James E. Beasley, Sr.

James E. Beasley, Sr.
Status: Deceased

(1926 - 2004)

Jim Beasley, who died in 2004 at 78, was known as "the people's lawyer" because of his history of taking on so many giants on behalf of the little guy. “Philadelphia’s version of the king of torts,” was how Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham described Beasley. “He really perfected -- not started, but perfected -- the art of tort litigation," Abraham said. When Jim Beasley Sr. died, Michael Smerconish, a local radio talk show host and a lawyer who had once worked for Beasley, wrote a column for the Philadephia Daily News headlined: “Jim Beasley, the people’s lawyer:” “He spent most of his 78 years slaying dragons. He was trial lawyer, and damn proud of it, even when it became a term of derision. For 50 years, he reigned as the pre-eminent litigator in all of Pennsylvania. The range of his clients and breath of his cases was unparalleled. . . . Beasley gave a voice to ordinary people who otherwise would never have had the ability to take on large insurance companies and Fortune 500 corporations. Size mattered to Beasley: The smaller the aggrieved party, the more apt he was to become their champion. . . . Beasley didn’t care about skin color. He wasn’t interested in your politics. Your station in life was irrelevant. His only interest was the plight of his clients. And for them he was a gunslinger.” Jim Beasley was the trailblazer, a legendary Philadelphia trial lawyer nationally recognized for having won more million dollar jury verdicts than any other trial lawyer in the country. In tribute, the Temple University Law School now bears his name.
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