James P. Hollihan practices in the areas of commercial and business litigation, with a particular emphasis on employment litigation. Mr. Hollihan's employment practice includes experience in defending claims asserted against clients for race, sex, age and disability discrimination; sexual harassment; wrongful discharge; and breach of employment contracts. In addition to his experience in employment matters, Mr. Hollihan has also had experience litigating other types of complex business cases, including accountant malpractice actions, breach of contract claims, cases involving violations of federal and state securities laws, enforcement of restrictive covenants arising out of employment relationships, insurance coverage disputes, and ERISA litigation.
Mr. Hollihan is a 1980 magna cum laude graduate of Duquesne University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Duquesne Law Review, and a magna cum laude graduate of Duquesne University.
- Represented large retail bank against age and disability discrimination claims brought by branch manager who was discharged for opening multiple non-productive checking accounts in names of family members as a means of inflating branch's performance data. District Court decision granting summary judgment in favor of bank was affirmed by Third Circuit.
- Represented retail bank against age and sex discrimination claims asserted by a sales representative who was discharged for failing to meet performance objectives. The district court denied bank's motion for summary judgment based upon alleged statements attributed to the plaintiff's supervisors which court found to constitute direct evidence of discrimination. Notwithstanding those alleged comments, and the district court's decision to give a Price Waterhouse mixed motive jury instruction, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the bank on both the age and sex discrimination claims.
- Represented Fortune 100 insurance company against claims asserted by a vice president whose employment was terminated for poor performance. Plaintiff alleged that his discharge was based on his age and was in retaliation for his threatening to pursue an age discrimination claim. Despite the trial judge's conclusion that there was sufficient direct evidence of discrimination to support his giving a mixed motives Price Waterhouse instruction to the jury on both the age and retaliatory discharge claims, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the company with respect to both claims.
- Represented steel manufacturer in case involving age discrimination claims asserted by four individuals whose employment as supervisors was terminated as part of a company-wide reduction in force. Following a consolidated non-jury trial, the District Court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law in favor of company with respect to the claims of all four plaintiffs.
- Represented refractory manufacturer in separate actions filed by two technical employees who asserted claims that company discriminated against them because of age by terminating their employment as part of reduction in force. Cases were tried separately and defense verdicts were returned by juries in both actions.
- Represented pump manufacturer against claims that the termination of the plaintiff's employment constituted age discrimination and also violated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. Following one-week trial, jury returned a verdict in favor of company with respect to all claims asserted by plaintiff.
- Represented insurance company against claim asserted by employee who alleged that she had been discriminatorily denied a promotion to a supervisory position because of her race. Following a non-jury trial, the District Court entered judgment in favor of company. The plaintiff appealed to the Third Circuit, arguing that the District Court had incorrectly rejected expert testimony proffered by the plaintiff based on statistics showing that black employees were underrepresented in supervisory and management positions within the company. The Third Circuit affirmed the District Court's judgment in favor of company.
- Represented pipe coupling manufacturer against an age discrimination claim asserted by a plant maintenance manager whose employment was terminated for poor performance. Following trial, jury returned a verdict in favor of the employer.
- Represented insurance company against sex discrimination claims asserted by a former sales representative who claimed that she had been discriminated against and constructively discharged following her announcement that she was pregnant. Following discovery, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of company based on the plaintiff's failure to file a timely charge with the EEOC. In its decision, which was subsequently affirmed by the Third Circuit, the district court rejected the plaintiff's "equitable tolling" argument that her failure to file a timely charge should be excused because she had telephoned EEOC representatives within the 300 day period and had relied on statements by them that her telephone inquiry and request for investigation satisfied the charge-filing requirements under Title VII.
- Represented chemical manufacturer in five separate actions brought by current and former female employees, in which the employees alleged that they have been discriminated against because of their sex in various promotion and compensation decisions. The plaintiffs supported their individual discrimination claims with proffered testimony by statistical expert concerning alleged disparities between the number of males and females in management positions in the company, as well as differences in compensation received by males and females in similar job classifications. Company filed a Daubert motion to exclude this statistical testimony based on argument and testimony of its own expert that the methodology employed by the plaintiffs' expert was unreliable. Following a two-day hearing, the district court granted company's motion and ruled that testimony by the plaintiffs' expert was inadmissible. The cases eventually were resolved prior to trial.
- Represented automobile manufacturer in a race discrimination class action commenced by 23 individuals employed in production and supervisory positions in company's assembly plant, in which these employees asserted broad-based discrimination claims concerning hiring, discipline, compensation, promotion and job assignment issues. Representation included coordinating all discovery relating to both class certification and substantive issues; principal responsibility for preparation of briefs and court appearances throughout the litigation; negotiation of a settlement of the class action in conjunction with company's permanent closing of the assembly plant; and implementation of the settlement agreement, including obtaining court approval and coordinating notices to class members.
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1980
Honors / Awards
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell