A Pd(II)-catalyzed trifluoromethylation of ortho C-H bonds with an array of N-arylbenzamides derived from benzoic acids is reported. N-Methylformamide has been identified as a crucial promoter of C-CF(3) bond formation from the Pd center. X-ray characterization of the C-H insertion intermediate has revealed a rare coordination mode of acidic amides as directing groups and the origin of their capacity in directing C-H activation.
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