the film.
During law school, James was a legal extern for Judge Jeremy Fogel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
B.A., Stanford University
M.A., Stanford University
J.D., Washington University School of Law
- Senior Editor, Washington University Law Review
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), First Amendment Law, 2023
- Texas Rising Star, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2017-2018, 2020-2022
- “Best Lawyers Under 40,” D Magazine, 2021
- Co-Author, “Student Snapchat Decision May Hint at SCOTUS Social Media Rulings,” Bloomberg Law (May 2021)
- Co-Author, “Race, Diversity, Inclusion, and the Media Bar: Will the National Conversation on Race, Diversity, and Inclusion Bring About Meaningful, Lasting Change Within Our Bar?” ABA Forum on Communications Law’s Communications Lawyer, Fall 2020, Vol. 36, No. 1 Issue (January 2021)
- Co-Author, “Challenges of Zoom Jury Trials: Lawyer Rapport, Equal Protections, Technology Hurdles,” Texas Lawyer (June 2020)
- Co-Author, “COVID-19 and Cameras in the Courtroom: Could the Pandemic and Emerging Technologies Usher in a New Era of Judicial Transparency?” Jackson Walker Insights (April 2020)
- Panelist, “Put Me In Coach! A Discussion of Eligibility for High School, College, and Olympic Athletes,” Dallas Bar Association Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section (August 2022)
- Moderator, “The Media’s Role in Covering Protests and Controversy,” ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference (January 2021)
- Panelist, “Public Sector Employees and First Amendment Issues,” American Bar Association (January 2021)
- Panelist, “Texas Market: Is Everything Bigger in Texas? Trends That Are Reshaping the Legal Industry,” Georgetown Texas Club (October 2020)
- Panelist, “Action & Allyship: A Roadmap for Diversity in Media Law,” Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) Next Generation Committee (September 2020)
In the News
- “Former High School Football Players Giving Back to San Antonio Neighborhood,” Spectrum News San Antonio (December 27, 2019)
- “Support local students with a round of golf,” San Antonio Living/News 4 San Antonio (May 6, 2019)
- American Bar Association, 2015-Present
- First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition, Co-Chair, 2015-Present
- Kids-U, Board Member
- Leadership Dallas, Class of 2021
- Windcrest/Northeast Bridge Builders
- Board Member, 2015-Present
- Board President, 2018-Present
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Pathfinder Program, 2016
- Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court, 2014-2015
October 4, 2022Newsletters
JW Media | VIA ePostcard – October 2022
View the October 2022 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.
August 30, 2022Attorney News
Serene Ateek, Bob Latham, and James McFall Cover Sports Law Issues Involving High School, College, and Olympic Athletes
The Dallas Bar Association’s Entertainment, Art, and Sports Law Section on August 24, 2022, hosted a CLE panel discussion featuring Jackson Walker attorneys Serene W. Ateek, Robert P. Latham, and James Carlos McFall along with Andrew Rhoden of Masterly Legal Solutions.
August 18, 2022Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 214 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2023 Edition, Including 11 “Lawyers of the Year” and 41 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 214 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 79 specialty practice areas in its 2023 edition, including 11 Lawyers of the Year and 41 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
April 21, 2022Newsletters
JW Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter – April 2022
View Jackson Walker’s April 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter, Perspectives.
March 22, 2022Attorney News
Jackson Walker Congratulates Its 2022 Texas Rising Stars
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the selection of 51 attorneys to Thomson Reuters’ 2022 “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” list, which recognizes only 2.5% of Texas attorneys who either are 40 years of age or younger or have been in practice for 10 years or less.
October 29, 2021Newsletters
JW Media | VIA ePostcard – October 2021
View the October 2021 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.
October 29, 2021Mentions
James McFall Discusses the Tricky Nature of Student Speech
In an interview with Girls’ Life magazine, James Carlos McFall, who led the Jackson Walker team that successfully obtained the largest-known settlement in a student speech case in U.S. history, discussed the tricky nature of student speech following the verdict in one high school student’s Supreme Court case.
June 1, 2021Newsletters
JW Media | VIA ePostcard – June 2021
Texas Outlaws TV Crews at the Intersection of Free Speech and Public Policy; Student Snapchat Decision May Hint at SCOTUS Social Media Rulings; Winners & Losers: Still Awaiting the New Normal; Jackson Walker Named Among Top Firms Nationwide for First Amendment Litigation; Texas Supreme Court Upholds Appellate Win for Media on Sealing of Evidence in $740 Million Trade Secret Dispute; Jackson Walker Helps Family Launch Comic Book Brand
May 14, 2021Insights
Student Snapchat Decision May Hint at SCOTUS Social Media Rulings
In an article published by Bloomberg Law, James Carlos McFall, Eric Wong, and Lauren Ceckowski discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s impending ruling in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. The free speech case involves a cheerleader’s Snapchat post and may provide insight on how the Court will rule on future social media cases.
March 23, 2021Attorney News
Jackson Walker Congratulates Its 2021 Texas Rising Stars
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the selection of 36 attorneys to Thomson Reuters’ 2021 “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” list. Spanning five offices and eight major practice areas, these up-and-coming attorneys have been nominated by peers within and outside the Firm.