James J. McGuire


  • JD, University of North Carolina, 1993, with high honors
  • MA, The Johns Hopkins University, 1989
  • BA, Brown University, 1985, honors program

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • Middle District Florida
  • Southern District Florida
  • 11th Circuit
  • D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Jim is a litigation partner in TLo’s Tampa office. His advice and advocacy protects clients in business litigation matters and in defamation, First Amendment, and intellectual property disputes, particularly trademark and copyright cases. Jim has represented and advised clients in a wide range of industries, including television, newspapers, motion pictures, aviation systems, nutritional supplements, office equipment, and website design. Jim has successfully litigated – or arbitrated – cases involving tortious interference, trademark infringement, false advertising and other Lanham Act violations, unfair trade practices, antitrust violations, breach of contract, defamation, and invasion of privacy. Jim is also an experienced and accomplished appellate advocate.

There are two keys to serving our clients. The first is thinking proactively to help clients avoid problems whenever possible. The second is thinking creatively to solve problems when they arise.

This year, Best Lawyers in America named Jim as "Lawyer of the Year in Trademark Law" for the Tampa Bay area.  Jim was also selected as a member of Leadership Florida, Class XXXI.

Before entering private practice, Jim was a judicial clerk for the Honorable Karen LeCraft Henderson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He graduated first in his class from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he won the West Publishing Company Book Award for highest GPA each of his three years. 

  • Gottwald v. Geragos, et al., N.Y. County Index No. 162075/14, 2019 WL 1938517 (N.Y. App. Div. May 2, 2019).  Representing celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos’ law firm, Geragos & Geragos, in a defamation action brought by famed music producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, obtained affirmance of discovery order requiring Gottwald to turn over a variety of relevant documents bearing upon, among other things, his reputation, status as a public figure, and his alleged damages. 

  • State Attorney’s Office of 17th Jud. Cir. v. Cable News Network, Inc., ---So. 3d ---, 2018 WL 3569397 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018), review denied (Fla. 2018). On behalf of a consortium of media companies, obtained surveillance video of law enforcement’s response to the Parkland school shooting. Trial court and appellate courts agreed with our arguments that a Public Records Act exemption for active criminal investigative information did not apply to the video, and that good cause supported release.
  • Tartell v. South Florida Sinus & Allergy Center, 790 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. 2015). Convinced appellate court to reverse cybersquatting verdict and hold that plaintiff failed to establish trademark rights.
  • Salvani v. ADVFN PLC, 628 Fed. Appx. 784 (2d Cir. 2015). Obtained dismissal of claims under the Securities Exchange Act against a website publisher.
  • Canonico v. Calloway, 26 So. 3d 53 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010). Won decision dismissing defamation claim brought by reality-television producer against television network and reporter.
  • Quade v. Entertainment Events, Inc. (Amer. Arb. Ass'n, Case No. 13 140 Y 00169 07). Won million dollar breach-of-contract verdict for producer of off-Broadway plays.
  • Jews for Jesus, Inc. v. Rapp, 997 So. 2d 1098 (Fla. 2008). On behalf of a consortium of media companies, convinced Florida Supreme Court that Florida should not adopt the tort of false light invasion of privacy.
  • Xerox Corp. v. Smartech Document Management, Inc., 979 So. 2d 957 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007). Won decision ordering company and its principal to arbitrate dispute with Xerox.
  • Media General Operations, Inc. v. State, 933 So.2d 1199 (Fla.2dDCA 2006). Obtained ruling that the media is entitled to review motion seeking to seal discovery materials and that the motion itself cannot be sealed.
  • Tyne v. Time-Warner Entertainment, Co., 901 So.2d 802 (Fla. 2005). Persuaded Florida Supreme Court to affirm right of the producers of The Perfect Storm to create a movie depicting historical events without having to seek consent of individuals portrayed in the movie.
  • Sarasota Herald-Tribune v. State, 924 So. 2d 8 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005). Convinced appellate court that crime scene photographs shown to jury in murder trial were subject to inspection by media.
  • Media General Convergence, Inc. v. Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, 840 So. 2d 1008 (Fla. 2003). Obtained ruling reversing appellate court and holding that records reviewed by Circuit Chief Judge were public records subject to inspection.
  • Interviewed by Fox 13 News for television report about defamation lawsuits arising from online ratings and reviews.  Fox 13 News Tampa Bay Online  (July 2019)
  • Co-author, Survey of Eleventh Circuit Libel Law, Media Libel Law, Media Law Resource Center (2010 - present).
  • CLE Panelist, OMG - Did We Actually Say That? Avoiding Defamation Liability in the Age of Fire, Fury and Fake News, National Association of Women and Minority Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), Annual Meeting, September 2018
  • CLE Presenter, Controversial Campus Speakers, Council of Counsels Meeting (In-house Counsel for Florida Public Universities), October 2017.
  • Co-author, Seeing Stars: Courts and Congress Consider Whether to Knock Out Online Ratings Defamation Claims, Communications Lawyer, American Bar Association, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Fall 2016).

  • Faculty Member, Media Advocacy Workshop, Forum on Communications Law, American Bar Association (2007, 2016)

  • Interviewed by WTSP-TV for television report about congressional effort to prohibit companies from censoring critical comments online.
  • Interviewed by WFLA-TV for television report about local business threatened with defamation lawsuit for posting negative comment on Yelp. http://wfla.com/2015/09/14/bad-yelp-review-brings-threat-of-lawsuit-from-st-petersburg-salon/.
  • Interviewed by Florida Times-Union for newspaper report about Chief Judge banning protests outside Duval County Courthouse. http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-07-06/story/lawyers-activists-call-chief-judges-protest-ban-jacksonville-courthouse.
  • Panelist, Hot Topics in Media Law Workshop, Media and Communications Law Committee, Florida Bar (2008).
  • Author, Schad v. Arizona: Diminishing the Need for Verdict Specificity, 70 N.C.L. Rev. 936 (1992).