James S. Braaten, ESQ.

James S. Braaten, ESQ.


James Braaten, Esq. is Of Counsel to Clark & DiStefano, and a Senior Litigation Counsel for the firm.  Mr. Braaten has over 25+ years of experience in litigating Products Liability, Mass Torts and Toxic Torts.  Mr. Braaten has a unique background.  He started his career in 1994 as a defense litigator in Products Liability, Mass Torts and Toxic Torts. For over 18 years, he was the National Coordinating Counsel (“NCC”), Regional Counsel and Trial Counsel in mass torts and complex products liability matters for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

That experience gives him insight into the defenses and trial tactics used against injured persons who file suit.    His focus is on bringing justice for persons injured due to product defects and failure to warn.

Knowledgeable and experienced in: products liability, mass torts (including talc, asbestos, silica, chemicals, lead, machinery, medical devises, pharmaceutical and OTC supplements); auto, motor vehicle, trucking, bicycling accidents; property damage, construction disputes, premises liability; and hospital, healthcare and medical provider litigation.

His plaintiffs’ practice is presently focused on:

1. Mass Torts & Toxic Torts

          a. Juul – E-cigarettes – Vaping:

                   i.   Individual Personal Injury: Teen nicotine addiction as well as lung injuries from vaping devices.

                   ii.  School District Cases: cost recovery

                   iii. County and Municipality cases: cost recovery.

           b. Talc and Talcum Powder: Ovarian Cancer

           c. Pharmaceutical

2. Products Liability

3. Motor Vehicle and Bicycle Accidents

Mr. Braaten’s 25+ years of legal experience includes:

•    Former National Coordinating Counsel (“NCC”) for eighteen plus years for a number of clients in mass tort litigation (asbestos, silica, chemical, pharmaceutical and equipment products). Coordinated and supervised outside local counsel in over 40 states, US Territories, as well a Federal District Courts, MDLs and international claims.   As an NCC he was responsible for national defense strategies, e-discovery, discovery activities, local counsel training, settlement negotiations, witness development and 30(b)(6) depositions, experts and trial preparation. Lead negotiator for nationwide settlements for a number of clients.

  • Licensed to practice law in NJ, NY & PA.

Mr. Braaten started his legal career as a Judicial Clerk to Honorable William Huber, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division – Ocean County.


  • 1989: Seton Hall University, BS in Business Administration

            o Graduated Magna Cum Laude

            o Double Major in Finance and Economics

  • 1993: Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, Juris Doctor

            o Graduated Magna Cum Laude; Honors Certificate in Tax Law

            o Rutgers Law Journal – Member (1991-1992), Notes Editor (1992-1993)

Admission to Practice

  • New Jersey State Bar – 1993
  • Pennsylvania State Bar – 1994
  • New York State Bar – 1999
  • U.S. District Court – NJ, ED PA – 1994; SD NY – 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Third Circuit – 1996


  • New Jersey Association for Justice – Member
  • New Jersey State Bar Association – Products Liability Section
  • Ocean County Bar Association

3318 NJ-33

Neptune, NJ 07753

45+Years of Legal Representation

At Clark & DiStefano we are attentive, always focusing on the needs of our clients. We develop strategies that are tailored to each individual case, and we treat our clients as strategic partners in achieving a common goal. We endeavor to think outside of the box and formulate cost-effective strategies. Lastly, we believe in prompt communications with clients so they have predictability for reserve setting and sufficient time for studied pre-trial evaluations and recommendations.


Experienced. Attentive. Results

(732) 528-9111

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