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Renee L. James

Renee L. James


P: (315) 565-4500 (ext. 4507)
F: (315) 565-4600

With over two decades of experience representing various school districts across New York State, Renee James counsels clients in our Labor & Employment, Education, and Municipal Practices. She has a breadth of experience advising private and public sector employers in the areas of education and employment law, including special and general education issues, Title IX, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Ms. James has represented the New York State Public High School Athletic Association since 2005. 

  • Successfully arbitrated employee discharge and contract interpretation matters
  • Successfully defended school districts, NYSPHSAA and Section III in numerous Article 78 Proceedings
  • Successfully defended school districts in IDEA matters in impartial hearings, appeals to the State Review Officers and Federal court
  • Successfully defended school districts and NYSPHSAA in Title VII, ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act claims in Federal Court
  • Successfully defended school districts, NYSPHSAA and Section III in numerus 310 Appeals to the Commissioner
  • Participated in the drafting of the NYSPHSAA Transgender Guidelines for Student Athletes


  • Selected, New York - Upstate, Super Lawyers 
  • Section III Service Award 
  • Women in Business Award 
  • Member, State University College at Cortland Council 
  • Past Board of Directors, Central New York State Women's Bar Association
  • Past Board of Directors, Regional Learning Center
  • Past Board of Directors, Consumer Credit Counseling
  • Past Member, Onondaga and Oswego County Chapter, American Red Cross
  • Volunteer Arbitrator, Syracuse City Small Claims Court
  • Certified Instructor, New York State DASA 
  • NYS Athletic Administrator Association Annual Conference (March 2015-2017)
  • Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES, "Legal Issues - Transgender Students" (December 2017)
  • Section III Conference, "Transgender Legal Issues" (December 2016)
  • NYS Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation and Dance Annual Conference, "Legal Issues in Physical Education" (2016 and 2017)
  • Catskill Zone of the NYS APHERD, "Legal Issues with Transgender Students" (November 2016)
  • National Federation of High Schools Legal Summit, "Title IX and High School Sports" 
  • Albany Academies v. NYSPHSAA, 145 A.D. 3d 1258 (3d Dept. 2016)
  • Pena v. NYSPHSAA, 118 A.D. 1456 (4th Dept. 2014)
  • Aquinas Institute of Rochester v. Cerone, NYSPHSAA et al., 47 Misc. 3d 1223 (Supreme Court, Monroe County 2014)
  • Lawer v. NYSPHSAA, Dismissal of ADA charge before Office of Civil Rights (2016)
  • “Second Circuit Dismisses ERISA Suit to Recover Accrued Vacation Benefits,” Daily Labor Report, Bureau of National Affairs, July 12, 1993. The Article addresses a favorable decision obtained by John T. McCann and Renee L. James from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Albany School of Law Union University, J.D., 1987
  • State University of New York at Cortland, B.A., cum laude, 1982
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals (Second Circuit)
  • United States District Court (WDNY)