James is a world-renowned psychiatrist. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1993 at Dr. Taylor Hayes's (Hunter Tylo) former professor. During a snowstorm they were trapped and nearly died, and ended up having sex to stay alive, while she was married to Ridge Forrester (Ron Moss). During this time, he had been engaged to Taylor's arch rival Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang). James went on to date Lauren Fenmore (Tracey E. Bregman) but eventually fell in love with Maggie Forrester and married her. However, Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown) blackmailed him into an affair. He divorced Maggie and Sheila became pregnant with their daughter. He eventually reunited with Maggie however, Sheila blackmailed him into marriage. He married her and they began raising their child together. Sheila again goes crazy and James divorces Shelia taking away their child. Shelia goes as far as trying to kill Stephiane and Amber and even kidnaps Mary. James searched for them and finally leaves town in 1999.
James returns in 2007 helping Taylor but leaves again in 2008. James returns in 2009 resuming is former position while helping Taylor get treatment for her son, while also helping Jackie. James also befriends Donna Logan as well giving treatment to Katie Logan, a former friend. James leaves town in 2010, but returns in 2011 helping Brooke come to terms with sleeping with her stepson and cheating on Ridge.