Faegre Baker Daniels celebrates the life and legacy of colleague and friend James R. Brotherson, who passed away on December 18, 2015, at age 63.
Jim will be greatly missed by firm colleagues and clients. He was a law partner with Faegre Baker Daniels for the last 15 years after his previous firm in Elkhart — Pfaff, Brotherson & Killoren — joined forces with Baker & Daniels in 2000. Jim moved from the Elkhart office to the South Bend office in 2007 when Baker & Daniels consolidated its north central Indiana practices into a regional model.
Jim leaves a legacy as an outstanding corporate lawyer, practicing since 1978 after he graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. He counseled a range of business clients in a variety of matters, including formation, ownership, financing and the purchase and sale of businesses and their assets.
Jim was recognized annually in The Best Lawyers in America for his expertise in transportation law — most notably the recreational vehicle industry in the Elkhart and South Bend communities as well as nationwide. Jim counseled the RV industry in everything from federal and state regulations, including the labyrinth of state-specific rules on dealers and distribution, to product liability defense and business strategies. He represented many of the largest manufacturers and suppliers to the RV industry, which is based in northern Indiana.
In January 2015, Jim began his term as the elected chairman of the lawyers committee for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). For his active participation in so many professional associations and civic activities, Brotherson received the Distinguished Service Award in 2013 from the IU Maurer School of Law.
At the time of his death, Jim served on the board of directors with Bicycle Indiana, a statewide advocacy and lobbying group. Through the years, he volunteered in leadership roles with numerous civic organizations in Elkhart County, where he resided. Most recently, Jim completed two terms as a director of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County and formerly was a director with the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. He also was a former president of the YMCA of Elkhart County, Elkhart Rotary Club, Samaritan Center, Elkhart Bar Association, First Presbyterian Church Board of Trustees and IU School of Law Alumni Association.
Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in 1974 from Duke University where he was a member of the varsity swim team.