About Jim

The only Alaskan to lead an AmLaw 200 law firm, Jim served as Stoel’s Firm Managing Partner before returning to his full-time, Alaska-based litigation practice in 2020. Jim has tried to conclusion more than 40 cases, most to federal or state juries. He has handled more than 35 appeals, arguing cases in the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Jim Torgerson is the best at what he does,” “I would use Jim in a heartbeat on any litigation matter” say sources in Chambers and Partners’ annual survey of America’s best lawyers for business. Best Lawyers® selected Jim as Anchorage’s 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” in three areas: Litigation—Environmental, Litigation—Real Estate, and Professional Malpractice Law—Defendants. In the past, Best Lawyers® has selected Jim as Anchorage’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Bet-the-Company Litigation—2022; Litigation—Environmental—2012, 2016, 2018 and 2020; Litigation—Mergers and Acquisitions—2017 and 2019; and Litigation—Real Estate—2015. Super Lawyers has selected Jim as one of the “Top 10” lawyers in Alaska every year since 2011.

Jim’s practice reflects Alaska. For decades, he’s represented Alaska Native corporations in a wide variety of commercial disputes and governance issues. Given Alaska’s economy, he regularly appears for clients in natural resources industries, ranging from property disputes, to tax and environmental litigation. Drawing on his experience in the Alaska United States Attorney’s Office, where he was chief of the civil division (four years) and chief of the criminal division (two years), much of his practice is in federal court.

Jim is active in the Alaska Bar and Alaska nonprofit community, He served for six years on the constitutionally created Alaska Judicial Council, which reviews sitting judges and screens judicial applicants, and represented Alaska’s Federal District Court for almost a decade on the Congressionally created Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Committee. In 2016, Jim was given the Alaska Bar Foundation’s annual Public Service Award, and in 2004 he was honored, with his wife, as Alaska’s Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Expand to Read More + See Less -


  • Served as Lead Trial Counsel for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) owners in property tax litigation involving its value.
  • Defense of a Big Four accounting firm through jury trial against allegations of professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duties. The jury rejected all of plaintiff’s claims.
  • Defense of four major oil companies through trial and in regulatory appeals in a real property dispute involving an oil drilling and production site.
  • Defense of Alaska’s largest electric utility against multiple breach of contract claims. All claims were dismissed by the superior court, with all dismissals affirmed by the Alaska Supreme Court.
  • Defense of a major pipeline company in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract and promissory estoppel dispute. All claims were dismissed by the superior court, with all dismissals affirmed by the Alaska Supreme Court.
  • Defense of an insurer in state and federal court against a class action challenging the insurer’s claims handling practices. The suit was resolved without payment to the class.
  • Defense of an oilfield services supply company in a $50 million products liability action concerning the destruction of an oil rig. All claims against client were dismissed.
  • Defense of an oil industry manager against federal environmental criminal charges, all of which were abandoned pre-indictment.
  • Defense of a major Alaska municipality against qui tam (False Claims Act) claims, all of which were dismissed.
  • Defense of an Alaska state senator against charges brought by the Alaska Public Offices Commission that he violated financial reporting rules. The trial court dismissed all charges, with the dismissal affirmed on appeal by the Alaska Supreme Court.
Expand to Read More + See Less -

Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Member, Constitutionally created Alaska Judicial Council, 2014–2020. Reviewed sitting state
    judges for retention and screened judicial applicants for open positions.
  • Commissioner, selected by the Federal Court for the District of Alaska, Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission, 2004–2013
  • Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 2002–2005
  • Member, Alaska Supreme Court, Access to Justice Committee and Regulatory Reform Sub-Committee, 2023–present
  • Member, Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, 2020–present
  • Co-Chair, Alaska Legal Services Fundraising Campaign, 2000–2001, 2005–2022
  • Named by The Best Lawyers in America® as Anchorage’s 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” in three areas: Litigation—Environmental, Litigation—Real Estate, and Professional Malpractice Law—Defendants. Best Lawyers® has also selected Jim as Alaska “Lawyer of the Year,” for Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2022; Litigation—Environmental, 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2020; Litigation—Mergers and Acquisitions, 2017 and 2019; and Litigation—Real Estate, 2015
  • Also selected in 2024 for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions, Litigation – Real Estate, Natural Resources Law, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants)
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Alaska) by Chambers USA (Litigation Tier 1: General Commercial), 2005–2023
  • Selected as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation, 2007, 2011, 2015–2023
  • Selected as a “Top 10: Alaska Super Lawyer,” 2011–2023, by Alaska Super Lawyers® and listed for Business Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Energy & Natural Resources, 2007–2023
  • Listed in the Alaska Business Legal Elite, 2023
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, 1999–present
  • Fellow, American Bar Association Foundation
  • Received Jay Rabinowitz Public Service Award from the Alaska Bar Foundation, 2016
  • Selected as Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year, together with wife, by the Alaska Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2004

Civic Activities


  • Member, Board of Directors, Anchorage Parks Foundation, 2021–present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Foundation, 2023–present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Island Conservation, 2023–present


  • Co-Chair, Endowment Campaign, Alaska Community Foundation, 2015–2020
  • Member (Secretary, 2008–2009; Vice Chair, 2010–2012), Board of Directors, Alaska Public Telecommunications, Inc., 2004–2013
  • Member, Board of Directors, Alaskans for Fair Courts, 2022–2023
  • Member, Board of Directors, Anchorage Museum Foundation, 2012–2015
  • Member (President Elect, President, and Past President, 2004–2010; Chair, Endowment Campaign, 2008–2010), Board of Directors, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, 2003–2011
  • Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Anchorage Youth Court, 1987–1988
  • Member (President, 2003–2004), Board of Directors, Anchorage Youth Court, 2001–2005
  • Member (Vice President, 2005–2007), Board of Directors, Disability Law Center, 2004–2007
  • Member (Secretary, 2010–2011; Chair, 2011–2012; Vice Chair, 2012–2017), Board of Trustees, The Nature Conservancy (Alaska), 2009–2017
  • Member, Board of Directors, University of Washington School of Law Alumni Association, 2010–2019
Expand to Read More + See Less -
Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • September 19, 2023—Presenter, In-House Counsel’s Evolving Role
  • November 17, 2022—Presenter, In-House Counsel’s Roles and Ethical Obligations
  • January 19, 2021—Panelist, Litigation Effects of Business Lawyering
  • December 16, 2020—Presenter, Corporate Governance: Recent Developments in Alaska Law
  • March 13, 2019—Presenter, Board Member and Shareholder Access to Corporate Records
  • February 9, 2018—Panelist, What In-House Counsel Want You to Know
  • September 6, 2016—Panelist, From The Bar to the Bench; Increasing Diversity in Alaska’s Judiciary
  • September 27, 2014—Facilitator, Off the Record with the Alaska Supreme Court
  • April 27, 2011—Litigation Law Alert: Alaska Supreme Court Clarifies the Business Judgment Rule for Board Members

Related News & Publications

Expand to Read More + See Less -
Saved Pages

Use the arrows to arrange content.  Download pages as a .pdf file or share links via email..

{{ item.Title }} {{ item.AttorneyPosition }}, {{ item.AttorneyLocation }} , C. {{ item.AttorneyCell }} , P. {{ item.AttorneyPhone }} , F. {{ item.AttorneyFax }} {{ item.TypeText }} Remove
You have no pages saved
            {{ state | json }}