James C. Thomas's Profile Image

James C. Thomas

Direct Dial: (586) 997-6450
Main Line: (586) 726-1000
Cell: (313) 510-0000
Fax: (586) 726-1560

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.

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.

Bar Admissions

  • 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
    J.D., 1974
  • Wayne State University
    B.S., 1969
    Psychology, Minor in Sociology/Anthropology