Difede Ramsdell Bender PLLC is a boutique law firm focused exclusively on representing institutional clients in complex real estate transactions and tax matters.

James R. Difede


Jim is the Managing Principal of the firm, which he co-founded in 2014.

Jim began his career with the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, where he worked on large-scale project financing, acquisition, merger and securities matters for a variety of highly visible national and international clients.

He joined his predecessor firm in 1990, eventually becoming managing partner and head of the real estate finance practice.

In January of 2014, Jim co-founded DRB in order to establish a boutique firm offering clients the experienced representation offered by large, commercial law firms, by a small, dedicated team of former “big firm” professionals.

In addition to representing institutional investors in complex real estate financing transactions, Jim is general counsel and serves on the board of National Real Estate Advisors, a DC-based real estate investment management firm with more than $3 billion under management.He is also real estate general counsel of the National Electrical Benefit Fund, a $14 billion pension fund, and serves as special counsel to the Investment Committee of The Union Labor Life Insurance Company.In these roles, Jim has brought an experienced, thoughtful, practical and detail-oriented approach to a broad range of transactions, including the structuring and negotiation of joint ventures, debt financings, acquisitions, REIT transactions and mezzanine financing.


Georgetown University, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1986

Adelphi University, B.A, magna cum laude, 1982

Prior to attending law school, Jim worked as a professional musician, playing drums in jazz clubs in New York City, including the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. 

Jim is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and New York


900 Seventh Street, NW, Suite 810
Washington, DC 20001

Email: jdifede@drblaw.net
Main: (202) 558-2900
Direct: (202) 223-1044

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