James (Jim) Koelzer represents insurers in litigation and counsels them in coverage disputes. His practice focuses on insurance for industries that drive Southern California's economy: construction, energy, entertainment and shipping.

Prior to entering private practice, Jim was employed by the Lloyd's Claims Office and served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington. His work in London and Washington afford Jim a deep understanding of the global insurance marketplace and its constant evolution, as well as keen insight into how courts evaluate the merits of cases and the lawyers who argue them. As a result, Jim has a unique perspective that helps him solve complex coverage disputes and sensitive legal problems through trial, litigation, and negotiation, while providing an unwavering dedication to client service and value.  

Jim's work has ranged from advising insurers with respect to contingency coverage for concert cancellations, to representing insurers in bad faith litigation concerning products-completed operations coverage for construction defects, and defending war risk insurers in bad faith litigation over coverage for the alleged theft of a commercial fishing vessel. He has handled cases involving general commercial liability coverage; pollution liability, bodily injury liability, terrorism, and exploration and production coverage for energy companies; products and professional liability coverage for life-science companies; professional liability coverage involving nursing homes, attorneys, real estate agents and a hospital; various types of specialty coverage, including contingency, game show indemnity, travel and personal accident; as well as a range of marine coverage that includes war risk, protection and indemnity, and hull.


  • California
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • US District Court for the District of Colorado
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • J.D., Tulane University School of Law, 1996. Editor in Chief, Tulane Maritime Law Journal.
  • B.A., Hobart College, 1993


  • Association of Average Adjustors of the United Kingdom
  • Chartered Insurance Institute of the United Kingdom
  • Inland Marine Underwriters Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, proctor member
  • North American Contingency Association
  • Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association
    • Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee, chair (2013-2014), vice chair (2014-present)
    • Excess Surplus and Reinsurance Committee, vice chair (2012-2014)
    • Technology Committee, vice chair (2012-2015)
    • Communications Web Site Editorial Board, chair (2011-2012)
    • Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, vice chair (2007-2009)
    • Leadership Academy (2007-2008)
    • Ethics and Professionalism Committee (2007-2008)
  • Tulane Maritime Law Journal, permanent advisory editor (1997-present)