James E. Barz

James E. Barz


Our firm’s record of success reflects the quality of our lawyers and our dedication to serving our clients.


James Barz is a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and manages the Firm’s Chicago office. He has tried 18 cases to verdict, conducted numerous evidentiary hearings, drafted many appeals, and argued 9 cases in the Seventh Circuit. Jim is a registered CPA, former federal prosecutor, and an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law from 2008 to 2021, teaching courses on trial advocacy and class action litigation. 

Jim has focused on representing investors in securities fraud class actions that have resulted in recoveries of over $2 billion.  Most recently, Jim was lead counsel in In re Valeant Pharms. Int’l, Inc. Sec. Litig., and secured a $1.21 billion recovery for investors, a case that Vanity Fair reported as “the corporate scandal of its era” that had raised “fundamental questions about the functioning of our health-care system, the nature of modern markets, and the slippery slope of ethical rationalizations.” This is the largest securities class action settlement against a pharmaceutical manufacturer and the ninth largest securities class action settlement ever. Jim was recognized as a Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer for his work in In re Valeant Pharms. Int’l, Inc. Sec. Litig.

Jim has also secured substantial recoveries for investors in HCA ($215 million, M.D. Tenn.); Motorola ($200 million, N.D. Ill.); Sprint ($131 million, D. Kan.); Orbital ATK ($108 million, E.D. Va.); Psychiatric Solutions ($65 million, M.D. Tenn.); Dana Corp. ($64 million, N.D. Ohio); Hospira ($60 million, N.D. Ill.); Grubhub ($42 million, N.D. Ill.); Career Education ($27.5 million, N.D. Ill.); Accretive Health ($14 million, N.D. Ill.); LJM Funds Management, Ltd. ($12.85 million, N.D. Ill.); and Camping World ($12.5 million). He has been lead trial counsel in several of these cases obtaining favorable settlements just days or weeks before trial and after obtaining denials of summary judgment. Jim also handles whistleblower cases, including successful settlements in United States v. Signature Healthcare LLC (M.D. Tenn.) ($30 million) and Goodman v. Arriva Medical LLC (M.D. Tenn.) ($160 million settlement with government and $28.5 million award to whistleblower). Jim also handles antitrust cases, including currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re Dealer Management Systems Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Ill.).

Jim has been named a Leading Lawyer in the categories of Class Action/Mass Tort Plaintiff’s Law, False Claims Act/Whistle Blower Law, and Investor Protection Law/Securities Class Action Litigation by Law Bulletin Media’s Leading Lawyers. He has also been named a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer by Lawdragon, a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, and has been listed as a Best Lawyer in America: One to Watch by Best Lawyers®. Jim was also honored by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with an Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service in 2021.

Before joining the Firm, Jim was a partner at Mayer Brown LLP from 2006 to 2011 and an associate from 1998 to 2002. At Mayer Brown, Jim handled commercial litigation, internal investigations, and antitrust cases. Jim was also active in their pro bono program where, in his first jury trial, he won an acquittal on all charges and, in his first appeal, he obtained the reversal of a conviction based on the trial judge having solicited a bribe from the defendant. From 2002 to 2006 he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, trying cases and supervising investigations involving public corruption, financial frauds, tax offenses, money laundering, and drug and firearm offenses. He successfully obtained a conviction against every defendant who went to trial. 

Jim earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in public accounting from Loyola University Chicago, School of Business Administration, graduating summa cum laude and first in his class. He is a registered CPA who received the ICPAS Excel Award for scoring in the top 1% of the nation on the CPA exam. Jim received his Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and graduated cum laude.


  • Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2018-2023
  • Best Lawyer in America: One to Watch, Best Lawyers®, 2023
  • Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2019-2022
  • Midwest Trailblazer, The American Lawyer, 2022
  • Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2021
  • Litigator of the Week, The American Lawyer, 2021
  • Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media, 2018

Practice Areas


Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1998, cum laude

  • Member of the Law Review

Loyola University Chicago, School of Business Administration, B.B.A., 1995, summa cum laude

  • Accounting Departmental Key


  • Illinois
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Third and Seventh Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Notable Cases


Community/Civic Involvement

  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law: Trial Advocacy, 2008-present; Class Action Litigation, 2016 & 2019
  • Chicago Inn of Court
  • Saints Peter & Paul School Advancement Board, 2008-2015



  • “Criminal Appeals,” Federal Appellate Practice (BNA Books 2008)
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