James W. Evans has been actively involved in the practice of law for almost 40 years, serving his clients in risk management and the active defense of their litigated matters. As a result, he has served as lead counsel in over 100 jury trials, as well as an equal number of non-jury trials and arbitrations. In addition, he served for over 15 years as a Judge Pro Tem in the Maricopa County Superior Court, which is the primary court of record in MaricopaCounty. That position is selected by the Arizona Supreme Court. As such, he served as the presiding trial judge in five to six jury trials and conducted 40‑50 judicial Settlement Conferences.
Jim served on the committee formulating the Personal Injury Mediation Project, which was made up of senior claims executives, plaintiffs’ lawyers, defense counsel, and was chaired by a member of the Arizona Court of Appeals. He was also appointed by the Governor of Arizona to serve as Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Tort Reform. The Task Force focused on issues primarily involving governmental entities. As a result of the Committee’s efforts, several pieces of legislation were enacted by the Arizona legislature. Some were challenged by the plaintiffs’ bar but they were largely unsuccessful. He has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates since 1979 and was selected a member of the International Association of Insurance Counsel. He has been a Certified Specialist in Arizona in personal injury and wrongful death since 1991, which was the first year the specialization was awarded. Jim previously served as a board member of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, serving a term as president. During his tenure as president, the organization went from being focused solely in Phoenix to becoming the only statewide defense organization. He served for several years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Memorial Hospital, including tenures as Chairman of the Long-Range Planning Committee. Jim served as an instructor at the Arizona Trial College.
His primary focus of litigation for the last 25 years has been in the area of catastrophic injury and death cases, bad faith litigation, professional liability and construction defect matters. He has always handled his own appellate cases, both before the Federal Court of Appeals, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court. Three of these cases produced seminal decisions involving insurance coverage (Dimmer v. State Farm), liquor liability (Young v. Keegans) and the statute of limitations (Moon Shadow v. Duncan) in molestation cases where the action was brought beyond the statutory period and where the allegedly injured child had a memory of the event.
- Arizona State University (J.D., 1975)
- Northern Arizona University (M.A., 1973)
- Northern Arizona University (B.S., 1968)
Memberships and Accomplishments
- AV Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell
- Top Attorneys in Arizona, 2012-2015
- Super Lawyer, 2010
- Southwest Super Lawyer; 2011-2015
- Arizona’s Finest Lawyer; 2011-2014