Jim has been a lead attorney in many of Texas’s biggest probate and trust cases in counties all over Texas. He has tried many probate and trust cases to verdict and has argued numerous cases in various appellate courts around the state; including, the Texas Supreme Court. In 2002 and 2013, he was selected by Texas Lawyer as Texas’s “Go-To” attorney for trust and estate matters. D Magazine named him one of the “2020 Best Lawyer’s” in Dallas. In 2007, Texas Lawyer named him one of the “Top Notch” lawyers for trusts and estates. He has listed in Woodward White Inc.’s Best Lawyers® publication “The Best Lawyers in America,” and was named “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters from 2003-2020. Stepping outside of his usual area, Jim’s jury verdict in Cruciani v. Budd, et al, a 2010 negligent misrepresentation case, is included in The Texas Lawyer’s Verdict Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Cistercian Preparatory School, Jim enrolled at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he played varsity basketball while obtaining a degree in business administration. Upon graduation, he entered the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the State bar in 1983.
Jim has been a partner in The Hartnett Law Firm since 1988. He is a member of the Dallas Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas. Jim is a past council member of the Dallas Bar Association – Probate and Estate Planning Section and a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Jim serves on the Board of Trustees of Austin College. He also received Cistercian Preparatory School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004.