James L. Thompson

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James L. Thompson

James ("Jim") Thompson has led Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation practice for more than 25 years. He concentrates his practice in eminent domain and real estate valuation litigation (including ad valorem tax appeals).  For more than a decade, Mr. Thompson has represented Maryland in the Owners’ Counsel of America, a national network of property rights attorneys with demonstrated excellence in this area, focusing upon the representation of landowners in eminent domain litigation.  Additionally, he focuses in civil litigation, including complex real estate and business/commercial disputes.  With his breadth of legal experience, proven results, mature judgment, and tenured leadership within the bar and judicial system, he brings the ideal blend of expertise and talent to client representation.  View Representative Cases >>

Over his many years of practice, Mr. Thompson has received numerous awards for his excellence as a lawyer, his intellect, his leadership ability and his track record of success.  

Among other accolades, he has received the following recognition:

     -  Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers (restricted to the top 1% of trial lawyers)
     -  Super Lawyer in the state of Maryland for the last five years
     -  AV-Rated Preeminent Lawyer for 30 years
     -  2013 Lawyer of the Year Selection by Best Lawyers in the Eminent Domain/Condemnation Area of Practice

Additionally, he has held numerous influential leadership roles, and received prestigious leadership awards, including the following:

     -  Elected president of the Maryland State Bar Association in 1999-2000
     -  Elected president of the Montgomery County Bar Association in 1988
     -  Received The Daily Record's Leadership in Law Award in 2006
     -  Honored with the Century of Service Award (recognizing the 32 top judges and lawyers in the last 100 years in Montgomery County, Maryland)

Mr. Thompson lectures in national eminent domain litigation seminars conducted by ALI-CLE, as well as in the State of Maryland, where he assists in giving legal education seminars for lawyers, appraisers, and right-of-way agents. He has also authored a variety of articles regarding eminent domain and has worked with the Maryland legislature to reform eminent domain laws and protect the rights of property owners. 

Practice Areas
  • Appeals
    Business & Commercial Litigation
    Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
    Estates & Trust Litigation
    Maryland Property Tax Appeals
    Real Estate Litigation
    Tax Litigation
bar admissions
  • Maryland


    U.S. Court of Military Appeals

    U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

    U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

    U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County (President, 1988-1989)

    Maryland State Bar Association (President, 1999-2000)

    American College of Trial Lawyers

    Owners Counsel of America (Eminent Domain Lawyers)

    Affiliate Member, Institute for Professionals in Taxation, (IPT)

    American Inns of Court (Counselor, LXI, 1988-1990)

    American Bar Association (Delegate of ABA House of Delegates, 2001-2002)

    Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference

    Maryland Bar Foundation, Inc.

    American Bar Foundation

  • University of Virginia, L.L.B., 1966

    Yale University, B.A., 1963

Honors and Awards
  • Century of Service Award (recognizing the 32 most outstanding judges and lawyers in Montgomery County)

    Member, American College of Trial Lawyers

    Winner, Leadership in Law Award

    Named by Super Lawyers magazine as top 5% of Litigation Attorneys in the state of Maryland

    Peter D. Dirito Endowment Award (recognition for role in the successful effort to establish a Southern Division of the Federal Court in Maryland)

    Designated as Top Lawyer in Baltimore and Washington, DC for past five years

    Received 2012  "Lawyer of the Year" Award by Best Lawyers in the area of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

    Received "AV" rating by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory

    Elected as the Maryland member for the Owner's Counsel of America (restricted to the top eminent domain lawyer in each state)

Appellate Decisions

Mayor v. City Council of Baltimore City v. Valsamaki, 397 Md. 222 (2007)

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Johnson v. Price, 191 F. Supp. 2d 754 (2007)

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Brown v. Hovatter, 525 F. Supp.2d 754 (2007)

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Brown v. Hovatter, 516 F. Supp.2d. 547 (2007)

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College Bowl, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 394 Md. 482 (2006)

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City of Baltimore Development Corp. v. Carmel Realty Associates, 395 Md. 299 (2006)

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havePower, LLC v. General Electric Co., 256 F. Supp. 2d 402 (2003)

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havePower, LLC v. General Electric Co., 183 F. Supp. 2d 779 (2002)

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Buxton v. Buxton, 363 Md. 634 (2001)

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Browning v. C.I.R., 109 T.C. No. 16 (1997)

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Supervisor of Assessments of Montgomery County v. Asbury Methodist Home, Inc., 313 Md. 614 (1988)

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Supervisor of Assessment of Montgomery County v. Asbury Methodist Home, Inc., 72 Md. App. 352 (1987)

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Lerner v. Lerner, 306 Md. 771 (1986)

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Smith v. Edwards, 292 Md. 60 (1981)

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Smith v. Edwards, 46 Md. App. 452 (1980)

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Stauffer Const. Co., v. Tate Engineering, Inc., 44 Md. App. 240 (1979)

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Shuman v. Sherman, 356 F. Supp. 911 (1973)

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Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Md. v. U.S., 344 F. Supp. 866 (1972)

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"That guy's a wizard when it comes to condemnation...five out of five stars..."

Tom Tracy
Regional Counsel
Toll Brothers, Inc.

"Miller, Miller & Canby's Jim Thompson has my eternal appreciation and respect. He exhibited great vision, assembled a superb team of land planners, appraisers and others to support our case, and stuck with it until he got it done. In the end, thanks to his experience and innovation, our property yielded a better return than I could ever have imagined."

Alan Bruzee
Long & Foster