James Melinson

Hon. James R. Melinson (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator and Arbitrator

Case Manager
Doreen Lavery
T: 215-246-9494
F: 215-246-0949
1717 Arch Street, Suite 3810, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Judge Melinson’s experience as a judge, litigator, and neutral enables him to handle complex personal injury and wrongful death cases with remarkable success. Judge Melinson has presided over or mediated cases involving motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, aviation, products liability, toxic torts, explosions, premises liability, and many other areas.

Representative Matters

  • Action for wrongful death of resident of senior citizen personal care facility brought by decedent’s estate
  • Alleged manufacturing defect in surgically implanted artificial body part
  • Case involving allegations of permanent disability, pain and suffering resulting from auto accident
  • Claims brought against aircraft manufacturer, parts and maintenance suppliers, and others brought by estates of victims of fatal crash
  • Dispute between public school district and private educational provider regarding the disfigurement of nine-year-old girl allegedly due to negligent supervision and negligent maintenance of property
  • Dram shop act case in which plaintiff was rendered a paraplegic in accident with drunken driver
  • Elementary school student disfigured in accident at school related function
  • Personal injuries sustained in emergency evacuation of commercial airplane
  • Products liability (air bag) case against major auto manufacturer
  • Railroad cases including FELA
  • Wrongful death action brought by parent of child who choked to death while at school
  • Wrongful death of minor child on amusement park ride
  • Wrongful deaths of patients involving medical malpractice cases
  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • 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
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    • “He’s the best Judge to appear before if you want to get the case settled that day.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “He has the most effective settlement technique I’ve ever seen.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “He was very well prepared.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “Superb demeanor.” 

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • "He settled a complex case all parties thought was impossible to settle.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “He rules promptly and fairly.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “He is completely fair and knows the law.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “He is a gentleman who treats lawyers very well.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “He’s hardworking, smart, committed and honest.”

      -Almanac of the Federal Judiciary



Practice Areas

Available nationwide


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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