|Alma mater||University of South Florida, Stetson University College of Law|
|Known for||Advocacy of nursing care residents|
Wilkes received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and his Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1983 and founded the law firm of Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. in 1985.
Wilkes, and his firm Wilkes & McHugh, P.A., gained national recognition for handling nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits. He has been featured in People magazine, as well as on television shows such as Dateline, 48 Hours and CBS Evening News. Long-Term Living magazine wrote that Wilkes could be "described as a 'holy terror' for nursing home administrators everywhere" in an article that named him one of the top 10 most influential people in the industry.
He is licensed to practice law in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Association for Justice.
Wilkes is also involved in the music industry as a performer and business manager. He launched Streamsound Records, along with long-time producer Byron Gallimore. The roster includes Jaida Dreyer, who released her debut album I Am Jaida Dreyer in early 2013, Austin Webb and Dakota Bradley. Streamsound Records is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Red Vinyl Music was established in late 2010 when long-time producer Byron Gallimore partnered with Jim Wilkes and Tim McHugh. In January 2017, Red Vinyl Music sold the rights to 3,000 songs to Ole.[to whom?]
Jim Wilkes also serves as a personal mentor and legal advisor to two nationally-recognized sports champions. Wilkes has been an advisor and friend to former boxing super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy and junior middleweight champion Ronald Winky Wright. Wilkes was nominated for the Al Buck Manager of the Year for 2004–2005 by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
He created an advocacy group, The Coalition to Protect America's Elders, now known as Families for Better Care. The group serves as a voice for nursing home residents. The former Executive Director of Families for Better Care was elected to serve as the president of the nation's largest and oldest nursing home resident advocacy group, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
- "Bedside Advocate -- Business Observer - Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples". www.businessobserverfl.com.
- "Making Them Pay – Vol. 52 No. 18". 8 November 1999.
- Datline: "Video Cameras in Nursing Homes". NBC, August 1, 2000
- 48 Hours: "Saving Mom & Dad". CBS, July 30, 1998
- CBS Evening News: "Nursing Homes in Trouble". CBS, May 18, 2000
- "LTC's 10 most influential people - I Advance Senior Care". www.ltlmagazine.com.
- "Cedric the Entertainer sues SoCalGas over 'ultra-hazardous' well leak and his neighbors are glad". The Mercury News.
- "Biography James L. Wilkes, II".
- "McGraw producer Gallimore forms label", Country Standard Time, February 21, 2012
- "New Nashville Label, Streamsound Records, Launched" Archived 2012-02-24 at the Wayback Machine, Radio-Info.com, February 21, 2012
- Cotey, John C.: "Fortune Finds Way to Fame", Section C, Page 1. St. Petersburg Times, August 3, 2005
- "Boxing Writers Association of America - Boxing Journalism". Boxing Writers Association of America - Boxing Journalism.
- "$500m-backed ole acquires 3,000 songs in Red Vinyl Music buyout". Music Business Worldwide. 10 January 2017.
- "Ole Acquires Red Vinyl Music". 25 January 2017.
- "Tampa businesses linked to influential trial lawyer are major contributors to Pinellas sheriff race". Tampa Bay Times. 4 August 2012.
- "Bush Sees Familiar Face In Thailand". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel.
- Smith, Brad: "Local Lawyer Sees Tsunami Devastation", Metro Section, Page 1. Tampa Tribune, January 12, 2005
- Berkow, Ira: "BOXING; Fighter and Lawyer Are Hard to Beat as an Unlikely Team", Section D, Page 7. New York Times, August 2, 2005
- "Families for Better Care".
- "National Consumer Voice". www.nccnhr.org.