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James K. MacAlister

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Practice Areas

  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Personal Injury
  • Social Security Disability
  • Criminal Defense


James K. MacAlister is admitted to practice before Maryland’s state and Federal Courts. He is a trial lawyer who handles hearings at the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, and jury trials of appeals taken from Commission decisions. He also tries District Court trials and Circuit Court jury trials for clients injured by the negligence of others. Lastly, he has handled appeals in all of Maryland’s appellate Courts, including the Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

Mr. MacAlister earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from University of Baltimore School of law in 1984. After clerking for an appellate judge, he worked for firms that defended personal injury claims until 1989. Since 1990, he was represented workers injured on the job or suffer occupational diseases. He also represented personal injury plaintiffs, including people hurt in car accidents or as a result of injuries that occurred on another’s property.  


  • University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland
    • J.D. - 1984
    • Honors: magna cum laude
  • Frostburg State College
    • B.S. - 1979
    • Honors: cum laude

Classes & Seminars

  • Preparation Fluid of Personal Injury, MSBA, 1998 to 2014
  • Mentoring Program, MAJ, 2010-2014, 2016 to present

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Maryland Resource Parent Assoc., 2014 to Present
  • Baltimore County Foster Parent Assoc., 2013 to Present

Past Positions

  • Saiontz & Kirk, Associate, 2000 to 2015
  • Law Office of Stephen L. Miles, Associate, 1990 to 2000

Ancillary Businesses

  • Legislative work for MAJ
  • Amicus Writer for MAJ

Published Works

  • R. Lande and J. MacAlister, Comparative Negligence with Joint and Several Liability: The Best of Both Worlds, 43 U. Balt. L. Rev. On Line 1 (2012). Cited by the Court of Appeals dissent in Coleman v. Columbia Soccer Assoc.
  • Numerous Articles in the MAJ Trial Reported Dealing with Workers’ Compensation issues, including the legal/medical issues associated with proving a compensable Covid-19 workers’ compensation claim

Professional Associations

  • Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ), Board of Governors, Legislative Committee, Workers’ Compensation Section Chair, Amicus Brief Writer, Mentoring Committee Chair
  • Rober C. Cawood Inns of Court, Board Member
  • Maryland State Bar Association, Ethics Committee member, Author/Teacher – Preparation and Trial of Personal Injury Claims


  • Robert Zarin MAJ Award for Outstanding Legislative Work Trial Lawyer of the Year – Maryland Association for Justice Leadership in the Law

Representative Cases

  • WR Grace v. Swedo, 139Md.441, Court of Appeals, 2013
  • Amicus Colemen v. Soccer Assn. of Columbia, 432Md.679, Court of Appeals, 2012