James J. Walsh

James J. Walsh

Bodman PLC

Recognized since 2013

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Practice Areas

Appellate Practice

Commercial Litigation

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Mr. Walsh is the Chair of Bodman's Appellate Law Practice Group and has broad litigation experience at both the trial and appellate levels. Representing both plaintiffs and defendants, Mr. Walsh has obtained successful jury verdicts in numerous cases. He has argued more than 100 appeals in both state and federal appellate courts.

Among the appeals Mr. Walsh has argued successfully are Shepherd Montessori Center Milan v. Ann Arbor Charter Twp., 486 Mich. 311 (2010), McCart v. J. Walter Thompson USA, Inc., 437 Mich. 109 (1991), Calhoun Cty. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, 297 Mich. App 1 (2012), and Harris v. Auto Club Ins. Ass’n, 494 Mich. 462 (2013).

Mr. Walsh served as lead litigation attorney for the Michigan Insurance Commissioner in the rehabilitation of the United States branch of Confederation Life Insurance Company (CLIC), a Canadian insurer. The rehabilitation of the U.S. branch of Confederation Life, which had liabilities of $6 billion, was the largest insolvency proceeding and most successful of any foreign insurer ever handled by a United States court. Despite an initial deficiency of over $1 billion, all policy holders of Confederation Life were paid in full. In addition to representing the Commissioner in the rehabilitation plan confirmation hearing, pursuing claims on behalf of CLIC’s U.S. branch and defending claims against the estate, Mr. Walsh obtained an injunction prohibiting policyholder suits against CLIC’s auditors, officers and others, to preserve those claims for the estate. Mr. Walsh also argued the appeal that upheld the injunction, Comm'r of Ins. v. Albino, 225 Mich. App. 547; 572 N.W.2d 21 (1997).

In addition to his work on Confederation Life, Mr. Walsh has more than 35 years of experience with complex litigation. He has represented Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, Comerica Bank, and other major financial institutions in class action cases. Mr. Walsh has represented the largest outdoor advertising companies within the State of Michigan for many years and also serves as general counsel to the Michigan Outdoor Advertising Association.

Mr. Walsh is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Before joining Bodman, he was a law clerk for two judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals.


  • 201 South Division Street, Suite 400
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104


  • Louisiana State University, J.D.
  • Louisiana State University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, State Bar of Michigan


  • Outdoor Advertising Association of America - Member
  • Outdoor Advertising Association of Michigan - Member and General Counsel
  • State Bar of Michigan - Member, Appellate Practice and Public Corporation Law sections
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association - Member

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • United States District Court, ED-Michigan
  • United States District Court, WD-Michigan
  • United States Supreme Court

State Clerkships

  • Michigan - Court of Appeals

Bodman PLC
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan

66 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

25 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Appellate Practice
  • Commercial Litigation


  • DBusiness magazine "Top Lawyer" 2013-2015 (Appellate Law)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Rated

"Jim Walsh has been representing our company on First Amendment and property rights for years. He has definitely earned the respect of other attorneys in this same category of practice. I would highly recommend Jim and his firm to represent someone in a First Amendment or property rights claim."

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