James W McGarry

James W. McGarry

PartnerCo-Chair, Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution
James W. McGarry
Boston
+1 617 570 1332

Jim McGarry is a partner and co-chair of Goodwin’s Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution group. He previously served as co-chair of the firm’s Financial Industry practice. His national practice focuses on defending financial institutions of all shapes and sizes, primarily in state and nationwide class actions and multi-district class actions around the country and in matters with significant client regulatory and/or reputational risk. In the last five years, Mr. McGarry has defended clients against nearly 100 class actions and his unprecedented streak of defeating contested class actions extends well beyond 10 years.

Experience

The cases Mr. McGarry defends typically cover the full spectrum of consumer claims, but arise under any number of federal statutes, including the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA), fair lending and anti-discrimination statutes such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), as well as state and federal unfair and deceptive trade practices acts, the bankruptcy law, other consumer lending statutes and regulations and the common law.  His recent work includes:

  • Obtaining a complete dismissal of one of the first class actions brought under the RESPA loss mitigation regulations promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
  • Obtaining dismissals or defeating class certification in dozens of state and nationwide class actions challenging various loan servicing, loss mitigation and loan modification practices, including the largest multi-district litigation challenging servicer practices under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
  • Successfully defending national banks and mortgage lending companies in fair lending and predatory lending-based class actions, in private and state Attorney General lawsuits challenging "unfair" lending practices and in fair lending lawsuits brought by various municipalities across the country.
  • Successfully representing banks, mortgage lenders and indirect auto finance companies in numerous state Attorney General investigations.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. McGarry also provides advice and litigation-avoidance counseling to a variety of banks, credit card issuers, indirect auto lenders and other consumer and commercial lenders, and has been involved in various client internal and government investigations.

Professional Activities

Mr. McGarry is a member of the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations, and is actively involved with the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently acting as lead counsel in an amicus brief filed by MBA in a Ninth Circuit case related to loan modifications and loss mitigation issues.  He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Project Citizenship, a Boston-based non-profit whose mission is to break down barriers for legal permanent residents to become United States citizens.  He is also a former board member of the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin in 1996, Mr. McGarry was an associate at another national law firm, where he focused on general commercial litigation.  He was senior litigation counsel to U.S. Filter Corporation from July 2000 until he re-joined the firm in February 2002. 

Credentials

Education

JD1993

Rutgers School of Law

(magna cum laude)

BA1985

Seton Hall University

(magna cum laude)

Admissions

Bars

  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Recognition & Awards

Mr. McGarry has been recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. for his work on financial services litigation.

Publications

Mr. McGarry has written and spoken on a variety of topics pertaining to financial services and class action litigation, including the expansion of unfair, deceptive and abusive acts enforcement by the CFPB and states’ Attorneys’ General, the use of statistical evidence in class actions following the Supreme Court’s decisions in Tyson Foods, industry impact of the D.C. Circuit’s opinion in PHH v. CFPB, the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration provisions, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD), and liability for home loan modifications and issues of federal preemption.  He recently co-authored the lender liability chapter in the Massachusetts Business Torts treatise published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.