James Gardner Long III, Esq. is one of the original founders of Long Hagan Huff-Harris. Today he leads the Litigation & Administration Division of the Trusts and Estates Department. In this role, James defends clients’ inheritances, beneficial interests, and appointments as trustee in will and trust contests and fiduciary litigation. In addition, he works with clients on both contested and uncontested probate and estate administrations.
In the courtroom, James has fought to protect and maintain his client’s interests following the death of a parent. In a recent case, he succeeded in recovering a Client’s inheritance after a co-beneficiary created a fraudulent will which would have disinherited the Client entirely. In New York, James has defended the rights of beneficiaries when an overzealous trustee sought to punish the beneficiaries for questioning the trustee’s authority. He has also defended a purchaser of real property’s interest against alleged beneficiaries of an alleged trust seeking to undo the transaction.
In step with his fellow attorneys at the Firm, James has worked to avoid the costs of litigation by using alternative dispute resolution strategies. He has been able to settle disputes through mediation and settlement agreements. James has also resolved disputes in favor of his clients by using demand letters, which have led to a collaborative posture with the trustee or beneficiary. These strategies to avoid court time and filings have saved his clients significant legal fees.
Not all of James’s practice is litigation or dispute resolution, alongside his Partner Sean Hagan, James works with families to administer the estates after their family member passes. While many of these matters can be difficult for the client to manage, James works diligently to make the process move as smoothly as possible. When there are roadblocks and obstacles to administering the estates, his court room experience allows him to move nimbly through the court system to achieve the desired results quickly, whether it is a license to sell, appointment as personal representative, or any number of probate issues.
Armed with these experiences in trusts and estates litigation and administration, James works with Sean to guide the firm’s estate planning clients to guide them around the potential pitfalls of improper estate planning. James leads the clients through the potential outcomes of certain decisions to better inform them about their estate plan.
Prior to opening the Firm with Attorney Jeffrey Knight in 2014, James worked for two associate justices of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court, assisted with patent litigation discovery in Japanese at a top-tier firm, and worked for the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s Appellate Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor in The Hague, Netherlands. James also has a passion for working on appellate matters and has been successful in drafting briefs and presenting oral arguments that have reversed trial court decisions (Commonwealth vs. Vance, 89 Mass. App. Ct. 1107 (2016) and K.C.R. v. Armbruster, 380 P.3d 719 (Kan. Ct. App., 2016)).
James graduated from Suffolk University Law School Summa Cum Laude with a Distinguished Concentration in International Law. He was also a member of the Jessup International Moot Court Team and Foreign Direct Investment Moot Court Team, won the Suffolk International Moot Court Competition two years in a row, and published works on the inability for any single nation to regulate nuclear power safety, and called for the creation of a supranational nuclear power safety regulatory body.
James recently earned the distinguished title of Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a list which recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.
James lives with his wife and three children in Brookline. He is an avid snowboarder and enjoys any opportunity to be outside whether it is camping, hiking, backpacking, or canoeing/kayaking.
Key Practice Areas
- Will and Trust Litigation
- Estate Administration
- Estate Planning
- Appellate Practice Civil & Criminal
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- State of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- JD, Suffolk University Law School, Summa Cum Laude, Executive Editor, Suffolk Transnational Law Review, 2013
- BA, University of Georgia, 2007
- SJC Expands Pure Emergency Exception to Animals in Duncan, 2 Suffolk U. L. Rev. Online 52 (Sep. 12, 2014)
- Independent Unaccountability: The IAEA’s “Step Backward” in Regulating Nuclear Reactor Safety in the Wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster, Note, 36 Suffolk Transnat’l L. Rev. 155 (2013)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Boston Bar Association
- Massachusetts Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity