ABOUT James P. Wagoner

Mr. Wagoner has been with McCormick, Barstow since 1974. He is statewide coverage counsel for numerous insurers and risk financing entities for both litigation and non-litigation services and practices in all the state and federal trial and appellate courts in California.


With the able assistance of other members of the department, Mr. Wagoner has handled numerous very large and complex cases involving claims in the hundreds of millions of dollars, some of which involved thousands of parties. He has also tried numerous coverage and bad faith cases in a variety of forums and has received two $13 million plus verdicts in favor of his clients.

Mr. Wagoner is certified as a specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. In his appellate practice, he has handled numerous matters before the California Supreme Court and both the State and Federal Courts of Appeal. Prior to joining McCormick Barstow, Mr. Wagoner was a law clerk for the Honorable George A. Brown, Presiding Justice of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

Publications and Lectures

Mr. Wagoner is a frequent speaker and author and has also been retained numerous times as an expert witness. He was formerly a member of the Advisory Board of Trials Digest and was a Consulting Editor for California Liability Insurance Practice, Claims and Litigation (CEB, 1991).

Honors and Awards

Mr. Wagoner is AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated with Martindale-Hubbell. He has been selected for inclusion in the Northern California Super Lawyers list every year since the publication started in 2005, and in both 2012 and 2013 was the only lawyer specializing in Insurance Coverage named to the Northern California Top 100 list. Mr. Wagoner was selected as one of AIG’s Top Ten Lawyers for 2008. In 2013, the American Society of Legal Advocates named Mr. Wagoner one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the State of California for his primary practice area of insurance coverage. In 2018, Mr. Wagoner was elected as a fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel.

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Areas of LAW

  • Litigation

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