James Thomson

Adjunct Professor
Phone: 612-337-9209


BA, University of Notre Dame
JD, University of San Diego


James Thomson is a shareholder and former president of Kennedy & Graven, Chartered. He practices in the areas of Litigation, Land Use, and Local Government Law.

Thomson has over thirty years of experience in the areas of local government law, land use, and litigation. He has been recognized by his peers as a Minnesota Super Lawyer since 2003. He served as a deputy city attorney for the San Diego City Attorney's Office, both in the Criminal Division (1976-78) and in the Civil Litigation Division (1978-82), where he focused on real property, eminent domain, construction, environmental, and land use litigation. Thomson also has served as the city attorney for the cities of Plymouth (1986-92) and Mounds View (1992-95). He currently is the city attorney for the cities of Brooklyn Park, Oakdale, and Shakopee. He is also a defense attorney for the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.

Thomson earned a B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1969, after which he served in Vietnam as a Marine Lieutenant. Upon his discharge from the Marines in 1973, Thomson entered law school at the University of San Diego where he served as editor-in-chief of the San Diego Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1976.

Among his many interests, Thomson is an avid baseball fan and a former coach in the youth baseball and fastpitch softball programs for the City of Bloomington. He also is an avid runner. He is a former member of the U.S. Reserve Officers International Pentathlon Team and has completed over thirty marathons. Thomson also serves as a pro bono attorney for Volunteer Lawyers Network.