Education & Honors

University of Chicago Law School, 1999, J.D.

University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (financial economics), 1999, Ph.D.

University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 1999, M.B.A.

University of Illinois (liberal arts and finance), 1990, A.B., magna cum laude

Bar admissions


New York

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

American Finance Association

American Law and Economics Association

American Statistical Association

International Society for Bayesian Analysis


Lecturer, The University of Chicago Law School, 2008 to 2010.

Adjunct Professor of Finance, The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 2005.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance, Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Duke Law School Global Capital Markets Center, 2001-2003. Winner, Excellence in Teaching Award in the Weekend Executive M.B.A. Program.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Finance, The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 2000-2001.

James B. Heaton, III

Chicago Office
Courthouse Place
54 West Hubbard Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60654
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Professional Practice

J.B. Heaton has practiced with the firm since 1999.  With a strong background in financial economics, including a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, J.B. focuses his practice on cases that involve complex economic and financial issues.  

Admitted in both Illinois and New York, J.B. has represented numerous hedge funds in high stakes litigation.  J.B. has argued appeals in billion dollar cases in both the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals.  J.B.'s hedge fund representations have ranged from plaintiff-side cases for secondary bank debt holders to defense of claw back claims against a fund of hedge funds to matters involving residential mortgage-backed securities and market manipulation.

J.B. has published widely in both finance and law, and his scholarly work has been cited numerous times by courts across the country.


Overconfidence, Compensation Contracts, and Capital Budgeting, Journal of Finance, vol. 66, no. 5, 1725-77 (2011) (with Simon Gervais and Terry Odean).

Returns, Risk, and Financial Due Diligence, chapter 5 in Finance Ethics: Critical Issues in Theory and Practice, J. Boatright, ed. (Robert W. Kolb Series) (Wiley, 2010) (with Christopher L. Culp).

The Limits of the Limits of Arbitrage, Review of Finance, 14(1):157-187 (2010) (with Alon Brav and Si Li), runner-up for the 2010 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics for Best Paper in the Review of Finance.

CSX Corporation v. The Children's Investment Fund: Total Return Swaps as Evasions of Section 13(d) Reporting, Securities Litigation Journal, Summer 2009, 16-18.

Naked Short Selling, Regulation, Vol. 31, No. 1, 46-51 (2008) (with Christopher L. Culp).

Solvency Tests, Business Lawyer, Vol. 62, No. 3, 983-1006 (2007). Cited in Teleglobe USA, Inc. v. BCE Inc. (In re Teleglobe Communs. Corp.), 392 B.R. 561, 602 (Bankr. D. Del. 2008) (Walrath, J.).

The Uses and Abuses of Finite Risk Reinsurance, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 18-31 (2005) (with Christopher L. Culp).

Deepening Insolvency, The Journal of Corporation Law, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 465-500 (2005). Cited in In re Citx Corp., 448 F.3d 672 (3d Cir. 2006); In re Parmalat Sec. Litig., 501 F. Supp. 2d 560 (S.D.N.Y. 2007); Schnelling v. Crawford (In re James River Coal Co.), 360 B.R. 139 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2007); Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of Verestar, Inc. v. Am. Tower Corp. (In re Verestar, Inc.), 343 B.R. 444 (S.D.N.Y. 2006); OHC Liquidation Trust v. Credit Suisse First Boston (In re Oakwood Homes Corp.), 340 B.R. 510 Bankr. D. Del. 2006); Christians v. Grant Thornton, LLP, 733 N.W.2d 803 (Minn. Ap. 2007).

Settlement Pressure, International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 25, pp. 264-275 (2005).

The Rational-Behavioral Debate in Financial Economics, Journal of Economic Methodology, 11(4) 2004 (Lead Article) (with Alon Brav and Alexander Rosenberg).

Market Indeterminacy, The Journal of Corporation Law, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 517-539 (2003) (with Alon Brav, Duke University). Cited in Teamsters Local 445 Freight Division Pension Fund v. Bombardier Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52991 (S.D.N.Y. August 1, 2006).

Managerial Optimism and Corporate Finance, Financial Management, Summer 2002, Vol. 31, pp. 33-45.

Competing Theories of Financial Anomalies, The Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 475-506 (2002) (with Alon Brav, Duke University). Winner, Barclays Global Investors (BGI) Michael Brennan Award for the best paper published in The Review of Financial Studies.

Incomplete Financial Contracts and Non-Contractual Legal Rules: The Case of Debt Capacity and Fraudulent Conveyance Law, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Vol. 9, pp. 169-183 (2000).