Ph: 404.844.4130
Fax: 404.844.4135
3212 Northlake Pkwy #450906
Atlanta, GA 31145

James E. Rollins, Jr.

Admitted to Georgia Bar: 1987
Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law J.D., cum laude (1987)
University of Georgia B.F.A. with honors (1982)

Bar Memberships

Georgia Bar Association

Stonewall Bar Association

National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Chapter


Professional Accomplishments

Mentorship Academy Chair, Georgia Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section

”Best Lawyers”, U.S. News & World Report, 2012-present

Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2015 – present

“Georgia Super Lawyers: The Top Attorneys in Georgia,” 2004 – 2017

“The Legal Elite: Georgia’s Most Effective Lawyers,” Georgia Trend Magazine, 2006, 2009, 2010

AV-Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Life Fellow, Georgia Lawyers Foundation

“Georgia’s Top Rated Lawyers,” ALM and Martindale Hubbell, 2012 to present


Community Memberships

Impact Theatre Atlanta, Board member, 2015 to present

Arabian Horse Association

Georgia Arabian Horse Association

Buckhead Business Association, member 2009 to 2010

Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, member 2008 to 2016

Stage Door Players, Board of Directors member 1999-2003, Chair 2002

DeKalb County Commission’s Small

Business Advisory Council, 1996 – 2002

I am dedicated to helping my clients find the right legal solution to some of the most complex challenges in today’s workplace. Whether for an individual or a business, I pride myself in analyzing each client’s situation with compassion, flexibility and strategic focus. Working together, we answer critical questions and leverage those insights to map a plan of action that may include negotiation, litigation or a creative strategy for navigating an ongoing situation.

Laying the foundation for my skillset are the academic and professional relationships I have forged during my career. Born, raised and educated in Georgia, I have a strong connection to the people of this state and understand the values, cultures and viewpoints that shape its communities and marketplace. After graduating from Mercer University School of Law, I spent two years clerking for the Honorable Duross Fitzpatrick in the Middle District of Georgia – an experience that instilled in me the importance of exemplary ethics and professionalism for lawyers. From criminal cases to a three-month race discrimination trial, I saw first-hand a wide range of issues impacting Georgia citizens and businesses.

Following my clerkship in 1989, I joined the management labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips, where I gained valuable experience for the next chapter in my career. A passionate entrepreneur, I teamed with three other lawyers in 1993 to launch a firm specializing in employment law for both individuals and small businesses. In 1999, Debra Schwartz and I became partners when our firms merged to form the firm of Thompson, Rollins, Schwartz & Borowski. Seventeen years later, Debra and I remain partners and have proven to be a formidable team.

Today, my law practice focuses on providing strategic counsel to both individual and business clients facing employment challenges and workplace issues. Through collaborative engagement, I help executives and employees navigate employment challenges, severance negotiations, agency charges, litigation and settlements. On the business front, I advise companies on compliance and day-to-day employment issues, as well as review and prepare policies and handbooks, conduct employee training and manage charges and other claims filed by current and former employees. My business clients span a number of industries, including medical, construction, computer program development, pharmaceutical, and transportation logistics.

Over the course of my career, I have tackled numerous cases involving government entities and large corporations, including defending a national company against overtime claims and twice defeating class certification. Always prepared to help clients address complex and unpopular issues, I have litigated against large employers for failure to properly pay employees overtime wages and regularly work with the General Counsel of the Seventh-day Adventists to protect employee religious rights. Extensive experience as lead counsel in employment litigation in the U.S. District Courts in Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has positioned me for success on unique and complicated cases. My experience protecting the rights of my clients includes working with Debra Schwartz to secure high six-figure jury verdicts in several cases, including a race discrimination case against MARTA, as well as a whistle-blower retaliation claim against the City of Atlanta.

Underscoring my success has been my leadership in various professional organizations and regularly speaking at Continuing Legal Education and bar seminars in Georgia and across the nation. I am an active member of the Georgia Bar Association, serving on the Labor and Employment Section Executive Committee and assuming the role of Chair in 2010-2011, when the Section was named “Section of the Year.” For the past four years, I have been on the Board of the Georgia Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association and currently serve as President of the Chapter. In 2013, I was instrumental in starting a mentoring program for the Georgia Chapter of NELA. This initiative proved so successful that it was expanded statewide to the Georgia Bar Labor and Employment Section in 2016, a program that I still chair.

Outside of law, I am an avid reader, passionate supporter of Georgia football and loving owner of Arabian horses.