James J. Coster is chair of the Securities Litigation division of Duane Morris’ Trial Practice Group. He is also a member of the firm's governing Partners Board and Executive Committee. Mr. Coster is a trial attorney with experience in a broad array of complex commercial litigation, particularly on behalf of financial institutions. He has counseled and litigated on behalf of U.S. and European corporations in connection with investigations, securities law issues, antitrust, complex contract matters, insolvency, unfair competition, insurance coverage, intellectual property, lender liability, labor and personnel matters and real estate related litigation.
Mr. Coster has represented such clients as Moody’s Investors Services, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., IBM, Exxon, Johnson & Johnson, Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Bank of Montreal, Investors Bank, Stifel Nicolaus and Company, Calvin Klein, Inc., PVH Corp., Menard Inc., Albanese Organization, Inc. and the Brunswick Corporation in complex litigation matters.
Mr. Coster is a 1990 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law and a graduate of Boston College.
Areas of Practice
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Insurance and Professional Liability
- Labor and Employment Law
- Business Insolvency, Restructuring & Creditors' Rights
- Corporate and Transactional Law
- Intellectual Property and Media Law
- Emerging Companies
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- St. John's University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1990
-St. Thomas More Scholar
- Boston College, B.A., 1987
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2022 and 2023
- Listed in New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2015-2020
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Presenter, "Mitigating Securities Litigation Risks in the COVID Era: Understanding the Latest Regulatory Guidance and Trends in Shareholder Class Actions, SEC Enforcement Proceedings," Duane Morris COVID-19: Navigating Forward Webinar Series, May 12, 2021
Representing Moody’s, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies, in connection with litigation matters arising out of its rating of structured finance securities including securities backed by subprime mortgages. Matters include defending over 30 civil lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions seeking billions of dollars in damages.
Represented Moody’s in class action proceedings alleging violations of the 1933 Act in connection with mortgage-backed securities issuances; successfully obtained dismissal of actions at the pleadings stage in decisions upheld on appeal.
Represented Moody’s in numerous actions brought by institutional investors alleging state common and blue sky law violations in connection with mortgage-backed securities and other issuances; the majority of actions have been dismissed, most at the pleading stage.
Represented JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bank of New York, as indenture trustees, in an action seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages as a result of alleged state law fiduciary duty violations and other torts in connection with the failure of synthetic CDOs; obtained a dismissal by the trial court and affirmance on appeal.
Represented JPMorgan Chase & Co. as purchaser of a financial services company in connection with claims for millions of dollars in “earnout” damages by the selling employee/shareholders. Following discovery, successfully obtained summary judgment on all claims.
Represented JPMorgan Chase & Co. in an action involving an earnout provision in JPMC’s agreement to purchase a financial consulting services company. Plaintiffs’ claims seeking approximately $20 million were dismissed on summary judgment.
Represented JPMorgan Chase & Co. as former indenture trustee for a series of bonds in an action by a commercial bank claiming that its rights as a standby bond purchaser were infringed.