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LA / New Orleans

James  Carter

Carter & McKee, LLC
1100 Poydras St Ste 1475 
New Orleans , LA 70163


James Carter is an accomplished and highly sought after civil trial attorney who was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since 2010, Mr. Carter has recovered over $70,000,000.00 in jury trial verdicts and settlements. His skillfully aggressive approach to the civil jury trial world gained him elite memberships into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In 2012 and 2016, City Business Magazine recognized James Carter as a Leader in Law. James Carter is a Civil Litigation Adjunct Professor at Howard University School of Law, and serves as a member of the Howard University School of Law Board of Visitors. He also served as an Adjunct Trial Advocacy Professor at the Tulane University School of Law. Operating regularly as "High Stakes Counsel" when there are millions of dollars on the line, law firms throughout the United States hire Mr. Carter on their trial teams. The James Carter distinction is that he cares about his clients and fights for them from the depths of his heart. Early in life, Mr. Carter recognized the misery associated with inequalities. Through that lens and with a desire to fight for humanitarian causes, he was blessed with the opportunity to graduate from the prestigious Howard University as a Philosophy and Theater student. He would then go on to attend Howard University School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor degree. During his time in law school, Mr. Carter was influenced by some of the greatest legal minds in American history: Charles Hamilton Houston, Pauline Murray, A.P. Tureaud, Spotswood Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and many others. He embraced the famous words of the great former dean of Howard University School of Law-Charles Hamilton Houston who said a "lawyer is either a social engineer or a parasite on society." Leaving Howard University School of Law understanding the importance of constitutional mastery and zealously applying its time honored principles in the court system, James Carter was further molded into an Agent of Change and Champion of Hope. Armed with his freshly minted law degree in 1997, he immediately continued his community advocacy by serving as the first director of the nationally acclaimed United States Department of Justice-New Orleans Weed and Seed Initiative. In 2001, Mr. Carter served as a Staff Trial Counsel for the Orleans Indigent Defenders Program, while garnering an impressive acquittal rate. Mr. Carter's early trial experiences came in the gritty area of criminal defense, and that experience illuminated his courage, fortified his toughness and showcased his talent as a formidable jury trial attorney. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, he chose to take part in the rebuilding of his beloved community and city. He was elected to the first New Orleans City Council seated after the storm in 2006. From 2006 to 2010, as a Councilman, he played the lead role in establishing the first City Charter mandated Division of the Independent Police Monitor to fight police brutality and misconduct. From 2010 to 2012, James Carter served as a Fellow with the VERA Institute of Justice. In 2011, he was selected to serve as the first African-American Criminal Justice Commissioner in New Orleans' history. In 2010, Mr. Carter turned his attention and vast jury trial experience to the high-end civil plaintiff arena. His very first civil jury trial resulted in a settlement during trial of $1,500,000.00. Since then, Mr. Carter has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients. James Carter is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association and the Louisiana Association for Justice. Mr. Carter serves on the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors-the body that provides policy guidance and fiscal oversight for nine public universities in Louisiana. He serves on the boards of Greater New Orleans, Inc. and Family Services of Greater New Orleans. Mr. Carter is a participant in a multi-year study at the University of Oxford (Oxford, England), Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, of leadership in divided communities. He also spent time in a foreign visitor's program with the government of France in 2007. In 2017, Mr. Carter presented at the 92nd National Bar Association Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada.


  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Maritime
  • Premises Liability
  • Mesothelioma/Asbestos
  • Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer
  • Vaginal Mesh
  • Opioid Litigation


  • All Louisiana Courts
  • U.S.D.C. - Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S.D.C. - Middle District of Louisiana
  • U.S.D.C. - Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Howard University School of Law (J.D.) - 1997 Washington D.C.
  • Howard University (B.A.) - 1991 Washington D.C.
  • McDonogh #35 College Preparatory Senior High School - 1987
  • New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (Theater) - 1987


  • Mastering the Art, Science & Craft of Advocacy Program, Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), New Orleans, Louisiana (January 24-25, 2019)
  • Developing a High-End Civil Trial Practice, A Challenge in Diversity (CLE Seminar), 2019 National Bar Association Panama Mid-Winter Conference, Joint session with Judges and Attorneys, Panama City, Panama (January 19, 2019)
  • Constitution Day Speaker, Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana (September 18, 2018)
  • Law and Order, Atlanta Association of Insurance Professionals, 30th Anniversary Symposium and Luncheon, Atlanta, Georgia (August 16, 2018)
  • GET INTO FOCUS, Making Money Moves, Increase Settlement Amounts and Improve Trial Results Using Focus Groups, 2018 National Bar Association Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana (August 1, 2018)
  • A Change is Going to Come; The Wall Street Case for Diversity and Inclusion in 2018 (CLE Seminar), National Bar Association 93rd Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana (August 1, 2018)
  • Civil Litigation, Benefits of Having Diversity in Civil Jury Practice, LJC/NBA Annual Meeting and CLE Seminar 2018, "Advancing Judicial Competency", Baton Rouge, Louisiana (February 16, 2018)
  • Effective Opening and Closing Arguments, Lemoyne-Owen College, Memphis, Tennessee (February 7, 2018).
  • Trial Advocacy (CLE Seminar) Jackson Barracks, Headquarters of Louisiana National Guard, New Orleans, Louisiana (June 2, 2018)
  • Effective Closing Arguments, Southern University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (April 11, 2018)
  • Developing a High End Civil Trial Practice - Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C. (October 6-8, 2017 and October 5-7, 2018)
  • Across Racial Lines: Transforming a City after a Natural Disaster " University of Oxford -Harris Manchester College, Annual Conference, Oxford, England (September 27, 2017)
  • Get Into Focus: Increase Settlement Amounts and Improve Trial Results Using Focus Groups - National Bar Association Convention, Toronto, Canada (August 2, 2017)
  • Ideological Passion v. Principled Pragmatism: Bridging the Racial Divide in Urban America, Unity Church-Unitarian, St. Paul, Minnesota (November 14, 2015)


  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • The National Black Lawyers Top 100
  • New Orleans City Business Magazine, Leadership in Law Award, 2016 and 2012
  • Leadership Award, Bureau of Consular Affairs
  • VERA Institute of Justice, Award
  • Crime Coalition, Distinguished Leader Proclamation
  • Institute for Social Justice, Inc., Award
  • Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, Justice for Youth Award
  • Ebonetworks, Changing Faces Award
  • French Quarter Business Women Association, Darling Heart Award


  • Danette O'Neal & James J. Carter, Money Matters 101: A Smart Money Guide for 18 and Beyond (2017)
  • James Carter, Benefits of Having Diversity in Your Jury Trial Practice, LAJ (2013)

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