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Defending people and organizations in federal investigations
involving economic offenses in the U.S. and overseas

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“No wise combatant underestimates his antagonist.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



From his office in Philadelphia, James Backstrom defends individuals and firms in federal criminal, civil and administrative inquiries and prosecutions including antitrust, fraud, tax, trade control and national security matters. He has represented numerous executives and corporations in grand jury investigations and prosecutions conducted by antitrust division sections in Washington, DC and all division field offices. He has appeared in antitrust proceedings in both the US and Canada and on behalf of citizens of 16 foreign nations.

A prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice until 1987, James was chief of the antitrust division's Dallas office. In the division, he also held the positions of special assistant, office of operations, in Washington and trial attorney in Philadelphia. James served as a special assistant United States attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania in 1981 and 1982.

Since 2005, James has been a member of the ABA's international cartel task force, which consults other nations on enforcement issues. He has written extensively on antitrust topics and spoken at the ABA's section of antitrust law events. He is a principal author and editor of the Criminal Antitrust Litigation Handbook, second edition, published by the ABA section in 2007. He also appears as a panellist at corporate governance programmes. James has been qualified as an expert witness on the US Sentencing Guidelines and Justice Department charging decisions.

James is admitted to the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Texas bars, as well as in federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. He was educated at Northwestern University (BSS 1973) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (JD 1976).




Appearances primarily in the federal courts, including the nation's oldest federal court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Admitted to the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces