James D. Harper, J.D., M.A. Conflict Resolution
As an attorney, I have litigated a wide variety of cases over the last 16 years, including employment discrimination, personal injury, breach of contract, employee benefit claims, medical malpractice, wrongful death, civil rights, domestic disputes, real estate, breach of warranty, among others. While the court room is appropriate in some cases, I often found that it led to unsatisfactory results even in cases where our clients prevailed. The costs of litigation is high, both financially and emotionally. Also, litigation destroys relationships and harmony. As such, I wanted to learn more about the root causes of conflict and other potential ways to resolve it. I was introduced to these topics a few years ago when I attended the Harvard Program on Negotiation. Since then, I completed a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. This additional education and training have provided me with important new skills and unique insight into the dynamics of interpersonal conflict and the growing world of ADR resources and services. My goal is to share this knowledge with others through the practice and development of both intervention (mediation) and prevention (consulting) services. Along those lines, I founded the Oxford Mediation Center in an effort to offer free community mediation services for citizen’s disputes in the local area. I have also founded Winning Solutions, an HR and Conflict Management Consulting Firm, which offers private mediation and human resource and leadership consulting for all types of organizations.
I am an Oxford, Mississippi native with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Mississippi. I graduated from the Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law at the University of Memphis. While in law school, I served as a member of the Moot Court Board and received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award and the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in the area of Pension Planning and Welfare Benefits.
Upon graduation from law school, I took a position with Weintraub, Stock, Bennett, Grisham and Underwood, P.C. in Memphis, Tennessee, a law firm specializing in labor and employment law. I later established Harper Law Firm, focusing on business law and general civil litigation. After four years, I helped found Stroud & Harper, P.C. in DeSoto County, MS, a general civil litigation and real estate firm. Seven years later, my wife and I decided to move our family and practices back to Oxford.
In 2011, I attended the Harvard Program on Negotiation where I was introduced to the advanced study of negotiation and mediation. After that, I completed the required attorney training to become a certified mediator. In order to further my professional development as a mediator and a conflict resolution practitioner, and to be able to offer a broader range of knowledge, tools, and services, I enrolled in and completed Abilene Christian University’s Master of Arts program in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. My coursework included negotiation and mediation, advanced mediation (divorce), theory of conflict, managing conflict in the workplace, conflict theory and communication, organizational behavior, ethics and conflict resolution, conflict management systems design, among others.
I am admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of Mississippi, all Mississippi Federal Courts, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Tennessee, the West and Middle Districts of Tennessee of the U.S. District Court in Tennessee, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Alabama Supreme Court, the Northern and Middle districts of the U.S. District Court in Alabama, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. I have also held memberships in the Mississippi Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar, The Tennessee Bar Association, the American Bar Association (ADR Section), the Association of Conflict Resolution, and SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management).
My professional focus is now on conflict intervention (mediation), conflict prevention (human resource and leadership consulting), and legal advice and representation in the areas of employment, commercial, business, and healthcare law.