Jim “Poss” Parham has been practicing law with Wyche for more than 50 years with his focus in recent years primarily on corporate litigation. He’s been listed in The Best Lawyers In America in the field of Business Litigation for more than 20 years. He has served in many leadership roles in both the legal community and the Greenville community at large, taught constitutional law at Furman University, and served on the Princeton Board of Trustees. He was a pilot in the Air Force and South Carolina Air National Guard.
- Big Case Litigation
- Novel Questions of Law
|1957, LLB||Yale Law School|
|1956, BCL||Oxford University, Magdalen College, Rhodes Scholar|
|1952, AB||Princeton University|
- As special counsel, with partner Tommy Wyche, represented Greenville County School District in desegregation litigation. Obtained District Court approval of first, and perhaps only, desegregation plan in the U.S. proposed by a school district to integrate all schools on the basis of the ratio in the general population. Plan approved by Court on February 5, 1970, granting School District’s request for implementation in September 1970. Plaintiffs appealed, demanding immediate implementation. Based upon a U.S. Supreme Court Opinion requiring integration “without delay,” Fourth Circuit, in an opinion dated January 20, 1970, reversed District Court and ordered implementation by February 16, 1970. U.S. Supreme Court denied cert. During ensuing eleven days, the School District integrated 58,000 students and 2,384 faculty members in all 103 schools with ratio of 80% Caucasians to 20% African Americans in every school. The Greenville District was 70th largest of approximately 16,000 districts in the U.S. In 1985, in further litigation, the School District was declared a “unitary” system devoid of the vestiges of a dual system and was relieved of further supervision by the Federal Courts.
Lead Counsel in the following matters:
- Defended company in action by 50% shareholder who sold his shares to the company for $7 million and, less than one year later, company was sold for $40 million. Obtained summary judgment in the District Court, affirmed by the Fourth Circuit.
- Represented Plaintiff in patent infringement suit involving a surgical light. Obtained jury verdict on all counts, and intentional infringement was not appealed.
- Defended a South Carolina university in patent case involving a surgical adhesive which had generated royalties of $20 million up to that time. Former graduate student claimed to be inventor. Obtained favorable decision in bench trial, affirmed by Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Defended grocery chain in antitrust action by another chain. Obtained defense verdict which was not appealed.
- Defended manufacturer of steel sheet pilings used in construction of a large circular cofferdam in Lake Keowee. Seven construction workers were killed when cofferdam collapsed. This was thought to be the largest circular cofferdam ever constructed, and the only cofferdam attempted in water without cross bracing through the center. Cause of the collapse was faulty design of the large internal steel ring beams, which had been designed for use in packed earth, not water. Obtained favorable settlements.
Early years, before Public Defender, criminal defense by appointment, including one capital case resulting in life sentence.
|1959–60||Law Clerk, Hon. Ashton H. Williams, United States District Court, Charleston, South Carolina|
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1993
- United States Supreme Court, 1970
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1960
- United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, 1959
- South Carolina Bar, 1957
- South Carolina Bar House of Delegates, Permanent Member
- American Bar Association Litigation Section, Member
- South Carolina Association for Justice, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Member
- South Carolina Bar, First President, 1975 (formed by merger of the voluntary and compulsory Bars)
- South Carolina State Bar, Executive Committee, 1969-75
- South Carolina Bar Law School Advisory Board, Chairman, 1976
- American Judicature Society, Board Member
- American Bar Association Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, Fourth Circuit Member, 1977–83
- Greenville County Bar, President
- Libra Society Greenville (pro bono legal services), Founding Member and Chairman of the Board
- Greenville United Way, President, Chairman of the Board, and Budget Committee Chairman
- Greenville Community Planning Council, President
- Greenville Rotary Club, President
- Greenville Symphony Association, President
- Greenville Rotary Chorale, President
- Greenville County Planning Commission, Member and Vice Chair
- Greenville Bi-Racial Committee, Member
- Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Board Member and V.P. for Community Affairs
- Greenville County Home for the Aged, Board Member
- Greenville Chapter American Red Cross, Board Member
- North Greenville College, Member of Board of Advisors
- Foundation for Modern Liquor Regulations and Controls for South Carolina, Executive Committee (successfully supported State’s adoption of minibottle liquor sales advocated by the National Safety Council)
- The Blood Connection (local blood bank), Chairman of the Board
- Christ Episcopal Church, Vestry
- South Carolina Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, 25+ years
- Furman University, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Constitutional Law 1969
- Yale Law School Association, Executive Committe
- Princeton University, Board of Trustees, 1976-80, Executive Committee 1980
- Princeton University National Alumni Association, Chairman, 1989-91
Pilot, U.S. Air Force and 157th Fighter Interceptor Squadron South Carolina Air National Guard