About James R. Shinar

Jim prides himself on giving sound practical advice and quality legal service in a broad spectrum of litigation matters. He is committed to developing a strong working relationship with open communication and will work as a team with his clients. Jim helps individuals, families and business owners who need legal solutions. He has extensive experience as both plaintiff and defense counsel. Jim is called on by his clients for his unmatched trial skills, sound judgment and renowned strategic advice in a multitude of matters. He is not afraid to take on complex cases that other lawyers may deem unwinnable. Jim believes everyone deserves a fair shot and he will do everything in his power to see that his clients get one.

A Kalamazoo native, Jim graduated from Western Michigan University in 1982 with a B.S in Criminal Justice. After working as the Witness Coordinator for the Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, he attended the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and received his J.D. in 1989. After graduation from Cooley, Jim clerked for the Honorable Richard Ryan Lamb of the 9th Judicial Circuit Court. He entered private practice in 1990 and is admitted to practice in all courts in the State of Michigan, both Eastern and Western U.S. District Courts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Jim has also been specially admitted to practice in Texas, Illinois and South Carolina.

For approximately 15 years, Jim almost exclusively focused his practice on insurance defense matters defending personal injury claims including automobile, homeowner (property), municipal and medical malpractice cases. His background and knowledge in insurance defense litigation has given him a unique perspective into insurance companies, the mindset of their counsel and defending cases, which Jim now uses to his clients advantage. Having sat on the other side of the counsel table and in a different boardroom, Jim has experiences and insight that enable him to understand the entire litigation process. He understands the challenges, strategies and procedures from both sides, which helps in accomplishing the best possible result.

For the past 15 years, Jim has transitioned his practice to focus more on fighting for injured people and representing individual plaintiffs to help them move forward after a life changing event. He is devoted to giving victims a voice and empowering them to reclaim their lives after a traumatic injury or loss. Individuals and families who have lost loved ones, have turned to Jim to help secure justice. He knows that insurance companies refuse to pay without a fight so Jim pushes back and will fight as long and as hard as it takes.

Jim is well versed, both in and out of a courtroom, to assist families fighting over an estate, a spouse who needs out of a marriage or different custody arrangement, or an individual who has made a mistake and faces a criminal charge.  Jim also uses his extensive experience in either defending or pursuing claims on behalf of businesses related to breach of contract, property damage or real estate issues.

Jim has extensive civil litigation and trial experience in state and federal courts throughout Michigan. He is a seasoned litigator and accomplished trial attorney who has spent over 30 years helping clients achieve just and fair results during the complex litigious process by telling his client’s story accurately and persuasively. Jim has been involved in over 50 Trials , several Arbitrations, dozens of Mediations and hundreds of depositions. His record of success in handling complex and demanding lawsuits has earned him a reputation as a lawyer who can get results. Jim has successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in multi-million dollar lawsuits.

He is a member of the American Bar Association (Dispute Resolution, Litigation, and Solo Practice groups), State Bar of Michigan (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Litigation, and Negligence Law Sections) as well as the Kalamazoo County Bar Association.

attorney james shinar portage-kalamazoo michigan

James R. Shinar
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Jim has been named a Super Lawyer in the area of business litigation. The accolade recognizes only 5% of lawyers in Michigan based upon peer recognition and professional achievement. He has also been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the categories of Personal Injury Law, Family Law & Criminal Defense Law. The distinction of being a Leading Lawyer has been earned by fewer than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice in Michigan.