Areas of Practice
Practice-Specific Experience
  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1981, Articles Editor, Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Harvard University, B.A., cum laude, 1976
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Herbert F. Murray, US District Court of Maryland, 1981-1982
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

James B. Moorhead

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8067
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Jim Moorhead is a litigation partner in Steptoe's Washington office.  He is the head of the firm's Class Action Group and co-chairs the Crisis Management Group.

Mr. Moorhead has first-chaired over 25 complex civil and criminal jury trials and litigated a wide range of cases, including class actions, securities, director and officer liability and professional malpractice, RICO, wrongful death, and employment discrimination.

He has conducted numerous corporate internal investigations for Fortune 500 and other major entities on a variety of issues including FCPA, internal controls, money laundering, embezzlement, and bank secrecy.  He has experience designing and reviewing corporate compliance programs from an in-house and outside counsel perspective.  He also has litigated on behalf of and counseled insurers on coverage disputes relating to a variety of policies, including errors and omissions and D&O policies.

Mr. Moorhead has also provided strategic and communications advice, advocacy and crisis management to Fortune 500 and other major clients facing challenging legal, business, regulatory and political settings.  He has experience representing newsworthy clients and commenting on issues of great public interest on national and local news stations and networks.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Moorhead was a federal prosecutor in Baltimore and an investment banker and commercial banker in New York City.  He recently served as chief financial officer and general counsel of an emerging growth company.  His financial background has led to his representation of lenders, investment advisors, and other litigants in securities and other complex business transactions cases.

Highlights of his litigation experience include:

  • Serving as national counsel to a multi-billion dollar financial services company, coordinating legal and communications strategies to address two US Senate investigations, two US Attorney investigations, several regulatory reviews and civil litigation, including confidential arbitration.
  • National counsel to major assisted living facilities company against claims brought by lenders and investors.
  • Counsel to securities brokerage firm against securities fraud claims brought by the National Credit Union Administration, the regulator of federal credit unions. The claims revolved around a now-defunct institution's purchases of collateralized mortgage obligations. The Court entered a take-nothing summary judgment for Mr. Moorhead's client.
  • Counsel to insurance carrier in action against directors and officers of bankrupt construction company. The claims asserted the defendants had failed to report upon and oversee properly the company's operations prior to its bankruptcy filing. The case settled satisfactorily to the insurer.
  • Counsel to various lenders against a series of class actions brought regarding collateral protection insurance. All cases were settled on terms very favorable to the clients, effectively ending this type of class action litigation.
  • Represent law firm partners in malpractice/fraud action arising out of FDIC investigation of collapse of First American bank in BCCI affair. The litigation settled satisfactorily to the clients.

Mr. Moorhead is a frequent television commentator on crisis management and legal and business issues.  He also has spoken and written extensively on crisis management, internal investigations, litigation prevention, and maximizing shareholder value.

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Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • Served as an Assistant US Attorney in Maryland for three years (focused on prosecuting political and labor corruption cases)
  • Member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association