James W. Rhodes

James W. RhodesFirm Vice President and Secretary, Senior Partner

Phone (405) 272-9221
Fax (405) 236-3121
Email oklhigajwr@aol.com

Assistant Shari J. Mounce
Email oklifesjm@aol.com

Mr. Rhodes has had many years of experience in general litigation, particularly appeals and federal motion practice, and insurance regulatory areas.  Insurance insolvency and receiverships have been a particular specialty.  He has been involved in dozens of insurer liquidations and rehabilitations nationwide, representing both receivers and creditors. 

He serves as the General Counsel and Administrator of the Oklahoma Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association and represents the Oklahoma Association in the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations.  He currently serves and Chairman of the NOLHGA Legal Committee.  He is also currently the Chairman of the NOLHGA taskforce for Lincoln Memorial Life and Memorial Service Life Insurance Companies, which manages and coordinates the efforts of forty-seven state guaranty associations in dealing with the insolvencies of these two Texas insurers with hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities as well as the complex federal litigation that has resulted.  He has also chaired six other such taskforces over the last twenty years.

Mr. Rhodes has been a frequent speaker and presented papers on topics of insurer insolvency and insurance guaranty association law at numerous Seminars and Symposia conducted by various organizations, including: the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations, the National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds, the International Association of Insurance Receivers, the Oklahoma Insurance Department, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Oklahoma Bar Association.


Published Opinions

  • Grimes v. Crown Life Ins. Co., 857 F.2d 699, (10th Cir. 1988)
  • Cockrell v. Grimes, 1987 OK CIV APP 28, 740 P.2d 746
  • Oklahoma Life & Health Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Hilti Retirement Sav. Plan, 1996 OK 91, 939 P.2d 1110
  • State ex rel. Crawford v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 1997 OK 10, 954 P.2d 123
  • Claborn v. Washington Nat’l Ins. Co., 1996 OK 8, 910 P.2d 1046
  • Bank of Oklahoma, N.A. v. Continental Cas. Co., 1992 OK CIV APP 128, 849 P. 2d 1091
  • Testerman v. First Family Life Ins. Co., 1990 OK CIV APP 108, 808 P.2d 703
  • Bane v. Anderson, Bryant & Co., 1989 OK 140, 786 P.2d 1230
  • Unisys Corp v. Cal. Life & Health Ins. Guar. Ass’n., 74 Cal Rptr 2d 106 (Cal. App 1998).

Practice Areas

  • Insurer Insolvency
  • Insurance Guaranty Associations
  • Appellate Practice
  • General Insurance
  • Business and Corporate Law


  • General Counsel, Oklahoma Life and Health Guaranty Association
  • (1988 to present); Associate General Counsel, Association of Oklahoma Life Insurance Companies
  • (1987-1988); Kerr, Irvine, Rhodes & Ables, (1984 to present)


  • Wesleyan University, B.A. (1980)
  • University of Oklahoma, J.D. (1984)

Court Memberships

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court
  • United States District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent®


  • American Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Chairman, National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Legal Seminar, (1993-1996)
  • Chairman: National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations Task Force for Summit National Life Insurance Company, (1994-present)
  • National American Insurance Co., (1995-present)
  • Member: Universe Life & Trust Insurance Company, (1998 to present)
  • National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Legal and Assessment Data Base Committees, (1993 to present)
  • Editor in Chief, Annotated Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Model Act, (1995 to present)