Joyce Hemmer is a dynamic attorney with nearly twenty years of experience as a defense litigator in Idaho. She proudly joined Elam & Burke in 2019, after practicing with two other Boise-based defense firms for 14 years. Joyce has built her career on a foundation of insurance defense litigation, which has allowed her to develop expertise in a broad spectrum of legal issues, including representing clients against claims of professional liability, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, product liability, automobile negligence, premises liability, construction defects, employer liability, and an array of torts and statutory claims under both state and federal law. This diverse legal background has provided a wealth of valuable knowledge and insight that supports and advances the success of Joyce’s current practice, in which she handles not only third-party insurance matters, but also regularly provides legal advice and representation regarding first-party insurance and coverage matters, commercial litigation, consumer claims, and contract disputes.
Joyce represents individuals, companies, and insurers throughout Idaho, in both state and federal court, as well as in arbitration and mediation. In addition to her role as lead counsel, she collaborates with out-of-state attorneys admitted pro hac vice and serves as effective and dependable local counsel. Whether she is working with a client, insurance representative, or co-counsel, Joyce endeavors to pursue the practice of law with a teamwork approach and relatability that not only facilitates communication and enhances her efficacy as legal counsel, but also helps her clients understand and meaningfully participate in the legal process affecting their interests.
In addition to handling the defense of claims in active litigation, she is often consulted to assist with the evaluation and resolution of pre-suit insurance claims on behalf of insureds, and she provides legal advice to clients who seek strategies to avoid becoming involved in litigation in the first place.
The accomplishments Joyce steadily achieves on behalf of her clients are further rooted in the personal satisfaction derived from obtaining just results, as well as a love of legal research and writing, for which she has earned a reputation for quality and persuasiveness. Joyce’s fact-finding skills and legal knowledge, combined with her clear and approachable writing style, thorough research, strategic mindset, attention to detail, careful preparation, and strong oral arguments have earned significant victories for her clients, ranging from favorable pretrial evidentiary rulings to outright dismissal of claims and other desirable outcomes.
Born and raised on the East Coast, she majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and further refined her skills during law school at William & Mary in Virginia, where she gained valuable experience as a summer law clerk for U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees in Charlotte, intern for the Virginia Court of Appeals Chief Staff Attorney in Richmond, and Articles Editor for the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. After law school, Joyce clerked for Idaho District Judge Joel D. Horton in Boise before he took the bench as a Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court.
Joyce is an active member of numerous professional organizations dedicated to supporting and enhancing the practice of law, including the International Association of Defense Counsel, Idaho Association of Defense Counsel, Idaho Women Lawyers, and Richard C. Fields American Inn of Court, for which she is the 2023-2024 Secretary and Treasurer.
In addition to her dedication to her legal practice, Joyce finds joy in creative hobbies, outdoor activities, and time with her friends and family, which includes her attorney husband, two children, and two dogs.