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Hale, Skemp, Hanson, Skemp & Sleik
505 King St. Suite 300 La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
Initial Consultation 608-519-4788
Home / Attorney Profiles / James G. Curtis

James G. Curtis »

(888) 899-5461 Tel
(608) 784-7414 Fax
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Jim has practiced with the firm for over 36 years. He is highly regarded for his experience in litigating civil cases for clients who have suffered injuries as well as for insurance companies and business owners. His experience includes handling complex cases in the fields of personal injury law, products liability, professional malpractice, and accidents of all descriptions. Jim's litigation work includes an active trial practice as well as appeals to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Jim is noted to have the special expertise in insurance law and has handled a variety of complex insurance issues for both claimants and insurance companies. He also has substantial experience in handling fire claims and has represented clients in construction disputes. Jim is known for his skills in mediation and arbitration of disputes. He has acted as a neutral mediator in more than 500 civil cases and has achieved a high degree of success in assisting parties in resolving their disputes.

Jim is a past President of the La Crosse County Bar Association and has served as Chair of the District V Committee of the Office of Lawyer Regulation, which oversees grievances filed against attorneys. He is currently appointed as a Referee by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to preside over grievance actions brought against attorneys.

Representative Experience

  • Recovered life insurance benefits and bad faith damages from a credit life insurer that had denied benefits. The insured had taken on an assumed identity many years before. Upon his death, the life insurer wrongfully refused to acknowledge that the insured under the policy had died.
  • Recovered full damages for a business owner in a products liability action against the German manufacturer of a tire vulcanizing machine. The machine had been set up to repair a large tire and burned down the business.
  • Successfully represented a man whose vacation home in Wisconsin had burned. The fire insurer denied payment and claimed arson, and that the insured had fraudulently misrepresented his personal property and contents losses.
  • Recovered substantial damages for an insurance company following an explosion and fire at a chemical laboratory. A products liability claim was pursued against the manufacturer of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
  • Recovered wrongful death damages for a woman whose husband was killed in a tractor accident involving a neighboring farmer.
  • Established the law that a seriously injured young woman was entitled to recover both uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits from her parents' auto insurer.
Areas of Practice:
Personal Injury Law
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Insurance Law
Products Liability
Professional Malpractice
Fire Claims
Construction Disputes
Mediation and Arbitration
Litigation Percentage:
90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Bar Admissions:
Wisconsin, 1977
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1977
U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1977
Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1977
Honors: Order of Barristers
Honors: With Honors
Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, 1974
Bachelor of Arts
Published Works:
Insurance Coverage and Litigation Issues, La Crosse County Bar Association
Representative Cases:
Hunter v. School District of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, 97 Wis.2d 435, 293 N.W.2d 515 (1980)
City of La Crosse v. Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, 120 Wis.2d 168, 353 N.W.2d 68 (Ct. App. 1984)
Burns v. Milwaukee Mut. Ins. Co., 121 Wis.2d 574, 360 N.W.2d 61 (Ct. App. 1984)
Landsinger v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 142 Wis.2d 138, 417 N.W.2d 899 (Ct. App. 1987)
Reel Enterprises v. City of La Crosse, 146 Wis.2d 662, 431 N.W.2d 743 (Ct. App. 1988)
State ex rel. Cynthia M.S. v. Michael F.C., 181 Wis2d 618, 511 N.W.2d 868 (1994)
Arlt v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 191 Wis.2d 599, 530 N.W.2d 21 (Ct. App. 1995)
Minnesota Fire & Cas. Ins. v. Paper Recyc., WI 64, 244 Wis.2d 290, 627 N.W.2d 527 (2001)
Heather Fischer v. Midwest Sec. Ins. Co., 246, 268 Wis.2d 519, 673 N.W.2d 297 (WI App 2003)
Estate of Richard G. Torres v. Empire Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2008 WI App 113
Estate of Joanna Randall Brown v. Mathy Construction Co., 2008 WI App 114
Acuity v. Society Ins., 2012 WI App 13, 339 Wis.217, 810 N.W. 2d 812
Professional Associations and Memberships:
Wisconsin Bar Association, 1977 - Present
Wisconsin Association of Justice, 1980 - Present
La Crosse County Bar Association, 1993 - Present
President (1993-1994)
Office of Lawyer Regulation, 2005 - 2007
Chair, District V Committee
Mt. Trempealeau Corporation
Board Member
Pro Bono Activities:
Coulee Catholic Schools Education Commission Chairperson, 2000 - 2006