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.


Jim Barz is a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and manages the Firm’s Chicago office. Jim is an experienced trial lawyer who has been lead counsel in dozens of evidentiary and contested hearings, tried 18 cases to verdict, 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 2024, teaching courses on trial advocacy and class action litigation.

Jim has represented investors in securities fraud class actions that have resulted in recoveries of over $2 billion. Jim was the 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.” 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 the case.

Jim has also secured substantial recoveries for investors in HCA ($215 million, M.D. Tenn.); Motorola ($200 million, N.D. Ill.); Exelon ($173 million, N.D. Ill.); Sprint ($131 million, D. Kan.); Orbital ATK ($108 million, E.D. Va.); Walgreens ($105 million, N.D. Ill.); Psychiatric Solutions ($65 million, M.D. Tenn.); Hospira ($60 million, N.D. Ill.); and other matters. Jim also handles whistleblower, antitrust, and pro bono matters and was recently 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 served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, trying cases and supervising investigations involving public corruption, financial frauds, tax offenses, and money laundering. Jim was a partner at Mayer Brown LLP from 2006 to 2011 and an associate from 1998 to 2002, where he conducted internal investigations and handled securities 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.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in public accounting from Loyola University Chicago, graduating summa cum laude and first in his class. He 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.


  • Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2019-2024
  • Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2018-2024
  • Best Lawyer in America: One to Watch, Best Lawyers®, 2023
  • 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
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Notable Cases


Professional Affiliations

  • Member, National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Member, Chicago Inn of Court

Community/Civic Involvement

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



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