James A. O’Brien III

James A. O’Brien III

Carella Byrne of counsel James A. O’Brien III brings a wealth of experience and accomplishments to his representation of consumers and other clients in class actions and multidistrict class action litigation.

James joined the firm in 2017 after almost three decades of practice in both the public and private sectors. After serving as an attorney advisor with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges, in Washington, D.C., he was accepted into the Attorney General’s Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, from 1990 to 2001, where he was nominated for the Executive Office for United States’ Attorneys’ Director’s Award for Superior Performance as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (1997, 1998 & 2000), and the U.S. Attorney General’s John Marshal Award for Participation in Litigation, 1998 & 2000.

In 2001, James joined the law firm of Seeger Weiss LLP in New York City, where his practice focused on complex litigation, including false claims act cases, class actions, mass torts, and multidistrict litigation. He has authored several articles on various legal topics, including co-authoring Administrative Housekeeping and Ethical Matters in Mass Tort MDLs and Class Actions, published in the Sedona Conference Journal in 2012, and writing a chapter for MDL Standards and Best Practices published by the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies in 2014.

After graduating with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984, James earned his law degree in 1988 from the New England Law School of Law. While in law school, he was a symposium editor for the New England Law Review, and published a Comment, Removing the Client Perjury Skeleton From the Defense Counsel’s Closet, Nix v. Whiteside, 22 New Eng. L. Rev. 675 (1988).


  • New York State Bar
  • Massachusetts State Bar


  • United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Courts for the  Eastern District of New York
  • United States District of Massachusetts
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Education content

Practice Areas



Practice Areas

Wills & Estates

Our attorneys understands how critical it is that business owners prepare for retirement or unforeseen circumstances in a way that provides for their financial well-being and the continuity of their companies.


When disputes arise, our seasoned litigators provide exceptional advocacy grounded in holistic strategies designed to achieve each client’s overall business, financial, and personal goals.

Labor Law

Whether before a hearing board, in the courtroom, or at the negotiating table, our labor lawyers leverage their considerable advocacy and negotiating skills to advance and protect our clients’ interests.

About us


Student Mental Health and Social Media

Partner Michael Innes wrote an article titled “Why New Jersey school districts are filing lawsuits against social media companies, which is featured in the New Jersey School Board Association Reader Forum: Student Mental Health and Social Media.

Chrysler Owners Win Cert. Of 6M Class In Takata Airbag MDL

A judge has certified a class of roughly 6 million Fiat Chrysler vehicle owners who assert fraud claims against FCA US in sprawling multidistrict litigation accusing automakers of hiding the risks associated with allegedly explosive Takata airbags.
The 74

Carella Byrne’s Michael Innes Featured in Recent The 74 Article

Innes was featured in recent article titled Teen Mental Health Crisis Pushes More School Districts to Sue Social Media Giants. “The harms caused by social media companies have impacted the districts’ ability to carry out their core mission of providing education.”

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