James L. Thompson
Of Counsel

"I am dedicated to providing quality representation to each client. We will accomplish the client’s objectives in an efficient manner so that we earn their respect legally and economically."



James (Jim) L. Thompson has been a lecturer in national eminent domain litigation seminars conducted by Owners’ Counsel of America as well as in the State of Maryland where he lectured in CLE activities for lawyers, appraisers, and right-of-way agents.

He has authored a variety of articles involving eminent domain and has worked with the Maryland legislature to reform eminent domain laws and protect the rights of property owners. In addition, he has served the legal community at large by his service with the county, state and national bar associations, having served as President of both the Bar Association of Montgomery County and the Maryland State Bar Association with over 20,000 members. He demonstrated his expertise and experience in the trial arena in a variety of cases, and his happy clients sing his praises with the results he has achieved for them.  This was recognized by the trial bar.  Jim was honored for his trial skills as well when he was selected to the American College of Trial Lawyers, representing the top 2% of trial attorneys throughout the United States.  Also, Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers recognize his skills each year when they select him for their annual lists.  These skills were reflected in his trial and appellate successes where he helped to reshape the law in a variety of appellate cases, such as:

  • Attorney General v. Johnson, 282 Md. 274 (1978). This was a case of first impression, challenging the constitutionality of the Health Care Malpractice Claims statute in 1976. He represented the Montgomery County Bar Association as an amicus.
  • Mayor and City Council v. George Valsamaki, 397 Md. 222 (2007). John Murphy and James Thompson represented George Valsamaki in his successful challenge to the City’s quick-take condemnation of the Magnet Bar at 1924 North Charles Street in Baltimore City for urban renewal / economic development. This was the first successful taking challenge to a Baltimore City condemnation in history.
  • Ort Trust IV vs. Supervisor of Assessments, 294 Md. 195 (1982), a case of first impression in Maryland in the field of real estate tax assessments whereby he forced the assessor to consider an unfavorable long-term lease in determining a property’s fair market value for ad valorem real estate tax assessment purposes.
  • IRS vs. Browning in the United States Tax Court (109 Tax Ct. 303 1997), which required the IRS to permit charitable tax deductions in connection with the donation of agricultural land preservation easements in Howard County at full fair market value.


Miller, Miller & Canby's Jim Thompson has my eternal appreciation and respect. He exhibited great vision, assembled a superb team of land planners, appraisers and others to support our case, and stuck with it until he got it done. In the end, thanks to his experience and innovation, our property yielded a better return than I could ever have imagined.

Alan Bruzee, Realtor, Long & Foster

The guy's a wizard when it comes to condemnation...five out of five stars...

Tom Tracy, Regional Counsel, Toll Brothers, Inc.

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

  • Bar Association of Montgomery County (President, 1988-1989)
  • Maryland State Bar Association (President, 1999-2000)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Owners Counsel of America (Eminent Domain Lawyers)
  • Affiliate Member, Institute for Property Taxation, (IPT)
  • American Inns of Court (Counselor, LXI, 1988-1990)
  • American Bar Association (Delegate of ABA House of Delegates, 2001-2002)
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Maryland Bar Foundation, Inc.
  • American Bar Foundation


  • University of Virginia, L.L.B., 1966
  • Yale University, B.A., 1963

Honors and Awards

  • Century of Service Award (recognizing the 32 most outstanding judges and lawyers in Montgomery County)
  • Member, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Winner, Leadership in Law Award
  • Named by Super Lawyers as top 5% of Litigation Attorneys in the state of Maryland
  • Peter D. Dirito Endowment Award (recognition for role in the successful effort to establish a Southern Division of the Federal Court in Maryland)
  • Designated as Top Lawyer in Baltimore and Washington, DC for past five years
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rating
  • Elected as the Maryland member for the Owner’s Counsel of America (restricted to the top eminent domain lawyer in each state)
  • Best Lawyers, 2007-2023