NALI Annual Conference 2023

James P Cooney

Title:  What Lawyers (Both Criminal & Civil) are Looking for From An Investigator

Description: As criminal and civil investigations and litigation continue to become more complex, the skill sets of investigators need to adjust to the demands of the lawyers. Interviewing and writing statements are becoming less important than mining social media, identifying electronic devices, reviewing massive amounts of data and accessing other critical sources of information. Using hypotheticals and examples, two seasoned litigators will discuss how their utilization of investigators have changed and what they need from their investigators in 2023.

Jim Cooney is the Chairman of the Litigation Department and a Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP. He practices both civil and criminal law, including trial and appellate work. He is recognized as one of the leading litigators and “white collar” criminal attorneys in the State of North Carolina. The Litigation Department of Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP consists of nearly 300 attorneys and paralegals across 7 states.

Jim Cooney has represented individuals and businesses in some of the most difficult and high-profile cases in North Carolina. He has tried more than 60 jury cases and argued more than 45 appeals in the State and Federal courts. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Permanent Member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. Jim has been selected as one of the top trial lawyers in North Carolina in civil and criminal work; in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022, he was selected as one of the top ten civil attorneys in North Carolina. In 2007 he was the top vote recipient for criminal attorneys in North Carolina and in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 was voted the best attorney for “Bet Your Company” cases. For 2014 he was named as the best attorney in Healthcare Litigation. In 2004 he received the N.C. Bar Association’s William Thorp Pro Bono Award and in 2010 the N.C. Bar Association’s Wade Smith Professionalism Award for Criminal Defense. He is a member of the “Legal Elite Hall of Fame” in North Carolina and was awarded the Professionalism Award by the Mecklenburg County Bar in 2020.

Jim is a 1979 graduate of Duke University, where he was summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and a 1982 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the Research and Projects Editor of the Virginia Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.