James Ward

James (Joe) Ward

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Joe is an experienced trial attorney with broad experience across various industries including energy, technology, manufacturing, and consumer goods and retail, to name a few. A significant portion of Joe's practice involves complex commercial and business disputes. He represents national and multinational companies in single-plaintiff cases, class actions, MDLs, and other coordinated proceedings in state and federal courts and private arbitration. Joe is admitted to practice in California and Georgia.

Practice Focus

Joe regularly litigates complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts and private arbitration, always with an eye toward his clients' business goals and objectives.  His clients include Fortune 500 companies, large electric utilities, Grammy Award-winning entertainers, and everyone in between.  

Joe has significant experience with disputes involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract, business torts, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, catastrophic personal injury, environmental violations, unconstitutional discrimination, wrongful termination, trade secret misappropriation, and securities violations.  Over the years, he has developed deep industry knowledge about pharmaceuticals, tobacco, cannabis, lead paint, off-road vehicles, metering equipment, food and beverages, and many other consumer products.  Joe also advises clients on California Proposition 65 compliance and handles related litigation.         

Joe is proud to have handled immigration, special education, child care, and civil rights disputes on a pro bono basis throughout his career for Immigration Equality, Public Counsel (Los Angeles), Atlanta Legal Aid, and the Public International Law & Policy Group.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Secured a complete defense verdict for a large, publicly-traded cannabis company following a highly publicized five-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiff, a former company executive, made a nine-figure damages demand based upon various alleged contract and fraud claims.

  • Obtained a complete defense award, which included substantial fees and arbitration costs, on behalf of a large investor-owned utility company following a multi-week arbitration over a failed renewable energy project. Claimant, the project developer, asserted various contract claims and sought millions of dollars in damages.

  • Represents a large, publicly traded cannabis company in various litigation matters involving employment, contract, trade secret, and securities claims.

  • Defended a large mining equipment manufacturer/distributor against breach of contract and fraud claims brought by a leasing company that purchased client's mining equipment. 

  • Defended a Grammy Award-winning DJ in a six-week jury trial involving alleged catastrophic personal injury claim.

  • Defended large Korean food and beverage company and its California subsidiary in Proposition 65 action.
  • Represented a leading event marketing and management company in litigation over competitor's systematic use of non-competition agreements.

  • Successfully obtained a TRO and preliminary injunction against a computer hacker who stole client's proprietary website domains.

Before joining the Firm in 2018, Joe handled the following matters:

  • Represented a major California public utility company in numerous multimillion-dollar contract disputes involving long-term power purchase agreements.

  • Tried a multimillion-dollar tax refund case in Nevada state court on behalf of a major California public utility company.

  • Represented a major electric utility company in the Southeast in a multibillion-dollar fraudulent conveyance lawsuit in Georgia federal court.

  • Represented a large manufacturer in the nationwide defense of product liability and personal injury lawsuits involving its off-road vehicle.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association - Member


  • California~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California~United States
  • Georgia~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia~United States


  • Pepperdine University School of Law (JD) (2004)
  • University of California at Santa Barbara (BA) (2001)