James L Martin

James L. Martin


Phone 208 385 5303
Office 208 345 2000
Fax 208 954 5217
Toll Free 800 422 2889


Jim Martin is as passionate about his clients and the matters he works on as he is about the other aspects of his life that drive his success.  Having grown up on an Idaho farm and on the rodeo circuit, Jim knows how to work, and work hard.  As one banking client stated: “My firm was embroiled in a multi-year and multi-million dollar lawsuit that had the potential to ruin our reputation and cause significant financial harm.  Jim and his team outworked and outsmarted the other side.  He was quick to adapt his presentation at trial to changing circumstances and his command of a huge body of evidence was very impressive.”

Jim is a litigation partner and his complex commercial litigation practice is devoted to providing clients, including financial institutions, with advice and representation when they face significant financial or operational risks.  He has been involved in litigated matters of every size and has assisted a wide variety of clients in resolving cases to a successful conclusion.  Most importantly, having now been at this for nearly 26 years, he understands and appreciates that clients demand and deserve efficiency, responsiveness, and a good listening ear.

Some of Mr. Martin’s recent representations include:

  • Represented a real estate services company in successfully opposing class certification in a case where the plaintiffs sought $24 billion in damages on behalf of the purported class.
  • Represented numerous general contractors and subcontractors in claimed construction defect litigated matters in Idaho state and federal courts.
  • Represented a national wood products supplier / subcontractor in a large construction defect dispute with the construction manager / general contractor on large Air Force Base project where parties were able to resolve their dispute after agreeing to exchange a large amount of documents and participate in a formal pre-suit multi-day mediation.
  • Represented a national investment manager and lender regarding claims of lender liability, breach of loan commitments and promises to lend $65 million, in which Mr. Martin’s client obtained summary judgment that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Represented a national bank regarding a local municipality’s non-payment of $30 million indebtedness regarding local sewer system and related collateral litigation.
  • Represented a national bank and its insurance company subsidiary regarding claims arising out of purchase and sale of insurance agency.
  • Represented a regional industrial equipment company in various litigated actions ranging from wrongful death matters to products liability cases.
  • Represented bank against a national title insurance company in a claim of bad faith and breach of insurance contract involving millions of dollars in dispute.
  • Represented insurance company in various first party bad faith cases.
  • Represented a national law firm in claims alleging professional malpractice, fraud, and breach of contract.

Ratings & Recognitions

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society (2013-present)
  • Martindale Hubbell – AV Preeminent Rating since 2006
  • Leaders in Law Award, 2014 Firm Partner
  • Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year 2017 – Litigation – Insurance
  • Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year 2014 – Litigation – Banking and Finance
  • Best Lawyers® – Banking and Finance (2007-present)
  • Super Lawyers – Business Litigation (2009-present)
  • Chambers and Partners – General and Commercial Litigation (2007-present)
  • Rotary Paul Harris Fellow
  • Rotary “Ethics in Business” Nominee (2011)
  • Denise O’Donnell Day Pro Bono Award (2008)
  • CASA Lawyer of the Year (2007)

JLM, Best Lawyers 2015



  • J.D., University of Idaho College of Law, 1990
  • B.S., Boise State University, 1987


  • Idaho State and Federal Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Pro bono work for the Family Advocate Program for over 15 years
  • Boise Centennial Rotary Club, Charter member and served as President (2015-2016)
  • Idaho Association Defense Counsel, Member
  • Volunteer attorney for the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Local Civil Rules Committee, United States District Court for the District of Idaho
  • Founding member of statewide Idaho Pro Bono Commission
  • Fourth District Local Pro Bono Committee, former Member
  • Idaho Academy for Leadership for Lawyers, founding member/steering committee
  • Member ISB Professional Conduct Board
  • Fourth District Bar Association, Past Chair (and all other positions)
  • Young Lawyers Section of Idaho State Bar, Past Chair (and all other positions)
  • DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar (Defense Research Institute), former State Representative for Idaho
  • Idaho State Bar Exam grader
  • American Bar Association – Litigation Section
  • Federal Bar Association – Federal Litigation, Judiciary Division
  • Idaho AGC (Associated General Contractors), member

Professional Publications

  • “A State-by-State Guide to Construction & Design Law: Idaho Construction & Design Law,” Second Edition, James L. Martin and Tyler J. Anderson, American Bar Association
  • CLE to Judge Winmill’s third year University of Idaho Law Students on Discovery in Complex Litigation, Oct. 2014, Sept. 2013, Sept. 2012, Sept. 2011
  • Multiple Presentations to Idaho Academy of Leadership for Lawyers Classes (2011-2014)

Community Activities

  • Boise State University Hardwood Club Member
  • Sacred Heart Athletic Committee Member
  • City Club of Boise Member
  • Hillcrest Country Club, Member Invitational – Bylaws Committee, Golf Committee, House Committee, Boise Open Committee


“As a Regional Claims Manager, I have worked with Moffatt Thomas for the past 30 years and specifically with Jim Martin for 23 years. Jim is our “go to guy” and has proven himself by consistently providing the thorough and meticulous research and extensive preparation that we have grown to expect from Moffatt Thomas. As an extremely skilled and knowledgeable attorney, Jim reliably delivers the same high quality of work product regardless of the size or complexity of the case or issue. His expertise and advice is always extremely professional and his insight is typically spot on. I value my working relationship with Jim Martin as not only a trusted professional but also a respected person and friend.”


“He’s got fantastic common sense and is great on his feet.”


“Jim and the Moffatt Thomas team fought hard and well for us and I am confident they will do the same for you.”


“Our case included such problems as Federal vs. State court, State of Washington vs. Idaho law, and a huge amount of information. Jim personally visited the offices of the opposition and came away with important information. He and his team were good at framing the issues and strongly supporting our arguments.”
And from the Chief Judge of the Idaho Supreme Court, “Many thanks for everything you did to get the Idaho Pro Bono Commission up and running. I appreciated your participation and contribution on a regular basis and the efforts you and your firm have made in advancing the pro bono agenda in Idaho.”