New Sensation with Jeremy James, Cosgrave Vergeer Kester, Attorney

Posted on May 13, 2013

Since ELGL is not a big fan of icebreakers and since we would rather not know what animal you want to be, this blog feature will serve as a means of introducing new members. While you won’t learn about their favorite animal, you will learn about their ideal Sunday morning, which dead people would they FaceTime with, and which song best describes their life.


Name: Jeremy James

Organization: Cosgrave Vergeer Kester

Position:  Associate, Business Litigation Practice Group

Law School: Lewis and Clark

Undergraduate: University of Colorado at Boulder

Stay Connected: Email and LinkedIn

Background Check 

Jeremy James joined Cosgrave in 2012 as an associate in the firm’s general liability practice area. Prior to joining Cosgrave, Jeremy worked as a law clerk for the Trial Division of the Oregon Department of Justice. Jeremy’s law school work included an internship with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office and a position as Articles Editor on the Lewis & Clark Law Review. In 2011, he worked as a summer associate at Cosgrave. Jeremy spent several years in professional services marketing and business development before deciding to enter law school.

Q &A 

Tell us about three projects that you are working on.

It’s hard for a lawyer to talk about current cases, but I can say that I’m helping to defend clients in state and federal court on a variety of claims.  The best part of my job is that every case presents new issues and challenges.  Now that I’m finished ducking the question, I will gracefully move on to the next one.

Your work/school mentors:

My official Oregon State Bar mentor is Mike Lewton, a very experienced litigator in my office.  Mike has provided a lot of insight and advice on a range of issues.  My unofficial mentor is The Dude from The Big Lebowski.  I’m generally wound up pretty tight, while The Dude just “abides.”  Whenever I get too stressed, I try to tell myself to calm down and focus on abiding.  I also have to add my father, a retired US History teacher who taught me a great deal about our history and government, among other things.

Describe the inside of your car.

Covered in dog hair.  I take our two mutts to the dog park almost every day.  I’m afraid I clean the back seat somewhat less often.

Most recent concert you attended:

Pearl Jam with Ben Harper at the Clark County Fairgrounds, I’m guessing in 2010.  That’s sad.  I need to get out more.


If you could only visit five websites for the next year, which ones would you choose?

  • Gmail
  • The New York Times
  • ESPN
  • WestlawNext
  •, of course!

(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to…

argue a case in front of the US Supreme Court.  It would be terrifying and exhilarating.

Proudest career/school accomplishment:  

Still has to be passing the bar exam.  It was not the hardest test I’ve ever taken, but the consequences of failure seemed so massive that I could barely keep the words straight on the page.  Two months later, the day the scores were finally released, I was fishing for salmon off the Oregon coast when my cell phone rang.  An associate at my current firm was calling to congratulate me (and be the first to tell me I had passed).  A fish took my line as we were talking and I had to drop the phone (on the deck, not in the water) to reel the fish in.  My wife and a good friend were on the boat with me, so this is actually a verifiable fishing story.

What song best describes your life?

I don’t know.  Is there a song about student loan debt?  If so, that song is my answer.


Suggest two or three topics for the ELGL annual conference.

  • Number one should be environmental issues facing local governments.
  • A related topic could be public transportation solutions for growing communities.
  • Finally, (and personally fascinating to me as a lawyer) would public entity liability.

If you could FaceTime or Skype with three people either dead or alive, who would they be?


Theodore Roosevelt,

Albert Einstein, and

Bill Maher, in no particular order.

Favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning:

Rock climbing at the Circuit Bouldering Gym.

(Complete the sentence) Government is…..

the only adult in a room full of children.

(Complete the sentence) ELGL is …..

a great group of interesting and engaged local government advocates.

Describe your initial reaction in hearing that your wife is pregnant with twins.

Probably close to that famous painting “The Scream” by Edward Munch.  But now that I’m over the initial panic, it’s getting very exciting.  The ultrasounds are really something to see.

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