Skip to content James G. Scadden


Walnut Creek
100 Pringle Avenue
Suite 300
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Los Angeles
633 West Fifth Street
52nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

707 Richards Street
Suite 625
Honolulu, HI 96813


J.D., University of California, Los Angeles

B.A., honors, University of California, Santa Barbara


Top Rated Lawyer-AV Preeminent,

Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Oakland (2024)

Best Lawyers in America® distinction in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2023-2024)

Super Lawyers distinction in the fields of Personal Injury Defense: General, Real Estate, and Environmental (2004, 2010-2011 Law & Politics)

Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)


James Scadden is a Partner in the Environmental/Toxic Tort Practice Group at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani. His practice focuses on defending asbestos personal injury, benzene personal injury, Proposition 65 compliance cases, and other toxic exposure cases. James represents clients in all stages of litigation throughout California. He is acquainted with prominent plaintiff experts by way of examining them in depositions and trials and has also worked with notable defense experts in trial.

Prior to joining GRSM, James was Partner and Chair of the Toxic Tort group of another San Francisco law firm. Before his tenure as Chair of Toxic Tort, James was the founder and Managing Partner of another California law firm where he handled all aspects of cases involving asbestos exposure, premises liability, professional negligence, and product liability cases for clients such as punch press manufacturers and elevator companies. 

James has been trying cases to verdict since his first trial in 1980.  He has tried more than 80 cases to verdict in diverse fields of personal injury defense.   James has been handling asbestos matters since 1989, beginning with his defense of corporate members of the Center for Claims Resolution. He has tried numerous mesothelioma cases to verdict in diverse courthouses with his first verdict being in San Francisco in 1990.  His extensive trial work has provided the foundation for important appellate decisions that have shaped the law regarding asbestos cases, including:

  • Cossman v. Daimler Benz (2003) 108 Cal App 4th 370 re: the application of California's "borrowing statute," CCP Section 361
  • Volkswagen of America v. Superior Court (2006) 139 Cal App 4th 1481 re: discovery of bankruptcy trust claims
  • Andrews v. Foster Wheeler LLC (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 96 re: inadequacy of reentrainment as a theory of product identification
  • McCann v. Foster Wheeler, LLC (Cal. Supreme Court Case No. S162435), argued Jan. 7, 2010 re: choice of law and the California "borrowing statute," CCP Section 361
  • Merrill v. Leslie Controls, (Cal Supreme Ct. No. S178957) review granted Feb. 3, 2010 re: liability for replacement parts and the products of others

James is also trained as a mediator and is hired by both the courts and private parties to mediate disputes.  He has also sat as a judge pro tem and served as a court-appointed arbitrator for the San Francisco Superior Court.


  • California
  • Hawaii


  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
  • Defense Research Institute
  • State Bar of California
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), elected in 1986
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
Publications & Presentations