James H. Keale


A founding partner of Tanenbaum Keale, Jim Keale focuses his nationally recognized private practice on defending manufacturers from a wide variety of industries in the areas of product liability, personal injury, commercial and specialty, and catastrophic tort litigation. He has also served as national, regional and local counsel in the defense of high-profile class action litigation matters.

Mr. Keale has a proven track record of defending clients against a wide variety of product defense claims involving construction, mining and earth-moving machinery, water heaters and boiler equipment. He has been involved in various fire-related cases involving high levels of legal and monetary exposure with claims of personal injury and property damage in addition to complex general commercial litigation. His experience includes serving as trial counsel in state and federal courts throughout the country, with a particular concentration in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and New York.

A trial lawyer at his core, Mr. Keale offers clients a unique and fundamentally straightforward approach to all matters, regardless of size. He prides himself on providing a direct and uncomplicated analysis of a case on a path to trial that can be reduced to a presentation understandable to any jury in any jurisdiction.

In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven world of sound bites and headline analysis, Mr. Keale’s ability to present arguments and evidence in a format that can reach typical jurors remains the most critical aspect of his successful trial work. He developed and honed that skill through the entirety of his career.

Prior to founding Tanenbaum Keale LLP, Mr. Keale was a partner with Sedgwick LLP, where he served as chair of the Complex Litigation Division and was a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He was previously a partner with McCarter & English LLP.

Bar Admissions
• New Jersey

Court Admissions
• U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

  • Part of the firm’s lead counsel team achieving a favorable settlement for a client sued in Illinois court in product liability litigation related to alleged manufacturing defects in a water heater that caused a scalding death.
  • Part of the firm’s lead counsel team that leveraged strength of the legal position resulting from a successful deposition of plaintiff’s expert to negotiate a confidential but favorable settlement for a water heater and water treatment manufacturer facing tens of millions of dollars in potential liability for a carbon monoxide exposure incident.
  • Part of the defense team for a heavy equipment manufacturer that achieved a favorable settlement using strategic motions in limine and successful cross-examination of the plaintiff in a matter involving alleged design and warning defects that led to significant leg injuries that caused plaintiff to incur a large amount of medical bills.
  • Successfully negotiated a settlement for 20% of plaintiff’s demand in a product liability lawsuit involving a heavy equipment manufacturer, defending against claims in a workplace accident where an individual was struck by a compact track loader operating in reverse, leading to prolonged hospitalization and permanent disability.
  • Successfully achieved a settlement prior to trial in a mixed negligence and product liability, multiparty matter involving respiratory injuries plaintiff sustained from alleged exposure to color powder manufactured by a co-defendant. Plaintiff alleged failure to warn claims against the color powder’s manufacturer, who then filed a third-party action against the firm’s client.
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice, 2017-present
  • Litigation: Product Liability Ranked Attorney, Chambers USA, 2022-present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, 2010‑present
    • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Defendants Lawyer of the Year, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2010-present
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Lawyer of the Year, 2013
  • Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2019-present
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-present
  • J.D., Seton Hall University (1983)
  • B.A., Villanova University (1980)