Jim works with business leaders in Western New York to help them address the challenges of the modern workplace, from sexual harassment cases to labor disputes.

His vast experience representing employers in all types of employment-related matters has established him as a valued partner to his clients, which include some of the best known public and private sector employers in the region. The wide variety of matters on which Jim regularly assists include:

  • labor arbitrations
  • complex employment litigation
  • wage and hour issues
  • contract disputes
  • discrimination and harassment disputes
  • workplace policies
  • executive compensation
  • covenants not to compete
  • union negotiations
  • public sector employment law

Jim regularly appears before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the National Labor Relations Board, and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. Jim also litigates in trial and appellate courts in New York State, Massachusetts, and other areas of the United States.

In addition to his labor and employment practice, Jim oversees the Buffalo office as its managing member and is a frequent lecturer on labor and employment law issues.


  • Successfully argued numerous cases before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and other appellate courts, preserving trial court dismissals of discrimination and harassment cases
  • Obtained a dismissal of one of the first claims of sexual orientation discrimination in New York State while representing a local college before the New York State Division of Human Rights
  • Successfully negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements for large and small corporations, as well as counties, towns, and school districts

  • Listed in:
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management, 2019-2023
    • New York Super Lawyers®, Employment and Labor, 2022 (listed for more than 10 years) 
    • Buffalo Business First, Legal Elite of Western New York, 2017-2020
      • Legal Elite Leader
    • Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Preeminent Rated
      • Top-Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law                   
  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Labor and Employment Sections
  • New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Erie County Bar Association
  • Senior Editor, Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

  • An Interview with James Rooney, Labor and Employment, Legally Bond Podcast, April 18, 2022
  • Overlapping Leave Laws, Bond, Schoeneck & King Seminar Series, October 2020
  • New York State Paid Family Leave Law, Lumsden McCornick 22nd Annual Exempt Conference, November 17, 2016

  • Quoted in "Threat to public-sector unions in SCOTUS decision on Janus,"Buffalo Law Journal, July 10, 2018
  • "Courts grapple with scope of civil rights laws," Buffalo Law Journal, June 19, 2017
  • Quoted in “Transgender student policies not new in WNY,” Buffalo Business First, August 26, 2016

  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Director
  • Kaleida Health Foundation, Director
  • Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., Director, Former President
  • The Arc Erie County New York, Former Board Member, Former Vice President
  • Friends of Night People, Volunteer