James A. Funt is a founding partner at Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC specializing in blue collar and white collar criminal defense, civil rights, and plaintiff’s side employment discrimination matters.
Mr. Funt is currently the 2015 Co-Chair of the Criminal Justice Section(CJS) of the Philadelphia Bar Association. He also serves on the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors as well as the Association’s Commission of Judicial Selection and Retention. He has successfully tried thousands of criminal cases before judges and juries in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania ranging from complex homicides to kidnappings, aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, state and federal drug cases, and white collar crimes including sexual-cyber-crimes. His practice includes adult and Juvenile matters. He often handles high profile matters and understands how to delicately and deftly handle the press in the best interest of his clients. His clients have included police officers, fire fighters, attorneys, doctors, sports figures as well other professionals. Mr. Funt has also tried numerous civil rights cases alleging claims of excessive force and wrongful arrest, and has successfully represented clients in first amendment issues and employment discrimination cases such as age, race, gender, whistle blowing and sexual orientation claims.
Contacts in the Hispanic Community
Although an accomplished and fearless litigator in the courtroom for all of his clients, Mr. Funt takes particular pride in always fighting for the “little guy”. He began advocating for workers’ rights while living in Mexico in the early 1990’s where he spearheaded a variety of humanitarian, environmental and development projects. That experience left an indelible mark on him. Fluent in Spanish, he has developed a large Hispanic clientele in the tri-state region representing people from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, and Panama and is sensitive to the challenges that the Latino population often face in the United States.
Criminal, Civil Rights, Employment Expertise & Union Representation
Mr. Funt has a distinguished and diversified background as a complex civil and criminal trial attorney. After returning from Mexico, he began his legal career in 1994 as a trial lawyer with the Defender Association of Philadelphia where he represented indigent defendants in hundreds of serious criminal cases. While there he was selected to investigate and track cases involving allegations of police abuse and corruption and was involved in exposing the civil liberty abuses by the 39th district police.
In 1997 Mr. Funt was recruited to join the law firm of Willig, Williams, and Davidson, the area’s premier labor and employment firm where he represented unions and inadividual plaintiffs on complex labor and employment cases. There he represented individuals in grievances and arbitrations on job related issues, assisted the Erie and Philadelphia Fire Fighters with their Interest Arbitration and contract negotiations, and secured large monetary awards on behalf of individuals in State and Federal Court whose civil liberties had been violated. From 2000-2002 Mr. Funt served as in-house counsel for the firm’s numerous Union clients advocating on behalf of individual Union members accused of criminal conduct.
In 2002 Mr. Funt partnered with Ronald Greenblatt, Esquire launching Greenblatt & Funt, (the precursor to GPFF); a dynamic criminal defense firm dedicated to the zealous representation of working class families. He continues to maintain strong ties with the union movement representing the Philadelphia Fire Fighters, Bakery Workers, Probation Officers, Steel & Rubber Workers, Teamsters, Postal Workers, Teachers, Septa workers, Food and Commercial Workers Painters, Glaziers and Roofers to name a few throughout the tri-state region. He won a four million dollar jury verdict with fellow partner Patricia Pierce, Esquire against the University of Pennsylvania representing a special needs dentist in a wrongful discharge contract claim.
High Publicity Cases and the Media
From 2002-the present, Mr. Funt has been involved in some of the area’s most highly publicized cases and is keenly aware of the value and hazards of press cases. He understands that often it is just as important to defend a client’s reputation in the court of public opinion as well as the courtroom, and will use every tool at his disposal to ensure that his clients receive fair treatment throughout their ordeal. As such, he is often sought out by the media to address current events and constitutional matters such as the recent 50th anniversary of Gideon vs. Wainwright the verdict in the Travon Martin case, the Superior Court reversal of the Monsignor Lynn Child abuse matter as well as recent Supreme court rulings and their applicability to citizens in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Funt does not shy away from the difficult or unpopular case. He understands acutely that there are always two sides to every story and that it is his duty and obligation to fully represent his client so the complete truth can be revealed. This is particularly true in sexual assault and homicide cases where the media often convicts an individual at the moment he or she is arrested. Because the consequences for sexual assault convictions are so severe and draconian with the advent of SORNA (the federal equivalent of Megan’s Law) more often than not these matters must be fully litigated and brought before a jury. Juries are where Mr. Funt shines. No one investigates cases as thoroughly as he does and no has been more successful in arguing his clients’ innocence.