James W. Ledlie

A trial lawyer, James Ledlie advocates for clients in state and federal courtrooms throughout the country while furthering complex litigation related to public health, worker safety and other issues.


Crossing several of Motley Rice’s litigation areas, James’ practice includes representing workers and families who suffered serious injury or death due to defective products or unsafe working conditions. He has also represented state governments and foreign corporations in complex litigation matters.  

He is also a member of the firm’s litigation team currently representing dozens of states, cities, towns, counties and townships targeting the alleged misrepresentation of highly addictive prescription painkillers by opioid manufacturers and distributors, a suspected cause of the opioid epidemic plaguing communities nationwide.

As a United States Army veteran having served in the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG), James is honored to have represented thousands of veterans during his career. In this capacity, James currently plays a leading role in In re KBR, Inc., Burn Pit Litigation. The multidistrict litigation was filed for veterans and contract workers who have developed cancers and other chronic illnesses after being exposed to allegedly toxic open-air burn pits while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. James also represents veterans and families dealing with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.    

James has devoted a significant portion of his career to trial work. As co-lead counsel in Donna Brown v. Philip Morris USA et al, James recently helped secure a $17.2 million* jury verdict in 2015 for a client who suffered debilitating, life-altering effects to her health after being targeted by misleading advertising related to nicotine during her teen years. James was also a key member of the team that negotiated the historic $100 million aggregate settlement reached in 2015 with Lorillard Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, resolving roughly 400 Engle-progeny tobacco cases filed in the Florida federal district court. Both were recognized by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly as two of the top five largest verdicts and settlements in South Carolina for 2015.* 

James has represented businesses that suffered losses as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He has also represented whistleblowers in qui tam actions alleging fraud against the federal government, in addition to representing numerous provincial workers’ compensation boards and private Canadian citizens in U.S. civil actions brought against U.S. manufacturers of dangerous products sold in Canada.

Prior to joining Motley Rice, James, a South Carolina native, was a Law Clerk to the Honorable John C. Few, then a South Carolina Circuit Court Judge and now a Justice on South Carolina’s Supreme Court. He also clerked for the Honorable G. Ross Anderson, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. 

James is committed to sharing the knowledge he has gained and has spoken at numerous legal conferences, medical conferences and continuing education seminars on asbestos litigation, trial advocacy, jury selection and professionalism. He is recognized as an AV® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®.

*Every case is different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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  • J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law, 2000
  • B.A., Wofford College, 1996


  • American Association for Justice, former New Lawyers Division Board of Governors member
  • South Carolina Association for Justice, former Board of Governors member
  • South Carolina Bar Association, Past Chairman – Torts and Insurance Practice Section
  • Charleston Bar Association
  • Public Justice Foundation

Licensed In

  • District Of Columbia
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia

Admitted to Practice Before

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina


Burn Pit Exposure

Prolonged exposure to fumes emitted by burn pits used by KBR at military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, at which hazardous and other items were disposed of, allegedly caused American servicemembers and civilian contract workers to contract illnesses.

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James W. Ledlie