James C. Francis IV is a Distinguished Lecturer at CUNY Law School. Previously, he was a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York from 1985 to 2017 and served as Chief Magistrate Judge from 1998 to 2000. Judge Francis graduated summa cum laude from Yale College in 1974, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his juris doctor degree from the Yale Law School in 1978 and a masters degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the same year. Following graduation from law school, Judge Francis clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York. He then joined the Civil Appeals and Law Reform Unit of the Legal Aid Society where he conducted impact litigation in the areas of housing and education and served as director of the Disability Rights Unit until his appointment to the bench. From 2003 until 2017, Judge Francis was an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham University School of Law where he taught Constitutional Torts. He has served on the Legal Assistance, Federal Courts, Disability Rights, and Professional Responsibility Committees of the New York City Bar Association and the Federal Judiciary Committee of the New York State Bar Association. Judge Francis lectures frequently on electronic discovery, employment litigation, constitutional torts, legal ethics, and pretrial practice.


Selected Publications

“Limits on Limiting Inherent Authority: Rule 37(e) and the Power to Sanction” (with E.J. Mandel), 17 Sedona Conf. J. 613 (2016)

 “From Advocate to Jurist: Robert L. Carter’s Commitment to Justice,” The Storied Third Branch (Sept. 2013)

 “Judicial Modesty: The Case for Jurist Restraint in the New Electronic Age,” L. Tech. News (Feb. 2013)

 “Managing Electronic Discovery: Views From the Judges” (with L.H. Rosenthal & D.J. Capra), 76 Fordham R. Rev.1 (2007)

 Moore’s Federal Practice, Ch. 29, 31, 34, and 35 (third ed. 1997)

 “Pretrial Management” (Federal Civil Practice, G. Vairo, ed., 1989, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2003 supp.)

 “What You Need to Know to Resolve Discovery Disputes,” 8 Practical Litigator 75 (1997)

 “Mandatory Law School Pro Bono Programs” (with J. Chaifitz & A. Cohen), 50 Record 170 (1995)

 “Practicing Before United States Magistrate Judges,” 5 Practical Litigator 15 (1994)

 “Current Discovery Disputes” (ALI-ABA Civil Practice and Litigation Techniques In Federal Courts (1993)

 “United Jewish Organizations and the Need to Recognize Aggregate Voting Rights,” 87 Yale Law Journal 571 (1978)

James C. Francis IV

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