James E. ShepherdCommercial Litigation, Business and Real property disputes, and Corporate Governance issues
Jim has more than two decades of experience in handling commercial litigation, business and real property disputes, and corporate governance issues. His practice not only includes litigating, but also helping clients negotiate and draft commercial and residential leases, contracts for sale of property, construction contracts, and all sorts of other agreements that individuals and companies deal with in the conduct of their business. He strives to help clients resolve a wide range of legal issues, including all manner of contract claims, shareholder/member disputes, commercial landlord/tenant matters, construction disputes, disputes involving employees and employment contracts (including covenants not to compete, executive compensation, and wage claims), real property issues, and creditor’s rights in bankruptcy cases.
Jim uses his broad range of experience in handling commercial matters to assist him in his efforts to provide a comprehensive review and analysis of the legal problems that a business owner may encounter. His goal in each matter is to assist the client to review and consider the various alternative solutions available to resolve the legal problem, including discussions of the practical and business elements involved. Jim strives to learn about how a client’s business operates, as he believes that this knowledge is often critical to providing effective advice on how to approach a client’s legal issue.
Some of Jim’s most rewarding cases have involved helping a 50% owner of a company successfully separate on favorable financial terms from a partner of over 20 years in a hotly contested shareholder dissolution action; successfully resolving litigation to keep in place a management agreement that was one of the client’s primary sources of income; and successfully defending a trade name infringement action brought by a national franchisor against a local business in Federal Court, allowing that business to keep using its name.
Jim began his career at Foley & Lardner in downtown Orlando, and then spent 20 years at Pohl & Short, a well respected commercial law firm based in Winter Park.
Jim graduated from the Duke University School of Law with honors in 1992. He was an editor and contributor for Law and Contemporary Problems. Jim earned his undergraduate degree in political science in 1988 from Duke University, where he graduated magna cum laude.
Jim is a member of the Florida Bar and the Orange County Bar Association. He is admitted to the Middle District of Florida.
Jim has been married to his wife Brenda for 25 years. His oldest son is currently a senior at Rice University in Houston Texas and his youngest son is a freshman at Vassar in upstate New York. Jim is an avid fan of live theater and sports, especially Duke basketball and regularly volunteers to help the drama department at Winter Park High School.