James C. Thomas
James C. Thomas, Of Counsel to O’Reilly Rancilio, is one of the most experienced and respected criminal defense attorneys in the area. He has successfully defended some of Michigan’s highest-profile cases and he joined O’Reilly Rancilio in 2012, of counsel.
During his more than 40 years of practice in both federal and state courts, Mr. Thomas has been recognized nationally and in the metro-Detroit area, as a “tough case lawyer.” He represents clients with some of the most difficult cases.
- The dismissal before trial of all criminal charges against a Wayne County Senior Corporation Counsel in the so-called "$330 million Wayne County Jail Corruption” case in Wayne County
- The summary judgment dismissal of a civil suit against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the City of Detroit in Flagg v. Kilpatrick et al. in the so-called “Tamara Greene, stripper at the Manoogian Mansion” case
- The Rule 29 dismissal by a Federal Judge after a two-month trial against a paramilitary an alleged group in the internationally publicized “Hutaree Militia Sedition Trial” Click here for more information on the case.
- The public admonishment of Attorney General John Ashcroft for violating a federal order
- The dismissal of criminal charges after a four-month trial in Federal Court of the first Post 9/11 terrorism trial in the United States, “The Detroit Sleeper Cell” case. To read more about this case, please click here.
- The acquittal by a jury of an Indian contractor for General Electric falsely accused of sexual misconduct on an airplane
- The acquittal by a jury of a Mexican physician alleged to be paid for gunshot surgery in kilos of cocaine in the “Los Zetas Mexican Cartel” case
- The acquittal of a Detroit Police Officer by a jury after a four-month trial in the so-called “Fourth Precinct Police Corruption Trial"
- The successful representation of Indiana Pacer, Jermaine O'Neal, swept up in the so-called “Malice at the Palace” case
- The acquittal by a jury in one of the government's first alleged federal racketeering trials against The Notorious Young Boys Incorporated.
Mr. Thomas is a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, which is attained only by invitation. He served as President of that organization. He was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers from 2007-2019. He was also elected to the fellowship of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is the proud recipient of the prestigious “Gilman Award,” an acknowledgment by his peers on both sides of the bench as the "outstanding federal criminal defense lawyer" in the Eastern District of Michigan for that year. In addition to the above, he was the recipient of the “Defender of Justice Award” from the National Lawyers Guild, the “Justice for All Award” by the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan; and the “Arab-American Professional of the Year Award” by the American-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Numerous publications have recognized Mr. Thomas as one of the finest criminal defense and white-collar criminal defense attorneys in the country, and he is the recipient of multiple awards. He has been an AV-I Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the organization’s highest rating, since 1985. He has been consistently named in the Best Lawyers of America since its inception. The Michigan Super Lawyers continue to recognize his expertise in white-collar and criminal defense. Detroit Business Magazine has listed him in their publication of The Best Lawyers of Metropolitan Detroit for white-collar and for criminal defense, and The American Trial Lawyers Association has designated him one of the top 100 Trial Lawyers in the State of Michigan. For additional information, please visit www.jamescthomas.com.
- Michigan, 1974
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1974
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th circuits
- Michigan State University, Detroit College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan
- Wayne State University
Psychology, Minor in Sociology/Anthropology