James has been a trial lawyer for over 25 years, originally in Vancouver and then for the past 20 years in the Okanagan. He has a wide ranging practice including injury claims, health law, school law, insurance issues, administrative law, estate litigation and corporate and commercial disputes. He regularly conducts trials in the B.C. Supreme Court, including jury trials, and has appeared in the B.C. Court of Appeal. He is a member of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C.; the Canadian Bar Association; and is the VP for the North Okanagan Cycling Society. When not working, James is usually in the great outdoors following his passions of mountain biking, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits.
“I take pride in representing my clients by continually striving to bring a significant benefit to them, not only in the final result, but in providing peace of mind during the litigation process. I am acutely aware that my job is to solve problems for my clients, often during very stressful times. I am humbled to take on such responsibility. I enjoy the competitive nature of litigation, and I believe that you cannot reach a fair resolution without being fully prepared for all potential outcomes. There are no short cuts to a great result. I can truly say, that my best days at work are when I’ve achieved a real benefit for my client.”
James has acted for clients who have sustained all matters of injury, including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. James has obtained strong results for his clients through his use of effective advocacy and strong knowledge of the law.
James has acted for executors, named beneficiaries and claimants in all matters of estate litigation. James has made successful applications under the Wills Variation Act as well as protecting beneficiaries from unwarranted distribution of estate assets to third party claimants.
James has wide ranging experience in civil litigation of all kinds, including construction, land and business disputes.
James has brought claims against municipalities for injury victims, as well as dealing with zoning bylaws, approving officers, and conflict of interest claims.
James defends Hospitals in regard to claims for medical malpractice, coroners inquests, and slip and falls. Often these are complex claims involving a wide range of issues. He also advises on administrative law issues relating to privacy, consent, and elder law.
James acts on behalf of School Districts defending them against claims arising from alleged negligence of teachers and staff.
James acts for private insurers defending claims, and also for insureds seeking coverage under insurance policies. He has brought claims against disability insurers and life and critical illness insurers. He has also litigated fire losses where insurance coverage is in dispute.
Education and Interests
- LLB in 1994.
- Called to the British Columbia Bar in 1995.
- Bachelor of Commerce in 1994.
Professional and Civic Interests
- Member of the Canadian Bar Association
- Active participant in the Access Pro Bono program
- Member of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C.
- Member of the Interior BC Association for Injured Motorcyclists
- Past Director with the Vernon Art Gallery and Vernon & District Performing Arts Theatre
- Past member of the Interior Health Authority Research Ethics Board
- Past part-time instructor for BCIT law-related courses
- Retired representative for the Yale Country, North, with the B.C. branch of Canadian Bar Association
- Past coach in youth soccer and basketball
Municipal Limitation Periods
“The lawyers and staff at Nixon Wenger have gone above and beyond in taking care of my affairs. They were always there when I needed them, and are very accommodating, making my life a lot easier. Whether it be in personal injury (James Cotter), family law (Kylie Walman) or real estate (Elise Allan), I highly recommend Nixon Wenger LLP.”
– Cameron Lee
“We met with James Cotter approx. 6 years ago for legal advice when we had nearly reached the end of our 2 years working with ICBC after a car accident. James was very patient, calm and professional as he reviewed our information and let us know how processes worked and what our expectations could be. He and his assistant Caitlin were always available for questions and even took calls from us on evenings and weekends. The process was long and we finally reached an end result this year. James had prepared us with the idea that it might take longer, so the time frame was not outside of our expectations. The end result was better than what we had thought and hoped for. We will always appreciate the hard work, care and dedication that James, Ryan and Caitlin put toward making sure we were looked after.”
– Dawn and Matt Goldie
“James worked on my personal injury claim, providing support through a long and difficult experience. Great people at the firm, I really appreciate their council. Would recommend to anyone.”
– Devon Lencucha
“From the start I felt very confident and comfortable with my decision to retain the firm Nixon Wenger, in particular James Cotter, as my representative and legal counsel. Having sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident, it was immediately apparent to me that without legal advice I would have a challenging and somewhat unknown road ahead. Nixon Wenger is a highly regarded legal firm in our community and after meeting with James I was convinced that he had my best interests at heart and was going to use all his resources at hand to assist me. James was very personable, knowledgeable, confident and always available for my questions and concerns. I am very happy with the services that I received from James and his team. I feel that they went above and beyond and ultimately ensured a result that I was truly pleased with and certainly one that I could have not achieved without James and his team. I am very appreciative to James and his team and highly recommend their services. Lastly, I consider them to be a true leader in their field.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to James Cotter. Right from my first meeting with you I felt comfortable . Through the process you always kept me informed and on tract with my responsibility to the claim. I very much appreciate your professional skills with Desjardins, something I did not expect . Thank you so much. Also, thank you to Christine and others in your firm who worked so hard on my claim. I’m very happy with the outcome and would highly recommend you and your firm to others.”
“The team at Nixon Wenger were remarkable at making me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable time.”
– J. Roy
“My lawyer and the paralegal team (and all front end staff) were professional and reliable, but most importantly, down to earth. The service provided was individualized and I was not treated solely as a client, but a person. I contacted Nixon Wenger initially to seek help in navigating the difficult relationship with ICBC. Their service went far beyond this and until the end, they carried my stress for me.”
– B. Cumming
“The service was great. The staff was friendly, caring, professional. James Cotter was all of this plus he knew what health care professionals to send me to. Without James Cotter I would never had received the settlement from ICBC that I did. Thank you James.”
– E. Power
“I got injured and was not sure what to do. l talked to James and felt much better about it. Over the time it took to go to court, both James and Caitlin helped me through appointments and many other things. When it came to court, l was very nervous and scared, but James and his staff made me feel much better and l am very happy about the outcome. It was better than l ever dreamed of.”
– L. Lafond
“Nixon Wenger has been easy to work with. Thru my personal injury claim, James Cotter and his associates always kept me well informed, and were much needed moral support on meany occasions. Making a difficult process much less painful. Nixon Wenger has great people and resources and would recommend their legal services to anyone that needs help.”
– Devon Patrick L.
“Thank you so much to James Cotter and the staff at Nixon Wenger. In 2016 I went through one of the most difficult times in my life when I was hit by a drunk driving while coming home from work. One of my first calls was to Nixon Wenger. James made my husband and I feel confident that we could focus on my road to recovery while the details of my ICBC claim were professionally dealt with. I felt listened to and my questions were efficiently answered. I was kept up to date with where my claim was and with what to expect next. I feel like James and the staff were my biggest advocates. We were able to successfully settle with ICBC. I would highly recommend Nixon Wenger to anybody!”
– Kimberly R.
2022 BCSC 793 Over $1,300,000 awarded at trial to plaintiff injured in horrific dirt biking accident: Mr. Jackson sustained significant injuries when riding his dirt bike on a private road, near his parents’ rural property. The occupier of the property had strung a metal chain across the road, with no signage or indication that it […]
This was a claim that involved a man in his 60’s who spoke little English and had worked at manual jobs all his life. Mr. Kalashnikoff was referred to James by his brother who was also a client. Mr. Kalashnikoff was involved in a head-on collision with the defendant. It appeared that the defendant had […]
Multiple Vehicle Accident Caused by 90 Year Old Driver: Mr. Van Sprang is a man in his 30’s with a young family and was a key person in his dad’s business which was a heating and cooling service company. Mr. Van Sprang’s father had plans to hand over the business to his son when he […]
Three Motor Vehicle Accidents Contribute to Chronic Pain: Susan A-C was referred to Nixon Wenger by a friend. James represented her initially for an accident that occurred in 2012. While representing her, Susan was unfortunately involved in two other accidents, none of which were her fault. Susan suffered chronic soft tissue injuries which affected her […]
Matt Goldie was referred to James by a former client. Initially he was involved in a serious rear-end collision accident which caused him significant disability in his low back. At the time of this first accident, Matt was working in construction and took almost two months off of work before returning to this heavy manual […]
On February 9, 2009, the plaintiff fell and broke his leg while on the premises of the defendant. He sued, alleging that the defendant was negligent and in breach of its duties as an occupier. Click here to read the Court Decision.
The plaintiff, Jason Sean Nadeau, was injured on July 1st, 2005, when he was struck by a motor vehicle. He was attending a music concert at an outdoor venue called The Bluffs. Click here to read the Court Decision.
Mr. Cotter represents a young lady injured in a motor vehicle accident where her main injury is a chronic whip lash injury to her neck. This claimant was only 17 years old when it happened, and she is still recovering from the injury, such that it is unclear as to her degree of recovery. Even […]
HALLER v. GALEY Jury Trial Conducted by James Cotter and Ryan Irving, December 2015 Our client, Mr. Haller, was 62 years old at the time he was injured in a high speed, rear-end motor vehicle accident. Following the accident, he suffered from a significant neck injury and debilitating headaches, as well as problems with balance […]
LAFOND vs. MANDAIR Larry Lafond retained James Cotter after he was injured in a motor vehicle accident which left him with chronic neck pain and low back pain. Despite these injuries he did not miss a lot of his work, due to the fact that he had a very accommodating employer. His employer allowed him […]
HARRIS vs. KRAUS Ms. Harris was involved in a significant motor vehicle accident on May 27, 2012. At the time, she was a young mother of two and was doing her best to help provide for her family while caring for her young children. Unfortunately, the accident caused Ms. Harris to develop chronic pain into […]