Jim Mays

To understand a little about the quality of the man, simply review what he has achieved: Certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada; Selected by his peers to be included in Best Lawyers in Canada; Awarded a peer review rating of “BV Distinguished” by Martindale-Hubbell indicating a very high rating in both legal ability and ethical standards; Author, lecturer and presenter on various legal topics including civil procedure, personal injury and insurance law, trial advocacy and tort law.


LL.B. Western University


From the Bottom of my Heart.

From the bottom of my heart I like to thank you, for your patience, advice and the work you did to push my claim forward to the happy result that we obtained. Without your help I would be nowhere. With thanks, yours truly. -D.S.

You Were a Blessing.

Jim Mays, after 19 years of being with a lawyer who took advantage of my situation, you were a blessing. I could not have been recommended to a better lawyer to take over my case. The first lawyer I had for many years left me feeling very mistrustful. When I entered your office I was still wary, however, that feeling didn’t last long. Your professionalism and sincerity made me feel more secure about my future for the first time since my accident. Plus, you accomplished what my previous lawyer could not, and only in one year. I sincerely thank you and everyone else who helped with my case. It was truly a pleasure to meet you all. I wish you all the best! Thanks again! – M.

The Best Results Possible.

I want to thank you and Siskinds for the great work you did for me over the past few years. From day one, I knew that you and the whole firm were in my camp working to help me get true justification for my case. I never felt that I wasn’t important enough for your consideration and I really appreciate the time and effort by you and Siskinds, on my behalf, to get the results I was looking for. If I have a future need, I am confident that Siskinds will be able to get the best results possible for my complete satisfaction. Thank you. – J.B.

A Compelling Testimonial.

There are no words adequate to fully express our gratitude for all you have done over the past almost eight years for our family! From the first time we met at Children’s Hospital, when Ian and I were both still very much in a state of shock, we had confidence and faith that we had chosen the right person to represent us in you, Jim. Your sensitivity and integrity shines through and that is what was so important to us as a family. After meeting with the team, on several occasions, we were even more assured!

As you know this was a life changing event for our family. We unfortunately had a glimpse of what almost losing a child looked like, we all suffered together as I fell deeply into the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and for the first time in my life considered suicide, and we struggled together to learn just what the effects of a catastrophic brain injury looks like. We also watched as our adult daughter became totally dependent on us as she struggled reliving the events of that horrible day. Needless to say, our family dynamics changed drastically! Thankfully, with a very strong support network we beat the odds and remain intact!

Through all of this, you, and the team that Jody Abbott put together stuck with and by us. Always available, always keeping each of our needs in mind. Never putting decisions ahead of our individual needs at the time.

Wendy Highley, you will undoubtedly miss my calls, crying at the other end, to ask you questions and just look for reassurance!!! I thank you for making me feel like it was an ok thing to do!

Jackie Swiech, thank you too for taking my calls when I was too impatient to just leave Jim a message! – Anonymous

Simply Put, You Are Great.

I’ve no words to express my gratitude for you Jim. I’ll never forget you till my last breath. Simply put, you are great. Thank you very much for everything. – K. A.

Always Felt Well-Represented.

Once again thank you for your excellent service in this matter. I enjoyed working with you and always felt well represented. Thanks again. – J. S.

Thank You So Much.

Jim, Jackie and Wendy, Thank-you so much for taking such good care of me during this difficult process. It means more than you could imagine that you helped me navigate this, not only quickly, but with integrity. All the best for a healthy, happy and successful 2015! – L. N.

Ontario Rehab Alliance Breakfast Workshop.

I wanted to let you know also that your firm made a very positive impression on a number of participants, including myself, who hadn’t previously been very familiar with Siskinds (due to working outside of London). Speaking personally, I was impressed with your knowledge of the SABS and medical-rehab services along with your commitment to advocacy for your clients, all while still maintaining the integrity of the system (i.e., no slimy maneuvering :)). To me, this makes for the perfect law firm and you have now been added to my list of dream-team members if I’m ever involved in an accident. – J. H., Speech-Language Pathologist

Compassionate and Professional.

After a difficult personal injury accident in 2008, I hired Jim Mays at Siskinds LLP to assist with my case. His professional and compassionate approach was greatly appreciated. He helped me understand the legal process and supported me and my family throughout the long ordeal. Because of Jim, I was able to obtain a fair settlement that recognizes all of my future needs. I would highly recommend Jim and the team at Siskinds for any personal injury cases. – Anonymous

Thank You.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all your team for a great effort with my case. I will recommend you and your team to anyone who needs your professional assistance in the future. Thank you. – S. C.

The Lawyer, Jim Mays.

These are a few personal thoughts of my perspective from working with Jim Mays. I was injured when a driver turned left in front of me. I was riding a motorcycle to work, so I suffered several broken bones and a brain injury. Jim is a very thoughtful and considerate man who took my personnel situation into full consideration. He has a very personable nature and a family oriented lifestyle. This allowed the comfort I needed to build our relationship continued friendship. His diligent and stern professional work ethic is impressive and when needed applied gracefully! Working with Jim allowed me to focus on my personal rehab as Jim and his team took care of all legal, funding and conflict issues which occur when one is vulnerable after an injury. I am honoured to have worked with Jim and grateful of our existing friendship! Thanks. D.B., Easy Acres Farm

James Mays and His Team Put My Needs First.

On July 31 2003 my life changed. I was rear ended on my motorcycle and badly injured a long way from home. Laying in the hospital bed all I could do was worry about my future i.e losing my job, mortgage payments etc. I thought things will be O.K. because I have insurance. Once I got home and filed a claim I quickly found out the Insurance company was not my friend. The person that hit me was charged with Dangerous driving causing bodily harm and the insurance company was treating me like I was the villain. After three weeks of them making my life more miserable a friend suggested I contact Jim Mays at Siskinds. I met with Jim and he took the case then things got better no more harassing phone calls or letters. Jim’s staff made sure I got the accident benefits that I was entitled to some of which the insurance company never even told me about. Over the years Jim and his staff fought to keep my accident benefits and fought legal battles with two insurance companies. In the end Jim Mays negotiated two insurance settlements with my well being the significant priority. In closing my experience with Jim Mays and Siskinds law firm was a good one and I would recommend them to anybody. – R.H.F.

Injured cyclist happy with our representation.

[I found] Jim Mays and his team to be knowledgeable, committed, personable, and realistic about the outcome of the settlement (which I think was fair). – Anonymous

Service and results make a happy Personal Injury client.

When I woke up in the hospital following a motorcycle collision, the best advice I have ever been given in life came in the form of, “Get a good personal injury lawyer”. Jim Mays at Siskinds came recommended at the top of that list. Having been through the system from start to finish, I now see why and confer entirely with that assessment. Jim and all his support staff took a personal interest in my case and even though I know they were busy with other clients as well, always had time to answer my questions when I had them. Jim reads people extremely well, talks to them on their level and has the knack of explaining in terms that are easily understood by those of us unfamiliar with legal jargon or the insurance system. Wendy Highley, Jackie, and Tina took care of the day to day tasks making sure I was notified of meetings, assessments etc., and had the correct forms filled out and submitted on time. When I was overwhelmed by some of the mountains of paperwork they stepped in and helped me out. Without a doubt, the onerous nature of the claims process would have eaten me alive and I wouldn’t have come close to realizing the settlements I received without their knowledge and professionalism. The degree of their professionalism was especially apparent when they politely laughed at my attempts at humour, and I must say there were days they made ME smile, even when I didn’t feel like it. My family and I truly want to thank them for all of that, and ALL they have done for me. It is greatly appreciated. I would highly recommend Jim Mays and all his staff to anyone in a similar situation and if I ever need … no … nevermind I won’t be making motor vehicle collisions a habit . They don’t seem the least bit addictive. D.H.D.F., B.Sc.

Young man injured in serious motor vehicle accident reaches settlement.

Wendy was phenomenal. Jackie was phenomenal as well. Both were complete, thorough and timely with response/information. I say that you are the best, very professional and classy. Jim Mays is great. Easy to talk to, very timely responses to any questions or concerns and was very excellent in treating me as a normal human being and not the brain injured guy. – Anonymous

William R. Garmer

In a career spanning more than 35 years, Bill Garmer has had extensive courtroom and appellate experience. Not only has he secured many successful settlements and verdicts for his clients, many of his successful cases have led to groundbreaking decisions.

In 2016 Bill Garmer successfully argued a land mark case before the Kentucky Supreme Court, where the Court affirmed a jury verdict for punitive damages in excess of one million dollars for the family of a man who died as a result of medical malpractice. The Court in its opinion changed the laws focus in punitive damages cases to more thoroughly consider the fact that the conduct of the defendant was “Reprehensible.”

In Hilen v. Hays, as the plaintiff’s attorney, Bill earned a victory before the Kentucky Supreme Court leading to the adoption of Comparative Fault in Kentucky. Additionally, as the plaintiff’s attorney in Williams v. St. Claire Medical Center, Bill’s successful argument in the Kentucky Court of Appeals led to the decision recognizing both the doctrine of apparent agency of independent contractors in hospital cases and the independent liability of hospitals for failing to follow their own rules and regulations. As a plaintiff’s lawyer, Bill is dedicated to protecting the rights guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution. Bill was one of five attorneys selected to the trial team to represent the families of the passengers of Comair Flight 5191, which crashed on takeoff from Lexington, Kentucky in August 2006. Bill recently represented the family of a victim of nursing home abuse resulting in an $8 million jury verdict in Louisville.

Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky College of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor in 1975. After being admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1975, he worked for two years as a Law Clerk to Hon. B.T. Moynahan, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Bill was selected to the University of Kentucky College of Law Hall of Fame in 2014 and is presently serving as President Elect of the Kentucky Bar Association.

Bill is a member of a number of professional organizations, and has held influential positions within these organizations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of the Pound Foundation, and is a member of the Melvin Belli Society. He is a member of the American Bar Association; the American Association for Justice, where he has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Council of State Presidents and was on the Board of Governors from 1988 through 2010; the Kentucky Bar Association, where he has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2011, Vice President from 2015-2016, President Elect from 2016-2017, President from 2017-2018; the Kentucky Bar Foundation; the Kentucky Justice Association, where he has served as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and is presently on the Board of Governors; the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice; the Southern Trial Lawyers Association; and the Federal Bar Association.

In addition to his professional memberships, Bill has received outstanding recognition within the legal community. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Kentucky Justice Association’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Martindale-Hubbell rates him AV-Preeminent®*, the highest rating an attorney can receive. He has been listed in the publication The Best Lawyers in America since 1987, Who’s Who in American Law since 1991, named to Kentucky Super Lawyers since 2007, and in 2008 and 2010-2017 was named to the “Super Lawyers: Top 50 Kentucky Lawyers” list. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law in litigation skills since 1981 and in healthcare law since 2003. He also has been a guest lecturer in Continuing Legal Education programs in Kentucky and around the United States.

Bill served on Active Duty in the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant from 1969 to1973. He was a Deacon, moderator of the Diaconate, and is now an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Lexington, Kentucky, and has served as a Board Member of both the Opportunity Workshop in Lexington and the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association. He was chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party in 2004. Bill is a member of the Board of Governors of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Bill is also a member of the Visiting Committee of the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Areas of Practice:

– Personal Injury, Plaintiff

Bar Admissions:

– Kentucky, 1975
– U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
– U.S. Supreme Court, 1979


University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
J.D. – 1975

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
B.A. – 1968

Published Works:

– Design Defect Cases in Kentucky
– Fayette County Bar News, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1980
– Post Sales Duties/Continuing Duty to Warn
– Fayette County Bar News, July-August, 1994
– Monograph on Medical Malpractice, University of Kentucky College of Law, 1991

Representative Cases:

– Saint Joseph Hospital v. Larry O’Neil Thomas (Administrator of the Estate of James “Milford” Gray), 2014–SC-00008-DG (2016)
– Hilen v. Hays, 673 S.W.2d 713 (Ky. 1984)
– Williams v. St. Claire Medical Center, 657 S.W.2d 590 (Ky.App. 1983)


– Adjunct Professor of Law, Litigation Skills, University of Kentucky, 1981 – Present
– Adjunct Professor, Healthcare Law, University of Kentucky, 2003 – Present
– Guest Lecturer, Continuing Legal Education Programs

Honors & Awards:

– Top 10 Super Lawyer
– The Best Lawyers in America
– Who’s Who in American Law
– Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
– Named to Kentucky Super Lawyers
– AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
– Inducted, U.K. College of Law Hall of Fame
– Recipient, Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys’ Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, 1998

Professional Associations & Memberships:

– American Bar Association, Member, 1994 – Present
– American Association for Justice, Member
– American Association for Justice, Board of Governors, 1998 – 2010
– American Association for Justice, Past Chair and Vice Chair of the Council of State Presidents
– Kentucky Bar Association, President, 2017 – Present
– Kentucky Bar Association, President Elect, 2016 – 2017
– Kentucky Bar Association, Member, Board of Governors, 2011 – Present
– Kentucky Bar Association, Vice President, 2015 – 2016
– Kentucky Bar Foundation, Member
– Kentucky Justice Association, Past President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer
– Kentucky Justice Association, Board of Governors
– Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Member
– Southern Trial Lawyers Association, Member
– University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association, Board Member
– Melvin Belli Society, Member
– Kentucky Democratic Party, Chairman, 2004
– Federal Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions:

– Chief Judge Bernard T. Moynahan, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Law Clerk, 1975 – 1977
– United States Air force, Staff Sergeant, 1969 – 1973


– Phi Delta Phi
– Sigma Chi

Catia G. Saraiva

Ms. Saraiva is a partner with the credentials of handling hundreds of complex cases to successful completion and obtaining multiple seven-figure results for her clients. She began her legal career working full time at this firm as a law clerk during the day, while attending McGeorge School of Law’s evening program. In 2004, Ms. Saraiva graduated from McGeorge School of Law, ranking number two in her class, and earning Order of the Coif membership, awarded to only the top 10% of students at recognized law schools. She was one of only two candidates selected as a 2004 Judicial Extern to a United States Federal District Court judge.

After emigrating from her native Portugal as a child, Ms. Saraiva grew up in a working class neighborhood of South Sacramento, attending Christian Brothers High School, where she competed in volleyball and softball. She is proud of her roots and remains fluent in Portuguese, as well as Spanish.

Ms. Saraiva has devoted her legal career to exclusively representing injured victims. Her mission is to work on behalf of the most vulnerable members of our society who often have no one to champion them. In 2010, Ms. Saraiva was nominated for Attorney of the Year through CAOC (Consumer Attorneys of California) for her work in the Linville v. PSI, Inc. case (with Mr. Buccola) where she represented the heirs of a dependent adult patient (under the California Elder Abuse & Dependent Adult Laws) that died days after her admission into a Sacramento acute-care hospital due to use of an unsafe restraint. As a condition to settlement, the hospital had to change their policies and training practices in several key areas of patient neglect uncovered during the case. In 2011, Ms. Saraiva earned a second Attorney of the Year nomination and a Woman Trial Lawyer of the Year nomination for her work in the trial of Parken v. Smart-Vasquez, where she obtained a 3.6 million dollar verdict (with Mr. Greenblatt) in a rear end collision case.

Ms. Saraiva and Steve Campora represented the Botell Family in an action arising from the death of Tommy Botell, age 9, and injury to his sister, Katrina, age 13, at Lassen Volcanic National Park. In Botell v. United States the government denied liability and refused to compensate the family for their loss. The conduct of the United States, specifically park management, resulted in the United States being sanctioned for destroying evidence. Ms. Saraiva and Mr. Campora were able to establish that the Park Superintendent had not complied with mandatory park policies and ultimately the Court struck the defense of the United States and ruled that negligence on the part of the United States was the cause of the death of Tommy and injury to his sister, Katrina. The case settled, on the eve of trial, on the issue of damages, for a substantial amount. Based in part on her work in Botell, Ms. Saraiva received a Woman Trial Lawyer of Year nomination in 2013.

Ms. Saraiva has attained Martindale-Hubbell’s very high rating of “B-V, Distinguished” for legal ability and strict adherence to ethical standards. (The BV Distinguished Rating is earned through a strenuous Peer Review Process that is managed and monitored by one of the most trusted legal resource, Martindale-Hubbell.)

In 2012, Ms. Saraiva earned membership selection into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 for individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership. Ms. Saraiva was selected as a Rising Star, in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 by the Northern California Super Lawyers. This recognition is bestowed on less than 2.5% of all attorneys. She has been recognized by San Francisco Magazine as one of Northern California’s Outstanding Young Lawyers and selected by Top Attorneys – Sacramento’s Outstanding Young Lawyers. In 2013 and 2014, Ms. Saraiva was recognized as one of Top Women Attorneys in Northern California by San Francisco Magazine which names attorneys who have received the highest point totals based on peer review, professional achievement, and the independent research of Law & Politics magazine.

In 2013, Ms. Saraiva was selected as one of 14, inaugural class of professional leaders for the 2014 New Leaders Council – CAOC Legal Institute which worked to recruit and train CAOC young members for future leadership roles in the CAOC, their professional settings and communities. As part of the 2014 NLC class, Ms. Saraiva joined one of over 600 nationwide NLC Fellows who have gone on to become leaders and luminaries in their professions.

Ms. Saraiva is active in her community through various organizations and volunteer work to better our Sacramento community.