Scranton PA Personal Injury & PA Medical Malpractice Attorney James F. Mundy: Renowned Trial Lawyer, Tireless Advocate
Jim Mundy’s winning track record in the courtroom is perhaps rivaled only by his reputation as a tireless advocate for the rights of injured people.
Over a legal career that began in 1970, Mundy has gained national attention for winning some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Pennsylvania history in cases involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, product liability, drugs and medical devices.
But outside the courtroom, in the corridors of Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., he has led a less visible but no less important battle to preserve and expand the rights of injured people and their families. Among his many legislative victories, he is credited with securing the passage of two important pieces of legislation in Pennsylvania ― the repeal of the no-fault insurance law and the enactment of a minor’s tolling statute, which preserves a child’s right to redress for personal injuries. Prior to the passage of the minor’s tolling statute, Pennsylvania had a two-year statute of limitations on actions involving injuries to a child. Under the prior law, a two-year-old would be required to file an action to enforce his or her rights, which was an absurdity.
“Early in my career, I had a case involving a six-year-old girl who had suffered a devastating injury at birth,” Mundy recalls. “She was an orphan living in foster homes her entire life. There never was anyone to stand up for her. But I couldn’t help her because the two-year statute of limitations had expired. I felt terrible, and I said, ‘By God, we’re going to change that.’”
As a past president and board member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (formerly the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association) and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, Mundy has had a profound impact on policy regarding the civil justice system and the courts. The Pennsylvania Report has identified him as one of the 50 most influential people in state public affairs, and his outstanding public service has earned him the prestigious Justice Michael A. Musmanno Memorial Award from the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. He has consistently been named as one of the top 100 lawyers in Pennsylvania each year since Philadelphia Magazine began tabulating this information.
Despite his many legislative accomplishments, however, Mundy still gets the most satisfaction in the courtroom, standing up and fighting for injured people and their families.
“The kind of law we practice is tremendously gratifying because the people we represent have gone through some rough times, and we have an opportunity to help them put their lives back together,” he says.
A native of Wilkes-Barre who grew up in Kingston, Mundy came by his political skills honestly. His great-uncle Leo Mundy was a state senator, as well as a physician, his great-uncle Jim was chairman of the Luzerne County Board of Commissioners, and his great-uncle Tom was chairman of the Luzerne County Democratic Party. “They were, for the most part, before my time, except for Leo who delivered me into the world, “ Mundy recalls, “but I always loved to hear my dad tell of their exploits.”
Mundy earned his bachelor’s degree from King’s College and went on to Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he met and began a lifelong friendship with Attorney James J. Powell III, a senior partner at Powell Law.
Admitted to the bar in 1970, he began his legal career with renowned Philadelphia trial lawyer B. Nathaniel Richter and, two years later, joined the Philadelphia law firm of Raynes, McCarty and Binder , each of whom had evolved from the Richter firm. On St. Patrick’s Day of 1976, Mundy became a partner and the firm became Raynes, McCarty, Binder and Mundy.
Roughly half the personal injury cases he handled throughout his career as a Philadelphia trial lawyer, however, were in Northeastern Pennsylvania - largely because of his relationship with the late Attorney Christopher T. Powell Sr., a well-known Scranton trial attorney and one of the founders of Powell Law.
As a young lawyer, Mundy tried a case in Luzerne County Court involving a man severely injured in a scaffolding collapse. Through some shoe-leather detective work, he was able to find an eyewitness to the accident and won a verdict which, at the time, was one of the largest in the county’s history in a personal injury case. Among the spectators in the courtroom gallery was Chris Powell. They met and began a friendship that lasted until Powell’s death in 1990. Recognizing Mundy’s exceptional skills in the courtroom, Powell thereafter referred all of his firm’s medical malpractice and major personal injury cases to Mundy and became, along with Raynes, lifetime friends and mentors.
“I had no idea how that meeting was going to change my life,” says Mundy. “Chris Powell and Arthur Raynes were absolute giants in my life. I consider the moments I’ve spent with those two gentlemen to be the zenith of my career.”
In addition to his leadership roles with the PBA, PaAJ and Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, Mundy is a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) and the American Bar Association. Mundy’s skill as a trial attorney has earned him a designation as a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Lawyers and as a Fellow for both the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has received the highest rating for legal ability and ethics by Martindale-Hubbell.
Under then-Gov. Robert P. Casey, Mundy was asked to serve as chair of the Appellate Court Nominating Commission and as a member of the Philadelphia Trial Court Nominating Commission. He was appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to serve as a member and eventually as Chairman of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The state’s high court also appointed Mundy to serve on the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board and the Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board. In 1997, the Supreme Court appointed Mundy to chair a specially appointed commission to study the effects of monetary contributions in judicial elections. After an 18-month investigation, the commission issued a public report recommending substantial changes.
Mundy has also served on the Board of Trustees for King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, and College Misericordia, Dallas, and has written and lectured extensively on litigation issues.
Mundy is married to Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Sallie Updyke Mundy, and is the proud father of eight children.
EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALS
- King’s College, Bachelor’s Degree
- Catholic University School of Law, Juris Doctorate
- Diplomat, American Board of Trial Advocates
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, American Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Martindale-Hubbell Highest Rating for Legal Ability and Ethics
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND RECOGNITION
- Past President, Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Past President, Pennsylvania Association for Justice (formerly the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association)
- Past President, Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
- PA Super Lawyer
- Recipient, Justice Michael A. Musmanno Memorial Award
- Pennsylvania Report - 50 Most Influential People in State Public Affairs
- Past Chairman, Pennsylvania (Lawyers) Disciplinary Board
- Past Chairman, Pennsylvania Appellate Court Nominating Commission
- Past Chairman, Philadelphia Trial Court Nominating Commission
- Board of Directors, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board
- Board of Directors, Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board
- Board of Trustees, King’s College, Wilkes-Barre
- Board of Trustees, College Misericordia, Dallas
- PA Personal Injury
- PA Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Pharmaceutical Litigation
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Site Injuries
- Attorney Disciplinary Cases