James Henshall is a Partner in Selman Breitman’s Orange County Office and is a Member of the firm’s Insurance Group. Jim represents insurance companies in coverage and litigation disputes involving first party claims and third party claims, including cases arising out of property damage claims and liability claims. Jim’s clients include insurance companies that handle claims in the state of California or other western states.  Jim also has experience in representing insurance companies at arbitrations including matters where coverage disputes or appraisal issues are arbitrated.  Jim has significant experience in advising clients on claims that involve complex coverage issues, and handling litigation which involves coverage disputes that are litigated in the state courts and federal courts.

Jim’s considerable experience in Insurance provides him with a unique ability to evaluate claims made to his clients, and to evaluate issues set forth in litigation involving these claims.  Jim has worked closely with claim personnel and claim management for insurance companies in evaluating complex coverage issues, outlining plans for investigations, and working to resolve issues related to these claims.  Jim has worked closely with in-house counsel while defending insurance companies in insurance bad faith litigation.  Jim has also been appointed by insurance companies as their primary counsel in advising them in catastrophic property loss claims such as the 1994 Northridge earthquake claims and large fire loss claims. 

Jim has served as a first chair trial lawyer in many cases tried in the state courts and federal courts. Jim has handled arguments before the California appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Jim has been appointed as carrier-retained defense counsel in many significant cases where insureds have been provided with defense counsel. Jim's work as coverage counsel and litigation counsel give him a unique perspective on how insurance companies may evaluate and resolve matters during the claim process or during litigation.  Jim is also a licensed Real Estate Broker in California, and his work with the real estate community assists him with evaluating property loss claims.

Jim is often asked by clients to give presentations on various subjects related to the area of insurance law. Jim has provided clients with presentations and seminars on the subjects of the California Fair Claim Handling Practices; handling insurance claims in catastrophe situations; and using alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve claims.  Jim has also given presentations to insurance companies on the issues which arise in defending insurance companies in litigated cases  Jim has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Southern California. 

Jim is originally from Massachusetts and presently resides in Orange County with his wife and two daughters. When not helping clients with their legal needs, Jim spends time working with his church and various charity groups in Orange County.

​Awards

  • Super Lawyers:  2013-2018

Jim is a frequent lecturer at trade association events and for individual clients. Jim has provided lectures for insurance clients on topics such as good faith claim handling practices, updates in the area of insurance law, and utilizing alternative dispute practices in resolving claims. Jim has also lectured at certain trade association events on various topics such as preparing executives for depositions and trial testimony, and how outside counsel can assist in-house counsel on litigation matters.

Jim has also written various articles. This includes articles on utilizing the appraisal provision to resolve first party property matters, statutory changes in California law which impact insurance carriers, and the proper use of attorney's fees clauses and mediation clauses in business contracts.

Jim and his wife are actively involved in community activities in Orange County. Jim is involved with his church, various charities that benefit the mentally disabled, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Jim also uses his spare time to coach youth soccer and youth softball.

Bar Admission

  • California, 1987
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Education

University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1987

San Diego State University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1984

Major: Political Science