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A FIRM BY ANY OTHER NAME

The Gomez Firm Blossoms into Gomez & Iagmin Trial Attorneys, But Remains Rooted in Excellence As Standard.

AttorneyoftheMonth_2013When James Iagmin joined The Gomez Firm in 2008, he brought more than a decade of experience as a plaintiff’s trial attorney to the established firm. Having first worked under the mentorship of William L. Veen in San Francisco before joining Schoville & Arnell in San Diego, Iagmin was well-versed in the field of personal injury law. He’d worked within all aspects of complex injury cases, including premises liability, employment, government liability, wrongful death and product liability cases. In fact, he’d been active in the work-up of a product liability case that resulted in a record $369,000,000 jury verdict. However, Iagmin was yearning to try more cases. The opportunity to do just that arose when he accepted an offer from powerhouse personal injury attorney John Gomez.

Joining the Gomez Firm would prove to be a landmark career decision for Iagmin. In his time with the firm, Iagmin has not only been named one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys by the National Trial Lawyers, but has also racked up four Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. Moreover, he’s been named a Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney by the San Diego Daily Transcript, and listed in Super Lawyers for the past three years. Suffice to say, Iagmin has worked hard at perfecting his craft.

The hard work has paid off. Just five years after joining forces with John Gomez, Iagmin is widely regarded as one of the best trial attorneys in San Diego. Moreover, he’s become managing partner of one of the city’s largest plaintiffs firms- the recently renamed Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys.

© Bauman Photographers

© Bauman Photographers

A Budding Star
“Since passing the bar in 1997, I have represented only plaintiffs,” says San Diego born and raised Iagmin. “My practice gives me the best opportunity to help people. There is no insurance company or corporation between my client and me. My typical client is a very good person going through a very hard time. They have been catastrophically injured, or are the families of those who have been killed because of negligence by some other person or entity. If I can bring comfort to them, while they are coming to grips with economic, physiological, emotional and physical changes that result from traumatic injury; and set them up so that they can live a life of dignity, I feel extremely satisfied,” he explains.

“I’m really a nuts and bolts attorney. I love to take depositions. I love to go to trial. And I particularly love cross examinations in trial,” he adds. To that end, Iagmin found himself with the perfect opportunity to go to any lengths to help his clients, through joining the Gomez Firm. “We are committed to trying cases. John Gomez is a two-time recipient of CASD’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.”

Iagmin’s desire to try more cases has indeed come to fruition in his time with the firm. To date, he has obtained multiple jury verdicts in excess of $1 million dollars, including the first application of the elder abuse laws to an arm’s length real estate transaction. Collectively, Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys have tried and won plenty of other cases since Iagmin joined the firm. “Over the last several years, we’ve tried nearly a dozen cases and recovered nearly $100 million dollars in verdicts and settlements,” he says.

Cultivating Creativity
james iagminIn joining forces with Gomez, Iagmin was also counting on the opportunity to use creativity to meet the challenges his clients face. “The work is challenging, and stimulating, and involves everything from medical aspects to engineering aspects. There are also countless human elements involved in a catastrophic injury case,” Iagmin says. To that end, because no two cases are alike, the firm’s attorneys are encouraged and required to think creatively.

“One of the great things about John is that he has always allowed me to define my own role in the firm. He gave me the platform to do whatever I want. I can think as broadly as I want, I can take any case I want, and I can be creative,” Iagmin says.

By way of example, Iagmin talks of a recent case that the firm handled in which his need to think outside of the box for the benefit of his client was supported in full by Gomez. “We just finished a case in which we helped a small boy who suffered a severe brain injury after being hit by a car.” In order to prove that the defendant did have responsibility in the accident, Iagmin realized that he would have to fully recreate the scenario, as the facts on paper weren’t doing the boy’s case justice.

As such, “we basically made a movie,” Iagmin says. “We went to the accident site on a Sunday, we worked around traffic, we staged the scene, we had cars with cameras mounted in them, we had cameras on light posts and we recreated the entire scenario. This wasn’t an animation, but an actual movie showing what the defendant saw,” he says.

The effort was worth it. “We were able to secure a very large recovery. The trust we set up will purchase a home for the boy and his family. He can now receive the education and therapy he needs. Not only that, but he will also have a guaranteed income, under the control of a professional fiduciary, for the rest of his life. It is extremely satisfying to me that we were able to assist him in these most challenging circumstances,” he says.

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Nurturing Growth
Commensurate with Iagmin’s promotion to Managing Partner and the firm’s subsequent name change, the firm has also expanded its base of operations this year. “We’ve always had a vision to expand, and we’ve always done a lot of mock trials, and utilized focus groups,” Iagmin says. He adds, “since we try a lot of cases, we like to practice, so we have moved to state of the art facilities, complete with a full size courtroom.”

Located on the 17th floor of 655 West Broadway, Iagmin continues, “we took the whole northeast corner of our office and built a courtroom. It has a jury box, a gallery, the works,” he says excitedly. “It’s a real place to practice, and we will also make it available to interested parties and for other continuing legal education. We encourage colleagues to visit and experience this very unique space,” he adds.

The firm’s bigger office also allowed Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys to hand select promising new attorneys to join its team. Most recently, the firm added four new trial attorneys to its acclaimed team. Dave Fox, Parisima Roshanzamir and Ben Coughlan are trial attorneys dedicated to helping individuals who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries. Stephanie Poli has also joined the firm as a trial attorney practicing in the Mass Torts Division with a strong interest in catastrophic injury and products liability.

As managing partner, Iagmin explains that his growing list of responsibilities will include training and strategizing with the firm’s young lawyers. “I get to help young lawyers be the best lawyer they can be, not only for our clients, but also for their own growth,” he says.

Rooted in Excellence
While there seems to be no stopping the growth of Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys, there is really no big secret to the firm’s success. “It comes down to great lawyering,” Iagmin says. “From that, all good things flow. We take the time to explain the process to our clients and help them through difficult and frequently tragic times in their lives. We work as hard as we can to provide our clients with the best representation and service possible,” he adds.

That hard work is one of the reasons the firm receives so many referrals from colleagues. “Attorneys can feel confident that Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys will take good care of their family, friends and clients. We help people through difficult times and maximize their recovery. We enjoy collaborating on cases if an attorney wants to stay involved. We can handle the most sophisticated cases, so attorneys also opt to refer the biggest cases to our firm,” Iagmin says. As a show of appreciation for the referrals, Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys frequently pays generous referral fees, often in the six-figures. In fact, in 2012 alone, the firm paid out more than $1 million in referral fees.

But for Gomez and Iagmin, the work they do within the legal community is but a part of a larger commitment to serving the entire San Diego community as a whole. “Everyone at Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys contributes time, talent and treasure to the community. It is one of our guiding principles. Year after year, I organize a team to race in NFAR’s Race for Autism. John Gomez has walked and run for causes, and performed stand-up comedy and the quick step in a dance competition to raise money and awareness for underserved youth in San Diego. Organizations such as the March of Dimes, The New Children’s Museum, San Diego La Raza Lawyers, Malashock Dance and San Diego Volunteer Lawyers also benefit from our firm’s commitment to improving the community in which we live,” Iagmin explains.

A Flourishing Future
Whether it comes to thinking creatively, mentoring young attorneys, giving back to the community or going to any lengths to help clients, “Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys sets excellence as the standard. We investigate cases thoroughly and efficiently. We have the people and resources to take the biggest cases from investigation through trial,” he says. Case in point: John Gomez is currently trying the nation’s first DePuy defective hip prosthetic case. “We represent over 100 patients who received these dangerous implants,” Iagmin says. “We are also currently representing the families of victims killed in the nation’s most infamous case of unintended acceleration,” he adds.

As far as the future of the newly named firm is concerned, the plan is to stay the course. “Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys will continue to represent people who have suffered catastrophic injuries and families who have lost loved ones. We will also continue to expand our representation of large groups of people injured by dangerous and defective products. We are the vanguard in the field, and we will continue to be at the forefront of the legal community,” Iagmin says.

But for all the firm’s sophistication, it’s almost certain that their future success will be based on a relatively simple philosophy. “We simply try to do the best job, to get the best resolution, and all of the good things that continue to come our way seem to flow as a direct result of that,” Iagmin concludes.

Contact:

James Iagmin
Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys
655 West Broadway, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA 92101
www.thegomezfirm.com | james@thegomezfirm.com

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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About the Author: Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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