Bar Admissions

  • Maryland


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1985
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Richmond, 1978
    Phi Beta Kappa


  • American Bar Association

    Maryland State Bar Association

    Baltimore City Bar Association

    National Association of Bond Lawyers
T +1 410.244.7806
F +1 410.244.7742

James E. Cumbie


Jim Cumbie is a public finance lawyer. He represents clients in all phases of tax-exempt bond issues, including governmental borrowers issuing bonds for their own capital needs, conduit issuers, conduit borrowers, underwriters, corporate trustees and credit enhancers. He is fluent in all significant financing forms. These include: general obligation bonds and revenue bonds, competitive and negotiated offerings, public offerings and private placements, fixed and variable rate debt, special tax district financings, lease financings, and new money and refunding issues.

When the client hires Jim, the client gets a capable public finance lawyer who (1) is fluent in both the basic and the exotic financing techniques used in the marketplace; (2) has the proven capability to structure creative transactions when creativity is called for; (3) has skills which have been leavened by periodic exposure to related areas of law (such as equipment leasing, securities, and M&A); and (4) has focused his practice in public finance since starting his legal career in 1985.

Significant Matters

Over the years, Jim has structured a number of short-term capital financing vehicles for Maryland municipalities. This type of transaction allows the client to (a) lower its average interest cost by issuing variable rate debt, (b) flexibly tailor the amount of its outstanding debt to its needs, and (c) take maximum advantage of the investment opportunities afforded by federal tax law. Jim has also represented his clients in a variety of complex refinancing transactions, including advance refundings, current refundings and forward refundings. Jim devised a financing structure to allow Trigen to privatize the provision of energy services at the University of Maryland 's College Park campus. By using another state agency as bond issuer and establishing a take-or-pay contract between that agency and the University, he achieved the client's goals of providing tax-exempt financing for a new energy plant, while affording the University the "off-balance sheet" financing that it desired.


Jim is a trustee of the Woodbrook Baptist Church.