Phyllis A. James is Executive Vice President, Special Counsel for Litigation and Chief Diversity Officer for MGM Resorts International. In this capacity she is responsible for management and supervision of Company litigation, including the coordination of outside litigation counsel. Ms. James is Chief Diversity Officer with responsibility for oversight of MGM Resorts' Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, as well as the Company's philanthropy programs and Diversity and Community Affairs Department. She also serves as a board member of, and special advisor and counselor to MGM Grand Detroit, LLC. Ms. James joined MGM Resorts in March 2002 as Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel.
Prior to joining MGM Resorts, Ms. James served with Mayor Dennis Archer as Corporation (General) Counsel and Law Director of a department of approximately100 lawyers for the City of Detroit, the nation’s tenth largest city, from February 1994 through December 2001.
From 1979 until accepting her position with the City of Detroit she practiced with the San Francisco-based law firm of Pillsbury, Madison, and Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) and became a partner in that firm in 1985. She commenced her legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk from 1977- 1978 for the Honorable Theodore R. Newman, Jr., then Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Ms. James is a member of the State Bars of California and Michigan and is admitted to practice before Federal District Courts in California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Throughout her career she has been active in bar and civic affairs including work with the ABA Conference of Minority Partners in Majority Firms, the ABA House of Delegates, the State Bar of California Minority Counsel Program, the State Bar of California Committee on Minimum Continuing Legal Education, the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, and the Bar Associations of San Francisco and Detroit. In 1991 she received the Award of Merit for outstanding contribution to the Bar Association of San Francisco. She served from 1997- 1998 pursuant to appointment by Governor John Engler on the State of Michigan Trial Court Assessment Commission, and in 2000 co-chaired for the State Bar of Michigan the President's Special Committee on Anti-Judicial Speech. From 2003-2004 Ms. James served as a member of the American Bar Association's Commission on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. From 2005-2008 she served as a board member of the American Bar Association's Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity.