Professional Experience

I bring nearly twenty years of legal industry experience to assist my business and individual clients with a wide-variety of legal matters including those related to: Business, Litigation, Real Estate, and Arbitration.

My business practice focuses on all stages of legal existence from entity formation to governance and dissolution and includes: general counsel and advice; contract drafting, evaluation, and negotiation; employment law; collections; real estate purchases, sales, and leasing; business acquisitions and transactions; regulatory compliance; and, dispute resolution, and litigation. My civil litigation practice focuses primarily on contract disputes, real property conflict resolution, and business dispute resolution and litigation. My real estate practice focuses on purchases, sales, leasing, and dispute resolution and litigation.

I am a Circuit Court Arbitrator in fourteen (14) Oregon Counties and a private Arbitrator. I have substantial experience arbitrating contract, business, personal injury, landlord tenant, real property, collections, leasing, employment, and many other civil disputes. I also serve in Washington County as a Judge Pro Tem; handling small claims, civil motions, and FED matters.

My experience as a business attorney, litigator, real estate attorney, Arbitrator, and Judge Pro Tem provides my clients, litigants, and the community with seasoned, practical, fair, and reasoned counsel, advocacy, and decision-making.


An Oregonian since 1998, I was raised in Southern California and obtained my B.A. degree in Political Science with High Honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997. I graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law with a J.D. in 2001. During law school, I worked with the Oregon Department of Justice in its Consumer Protection and Financial Fraud Section and later served as the Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Kip W. Leonard at the Lane County Oregon Circuit Court prior to starting my private legal practice.

My diverse legal industry experience includes working as a Public Defender, practicing in small and mid-sized private practice law firms, and successfully owning and operating my own law firms for seven years prior to joining the firm.

Outside Activities

I enjoy spending my free time with my wife, family, friends, and pets and engaging in a wide-range of outdoor and personal activities including: skiing, backpacking, music, martial arts, photography, and giving back to the community. I am also a proud Eagle Scout.

Current Memberships & Affiliations

  • Clackamas County Circuit Court, Arbitration Commission, Board Member since 2019
  • Oregon State Bar, Disciplinary Board, Region 4, Member since 2018
  • Oregon State Bar, House of Delegates, Region 4, Member since 2014
  • Oregon State Bar, Lawyer-to-Lawyer, Volunteer since 2013
  • Washington County Bar Association, Member since 2012
  • Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, Member since 2012

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Bar, 2004
  • Washington State Bar, 2011
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon, 2006


  • University of Oregon School of Law, J.D., 2001
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. High Honors, 1997

Contact James Underwood

Harris Velázquez Gibbens, P.C.
165 SE 26th Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Tel: (503) 648-4777
Fax: (503) 648-0989
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