James Goldschmidt is an appellate litigator and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. His practice focuses on appellate and regulatory matters, with active involvement in the related areas of energy law, environmental litigation, and insurance coverage disputes.
James serves clients by crafting winning legal briefs and arguments in the context of civil and regulatory appeals. He has briefed and argued cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and his appellate practice experience spans some two dozen fully briefed appeals in Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, and the Seventh, Ninth, and Federal Circuits.
His recent appellate experience includes the following:
- Convinced Wisconsin Court of Appeals to reverse administrative ruling by trial court in connection with public utility rates.
- Protected favorable ruling for public utility against municipality on review in Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
- Defended trial court’s denial of default judgment and dismissal of business tort action on review in Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
- Successfully opposed petition for review in Wisconsin Supreme Court following favorable defense verdict and appellate ruling for residential care facility.
- Successfully opposed petition for interlocutory review by Wisconsin Court of Appeals of trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss equitable claims.
James' appellate experience also includes amicus briefing in cases of statewide interest, with recent amicus clients including the Bond Dealers of America (securities litigation), the Wisconsin Utilities Association (transmission easement dispute), and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (insurance coverage dispute).
On the regulatory side of his practice, James assists regulated public utility clients in a wide variety of matters, from general and special-purpose rate cases before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to hydroelectric permit disputes before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and from permit reviews before the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to utility right-of-way disputes with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WiDOT). His recent regulatory experience includes the following:
- Defended favorable PSCW ruling for public utility client in regulatory appeal relating to cost allocation for fuel conversion at cogeneration plant.
- Developed testimony and crafted briefing in support of merger between two multi-state investor-owned utilities.
- Secured recovery of public utility’s costs in spent nuclear fuel litigation.
- Investigated warranty claims relating to defects at generating station.
In addition, James has a growing practice in the area of CERCLA Superfund litigation, representing manufacturers and successor entities identified as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) in connection with historically contaminated sites.
Prior to joining Quarles & Brady, James volunteered for the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee in the area of consumer credit transactions.
- Energy, Environment & Natural Resources
- Class Action Defense
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Financial Institutions Litigation
Education and Honors
- Harvard Law School (J.D., 2012)
- Harvard University (A.B., summa cum laude, 2009)
- Phi Beta Kappa Society
- Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize (Outstanding Scholarly Work or Research)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2013
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2013
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2012
Professional and Civic Activities
- State Bar of Wisconsin (Member)
- Appellate Practice Section (Board Member)
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association (Member)
- Programming Committee (Wisconsin Chair)
- American Bar Association (Member)
- Center for Urban Teaching, a Milwaukee-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to identifying, training, and supporting high-quality urban educators (Member of Board of Directors)
- Ad Parnassum, Inc., a not-for-profit music education organization (Board Member)
- Abundant Life Ministry, a faith-based, non-denominational, non-profit organization providing housing, vocational development, and life skills training for at-risk individuals and families (Member of Board of Directors)
- State Bar of Wisconsin – Pro Bono Honor Society (2013-2016)
- Selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers®-Rising Stars Edition 2016, 2018, 2019 (Appellate)
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® "Ones to Watch" (2021, Appellate Practice)
Selected Published Decisions
- State of Wisconsin v. Toliver, 2014 WI 85, --- N.W.2d ---