Andrew T. James


(952) 224-7298

Drew's Assistant
Sherri Debettignies

Drew is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer. He practices in FMJ’s Litigation, Appellate, HR & Employment, Competition & Trade, Insurance, and Nonprofit & Philanthropic groups, representing clients not only in Minnesota’s courts, but in courts around the country.

Drew’s practice is diverse, encompassing civil rights matters, employment discrimination matters (under both state and federal law), Title IX discrimination matters, shareholder and employee matters, corporate disputes, employee retirement benefits matters, and drafting and arguing appeals in both state and federal appellate courts. Drew has brought claims under Section 1983 to enforce violations of his clients’ civil rights, he has brought claims under a variety of state and federal statutes to protect his clients from illegal employment discrimination, he has sued several universities for violations of Title IX, he has sued employers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to protect his clients’ employment benefits, and he has defended corporate clients against a wide range of claims. He has extensive experience working as part of a trial team and appellate team. His background and experience make him an invaluable resource in formulating legal strategy and positioning cases to succeed at every stage.

Before joining FMJ, Drew was in-house corporate counsel for a securities broker/dealer and registered investment adviser in the Twin Cities. He also has experience as a criminal defense attorney representing individuals charged with felonies and gross misdemeanors including murder, sexual assault, and violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

University of Minnesota Law School (JD 2010)
Marquette University (BA 2007)

State Bar Admissions:
State of Minnesota
State of Wisconsin

Federal Bar Admissions:
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Community Involvement:
High School Varsity Policy Debate Coach
President – LEAD Project Board of Directors

What The Seventh Circuit’s Decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Means For You,” FMJ Newsroom (April 2017).

Media Interviews:
Quoted in St. Cloud Times article entitled, “Hearing Set on SCSU Tennis Team Lawsuit,” May 4, 2016

Representative Cases:
Soderberg & Vail, LLC v. Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd., Nos. A15-0088 and A15-0358 (Minn. Ct. App. Jan. 4, 2016) (Unpublished Opinion): Lawsuit against law firm for non-payment of a referral fee to another law firm.

Jacob Brown, et al. v. Duluth Steam Cooperative Association, Nos. A14-1598 and A14-2072 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2015) (Unpublished Opinion): Lawsuit against company operating steam distribution system for the city of Duluth, Minnesota, relating to second degree burns to two-year-old child who fell on superheated manhole cover.

Stewart P. Jump v. Northern Tier Retail, LLC, et al., Civil No. 13-cv-02809 (PAM/JJG) (D. Minn. Oct. 24, 2014): Obtained confidential settlement in lawsuit brought on behalf of individual against his former employers concerning denial of his employment benefits.

Kathryn Brenny v. The Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, Court File No. 27-CV-11-1215 (Henn. Cnty. Dist. Ct. Mar. 8, 2014): Court awards in excess of $500,000 for sexual orientation discrimination by University of Minnesota against former women’s golf coach.

Keith C. Davidson v. AVEMCO Ins. Co., et al., Court File No. 75-CV-13-271 (Stevens Cnty Dist. Ct. Jan 6, 2014): Court dismisses lawsuit with prejudice and grants sanctions against defendant relating to fatal crash of aircraft in 2003.

Practice Philosophy:
“As a litigator, I first seek to understand my clients and to identify what they hope to accomplish in the litigation process. Then I strive to do everything possible, within the law, to exceed those expectations.”

The Rest of the Story:
Drew is an avid sports fan and closely follows Marquette basketball, as well as Minnesota’s professional teams. He can frequently be found in coffee shops, discovering diamond-in-the-rough restaurants, and running around the many lakes of the Twin Cities area.