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James T. Heidelbach Partner

A significant portion of Jim’s practice involves representing financial institutions and corporations in various types of commercial litigation, including bankruptcy and workout litigation, foreclosure and receivership cases, theft and fraud litigation, lender liability cases, loan sale and loan participation disputes, Uniform Commercial Code and negotiable instrument litigation, letter of credit and international collection litigation, securities and other class action cases, real estate litigation, contract and lease disputes, fraudulent conveyance litigation, appraiser and account liability cases, and insurance claims and coverage matters. Mr. Heidelbach also advises a number of financial institutions regarding deposit and operational issues and other corporate matters.

Over the past 30 years, Jim has litigated and obtained favorable decisions and settlements in numerous commercial cases. Representative cases include the following reported decisions:

  • U.S. v. Potemken, 841 F.2d 97 (4th Cir. 1988) (upholding lower court’s decision finding that a federal estate tax lien had expired and was unenforceable)
  • Parker v. The Columbia Bank, 91 Md. App. 346, 604 A.2d 521 (1992) (frequently cited lender liability case in which the court held that a bank did not owe a fiduciary duty to the borrower on a construction loan and that the bank’s duties were limited to those set forth in the loan agreement)
  • Isaac v. First Nat’l Bank of Maryland, 647 A.2d 1159 (D.C. 1994) (upholding dismissal of joint bank account owner’s claims against bank)
  • Provident Bank of Maryland v. Travelers Property Cas. Co., 647 A.2d 1159 (4th Cir. 2000) (determining that a bank’s CGL policy created a duty to defend claim arising from bank’s failure to honor a draw under letter of credit)
  • Pelican National Bank v. Provident Bank of Maryland, 381 Md. 327, 849 A.2d 475 (2004) (first appellate decision in the country interpreting an important provision of Article 3 of the UCC)
  • Robin Littlejohn/LAM Supply v. Provident Bank, 357 F.Supp.2d 45 (D.D.C. 2004) (finding that bank did was not negligent in opening corporate bank account and accepting various checks for deposit into the account)
  • Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co. v. Mroz, 2009 WL 792276 (enforcing subordination agreement signed by competing creditor in connection with a commercial loan)
  • Capitol Radiology v. Sandy Spring Bank, 439 Fed. Appx. 222 (4th Cir. 2011) (upholding the enforceability of an insecurity clause in a commercial loan agreement)
  • Lang v. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co., 274 F.R.D. 175 (D. Md. 2011) (claim against bank for loss of the contents of a safe deposit box)
  • Banca Popolare di Novara v. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co., 2011 WL 3841538 (bank handling collection of international drafts payable to Italian equipment seller did not owe fiduciary duty to seller)
  • Foster v. Sedgwick Claims Management, 125 F.3d 200 (D.D.C. 2015) (rejecting employee’s claim against administrator of commercial bank’s ERISA plan)
  • American Bank v. Bay Bank, F.S.B., 2015 WL 6105507 (upholding dismissal of loan participant’s claims against lead lender in a $8.5 million construction loan)
  • Sutton v. FedFirst Financial Corporation, 226 Md. App. 46, 126 A.3d 765 (2015) (upholding the dismissal of direct claims against a board of directors in a class action lawsuit arising out of the merger of two community banks)

Jim is a member of the Maryland Bankers Association and has authored and filed amicus briefs on behalf of it and its members in cases impacting lenders. He is a former member of the Editorial Board of the Newsletter of the Commercial & Business Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. He has also served as a volunteer mediator for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. His non-legal experience includes serving as the president and board member of two condominium associations and on the governing bodies of educational and charitable organizations.

Jim graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College in 1982, where he received a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in History and Economics, was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and was awarded the Morris W. Prince Prize in European History. He received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1985, where he graduated in the top five percent of his class, served as an assistant editor of the Maryland Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence (“AmJur”) Award in Creditor’s Rights.

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1989

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (1985)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit (1986)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (2015)

Education

  • University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1985)
  • Dickinson College (B.A. in History/Economics, summa cum laude, 1982)
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Maryland Bankers Assocation

Jim has authored course materials and lectured at seminars sponsored by clients, trade groups and continuing education organizations such as RMA and the National Business Institute on various banking related topics, including lender liability, contract law for bankers, garnishments and levies, negotiable instruments and letters of credit.  

Overview

A significant portion of Jim’s practice involves representing financial institutions and corporations in various types of commercial litigation, including bankruptcy and workout litigation, foreclosure and receivership cases, theft and fraud litigation, lender liability cases, loan sale and loan participation disputes, Uniform Commercial Code and negotiable instrument litigation, letter of credit and international collection litigation, securities and other class action cases, real estate litigation, contract and lease disputes, fraudulent conveyance litigation, appraiser and account liability cases, and insurance claims and coverage matters. Mr. Heidelbach also advises a number of financial institutions regarding deposit and operational issues and other corporate matters.

Over the past 30 years, Jim has litigated and obtained favorable decisions and settlements in numerous commercial cases. Representative cases include the following reported decisions:

  • U.S. v. Potemken, 841 F.2d 97 (4th Cir. 1988) (upholding lower court’s decision finding that a federal estate tax lien had expired and was unenforceable)
  • Parker v. The Columbia Bank, 91 Md. App. 346, 604 A.2d 521 (1992) (frequently cited lender liability case in which the court held that a bank did not owe a fiduciary duty to the borrower on a construction loan and that the bank’s duties were limited to those set forth in the loan agreement)
  • Isaac v. First Nat’l Bank of Maryland, 647 A.2d 1159 (D.C. 1994) (upholding dismissal of joint bank account owner’s claims against bank)
  • Provident Bank of Maryland v. Travelers Property Cas. Co., 647 A.2d 1159 (4th Cir. 2000) (determining that a bank’s CGL policy created a duty to defend claim arising from bank’s failure to honor a draw under letter of credit)
  • Pelican National Bank v. Provident Bank of Maryland, 381 Md. 327, 849 A.2d 475 (2004) (first appellate decision in the country interpreting an important provision of Article 3 of the UCC)
  • Robin Littlejohn/LAM Supply v. Provident Bank, 357 F.Supp.2d 45 (D.D.C. 2004) (finding that bank did was not negligent in opening corporate bank account and accepting various checks for deposit into the account)
  • Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co. v. Mroz, 2009 WL 792276 (enforcing subordination agreement signed by competing creditor in connection with a commercial loan)
  • Capitol Radiology v. Sandy Spring Bank, 439 Fed. Appx. 222 (4th Cir. 2011) (upholding the enforceability of an insecurity clause in a commercial loan agreement)
  • Lang v. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co., 274 F.R.D. 175 (D. Md. 2011) (claim against bank for loss of the contents of a safe deposit box)
  • Banca Popolare di Novara v. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co., 2011 WL 3841538 (bank handling collection of international drafts payable to Italian equipment seller did not owe fiduciary duty to seller)
  • Foster v. Sedgwick Claims Management, 125 F.3d 200 (D.D.C. 2015) (rejecting employee’s claim against administrator of commercial bank’s ERISA plan)
  • American Bank v. Bay Bank, F.S.B., 2015 WL 6105507 (upholding dismissal of loan participant’s claims against lead lender in a $8.5 million construction loan)
  • Sutton v. FedFirst Financial Corporation, 226 Md. App. 46, 126 A.3d 765 (2015) (upholding the dismissal of direct claims against a board of directors in a class action lawsuit arising out of the merger of two community banks)

Jim is a member of the Maryland Bankers Association and has authored and filed amicus briefs on behalf of it and its members in cases impacting lenders. He is a former member of the Editorial Board of the Newsletter of the Commercial & Business Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. He has also served as a volunteer mediator for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. His non-legal experience includes serving as the president and board member of two condominium associations and on the governing bodies of educational and charitable organizations.

Jim graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College in 1982, where he received a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in History and Economics, was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and was awarded the Morris W. Prince Prize in European History. He received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1985, where he graduated in the top five percent of his class, served as an assistant editor of the Maryland Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence (“AmJur”) Award in Creditor’s Rights.

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1989

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (1985)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit (1986)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (2015)

Education

  • University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1985)
  • Dickinson College (B.A. in History/Economics, summa cum laude, 1982)
Professional / Community Affiliations
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Maryland Bankers Assocation
Presentations and Publications

Jim has authored course materials and lectured at seminars sponsored by clients, trade groups and continuing education organizations such as RMA and the National Business Institute on various banking related topics, including lender liability, contract law for bankers, garnishments and levies, negotiable instruments and letters of credit.