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James D Van Ness

Business Attorney at Salem, OR

4.1   9 reviews

Licensed for 23 years

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

3
Practice areas
  1. Business
    50%
    Business formation and litigation

    25 years

  2. Divorce and separation
    40%
    Divorce, modification

  3. Banking
    10%
    Lender Liability

    25 years

WE MAINTAIN A TRADITION OF LEGAL EXCELLENCE, PROVIDING THE SERVICE YOU EXPECT AND DESERVE.

I was born and raised in suburban Maryland, just north of Washington D.C. As such, I had a front row seat for JFK's Inaugural & MLK's August 28, 1963 speech on the Mall. I truly enjoyed growing up with the rich heritage of the nation's capital. Upon graduation from the University of Maryland I went to work in the intelligence community in what is now known as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. I spent a decade in banking, then turned towards a legal career.

I have litigated commercial cases throughout the Western United States, being admitted along the way to over a dozen federal district courts. Over the past decade my practice has been split between family law and international trade law. Memberships: Oregon State Bar Family Law Section; OSB Disciplinary Committee, 2003-2009; United States District Court for the District of Oregon Local Rules Advisory Committee, 2003 - 2009; Marion County Practice & Procedures Committee; Marion County e-Court.

Committee Awards and Honors: Award for Distinguished Client Service, Martindale Hubbell, 2009 - 2016; Top 10% of Lawyers, Martindale Hubbell, 2016; Award for Distinguished Achievement, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1998; Distinguished Presenter, Gravitation Effects on Doppler Mechanics, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics Symposium, 1982; Award of Excellence for Telemetry Support of the Shuttle Columbia Landing at White Sands Missile Range, National Reconnaissance Office, 1982; Certificate of Merit for Advancement of Inertial Navigation Systems, Honeywell Aerospace Division, 1980; Award of Excellence for Precision Support of the MX Missile Inertial Navigation System, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, 1980; Certificate of Merit for Saving Life and Property During Hurricane Agnes, Maryland National Park & Planning Commission, 1972.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 23 years
State OR
Status Active
Acquired 1999
Updated 12/11/2022
State WA
Status Voluntarily Resigned
Acquired 2003
Updated 02/01/2023

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact James

Van Ness Williamson LLP
960 Liberty Street SE
Suite 100
Salem, OR, 97302

Reviews

4.1 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
5 Star
 
78%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
22%
Posted by John | October 10, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very Professional
Mr. Van Ness is very professional and courteous. When we met with him about our case he was very forthright. We really appreciated the insight on issues we were facing. You don't always like what a third party tells you but Jim was absolutely right. We followed his advice and were able to move forward with our lives. Family situations are never easy but when you combine family and business together that creates a different ballgame. Jim handled our case very efficiently and in a very professional manner. I would recommend Mr. Van Ness in a heartbeat.
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Posted by Steve | August 16, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great attorney
Jim was my attorney for my Divorce and did a great job. He kept me informed of what was happining. He always got back to me in a reasonable time. I would recommend Jim.
Posted by Jan | August 4, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Praise for Jim and Team
If you need a team of excellent lawyers, call Jim. I cannot describe the gratitude I have for the kindness and professionalism I received from Jim and his team. What could have been a disaster for me was resolved quickly. They certainly know their profession and I benefited in their care. Thank you!
Posted by Robert | August 3, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Look no further
I first met Mr. Van Ness and his team almost 2 years ago, while looking to do some estate planning. Since then, I've had to hire him for my custody case. Mr. Van Ness was very up front about everything, and helped ease all my concerns. Mr. Van Ness and his team are the only ones I recommend to anyone I know.
Posted by anonymous | February 7, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Emails
He was a good lawyer who seemed to have empathy for my case. The only thing I'd suggest is having faster responses by email.
Posted by anonymous | January 31, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Attorney!
I needed help with my divorce and Jim Van Ness did a wonderful job guiding me through this difficult process. He was knowledgable, diligent and confident. I would recommend to anyone needing a family law attorney!
Posted by Vince | January 30, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I would challenge anyone to discover a better attorney at law with paralegal staff to match
Hello, My name is Vince B. I hired James Vanness for a very difficult custody case in 2012. The other party was a different kind of extreme borderline personality disorder. This case was about as extreme and filled with about as many reckless and abusive and costly lies about me as a case could be. Regretfully, My ex and daughter's mother is one of the greatest pyschopath masterminds of all time. Only thanks to Jim and his staff was I able to make sense of of the most difficult time in my life and my daughter's life. Even though the other party cost a grand toll in lies, manipulation and deciet in front of a court audience, Jim remained calm and collective, focused on pertinent issues and after representing me for 4 years in ongoing defense of lies and accusations made against me he ended up getting me awarded with full custody of my daughter with grounds to move across the country. Jim is incredibly honest, funny, genuine, has great empathy, is caring, morally sound, and reasonable on cost. If he or his staff state they are going to do something they are on top of it immediately and get the job done for you no matter what it takes. He and his staff have gone to extreme lengths in my case and in the end we won, even though it took just over 4 years. Thanks to Jim Vanness at Vanness Williamson and his staff my 9 year old daughter and myself have obtained a new lease on life and a life of peace. Well outside of fees paid for service I am indebted to this man and his firm. We could not have done this without him. Sincerely, Vince B
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Response from James Van Ness April 4, 2017
Vince is the exact kind of person I always wanted to help with my legal skill. He is absolutely devoted to his daughter and my job was to get him full custody AND for the court to approve his relocation (with his daughter) from Oregon to Wisconsin. We won all the way around.
Posted by anonymous | September 10, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Incompetent and Unprofessional
Take notice of how he responded to clients on this site who disagreed with him or wrote a negative review. This is indicative of my experience. He started out as if he knows a lot, but ends up in a pile of fees with no results and defensiveness. To be specific: 1) Did not respond in a timely manner to questions or sometimes not at all. 2) Submitted a hand-written draft of an official court document with lined out words and margin notes. I specifically stated that I wanted to discuss this document and the numbers before submission. 3) Scheduled and rescheduled hearings without consulting me to as to my availability or to even inform me that it had taken place. 4) Did not provide copies of court documents filed, correspondence to/from opposing counsel, nor copies of any discovery items supplied by the petitioner. 5) Failed to inform me of progress in the case, his strategy, what to expect in the process or any options I had ​available. 6) Sent an email requesting documents that I had sent a month earlier and billed me for it again. 7) Incompetently suggested we cancel a hearing and offer $1000/mo. in spousal support for life. He did ​not offer any alternatives or demonstrate a willingness to fight for me since my spouse had a professional degree and professional license ​with the ability to earn a living equal to mine. My new attorney negotiated a set, non-modifiable amount of spousal support which turned out to less than what Mr. Van Ness recommended I should pay in one year alone! 8) Exorbitant fee. No one expects an attorney to be inexpensive or to get 100% of a desired outcome. However, I do expect the attorney to at least pretend to be on my side and work for my benefit. This attorney did not. 9) He was fired over four months ago and continues to add fees for services. He filed a "Notice of Lien" on my property two weeks after I fired him. Everything Mr. Van Ness was not, my new attorney was. She was professional, courteous, explained everything, informed me every week, sent copies of emails, letters, discovery and ​well versed in family law. Don't waste your time or your money on Mr. Van Ness for family law issues. Find someone who specializes in the field with 100% of their representation in family law.
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Response from James Van Ness May 25, 2022
Dear Anonymous - We don't recognize the facts you set forth as one of our client matters. We stand by our firm's commitment to providing excellent service and adhering to all professional rules of conduct. JVN
Posted by anonymous | August 7, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Unprofessional and a waste of money
My experience with Mr. Van Ness is painful. He was happy to charge me a lot of money, but for wasted and undesired work. He was recommended and when we met seemed to be nice at first, but over time he just did not seem to be the brightest bulb and if for whatever reason he gets butthurt he lashes out - not very professional or conducive to helping resolve legal matters, especially in a high conflict situation. I definitely do not recommend.
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Response from James Van Ness August 20, 2019
While posted anonymously, I recognize this individual. I never represented this person. I was appointed by the court to work as a parenting coordinator in a high conflict and contentious case. As long as I agreed with him he was happy. When I disagreed he escalated his conflict mechanisms, and then refused to participate. My job - as defined by the court - was not to agree with either party but to alleviate their conflict. His review is indicative of the conflict he generates.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 285-325 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney Member
  • Van Ness, Mooney LLC
  • 2005 - 2015
  • Attorney
  • Van Ness, Hammond, Mooney
  • 1999 - 2005

Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1998
  • University of Maryland
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1976

Legal Cases

  • Bollinger v. Board of Parole
  • Prevailed
  • Brandon Joseph Beyer and Brandy Jean Cherry (A150879 - Linn County Circuit Court)
  • Succesfully defended

Associations

  • Willamette Valley American Inn of Court
  • 2007 - Present
  • Marion County Bar Association
  • 1999 - Present
  • Order of the Barristers
  • 1998 - Present
  • OSB Disciplinary Board
  • Panel Judge
  • 2004 - 2009
  • USDC Oregon Rules Committee
  • Member
  • 2004 - 2009
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2020
  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • Top 10 Attorneys
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • 2017
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Top 10 Attorneys
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • 2016
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2010
  • Award for Distinguished Client Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009
  • Award for Distinguished Achievement
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • 1998
  • Distinguished Presenter
  • International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
  • 1982
  • Award of Excellence Columbia Mission
  • NASA
  • 1982
  • Certificate of Merit for Saving Life and Property
  • MNCPPC
  • 1972
View all awards

Publications

  • International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
  • Gravitation Effects on Doppler Mechanics
  • 1982

Speaking Engagements

  • Willamette Valley American Inn of Court
  • What the PLF does not cover
  • 2016

Attorney endorsements

Received (9)
Given (0)
Endorse James
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 06
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Jim is a fantastic attorney to work with. Extremely knowledgeable and always responsive to his clients needs."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have found Jim to be fair and reasonable both in his approach with opposing attorneys, but also in how he handles his client. When necessary he is assertive and can take a stand on an issue and present it convincingly. Jim is a great attorney."
Family Attorney | Apr 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 05
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jim is a strong advocate for his clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Jim as a professional for twenty years. He is thoughtful and intelligent with a knack for thinking outside the box. And he is literally a rocket scientist. I would recommend him without reservation."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 04
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse James Van Ness without reservation. I have enjoyed working on many cases with him on the other side. We work toward practical solutions for our client's but if the matter has to taken to court his approach at trial is as a zealous attorney prepared for trial."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 04
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I worked with Jim on a contentious dissolution matter involving convoluted personal and financial matters. Throughout representation Jim was a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with. Since then, I have referred several potential clients in the Salem area to him for domestic relations representation."
Family Attorney | Jan 31
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim is a highly competent attorney who serves his clients well."
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This attorney hasn't created any attorney endorsements recently on Avvo.