Hon. James R. Melinson (Ret.)

T: 215-246-9494
F: 215-246-0949
Available nationwide
Maritime/Admiralty
Judge Melinson's experience as a judge, litigator, and neutral qualifies him to handle admiralty cases. Judge Melinson has mediated thousands of cases with remarkable success. His broad background includes distinguished judicial service as Chief United States Magistrate Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In private practice, he has served as counsel, negotiator, mediator, and arbitrator in a wide variety of complex matters. The Judge's tenacity, resourcefulness, and keen understanding of the diverse dynamics that drive settlement have made him a favorite of the Bench and Bar.

Representative Matters

  • Dispute between international shipbuilding corporation and purchasers involving millions of Euros
  • Disputes over damaged goods brought by an international trade development corporation against the shipping company (vessel owner), the vessel charterer, and the discharging stevedore company
  • Mediated Coverage of Goods & Services Act dispute involving international steel companies where they sued the vessel and the charterer.
  • Steel manufacturing company's claims for cargo damage (statutory and common law) against a vessel, her corporate owner, and against the charterer and the shipper of the cargo as third party defendants
  • Wrongful death and survival actions brought on behalf of crew members who lost their lives in the sinking of oceangoing vessels involving Jones Act, Ship-owners Liability Limitation Act, and related issues

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Numerous honors and awards including the Philadelphia Bar Association’s highest honor, The Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award, 2004, several Person of the Year Awards, and Distinguished Judicial Service Awards
  • Member, Judicial Resources Committee, United States Judicial Conference
  • Member, Advisory Committee of the Civil Justice Reform Act
  • Chairman, Committee on Magistrate Judges, American Bar Association: National Conference of Trial Judges
  • Member: American Bar Association, American Judges Association, Appellate Judges Conference, Federal Bar Association, Federal Magistrate Judges Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, and other professional organizations
  • Neutral Arbitrator, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia
  • Special Advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense for contract negotiations
  • General Counsel to Whiting-Patterson Co., Inc.
  • Chief Counsel to International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 159, AFL-CIO
  • Chief Negotiator, School District of Philadelphia

Background and Education

  • Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1990-2004 (Chief Magistrate Judge, 1997-2004)
  • Judge, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
  • Private Law Practice, Philadelphia, PA
  • J.D., Temple University School of Law (Full Academic Scholarship)
  • U.S. Army, Artillery Small Unit Commander
  • B.A., with honors, LaSalle University

Disclaimer

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