photo of James L. Sonneborn Practice Areas
  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University, 1972, Order of the Coif
  • B.S., University of Virginia, 1969
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of New York

James L. Sonneborn


Direct Dial: (315) 701-6316
Direct Fax: (315) 423-2804
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Jim has over twenty-five years of litigation, arbitration, and mediation experience which includes the prosecution and defense of various civil and criminal cases, including partnership and shareholder disputes, negligence, contract, legal malpractice, securities arbitration, torts, and defense of felony cases. He has developed a practice designed to meet the legal needs of individuals, as well as for profit and not-for-profit business clients. His experience as a trial attorney and skilled negotiator enables him to resolve legal issues proactively.

Jim operated his own firm for over twenty years. He was on the law faculty of the University of Wales, was a Visiting Professor at Syracuse University College of Law, and served as the Co-Director of the school's Securities Arbitration Clinic. Jim also clerked for the Hon. Francis Bergen of the New York Court of Appeals.

Jim builds strategies to achieve results. He thinks globally but acts locally. As he listens to each person he gathers facts and ideas and uses his skills as a lawyer, thinking, and problem solving to benefit his clients. Much of problem solving is based on thinking, understanding and taking information to both understand and resolve. This is what Jim does and how he exceeds goals.

Jimís litigation, mediation and experience bring to clients both the ability to understand problems and the skills to solve them. Jim has served on the Board of Directors for small as well as multi-million dollar entities. He has worked with entrepreneurs and has started and run his own businesses. People come to Jim for advice and counsel on a daily basis.

Jim sees the law as a tool to meet clients' needs but brings business experience, community involvement, and lengthy tenure of community participation as additional resources to the process of problem solving.
When needed, Jim can use his experience as head of the litigation practice group as one of those tools. Jim has litigated disputes as varied as defending someone accused of murder and business disputes among partners, corporations, lenders involving tens of millions or dollars.

Recent Experience

  • Submitted amicus brief on behalf of eight counties located partially or entirely within the Adirondack Park.
  • Acted as counsel to the Office of Clinical Legal Education at Syracuse University, College of Law.

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated
  • Northern District Bar Association, Committee of Alternate Dispute Resolution, Co-Chair
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
  • Adirondack Council, Board Member, Chair of the Audit & Legal Committee
  • Paul Smith College, Trustee
  • Former Board Member: The Volunteer Center, Inc., the Visiting Nurses Association, the Child Care Council of Onondaga County and the Syracuse Sports Corporation. Leadership Greater Syracuse, FOCUS Greater Syracuse, Huntington Family Center, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • April 2010
    Starting a New Business: What Form Should it Take? New York State Science & Technology Law Center's "Lab to Market" Webcast Series
  • December 2008
    Mediation and Mediation Advocacy, CLE for the Northern District Bar Association, various locations throughout New York State