Jim Coil joined the firm in 1974, following his service as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is one of the firm’s most experienced partners concentrating in the representation of management in all phases of employment-related legal matters. In addition to providing counseling and pro-active advice to clients about policy development and implementation, reduction-in-force planning and general legal compliance matters, Jim provides guidance and defends employers in three specialty areas: Government Contractor Affirmative Action planning and representation in federal government compliance audits; defense of individual and complex lawsuits alleging all forms of discrimination and wrongful treatment of employees; and wage/hour compliance advice and representation in government wage audits and all varieties of individual/collective/class actions alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state wage hour laws.
Jim has advised numerous Fortune 50 and 100 companies on a national basis in preparing and implementing compliant Affirmative Action Plans, and he has successfully led them through scores of difficult, and often aggressive, compliance audits conducted by the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs. He has also provided guidance to clients developing compliant policies, in conducting internal audits of pay practices, and successfully represented many businesses, both large and small, in difficult wage/hour investigations conducted by the Department of Labor and numerous state agencies involving suspected misclassification of employees, erroneous pay practices, and other alleged violations of these complex laws.
When litigation cannot be avoided, Jim has extensive experience successfully defending clients in a wide range of industries and services in all types of employment and wage/hour lawsuits. He has represented companies in state and federal courts throughout the nation, and has defended their trial court victories in numerous appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia Circuits, and numerous state appellate courts, including the highest courts in New York and Georgia. Jim has won defendants’ verdicts of no liability in numerous jury trials, obtained summary dismissal in scores of others without the need for trial, and negotiated favorable settlements in the remainder. His experience includes defending multi-plaintiff claims alleging wrongful termination, whistleblower and retaliation accusations; dozens of large class and collective actions alleging FLSA and/or state law wage and meal/rest break violations; as well as cases based on systemic discrimination claims involving race, sex, age and disability.
Jim is also a prolific author and a frequent speaker at client, industry and bar sponsored seminars. He authored The New Supervisor’s EEO Handbook and has published more than 50 employment-related articles.
Jim has been listed every year since 2007 in The Best Lawyers in America® for Labor and Employment Law, every year since 2007 as one of Who's Who Legal: Georgia's Labor & Employment Lawyers, and as one of Georgia Trend magazine's “Legal Elite” every year since 2009. He has been recognized as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” in the areas of Employment & Labor, Business Litigation and Civil Litigation Defense by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2004. Jim has been included in every edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Labor & Employment law since 2005, ranking #1 in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions. Jim has similarly been recognized in international publications such as the PLC's Cross Border Labour & Employment Lawyers Handbook since 2008, in the Guide to World's Leading Lawyers for Labour & Employment since 2006, and in the yearly editions of the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers for Labour & Employment law since 2008. In 2011, he was named a Volunteer of the Year by the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. In 2012, Jim was awarded the Helping Hands Award from the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) in Atlanta for his significant pro bono work representing CVI in an employment matter. Jim is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*
*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.