James J. McGillan, a Washington area lawyer who specialized in medical and transatlantic telecommunications, died June 8 at a nursing home in Carthage, N.C. He was 71.

The cause was respiratory arrest following complications resulting from strokes, said his daughter Jennifer McGillan.

From 1994 to 2005, Mr. McGillan was secretary and general counsel of McLean-based Med-Tel International, which he co-founded. The company specialized in international medicine through telecommunications, transmitting magnetic resonance images from remote areas to central viewing locations for analysis by radiologists.

Earlier in his career, Mr. McGillan was secretary and general counsel to Private Trans­atlantic Telecommunications Systems, a McLean-based com­pany that helped design and construct fiber-optic cable.

James Joseph McGillan was born in Manchester, N.H. He graduated from Catholic University in 1963 and from its law school in 1966. He then served two years in the Navy, including a stint in Vietnam.

He was a partner in the Washington law firm of Pepper & Coraz­zini and of counsel with Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley & Casey in the 1970s and 1980s.

He moved in 2005 from McLean to Pinehurst, N.C., where he operated online publishing businesses.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Kathleen Kenny McGillan of Pinehurst; two daughters, Jennifer McGillan and Maureen McGillan, both of New York; and two sisters.

— Bart Barnes