James C. Gallagher

Of Counsel

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Downs Rachlin Martin Business Law Attorney James Gallagher photo
  • Overview

    • Veteran litigator focused on tort actions and commercial lawsuits.

      After 40 years of active and broad civil trial practice, Jim Gallagher has become Of Counsel to the firm. With experience spanning a wide variety of cases in state and federal courts, both at the trial and appeal level, Jim advises clients and helps them assemble an appropriate litigation team, or serves as a mediator in most areas of a dispute. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants, though the bulk of his practice has been representing defendants in tort actions and commercial lawsuits. Jim has extensive experience in product liability, specifically focusing on personal injuries and substantial property or business losses sustained in connection with farm equipment, motor vehicles, industrial machinery, building materials/products, and consumer appliances, as well as losses related to building, engineering, product chemistry, ski equipment, timber harvesting equipment, electrical appliances, construction products, agricultural products, and petrochemical contamination.

      Jim’s personal injury negligence practice encompasses cases associated with motor vehicles, premises defects, electrical appliances/facilities, liquor liability, and industrial and agricultural activities. His professional liability cases often involve medical, engineering, architect, veterinary, and legal practices. Jim is also an effective litigator involving commercial disputes, most notably including partnership dissolution, failed leveraged buyout, property tax appeals of highly specialized properties, commercial paper, and contract and commercial code issues.

  • Admissions & Clerkships

    • Vermont, 1971

      U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, 1971

      U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1977

      U.S. Supreme Court, 1984

      U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, 1986

  • Reported Cases

      • Pomfret Farms Ltd. Partnership v. Pomfret Associates, 174 Vt. 280, 811 A.2d 655 (2002)
      • Knight v. Rower, 170 Vt. 96, 742 A.2d 1237 (1999)
      • Neel v. Sun, 156 Vt. 239, 590 A.2d 887 (1991)
      • Caledonian Record Pub. Co. v. Walton, 154 Vt. 15, 573 A.2d 296 (1990)
      • Smith v. Town of St. Johnsbury, 150 Vt. 351, 554 A.2d 233 (1988)
      • Greenwood v. Wolchik, 149 Vt. 441, 544 A.2d 1156 (1988)
      • Village of Lyndonville v. Town of Burke, 146 Vt. 435, 505 A.2d 1207 (1985)                                  
      • Stowell v. Simpson, 143 Vt. 625, 470 A.2d 1176 (1983)
      • Douglass v. Skiing Standards, Inc., 142 Vt. 634, 459 A.2d 97 (1983)
      • Fox v. McLain, 142 Vt. 11, 451 A.2d 1122 (1982)
      • Preston v. Chabot, 138 Vt. 170, 412 A.2d 930 (1980)
      • Little v. Gray, 137 Vt. 569, 409 A.2d 574 (1979)
      • State v. Ryan, 135 Vt. 491, 380 A.2d 525 (1977)
      • Dunn v. State Highway Bd., 135 Vt. 26, 370 A.2d 626 (1977
      • Lamoille Grain Co., Inc. v. St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County R.R., 135 Vt. 5, 369 A.2d 1389 (1976)
      • Martin v. Furman Lumber Co., 134 Vt. 1, 346 A.2d 640 (1975)
      • Hill v. Grandey, 132 Vt. 460, 321 A.2d 28 (1974)
      • State v. Arbeitman, 131 Vt. 596, 313 A.2d 17 (1973)
      • Lee v. Wheeler, 130 Vt. 624, 298 A.2d 851 (1972)
      • Tracy v. Vinton Motors, Inc., 130 Vt. 512, 296 A.2d 269 (1972)
  • Memberships & Activities

      • Vermont Bar Association, President 2005-2006
      • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Accolades

    • Listed in Best Lawyers in America© "Lawyer of the Year", Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, 2016

      Listed in Best Lawyers®, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, 2011-2017

  • Community Involvement

      • Green Mountain Council (BSA), Former Board Member
      • Lyndon Institute, Board Member, President 1994-2003
      • Lyndon State College Foundation, Former Board Member
      • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Corporator
      • Upright Steeple Society, Board Member, President
      • Vermont Bar Association, Former President, 2005-2006
      • Vermont Bar Foundation, Former Board Member
      • Vermont Historical Society, Board Member
      • Vermont Legal Aid, Former Board Member

Veteran litigator focused on tort actions and commercial lawsuits.

After 40 years of active and broad civil trial practice, Jim Gallagher has become Of Counsel to the firm. With experience spanning a wide variety of cases in state and federal courts, both at the trial and appeal level, Jim advises clients and helps them assemble an appropriate litigation team, or serves as a mediator in most areas of a dispute. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants, though the bulk of his practice has been representing defendants in tort actions and commercial lawsuits. Jim has extensive experience in product liability, specifically focusing on personal injuries and substantial property or business losses sustained in connection with farm equipment, motor vehicles, industrial machinery, building materials/products, and consumer appliances, as well as losses related to building, engineering, product chemistry, ski equipment, timber harvesting equipment, electrical appliances, construction products, agricultural products, and petrochemical contamination.

Jim’s personal injury negligence practice encompasses cases associated with motor vehicles, premises defects, electrical appliances/facilities, liquor liability, and industrial and agricultural activities. His professional liability cases often involve medical, engineering, architect, veterinary, and legal practices. Jim is also an effective litigator involving commercial disputes, most notably including partnership dissolution, failed leveraged buyout, property tax appeals of highly specialized properties, commercial paper, and contract and commercial code issues.

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