James B. Brown

Bar/Court Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • J.D., Duquesne University School of Law, 1971
  • B.A., University of Louisville, 1967

Jim focuses his practice exclusively on representing employers in employment litigation and labor negotiations.

Jim also has an active mediation practice, having mediated scores of cases. He is a mediator and Early Neutral Evaluator for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He is also a mediator and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association National Panel of Mediators and Employment Arbitrators. He was previously a mediator on the panel of Justice ADR Services. He has mediated a wide range of cases, including class actions and multiple party cases, sexual harassment, discrimination, ADA, FMLA, race, gender FLSA and other employment and commercial cases. He is often called upon to help companies work through intra-company issues between executives. With over four decades of practical and legal experience, Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding when in his role as a neutral. He draws on his years of experience to bring parties together and forge innovative solutions to help avoid litigation. Jim has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Alternative Dispute Resolution, and has been named 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Pittsburgh Mediation Law by Best Lawyers.

Jim has been a Director at Cohen & Grigsby for over twenty-five years and is a member of the Employment Litigation, Labor & Employment and Alternative Dispute Resolution Groups. He was the former Chair of the Employment Litigation and Labor & Employment Groups and founder of the Firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Group.

For over four decades, Jim has, in addition to his ADR practice, been representing public, private, union and non-union employers in federal and state courts regarding employment litigation cases involving race, age, disability, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and other employment related matters. He has also counseled employers on how to minimize discrimination liability, represented clients in all phases of EEOC and PHRC matters, and negotiated collective bargaining agreements. He has counseled clients on how to diminish the likelihood of litigation arising from re-engineering at both the staff and executive levels.

Select Recent Representative Transactions

Jim obtained a summary judgment in 2007 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in a reverse discrimination, gender and age discrimination case, Good v. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He also obtained a summary judgment in District Court for a similar reverse discrimination case, Black v. Werner Company.

In Pivirotto v. ISI, he obtained a defense jury verdict in a sex discrimination case in U.S. District Court. Jim successfully argued against the appeal filed by the plaintiff and the defense verdict was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

  • Elected member, International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Elected Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Panelist, American Arbitration Association Panel of Employment Dispute Arbitrators and Mediators
  • Panelist, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania’s Panel of Mediators and Early Neutral Evaluators
  • Member, American Bar Association

Throughout his career, Jim has devoted a significant amount of time to pro bono activities for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

His community service includes being a board member for the Jewish Association on Aging and a past commissioner for the Port of Pittsburgh Commission.

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 10+ years, including as Pittsburgh Mediation Law “Lawyer of the Year” for 2019.
  • Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers, 10+ years
  • Sources in USA Chambers describe Jim as “a great educator” and he is ranked among the most highly rated labor and employment lawyers in Pennsylvania
  • Selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • Selected to Pittsburgh’s Top 50 Super Lawyers list in Philadelphia Magazine
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who in America
  • “AV” rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell (“A” Legal Ability Rating of Very High to Preeminent and “V” General Recommendation Rating of Very High)

Jim conceptualized and developed a program, “The Trial of a Sexual Harassment Case,” for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. The program was recognized by the Association for Continuing Legal Education with the Award of Outstanding Achievement in Best Program category.

Jim is a frequent speaker and course planner for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and has also given numerous presentations for Indiana University, the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, the National Academy of Arbitrators, the Allegheny County Bar Association and the University of Pittsburgh.

He has traveled to New Jersey, Oregon and Colorado and throughout Pennsylvania to present discussions on topics related to employment law and mediation.  He is often quoted in national publications such as USA Today and Education Week and has co-authored numerous articles.