from my observation:
When you connect the camcorder and import the video, the camcorder and computer work together to convert (transcode and decompress) the video to a format the video editor can deal with. When you take the flash memory card out of the camcorder and put it into the card reader, the camcorder's contribution to the transcode/decompress process is removed.
Assuming your JVC Everio is like the others in a close model number, I picked the Everio GZ 200.
Link to the manual: http://resources.jvc.com/Resources/00/01/51/LYT2393-001A-M.pdf
These consumer camcorders record AVCHD-compressed video to TOD files (other manufacturers use TOD files, too - many save, instead, to MTS files - but the process is the same). Most video editors cannot deal directly with this file type - and the compressed video inside needs to be decompressed (this normally happens when the camcorder/computer/import-capture processed is used).
Resolution: Transcode and decompress the TOD files using a computer-based transcoder into a format and file type the video editor can deal with. I like MPEG Streamclip from www.squared5.com - there are others. iMovie can deal with MOV and MP4 files. Once the TOD file is transcoded, quit the transcoder, launch iMovie and drag the converted file to the iMovie Library or use the Import video file under File to bring the video in (it depends on the version of iMovie).
So... to answer your question directly, no, there is no way to import the TOD (or MTS) files directly to the video editor if a card reader is used - but transcoding and decompressing the video files in the computer, then bringing the converted files into the video editor is possible.
Importing direct from SD card in new Everio GZ-E207REK Camcorder to iMovie on Mac works fine but, if I remove SD card and place in a Reader, I cannot import as the files are greyed out.
Is there a way of importing direct from the SD card in a reader?
I use the same reader to import pics from my camera without problem.