HONORABLE JAMES R. EYLER (RET.)
Honorable James R. Eyler (Ret.) brings to the ADR process depth of knowledge of the law, an understanding of the need to achieve closure of disputes, and experience and success in resolving legal disputes. His legal career has spanned almost 50 years: 28 as a practicing lawyer in state and federal courts and as a mediator and arbitrator; over 16 years, pre-retirement, as an appellate and prehearing/settlement conference judge on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court; 5 years, post-retirement, as a recalled judge; and 5 years, post-retirement, as a mediator, arbitrator, and evaluator.
The Maryland Court of Appeals approved Judge Eyler to continue to hear cases as a specially assigned judge. He has done so on a part time basis and will continue to do so. Litigants may appeal as of right to the Court of Special Appeals. The Court’s jurisdiction extends to all cases appealed from trial courts with the exception of election law cases.
Associate Judge, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, designee of Second Appellate Circuit, January 9, 1996 – April 30, 2012.
- Intermediate appellate court judge; authored in excess of 1600 opinions, approximately 300 of which were reported, in all areas of law (civil, criminal, commercial, administrative, domestic, and others), filed promptly after each case’s disposition date.
Miles & Stockbridge, Baltimore, Maryland, July 13, 1968 – January 8, 1996.
- Chairman of Firm, January 1, 1992 – January 8, 1996
- Vice-Chairman of Firm, January 1, 1990-January 1, 1992
- Chairman, Litigation Section, and Member, Firm’s Governing Committee, February, 1975-January 8, 1996
- Partner, March 1, 1973 to January 8, 1996
- Associate, July 13, 1968 to February 28, 1973
Appellate Law Clerk, Associate Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland, 1967-1968.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE:
Since his retirement in early 2012, Judge Eyler has mediated, arbitrated, or evaluated a broad spectrum of cases, including disputes among business owners; race, gender, and age discrimination claims; employment disputes; contract interpretation issues; consumer disputes; medical malpractice claims; legal malpractice claims; lease disputes; credit card disputes; torts; loan disputes; construction disputes; commercial disputes; workers’ compensation claims; equitable claims; police misconduct claims; franchise disputes; and estate distribution issues.
Since retirement, participated in continuing education programs related to mediation and arbitration. See below.
Judge responsible for administering Court of Special Appeals prehearing/settlement conference program, 1996-2011. In that capacity, played a leading role in the design and implementation of an appellate mediation program.
Participated as trainee in several mediation training sessions given in connection with the Court of Special Appeals mediation program. The mediation program has been very successful and has become a permanent part of the Court’s dispute resolution procedure. As prehearing/settlement conference judge and mediator, conducted over 400 conferences, using principles of settlement conferences, facilitative mediation, evaluative mediation, transformative mediation, and hybrids, as appropriate.
Completed forty-hour training course in mediation given by ADR Associates in the early 1990’s. Served as a mediator in the Baltimore City court system before appointment to the bench. In that same time frame, served as a mediator and arbitrator in private matters, on an hourly rate basis.
LAW PRACTICE EXPERIENCE:
Almost all practice was civil, with approximately 50% in federal courts and 50% in state courts. Many of the cases were protracted. Over 90% of cases handled were resolved before trial. Tried to judgment, as sole or chief counsel, over 50 jury cases and unknown number of non-jury cases. Practice consisted of general civil and regulatory litigation and alternative dispute resolution with differing areas of emphasis from time to time. The areas of practice included business and commercial litigation, products liability, toxic torts, negligence actions, contract disputes, insurance coverage, fidelity bond issues, professional malpractice, and ERISA and other employee benefits matters. Extensive appellate practice experience in administrative and court settings, state and federal.
Tried and argued on appeal cases in state and federal courts in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and Delaware involving various tort actions (i.e., premises liability, products liability, professional malpractice, defamation, and negligence); securities law violations; commercial law disputes; insurance coverage questions; bonding issues; employee benefits; and governmental and public law issues. The cases presented claims for damages, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief. Heavily involved in mass tort litigation, including asbestos litigation, from 1978 through 1995. Handled protracted cases in Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and New York, in which there was substantial discovery and motions practice, but the cases did not go to verdict.
During tenure at Miles & Stockbridge, the firm grew from less than 20 lawyers in two offices to approximately 200 lawyers in 8 offices. As Chairman of the Firm and in other firm management positions, devoted significant time to administrative and business matters.
Adjunct Faculty, University of Maryland School of Law and University of Baltimore School of Law. (Taught several courses in Trial Practice and Advocacy from 1998 until 2005).
Contributing writer, Maryland Tort Damages.
CHARITABLE AND SERVICE ACTIVITIES:
Member, Capital Campaign Committee, Legal Aid Bureau
Member, Advisory Committee, Lawyers Campaign Against Hunger
Member, Lawyers Committee to Support United Way Campaign
Member, Lawyers Committee to Support College Bound Foundation
Member, Board of Trustees, Severn School, Severna Park, Maryland (1989-1996)(Chairman, 1992-1995)
Vice Chairman, Maryland Chapter, U.S. Olympic Committee
Member, William T. Walters Association
Member, Development Committee, Maryland Science Center
Chairman, Board of Directors, Everyman Theatre, 1993- Jan. 8, 1996
Member, Board of Directors, Parents Anonymous of Maryland (now Family Tree), 1994-1996 (Vice Chairman, Development Council; member, Annual Anniversary Dinner Committee)
Member, Board of Directors, House of Ruth, 1995- Jan. 8, 1996 (member, Steering Committee, 20th Anniversary Campaign; member, Nominating Committee)
Member, Board of Directors, Maryland General Hospital and Maryland General Health Services, Inc., 1994-Jan. 8, 1996 (member, Executive Committee, Maryland General Hospital; member, Finance/Planning Committee, Maryland General Health Services)
Member, Board of Directors, Public Justice Center, 1993-Jan. 8, 1996
Member, Board of Directors, Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, 1994- Jan. 8, 1996
Founding Co-Chair, Editorial Board, The Daily Record
Participant, New England School of Law site visit for ABA re-accreditation
Participant, Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program for CEOs, 1993
Participant, Leadership Maryland Program, 1995
Member, Board of Visitors, University of Maryland School of Law, 1993- 2002
Member, Executive Committee (as Past President), J. Dudley Digges Inn of Court
Member, Board of Directors, Museum of Maritime Pets, 2011-present
* After appointment to the bench, ceased most of the above activities within a few years because of possible ethical issues and conflicts of interest.
BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES:
Member, American Bar Association Business Law and Dispute Resolution sections and committees
Member, Maryland State Bar Association Special Committee on Law Reform, July 1, 2011 – present
Treasurer and Section Council Member, Maryland State Bar Association Animal Law Section, July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
Member, Maryland State Bar Association ADR Section Council, 2013-2015
Former Vice Chairman, Inquiry Committee, Maryland State Bar Association
Former Member, Review Board, Maryland State Bar Association
Member of several State and local bar association committees, at varying times.
Positions held during tenure as a judge on the Court of Special Appeals:
- Chairman, Ethics Committee of the State Judicial Conference, 2011- May 1, 2012 (Member, 2008)(Member 2013- present as recalled retired judge)
- Chairman, Public Awareness Committee of State Judicial Conference, 2009-2011 (Member, 2002)
- Former Member, Judiciary Commission on Professionalism
- Member, Editorial Board, Justice Matters (judiciary publication)(presently)
- Member, Court Operations and ADR Committees, and chair of Records Retention Workgroup
In addition, from time to time, addressed groups on substantive areas of the law and the administration of the court system.
University of Maryland School of Law, L.L.B. (J.D.), 1967
- Order of the Coif
- Research Editor, Maryland Law Review
University of Maryland, B.A., with high honors, 1964
Berry College, Rome, Georgia (transferred upon changing major from physics to pre-law)
Taneytown High School, Taneytown, Maryland, 1960
American Bar Association
Maryland State Bar Association
Anne Arundel County Bar Association
Baltimore County Bar Association
Permanent member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
Barrister’s Law Club
Wednesday Law Club
Maryland Bar Foundation
District of Columbia
Fourth Circuit and several other federal District Courts and Courts of Appeal
Supreme Court of the United States
While practicing law, attended various seminars and bar association programs, as a speaker and as an attendee. As a judge, attended numerous seminars and programs given by the Maryland Judicial Institute and others on many topics. (There are no records from which details may be obtained.)
Continuing dispute resolution education since early 2012 has included annual seminars on various aspects of mediation and arbitration, e.g., recent developments, ethics, appellate mediation, best practices, and substantive developments. These seminars were given by Maryland trial and appellate courts; the Maryland State Bar Association; the American Bar Association; and the American Arbitration Association. In February 2016, attended the two-day annual conference/ seminars of the American Arbitration Association in February 2016. In May 2016, completed basic arbitrator training courses for Finra. In June 2016, attended University of Maryland School of Law ADR Symposium, and in December 2016, attended Maryland Mediators Convention. In March 2017, attended a training session on mediation and a training session on arbitration.
AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST:
For Practice Years: Lists of representative clients; representative cases that were tried and resulted in an appeal or a written opinion; and representative cases that were tried or were protracted.
For Bench Years: Reported opinions.