About James A. Piatt

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial LawyersRated by Super LawyersBest Lawyers: James A. PiattSuper Lawyers

Named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers

James is a principal member of Riley Williams & Piatt, LLC. His practice focuses on business litigation and class action and mass tort litigation. James was named an Indiana Super Lawyers’ Rising Star in the area of business litigation each year since 2012. As a business litigator, James has successfully represented clients ranging from a private equity group to a charter fishing business, to a medical device sales representative sued by his former employer. In the mass tort arena, James prepared a bellwether case for trial in the Yaz/Yasmin (Bayer Pharmaceuticals) litigation and the case was ultimately settled.

Awards, Distinctions & Honors

  • Best Lawyers, 2018
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2017
  • Indiana Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars, 2012-2018
  • Order of the Barristers, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Note Development Editor, Indiana Law Review
  • Notre Dame Scholar Academic Scholarship Recipient

James graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1999 and from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2009. He is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. During law school, James was inducted into the Order of the Barristers and served as Note Development Editor for the Indiana Law Review. Prior to and during law school, James worked in professional sports.

Noteworthy Case Results

In May and June of 2011, James examined and cross-examined the majority of witnesses during a 6-week jury trial, which resulted in a $14.5 million verdict for the client. (State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Joseph Martin Radcliff and Coastal Property Management LLC, a/k/a CPM Construction of Indiana,Hamilton County Superior Court, No. 29D01-0810-CT-1281).

On May 4, 2012, James gave the closing argument in Daniel E. Sparks v. Vincennes University, Knox County Superior Court, No. 42D01-0705-PL-022 - the Knox County jury awarded former VU head basketball coach Dan Sparks $230,000 for his breach of contract claim against Vincennes University.

On February 25, 2013, James achieved summary judgment in the amount of $935,005.61 on behalf of a private equity client for fraud claims against a promoter (WDC Capital v. Damean Clinton, Hamilton County Superior Court, No. 19C01-1109-CT-09440).


    • J.D. cum laude, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
    • B.A. cum laude, University of Notre Dame

    Practice Areas:

    • Class and Mass Tort Actions
    • Business Litigation
    • Pharmaceutical Drug and Device Litigation
    • Personal Injury
    • Product Liability
    • Medical Malpractice
    • Legal Malpractice
    • Defamation
    • Property Rights Litigation
    • Insurance Claims

    Bar Admissions

    • Indiana, 2009
    • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 2010
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 2010

    Representative Cases

    • State Farm Fire & Casualty v. Joseph Radcliff, 995 N.E.2d 620 (Ind. 2013) ($14.5 million defamation verdict against State Farm upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court)
    • In Re Actiq Sales and Marketing Practices Litigation, Civ. A. No. 07-4492 (class action against Cephalon, Inc.)
    • WDC Capital v. Damean Clinton, Hamilton County Superior Court, No. 19C01-1109-CT-09440 (summary judgment and $935,005.61 in damages awarded to private equity client for fraud claims)
    • In Re Yasmin and Yaz, 3:09-Md-02100-Drh-Pmf (multiple six-figure settlements in mass tort litigation against Bayer, Inc.)
    • Price v. BP Products North America, Case No. 12-CV-06799 ($7 million settlement in class action against BP)
    • Zimmer, Inc. v. Masters, 2014 WL 1317090 (successful result after a preliminary injunction hearing in non-compete litigation)
    • Sparks v. Vincennes University, Knox County Superior Court, Cause No. 42D01-0705-PL-022 ($230,000 jury verdict in favor of Coach Dan Sparks for his breach of contract claim against VU)
    • $1.2 million settlement reached in a product liability case against a billboard manufacturer
    • $250,000 settlement reached in abuse case against a national health care organization
    • $250,000 pre-suit settlement for a pedestrian injured by State Farm insured driver
    • $100,000 settlement reached in case against local and national church organization
    • Confidential settlement reached in breach of contract case for hotel rooms during the Super Bowl
    • $50,000 settlement reached in personal injury automobile collision case
    • $35,000 settlement reached on behalf of charter fishing company in a breach of implied warranty case against an engine manufacturer

    Speaking Engagements

    • ITLA Annual Institute

    Memberships & Associations

    • Indiana Bar Association
    • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
    • Immaculate Heart of Mary parish
    • International Society of Primerus Law Firms
    • Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis


    • Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pastoral Council


    • $230,000 Jury Verdict Awarded Against Vincennes University
    • $1.1 Million Dollar Settlement Reached in Dispute Involving Billboard Product Liability
    • Settlement Reached in Alleged Breach of Contract for Hotel Rooms During Super Bowl
    • Settlement Reached in Case Involving Breach of Implied Warranty of Aircraft Engine
    • Personal Injury Claim Settled Against State Farm Insurance for $250,000
    • 14.5 Million Dollar Jury Verdict Awarded Against State Farm Insurance
    • $250,000 Settlement Reached in Case Against National Healthcare Provider
    • $100,000 Settlement Reached in Case Against Local & National Church Organization
    • Successful Result in Preliminary Injunction Hearing in Non-Compete Litigation

    *Past results not a guarantee of future performance.

    Why Choose Riley Williams & Piatt, LLC?

    Focusing on Our Clients at a Personal Level
    • Free Consultation

      We are pleased to offer prospective clients a complimentary review of their case.

    • Best Lawyer in America

      Our firm was named among the best lawyers in American in 2018 thanks in part our dedication to our clients.

    • Experienced Attorneys

      Each named lawyer in our firm has handled many cases, including jury trials of at least six weeks in their careers.

    • Dedicated Advocacy for Clients

      No matter the specifics of their particular case, our clients have a story to tell and we help them tell it to the court.

    Contact Us Today!

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