James G. Stranch III
Mr. Stranch grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee. He is married to Jane Branstetter Stranch, Judge for the Federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and they have four children, two of whom practice at the Firm (Gerard and Grace). He enjoys traveling and spending time with his seven grandchildren. He is an active member of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church.
James G. Stranch, III is the senior partner in the complex litigation group, which he helped start on behalf of the firm, and has served as lead counsel in virtually every large complex and other class action in which the firm has served as lead plaintiff.
With more than four decades of experience with the firm, Mr. Stranch has spent his career contributing to its legacy of supporting labor unions, shareholders, small businesses and others. Mentored by the firm’s founder and notable Nashvillian, Cecil Branstetter, Mr. Stranch also strives to mentor the firm’s younger attorneys.
In addition to his work in complex litigation, Mr. Stranch also concentrates on Labor and Employment Law, having represented labor organizations such as pension and health plans and individual workers throughout Tennessee and the South for more than 40 years. Mr. Stranch also has extensive expertise in matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act, ERISA, Title VII, and wage and hours laws such as the FLSA.
Previously, Mr. Stranch had a general litigation practice that included both personal injury and medical malpractice defense.
Areas of Practice
- Class Actions and Complex Litigation
- Labor and Employment Law
- Personal Injury
- Consumer Protection
- Securities Law
- Personal Injury
- University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1973
- University of Tennessee, B.S., 1969
- Tennessee, 1973
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee, 1974
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Colorado, 2002
- U.S. Tax Court, 1974
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1982
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1986
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2011
One of Mr. Stranch’s first hard-earned victories came in 1979 when, along with firm founder Cecil Branstetter, he won a jury verdict in a case against Frosty Morn Meats in Montgomery County. The bankrupt company was found by a jury to have been grossly negligent in its mishandling of more than 500 employees’ Christmas monies. The jury returned a nearly $473,000 judgment against the company’s board of directors, and the case helped solidify the firm’s reputation in Tennessee as one that fights for workers’ interests.
More recently, Mr. Stranch was lead counsel in the securities litigation on behalf of the State of Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System against Worldcom ($7 million recovery), Tennessee consumer protection and antitrust action against Microsoft ($64 million recovery to the consumer class, including a $30 million cy pres to Tennessee schools), the shareholder derivative action involving Dollar General Corporation ($31.5 million recovery), and ERISA/401(k) litigations on behalf of employees and pensioners of Qwest Communications, Inc. ($57.5 million total value recovery), Xcel Energy Inc. ($8.6 million recovery), Providian Financial, Inc. ($8.6 million) and Nortel, Inc. ($21.5 million recovery).
- Sherwood, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, et al., 91 F. Supp. 2d 1196 (M.D. Tenn. 2000)
- In re Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litigation, 260 F.R.D. 143 (E.D. Penn. 2009)
- In re Omnivision Technologies, Inc. Securities Litigation, 937 F. Supp. 2d 1090 (N.D. Cali. 2013)
- In re Nortel Networks Corp. “ERISA” Litigation, 03:03-MD-1537 (M.D. Tenn 2011)
- Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., 2003 WL 22190841 (M.D. Tenn 2003)
Professional Honors and Activities
- AV-Rated by Martindale Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in America – Labor and Employment Law
- Mid-South Super Lawyers Edition 2014
- Super Lawyers, 2007 – 2020
- Tennessee State Ethics Commission, member and former Chairman
- Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Committee (Secretary, 1985-1991)
- AFL-CIO Lawyer’s Coordinating Advisory Committee (1980- present)
- Nashville Bar Association (1973 – present)
- Tennessee Bar Association (Chairman, Labor Law Section, 1991-1992; member 1973 – present)
- American Bar Association (1973 – present)
- American Association for Justice (1974 – present)
- Tennessee Association for Justice (1974 – present)
- Phi Delta Phi
- Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation
- Former secretary, Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Committee
- Former member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Advisory Committee
- Former chairman, Tennessee Bar Association’s Labor Law Section