We are bold and imaginative. We take risks. Our founder set the precedent for our fearless approach. The late Jim Beasley was a trailblazer, a legendary Philadelphia trial attorney nationally recognized for having won more million dollar jury verdicts than any other trial lawyer in the country. In tribute to his legal work and legacy, the Temple University Law School now bears his name. James Beasley Sr. passed away at the age of 78 in 2004, leaving behind a notable legacy and foundation of excellence with The Beasley Firm. He had a reputation for taking on giants on behalf of the little guy, earning him the title of "the people's lawyer." He was even referred to as "Philadelphia's version of the king of torts," by a former Philadelphia District Attorney. Those who saw him in action recognize that Beasley played a hand in perfecting the art of tort litigation.
Jim Beasley was responsible for countless verdicts and settlements, including a record $29 million verdict in 1984 against Cessna on behalf of the family of Joe Guanere, an 18-year-old killed in a plane crash due to a defect.
Beasley won an $8 million verdict in 1984 against the Philadelphia Housing Authority, on behalf of two single mothers who lost a total of six children in a fire at a PHA residence that didn't have smoke alarms installed.Beasley was also nationally known as a libel lawyer who could do the impossible, namely win record verdicts on behalf of public figures. In one year alone-1990-Beasley won a $34 million libel verdict against the Philadelphia Inquirer on behalf of former prosecutor Richard A. Sprague, and a $6 million libel verdict, also against the Inquirer, on behalf of state Supreme Court Justice James T. McDermott.
Beasley was so renowned as a libel expert that when one of the Inquirer's own reporters was libeled by his boss in the Washington Post, the reporter came to Beasley for help. Beasley won a seven-figure settlement. Jim Beasley holds the record for the highest jury settlement ever in Philadelphia: $907 million in 1999 against fugitive murderer Ira Einhorn. Beasley's pro bono clients were the family of Einhorn's murder victim, Holly Maddux.
Working with his son, Jim Jr., Jim Beasley Sr. also won a historic $104 million judgment in 2003 in Smith v. Taliban. The case was filed on behalf of the families of two 9/11 victims against Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Smith v. Taliban was the first 9/11 case tried to verdict, and it attracted international headlines.
Jim Beasley is remembered as a lawyer who spent most of his career “slaying dragons”-he was proud to be a trial lawyer, building a reputation as the preeminent litigator in the entire state of Pennsylvania. The broad range of his clients and cases was not only unparalleled, but also demonstrated a determined commitment to represent the injured and suffering. Beasley truly gave a voice to the average person who would have otherwise gone unheard and ignored in the face of large insurance companies and Fortune 500 corporations.
When it came down to it, “the smaller the aggrieved party, the more apt he was to become their champion.” Why? Size was important to Beasley. He didn’t care about skin color, politics, religion, status, or backgrounds-his only interests was the plight of those he represented. For them, Beasley was a gunslinger.
We at The Beasley Firm have been privileged to work with and learn from this legendary and remarkable man-and we have worked hard to advance this legacy.
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