James E. Cumbie

Cumbie James

Jim Cumbie focuses on public finance. Jim has extensive experience advising on general obligation bonds and revenue bonds; competitive, negotiated, and public offerings; private placements; and fixed- and variable-rate debt. He also structures special tax district and lease financings, short-term and tax-exempt capital financing vehicles, sophisticated refinancing arrangements, and new money and refunding issues. He represents government borrowers, conduit issuers and borrowers, underwriters, corporate trustees, and credit enhancers. Jim is fluent in traditional, creative, and sophisticated financing techniques. His skills are elevated by regular exposure to related areas of law, including equipment leasing, securities, and mergers and acquisitions.


Representative Matters

  • Structured numerous short-term capital financing vehicles for Maryland municipalities, allowing the client to lower the average interest cost by issuing variable-rate debt, tailoring the amount of outstanding debt to its needs, and taking maximum advantage of the investment opportunities afforded by federal tax law
  • Represented numerous clients in a variety of complex refinancing transactions, including advance refundings, current refundings, and forward refundings
  • 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




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

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association
  • Member, Baltimore City Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2008 – 2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Peer Review Rated



  • Trustee, Woodbrook Baptist Church