Attorney

Admissions

Ohio, District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 6th, 10th and 11th Circuits
U.S. District Courts for S.D. Ohio, N.D. Ohio, E.D. Ky., E.D. Wis., E.D. Tex.

Education

University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1975, Order of the Coif
Denison University, Cum Laude, History, B.A., 1972

James B. Helmer, Jr.

James B. Helmer, Jr. is Senior Partner and President of the Cincinnati office location of Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham Co., LPA. Mr. Helmer has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of complex, high stakes lawsuits. His clients have included insurance companies, Fortune 500 companies, law firms, the National Football League, school boards, generic drug manufacturers, franchisees, and individuals. Approximately half of his practice, which is exclusively devoted to litigation, involves the representation of employees blowing the whistle on fraudulent Government contractors. Mr. Helmer has obtained several multi-million dollar jury verdicts and has been trial counsel in over 300 published legal decisions. His False Claims Act cases have returned over $1 Billion to the taxpayers and have resulted in 15 criminal indictments. Mr. Helmer is author of False Claims Act: Whistleblower Litigation (6th Edition BNA 2012) and co-author of Representing the Terminated Employee in Ohio (2d Ed. Anderson 1997).

Mr. Helmer is an honors graduate of Denison University where he played varsity football. His law degree is from the University Of Cincinnati College of Law where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Cincinnati Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Mr. Helmer has enjoyed Martindale Hubbell Law Directory’s highest rating, “AV”, since 1981. The breadth of his trial experience and success is demonstrated by his being named in the last 17 editions of Best Lawyers in America in numerous categories including Litigation, Labor and Employment Law, Personal Injury Litigation, Corporate Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Trusts and Estates Litigation. He was selected by the National Law Journal as one of Ohio’s top ten litigators and by Cincinnati Magazine as one of Cincinnati’s top attorneys based on his whistleblower lawsuits. He has been selected as an Ohio Super Lawyer for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Law & Politics Magazine including as a top ten Cincinnati Superlawyer and top 50 Ohio Superlawyer.

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Mr. Helmer is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Scribes, the National Society of Writers on Legal Subjects, and the President’s Council of Taxpayer’s Against Fraud. He has served on the Board of Visitors of the University of Cincinnati College of Law Dean’s Council and is currently co-chair of the Building Committee for a new College of Law building. He was a founding member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Potter Stewart American Inn of Court. He is a recipient of the Chuck Craig/Joe Ward Memorial Coaches Award as the basketball Coach of the Year for 2003 and the Nicholas Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Professional Service from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2001 as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Cincinnati Law Review in 2012. In 2008 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Taxpayers Against Fraud for his pioneering work on the federal False Claims Act.

In 1985 and 1986 Mr. Helmer’s testimony before the House of Representatives and the United States Senate was pivotal in the 1986 Amendments to the False Claims Act. Congress and President Reagan accepted all of the suggestions Mr. Helmer made for modernizing the statute which has become known as the government’s primary weapon against fraud on the taxpayers.

In 2008 he argued Allison Engine Co. v. United States ex rel. Sanders before the United States Supreme Court against former Solicitor General Theodore Olson. The Supreme Court ruled by a 9-0 decision in favor of Helmer’s client but then interpreted the False Claims Act in a restrictive manner. As a result Mr. Helmer returned to testify before two Congressional Committees in 2008 concerning the clarification of the False Claims Act. Congress overwhelmingly passed the Amendments championed by Mr. Helmer and President Obama signed them into law on May 20, 2009 – Mr. Helmer’s birthday.

In 2009 he argued Cundall v. U.S. Bank before the Supreme Court of Ohio. In a 6-1 decision the Court decided in favor of Mr. Helmer’s client on an important issue concerning Ohio trust law which resulted in the dismissal of a $300 million suit against Mr. Helmer’s client.

Mr. Helmer’s legal work has been detailed and praised in two books: Giant Killers: The Team and the Law that Helps Whistle-blowers Recover America’s Stolen Billions by Henry Scammell (Atlantic Monthly Press 2004) and At Any Cost: Jack Welch, General Electric, and the Pursuit of Profit by Thomas F. O’Boyle (Vintage Books 1999).

  • Martindale Hubbell Law Directory’s highest rating, “AV”, since 1981
  • Best Lawyers in America (last 17 editions) in numerous categories including Litigation, Labor and Employment Law, Personal Injury Litigation, Corporate Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Trusts and Estates Litigation
  • Firm listed in U.S. News Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2011-2013 under categories of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law (Individuals), and Litigation (Eminent Domain & Condemnation)
  • Ohio’s top ten litigators by National Law Journal
    Cincinnati’s top attorney based on his whistleblower lawsuits by Cincinnati Magazine
  • Ohio Super Lawyer for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Law & Politics Magazine including as a top ten Cincinnati Superlawyer and top 50 Ohio Superlawyer
  • Recipient of the Chuck Craig/Joe Ward Memorial Coaches Award as the basketball Coach of the Year for 2003
  • Nicholas Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Professional Service from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2001 (selected by student body)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from the University of Cincinnati Law Review in 2012 (selected by student body)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 from Taxpayers Against Fraud for his pioneering work on the federal False Claims Act
      • False Claims Act: Whistleblower Litigation (6th Ed. Bureau of National Affairs 2012)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr., 150 Year-old Lincoln’s Law Recovers $30 Billion Stolen Tax Dollars,CBA REPORT (December 2012)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr., Supreme Effort: One Lawyer’s Odyssey to the United States Supreme Court in a False Claims Act Case, 49 False Claims Act & Qui Tam Quarterly Review 193 (2008)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr. and Erin M. Schenz, Alternate Remedies Under the False Claims Act, 40 False Claims Act & Qui Tam Quarterly Review 113 (2006)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr. and Robert M. Rice, The False Claims Act and Implied Certification: An Update on the State of the Law, 34 False Claims Act & Qui Tam
        Quarterly Review 51 (2004)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr. and Julie W. Popham, Materiality and the False Claims Act,
        71 U. CIN. L. REV. 839 (2003)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr., How Great Is Thy Bounty: Relator’s Share Calculations Pursuant to the False Claims Act, 68 U. CIN. L. REV. 737 (2000)
      • JAMES B. HELMER, JR. AND ANN LUGBILL, Representing the Terminated Employee in
        Ohio: Evaluating, Settling, and Litigating State and Federal Claims (Anderson 1st Ed. 1990, 2d. Ed. 1997, Supp. 1999)
      • James B. Helmer, Jr. and Robert C. Neff, Jr., War Stories: A History of the Qui Tam
        Provisions of the False Claims Act, the 1986 Amendments to the False Claims Act, and Their Application to the United States ex rel. Gravitt v. General Electric Co. Litigation, 18 OHIO N.U. L. REV. 35 (1991)
      • JAMES B. HELMER, JR. AND ANN LUGBILL, “Attorneys Fees in Employment Cases,” in Litigating Wrongful Discharge Claims (Paul Tobias, ed.) (Callaghan Clark Boardman 1987, Supp. 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
    • ALI-ABA Telephone Seminar/Audio Webcast, July 1, 2008. (“Allison Engine: Supreme Court Changes Standards in False Claims”)
    • American Bar Association Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement I, Washington, D.C., 1998
    • American Bar Association Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement II, Washington, D.C., 2000
    • American Bar Association Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly and Pro-Seniors, How to Handle Ohio Age Discrimination in Employment Claims, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1988, 1989
    • American Bar Association False Claims Act Speech, Washington, D.C., 1999, 2005
    • American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section, Qui Tam – The Plaintiff’s Perspective, San Diego, California, 1993
    • American Corporate Counsel Association Southwest Ohio Chapter, Employment Law, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1994
    • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, False Claims Act Speech, Dayton, Ohio, 1999
    • Basic Employment Law Mini-Seminar of Ohio State Legal Services Association, Columbus, Ohio, 1989
    • Cincinnati Bar Association, Labor Law Issues, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
    • Cincinnati Bar Association, CALL Speech for the Program on Professionalism, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1998, 1999
    • Cincinnati Bar Association, Advocacy Series Speech, Jury Instructions – Tailoring Them to Your Case, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 2, 2013
    • CLE International Seminar, Qui Tam Litigation Under the False Claims Act, San Francisco, California, 2001, 2002, 2004
    • Columbus Bar Association Labor Law Committee False Claims Act Seminar, Columbus, Ohio, 1994
    • Cornell University, Damages Under the FCA, Ithaca, New York, March 11, 2013
    • Department of Criminal Investigative Services, Francis Marion “The Swamp Fox,” 1998
    • Disclosures to the Defense Department: Issues for the Large and Small Contractors, sponsored by United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio and Department of Defense, Inspector General’s Office, Cleveland, Ohio, 1990
    • Faculty Member, Program Coordinator, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), Cincinnati, Ohio, 1990, 1991
    • False Claims Act Seminar, Federal Bar Association, Dayton, Ohio, 1990, 1992
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  • Federal Bar Association, Cincinnati Bar Association, False Claims Act, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1993
  • Federal Bench/Bar Conference, Litigation Costs, Columbus, Ohio, 1994
  • Greater Cincinnati Employers Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1990
  • Greater Cincinnati Women Lawyers Association, How to Make It in a Man’s World, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1991
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Class Actions, Louisville, Kentucky, 1984
  • Lorman Business Center, Inc., Employment Law in Ohio and Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1990, 1992, 1993, Columbus, Ohio, 1992
  • Mass Tort Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1994
  • Mealey’s Qui Tam Provisions of the False Claims Act, Pentagon City, Virginia, 2000
  • Mealey’s Litigating Whistleblower Cases Under the Qui Tam Provisions of the False Claims Act, Pentagon City, Virginia, 2001
  • Michigan University, Incentivizing Integrity, Ann Arbor, Michigan October 2, 2012
  • Midwest Labor Law Conference, Columbus, Ohio, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Ohio Conference, Columbus, Ohio, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996
  • National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, 1991
  • Ohio CLE Seminar, Wrongful Discharge, Columbus, Ohio, 1990
  • Ohio CLE Seminar, Employment Law for General Practitioners, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Ohio, 1991
  • Ohio Evidence Workshop Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1993, 1994
  • Ohio Northern University College of Law, Representing Older Americans: Emerging Issues for the General Practitioner, Ada, Ohio, 1990
  • Potter Stewart American Inn of Court, Master of the Bench, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • State of the Legal Profession, University of Cincinnati College of Law, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 1997
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference for Qui Tam Relator’s Counsel, Key Note Address, Washington, D.C., June 12, 2003
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference for Qui Tam Relator’s Counsel, Key Note Address, Washington, D.C., October 14, 2004
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference for Qui Tam Relator’s Counsel, A General Overview of False Claims Act Litigation, Washington, D.C., October 26, 2005
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference for Qui Tam Relator’s Counsel, Legal Ethics & Malpractice Highlights & Lowlights, Washington, D.C., September 10, 2006
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference for Qui Tam Relator’s Counsel, Governmental Perspectives on FCA Qui Tam Actions, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2007
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference for Quit Tam Relator’s Counsel, Damages, Washington, D.C., September 12, 2012
  • Tell It To The Judge Seminar, United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1987, Columbus, Ohio, 1988
  • Tri-State Human Resources Association Duologue, Highland Heights, Kentucky, 1988
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Cincinnati, Ohio, Whistleblower Law, July 13, 2006
  • University of Cincinnati Law Review, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, February 2, 2010
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 28, 2010
  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 28, 2012
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 28, 2012
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 24, 2012
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio September 21, 2012
  • University of Cincinnati College of Business, Business Law & Ethics Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio September 21, 2012
  • University of Cincinnati College of Law Torts Class, Cincinnati, Ohio October 17, 2012
  • University of Michigan College of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 3, 2012
  • Xavier University MBA Executive Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2000
  • You & The Law, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2001