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James S. Putnam

Phone: 573-445-8990

Columbia, Missouri office

Practice Areas: 

Coverage; Casualty and Personal Injury Litigation; Commercial Motor Vehicle (Trucking) Litigation; School Liability.

Jim joined McCausland Barrett & Bartalos in June 2013 after practicing in Jefferson City, Missouri and Central Illinois. He has been practicing primarily in the area of insurance defense litigation since 2004. He has represented insureds for more than a dozen insurance companies in a wide range of cases including personal automobile accidents, trucking accidents, premises cases, subrogation matters, wrongful death suits, construction accidents, construction defects, inverse condemnation, and liability cases against municipalities. 


Jim has extensive experience representing individuals, small and large businesses, and transportation companies, in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death and premises liability lawsuit. In addition, he represents insurers and insureds in first and third-party insurance coverage disputes, first party breach of contract, and bad-faith litigation.


Jim represents clients in federal and state courts in Missouri and Illinois. Out of the firm’s Columbia, Missouri office, Jim manages all phases of litigation, including pre-suit investigation and quick response on commercial matters, written discovery, fact and expert witness depositions, motion practice, mediation, and pre-trial matters. Jim has been the lead attorney on numerous jury trials and handled appeals on various issues in his career.


Jim is a frequent presenter and content contributor at the Missouri SOLO and Small Firm Conference. Topics including defense strategies for deposing experts, sources of evidence, deposition college, UIM-UIM coverage.  


Jim values his clients’ legal interests and welfare and is compassionate about his work in their defense. He works diligently to minimize the effects that litigation can have on individuals and works hard to make the process as easy as possible on his clients.   

Professional Updates


  • Jim Putnam named 2020 Honoree by Missouri Super Lawyers Magazine.

  • Obtained Summary Judgment and Affirmation on Appeal of a settlement of a claim involving the tragic death of a mother and her unborn child following a motor vehicle accident. 

  • Won a Motion for Summary Judgment on negligence per se and punitive damages weeks prior to trial that resulted in a pre-trial settlement for less than had previously been offered.

  • Prevented a municipality’s unnecessary taking of private land at the Lake of the Ozarks with staunch advocacy for two private residential land owners.

  • Awarded summary judgment on behalf of commercial client for cemetery injury that resulted in full dismissal of client.

Courts of Admission: 



United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri

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