Thomas C. James III











Mr. James was born in 1947 in Macon, Georgia to a family containing a number of prominent Middle Georgia attorneys. Mr. James is a fifth generation attorney in his family dating back to the law firm of Hardeman & Davis in the 1850s. He attended Lanier Junior High School and Stratford Academy. He and his wife, the former Lolly Osborne of Savannah, live in Macon and have two children, Cleve and Hope, as well as grandchildren.

For over forty-five years, Mr. James has handled large complex civil disputes in both Court and Arbitration. He routinely handles large construction disputes between owners, architects, engineers, subcontractors and/or suppliers, representing all phases of the construction industry. He has also been involved in complex civil RICO cases, commercial and banking disputes, and cases involving secured transactions under Article 9 of the UCC, disputes under the negotiable instruments Article of the Uniform Commercial Code (including unauthorized signatures, unauthorized endorsements and warranties between collecting and depository banks). He has participated in large bankruptcy cases from the creditor perspective (typically commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcies) and has handled a wide variety of probate and estate disputes involving claims of undue influence, fraud and lack of testamentary capacity. Mr. James routinely practices in the Federal Courts in the State of Georgia and other jurisdictions, and has handled complex civil cases in the states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Michigan and New York, most of which have been in Federal Court. These cases involved everything from business torts and breach of fiduciary duties among business partners to enforcement of restrictive covenants and employment agreements. Mr. James’ practice routinely involves matters containing large numbers of client documents which must be organized, collated and utilized in depositions and litigation. Mr. James is the senior member of the litigation department at James Bates and a team of younger lawyers and legal assistants are available as needed to work on complex cases. Each case is reviewed and assessed individually to determine whether or not one or more lawyers or legal assistants should be involved as a team. In smaller cases, an effort is made to minimize the number of persons working on the file so as to minimize cost to the client.

Mr. James is also a Georgia certified mediator and mediates commercial, business, construction and probate disputes.

Practice Areas

Professional Organizations/Activities

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • William Augustus Bootle Inns of Court (Master Member)
  • Christian Legal Society
  • American Bar Association
  • Forum on Construction Industry
  • Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia, Inc.

Presentations + Publications

  • Mr. James has spoken at a number of continuing legal education seminars.


Mr. James attended Emory University and the University of Georgia, graduating the Spring of 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) in philosophy and political science. He then attended the University of Georgia Law School, graduating in December of 1971 with a J.D. degree. He began his practice with the Macon law firm of Jones, Cork & Miller in January of 1972, and practiced there over twenty-seven years until June 1, 1999. At that point, Mr. James and several other lawyers formed the current firm of James Bates LLP opening an initial office at 438 Cotton Avenue in Macon.


Mr. James was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1972. He is also a member of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal District Court for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia, and the Federal District Court for the Western District of Michigan. He is a member of the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Administrative/Legal Assistant Contact

Name: Mardi Gillespie
Title: Legal Assistant
Phone: 478.749.9918

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