Jim has practiced with the firm for over 45 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 600 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 also served as a Referee appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to preside over grievance actions brought against attorneys.
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.
Fetherston v. Parks, 2014 WI App 2, 352 Wis.2d 472, 842 N.W.2d 481
Professional & Community Affiliations
Wisconsin Bar Association, 1977–Present
La Crosse County Bar Association, 1977–Present, President (1993–1994)
Office of Lawyer Regulation, 2005–2007, Chair, District V Committee
Supreme Court Referee
Mt. Trempealeau Corporation – Board Member
Pro Bono Activities
Coulee Catholic Schools Education Commission Chairperson, 2000–2006
- J.D., Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (1977), Order of Barristers, With Honors
- B.A., Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, (1974)
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1977
U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1977