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James Balmer

Jim Balmer 0006

Since 1973, Jim Balmer has represented thousands of people in all kinds of litigation, including jury trials, workers’ compensation trials and hearings, social security disability hearings, and appeals in those areas. He has handled car crash, slip-and-fall, work site injuries, defective product claims, dog attack, liquor liability claims and other kinds of bodily injury matters. Jim has lectured at various seminars, primarily in the areas of trial tactics and workers’ compensation issues.

Jim is admitted to practice before all Minnesota and Wisconsin courts, both state and federal, and has tried cases throughout both states. He has argued cases before the Seventh United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and the Eighth United States Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in St. Louis.

Jim is listed in the prestigious “Best Lawyers in America” as a personal injury specialist representing both plaintiffs and defendants (the only lawyer to be so recognized in this part of Minnesota). In 2016, he was named “Duluth Plaintiff’s Lawyer of the Year” by “Best Lawyers,” a designation bestowed on only one lawyer from the Duluth area annually that recognizes unusual skill and competence in the field. Martindale-Hubbell, our nation’s leading legal services directory, has rated Jim’s legal ability/ethical standard at the top (“AV”). Jim as been selected as a “Minnesota Super Lawyer” in both personal injury and workers’ compensation and has been listed as a Leading American Attorney during the same time period. He has had the additional distinction of being designated a “Top 40” Super Lawyer in both areas at various times, as well. Jim has been a diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an organization whose membership is by invitation only, since 2002.

Jim has been certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1986 and by the Minnesota State Bar Association since 1989, the first year it began certifying trial specialists. Wisconsin does not have a system of trial specialist certification. He has been honored as an Advocate by the American Board of Trial Advocacy since 2002.

Jim has been named the Volunteer Attorney of the Year for the Sixth Judicial District by the Volunteer Attorney Program. The award recognizes the lawyer who has given most generously of his or her time and talents to provide free legal help to lower income residents of Northeastern Minnesota.

Sailing, jogging and downhill skiing are Jim’s favorite recreational pursuits. He is active in his local Roman Catholic parish. Jim currently serves as Secretary of The Duluth Bethel Society Board of Directors and serves on the board of the Duluth Union Gospel Mission.

Jim has lectured on trial tactics both locally and nationally. He feels a duty to his profession to share the unique trial techniques he has developed in the trial of hundreds of jury cases and even more bench trials.

Current Employment Position
Founding Partner and attorney-at-law

Areas Of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Workers’ Compensation

Civil Trial Specialist (National Board of Trial Advocacy and Minnesota State Bar Association)

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1973
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1985
  • Wisconsin, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2008
  • U.S District Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1986


  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1973
  • J.D. University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, 1970 B.A.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ), 1985 – 1994 Board of Governors
  • Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA)
  • 11th District Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • American Board of Trial Advocates