Coining the Term “Business Divorce”
While a civil litigator many years ago, Jim noticed that many disputes between the owners and operators of closely held and family businesses resulted in the collapse of the underlying business due to the acrimony involved. He developed the expertise and coined the term “Business Divorce” to describe the services he offers to address these issues. The last ten years have been spent refining his skills and techniques in providing services to clients undergoing dissolution of their businesses.
Jim also provides mediation services in cases involving dissolution of a business when counsel may already be present or litigation is underway. He provides a neutral viewpoint to help save the business while resolving disputes.
Real Estate Disputes
Jim is especially knowledgeable in the analysis and protection of unusual real estate interests such as patented mining claims and U.S. Forest in-holdings. He has also handled numerous adverse possession and commercial real estate cases, including the foreclosure of two different Colorado ski resorts and other commercial and residential properties.
After passing the bar in 1979, Jim served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. As trial counsel and government appellate counsel, he prosecuted at trial and on appeal more than 600 courts-martial. He then went on to become a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, serving in the criminal section of the Tax Division, where he prosecuted numerous cases involving violations of the tax laws in the federal courts. During his tenure in Washington, D.C., Jim obtained the longest sentences adjudged to date against tax protestor (militia) defendants.
He left in 1986 to escape to the mountains and practice civil litigation and business law in the Denver Metro area. He worked with a number of private law firms until opening his own practice in 1993. Since 1994, Jim has practiced law with his wife and law partner, Joanne Parsons Underhill.
Business Dissolution Disputes and Mediation
Litigation Involving Reinsurance
Contract Drafting and Negotiations
Insurance Company Liquidation
Uniform Commercial Code
Criminal Tax Representation
Business Fraud Investigation and Litigation
Business Advice and Regulatory Matters
Insurance Policy Coverage
District of Columbia, 1979
U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1986
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1992
U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 1986
U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1979
U.S. Supreme Court, 1983
U.S. Tax Court, 1993
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1980
J.D., American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, D. C., 1979
National Moot Court Team
Washington College of Law, American University Law Review, 1978 - 1979
B. A., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, May, 1976
Distinguished Military Graduate
Colorado Bar Association, Member
Denver Bar Association, Member