James E. Gibbons was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. After obtaining a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, he received his JD in 1987 from Boston University. Since then, his practice has focused on insurance coverage, business, and insurance bad faith litigation. At Manning & Kass, Mr. Gibbons is a member of the Corporate and Commercial Transactions and Insurance Coverage Teams.
Prior to joining the firm, he was the managing partner of the Southern California office of a San Francisco-based firm specializing in banking and insurance law. He has written innumerable coverage opinions relating to all aspects of insurance coverage and bad faith. His credits in this area include five published appellate decisions: Buss v Superior Court (1997) 16 Cal.4th 35; PPG v Transamerica (1999) 20 Cal.4th 310; Elkman v. National States Ins. Co. (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1305; Gulf Insurance Company v TIG Insurance Company (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 422; and Melancon v USAA (1992) 174 Ariz. 344. Buss and PPG are both California Supreme Court decisions that have had a major impact in shaping insurance law in this state. Additionally, Mr. Gibbons’ experience includes securities and consumer-related class actions, including acting as lead co-counsel for over 6,000 Japanese citizens seeking recovery against the perpetrators of an elaborate Ponzi scheme. See Takiguchi v. MRI Int'l, Inc. (D. Nev. 2014) 47 F.Supp.3d 1100.
Mr. Gibbons also has unique experience in representing the San Diego Downtown Business Improvement District working in conjunction with the San Diego City Attorney's Office in defense against the ACLU in a battle regarding homeless people's property rights. Despite an initially contentious suit, Mr. Gibbons was instrumental in de-escalating the plaintiff's side and working with the City to find a solution that helped the homeless to keep their belongings while still serving the public's and businesses' best interest to keep the streets clean and sanitary.
Mr. Gibbons has been named a 2008–2012 Super Lawyer in the areas of insurance coverage (70%) and business / corporate (30%), a distinction given to no more than five percent of attorneys in a state who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. He is a member of the American Bar Association and a volunteer arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court.