Jim is a founding partner of Butler Rubin and co-head of the reinsurance litigation and arbitration practice. Having begun his career as a lawyer in 1971, Jim is a trial lawyer who has tried numerous antitrust, environmental and reinsurance cases. He began developing his reinsurance experience in 1976 when Argonaut Insurance Company found itself in multiple disputes arising out of its relationship with an infamous managing general agency, Resources Facilities, Inc. Jim has extensive experience representing insurance and reinsurance companies in hundreds of disputes, many of which involved complicated issues and significant adversarial proceedings.
In the 2012 edition of Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Jim received national recognition in reinsurance “following exceptional market feedback.” He is recognized for his “tremendous knowledge and expertise.” Jim was also singled out for special recognition and individually ranked No. 1 (tie) among Illinois reinsurance attorneys in the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions of Chambers. And, in the 2009 – 2012 editions of Chambers, Jim was named a “Star Individual” in Illinois. “James Rubin is ‘universally acknowledged as just outstanding,’ according to commentators. Clients and peers alike describe him as ‘a bright and tenacious litigator who has a practical approach to solving contentious problems.’”
Jim was named the “Global Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer of the Year 2010” by The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, in conjunction with the ABA Section of International Law. Editor-in-chief Callum Campbell said, “James Rubin received more votes from clients and peers worldwide than any other lawyer in our research. This is the first time he has won the award, and the consistently positive feedback we received from our sources across the globe reflect his exceptional talent and pre-eminence in the field.” Also, Jim was identified as being among the world’s leading practitioners in The International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers (2011 and 2012), Who’s Who in America (2012) and The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2013).
Legal Media Group named Jim one of America's top 25 pre-eminent Insurance & Reinsurance practitioners in its Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers - Best of the Best USA 2011. And, Jim was named to the list of the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and as a leader in insurance law in The Best Lawyers in America (2006-2013). In addition, as part of the Law Bulletin Publishing Group’s 2012 survey of the top lawyers in the state, he was designated as a "Leading Lawyer" in Illinois in the following fields: Commercial Litigation; Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law; and International Business & Trade Law. In 2007 and 2008, Lawdragon named Jim one of America’s Leading 500 Lawyers after an intense search for the nation’s best lawyers in more than 80 practice areas.
Among Jim's significant trials and appeals are the following matters:
American Nurses Assn. v. State of Illinois, 783 F.2d 716 (7th Cir. 1986), rejecting the theory of comparable worth in sex discrimination cases
County of Oakland v. Detroit, 886 F.2d 839 (6th Cir. 1989), an important anti-trust case on the issue of standing to sue
Pacific Reinsurance v. Fabe, 929 F.2d 1215 (7th Cir. 1991), establishing the enforceability of interim arbitration awards granting pre-hearing security
In re Rehabilitation of Centaur v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., 158 Ill.2d 166 (Ill. Sup. Ct. 1994), establishing a creditor’s standing to pursue alter ego claim against parent of insolvent reinsurer
Winterthur et al. v. First State et al., Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, March 8, 1995, at B-1, a bench trial in federal court enforcing an agreement to arbitrate and the companion arbitration, First State et al. v. Winterthur et al., Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, March 22, 1995 at A-1 (confirmed D. Conn)
Sphere Drake Ins. Ltd. v. Clarendon Nat’l Ins. Co., 263 F.3d 26 (2d. Cir. 2001); Sphere Drake Ins. Ltd. v. All Am. Ins. Co., 256 F.3d 587 (7th Cir. 2001), establishing an important precedent with respect to arbitrability; both Courts ruled that the issue of an agent’s lack of authority to enter into a contract containing an arbitration clause is for the courts, rather than arbitrators, to decide
Sphere Drake Ins. Ltd. v. All Am. Life Ins. Co., 307 F.3d 617 (7th Cir. 2002), reversing the district court's vacatur of an arbitration award on evident partiality grounds; the Court of Appeals held that the standard of "evident partiality" adopted by the United States Supreme Court in Commonwealth Coatings for neutral arbitrators does not apply in the tripartite context to party-appointed arbitrators
Sphere Drake Ins. Ltd. v. All Am. Ins. Co., 2004 WL 442640 (N.D. Ill. 2004), aff’d, 103 Fed. Appx. 39 (7th Cir. 2004); Sphere Drake Ins. Ltd. v. Clarendon Nat’l Ins. Co., No. 00 CV 4336 (S.D.N.Y. 2004); and Sphere Drake Ins. Ltd. v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., 2006 WL 2699270 (N.D. Ill. 2006), confirming arbitration awards in favor of Sphere Drake where panels used summary proceedings to render their awards
XL Specialty Insurance Company v. Carvill America, Inc. et al., NO. X04-CV-04-4000148-S (Sup. Ct. Conn. May 31, 2007) — Successfully represented R.K. Carvill & Co. Limited, a reinsurance broker, in a five-week bench trial in the Superior Court of Connecticut against one of Carvill's former clients, XL Specialty Insurance Company; the primary issues in dispute were the broker's entitlement to commissions on reinsurance contracts placed prior to the broker's termination as the cedent's broker of record and allegations of broker misconduct; the trial judge concluded that XL had tortiously interfered with Carvill’s contractual right to commissions and awarded Carvill its commission plus interest
Bellefonte v. Argonaut, 757 F.2d 523 (2d Cir. 1985)
The leading reinsurance case on the finality of settlements
Spray-Rite v. Monsanto, 684 F.2d 1226 (1982), affirmed, 465 U.S. 752 (1984)
An often-cited antitrust case (lead counsel in its successful six-week jury trial against Monsanto)