Jim attended the University of Alberta and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1973 and his Bachelor of Laws in 1976. He articled at Parlee McLaws and became a partner in the firm in 1982. During his over 40 years with Parlee McLaws, Jim has practised exclusively in the area of civil litigation, initially doing insurance defence work, and thereafter expanding his practice to include matters pertaining to commercial, corporate and banking litigation, copyright infringement claims, construction law, real estate litigation, and royalty claims arising out of the production of oil and gas on aboriginal lands. He has conducted numerous trials, including acting as defence counsel in a claim for lost oil production arising out of a major fire at the Syncrude oil sands plant in 1984, and acted for a developer in an action against a municipality to recover oversizing costs. Jim has also acted as counsel before the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Jim has successfully litigated contaminated land claims. Jim advises clients on matters dealing with the environmental regulatory agencies.

Jim was appointed Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) on December 31, 2007.