Jim McDermott is head of the firm’s Litigation and Insurance Recovery practice groups. Mr. McDermott is a commercial business litigator and trial lawyer who represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex cases. He has tried scores of cases and argued appeals in federal and state courts on a broad range of issues for nationally known public and private companies, small businesses, and individuals.
Mr. McDermott has been recognized as an industry leader by Chambers USA with peers highlighting his “forceful stance and impressive technical skills.” They have also called him a “very impressive lawyer” with an “extremely responsive, client-focused litigation management approach” who provides “smart advice that is always on the money,” and he is “on top of his game when it comes to strategy.” Mr. McDermott has received the AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale–Hubbell®. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Insurance; and Litigation – Securities. He has been perennially selected to the Oregon Super Lawyers list, published by Super Lawyers Magazine. In 2013, Mr. McDermott was listed as one of "Oregon's Top Rated Lawyers" by ALM Legal Leaders, published by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazine, affiliated with Martindale-Hubbell®.
Mr. McDermott has successfully handled cases involving a wide array of large-dollar commercial business disputes, with particular emphasis on construction, corporate governance, shareholders rights, professional liability, securities, regulatory, false claims, civil penalty actions, real estate, and insurance recovery. He has successfully resolved claims and lawsuits in a wide range of insurance areas, recovering millions of dollars for clients from domestic and foreign insurers. His insurance recovery practice ranges from large-scale litigation on behalf of corporate policyholders under complex occurrence-based and claims-made coverages, to individual claims under property, disability, health, and other personal policies. Mr. McDermott has been retained to represent brokers and agents and reinsurance intermediaries – including some of the largest firms in the world – when they become enmeshed in coverage disputes and litigation.
After earning his law degree Mr. McDermott served for one year as a judicial law clerk to a federal district court judge. He then joined Covington & Burling, the largest law firm in Washington, DC, where he practiced for five years. He has chaired Ball Janik’s litigation practice since 1998.
Throughout his career, Mr. McDermott has authored articles on environmental and business insurance coverage matters, construction issues, lectured on a wide range of legal and business issues, and taught trial practice courses. He has been appointed as an arbitrator in several cases and has served as an expert witness in insurance coverage cases, construction cases, and attorneys’ fee disputes. Mr. McDermott has also served on the Governor of Oregon’s Judicial Screening Committee.