James M. O'Hara, Esq.

James M. O'Hara, Esq.

(631) 673-6670, Extension 106

James O'Hara received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1987. In 1992, James received a Juris Doctorate degree from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, where he was awarded a Dean's Merit Scholarship and American Jurisprudence Awards for Excellence in Civil Procedure II and Torts II.

James was admitted to practice law in the State of New York in 1993. In 1994, he also was admitted to practice law before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Prior to joining Speyer & Perlberg, LLP, James worked at a Long Island law firm concentrating in general litigation, where he gained extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation.

At Speyer & Perlberg, LLP, James handles property/casualty cases, including first-party insurance defense lawsuits, third-party defense lawsuits, construction cases, and insurance fraud investigations. He also prosecutes and defends subrogation lawsuits, and is well versed in all issues concerning insurance matters. He has experience handling mutli-million dollar, complex insurance/commercial litigation actions, and in defending insurance carriers in collapse, arson, fraud, theft, adjacent construction, water loss, and business interruption cases. He has successfully tried cases, has written legal briefs, and has appeared before the Appellate Division.
James also co-authored an article for the New York State Bar Association's 2005 Insurance Coverage Update CLE Program, entitled Misrepresentation and Fraud in Property Insurance.

Representative Recent Cases:

First Party:
  • Defense of $20 million dollar claim for damages arising from the collapse of a retaining wall onto the West Side Highway, in New York City.
  • Defense of a $560,000 thousand dollar claim by a mortgagee arising out of a fire at a diner determined to be caused by arson in the Bronx.
  • Defense of a $350,000 thousand dollars claim for fire to a residence in Kings Point, New York.
  • Defense of $300,000 thousand dollar claim for water damage to a residence in Queens Village, New York that occurred when the premises were unoccupied and did not have ongoing construction for more than 30 days prior to the date of loss.
Third Party:
  • Defense of landscaper/sprinkler contractor in a $60 million dollar plus action regarding water intrusion into twenty plus garden style apartment buildings in Nassau County.
  • Defense of mason who constructed an emergency egress window and window well at a residence that sustained water damage in Suffolk County.
  • Defense of oil delivery/service company for the negligent delivery of oil to an above ground outdoor oil tank located at a residence in Aquebougue, New York in an oil spill and site remediation/clean up action.
  • Defense of an excavation contractor in an action alleging damage caused to the adjacent landowner's building from the insured's excavation activities in Queens County.
  • Action against a hair salon and landlord for fire damage caused by the negligent storage of combustible materials in the furnace room that spread to a dentist's office in the Bronx, New York.
  • Action against the manufacturer and retailer of a dryer that caught on fire due to electrical arcing and destroyed a residence in Memphis, New York.
  • Action against a restaurant for negligent maintenance of its premises and fire suppression system that permitted fire to extend to and damage a card shop in Commack, New York.