An experienced trial attorney, James’ practice focuses on general business litigation, professional liability, legal malpractice, employment litigation, fraud, defense of actions involving the Civil Rights Act, white collar and regulatory defense, real estate, and construction.
Prior to entering private practice, James served 12 years as an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco, where he tried complex homicide cases, and five years with the United States Attorney’s office prosecuting organized crime.
While serving as an Assistant United States Attorney, James was the Coordinator of the Northwest Region of The President’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) supervising operations in the Northwestern United States and Hawaii. He is a seasoned trial attorney who has tried more than 100 jury trials appearing in both state and federal courts.
In addition to his work with the firm, James is a retired Brigadier General in the United States Army Reserve. In his last assignment as a General Officer, he was responsible for the legal operations of the USAR Judge Advocate General Corp.
- Haney v. Montesano, San Francisco Superior Court Case No.CGC-15-543642 – obtained a complete defense verdict in favor of defendant attorney and law firm.
- Berger, et al. v. Varum, et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case Nos. CGC-07- 462479 and CGC-07- 462967 – Represented plaintiffs in a construction defect case of their home development and achieved a seven-figure verdict.
- Ventura v. UC Regents, et al., United States District Court, Northern District of California Case No. CV-91- 3817-FMS – Represented UC Police Department in a federal trial in a § 1983 civil rights claim resulting in defense verdict.
- USA v. Shabudin, United States District Court, Northern District of California Case No. CR-11- 664-JSW – Defense of bank officer of a failed bank in a 5 week trial.
- USA v. Galanis, United States District Court, Southern District of New York Case No. CR-15- 643-PKC – Defense of counsel in a claim of conspiracy in a “pump and dump” scheme.
Published Appellate Decisions
- Vons Companies, Inc. v. Lyle Parks, Jr., Inc., 177 Cal.App.4th 823, Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Eight, August 17, 2009 – attorney-fee and cost dispute arising in the context of an assigned construction contract.
- Parra v. City and County of San Francisco, 144 Cal.App.4th 977, Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Two, November 13, 2006 – clarification of the statute of limitations under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.
- Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court, 41 Cal.App.4th 1040, Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division One, January 10, 1996 – primary assumption of risk doctrine applied to the sport of rock climbing.
Unpublished Appellate Decisions
- Berger, et al. v. Varum, et al., 2015 WL 9412778, Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, California, December 22, 2015 – Upheld the award of seven-figure judgment against engineer/architect.
- Carmignani, et al. v. Paganini, et al., 2010 WL 4132611, Court of Appeal, First District, Division 3, California, October 21, 2010 — Upheld dismissal of clients granted in lower court.
- ADEM, LLC, et al. v. Grewal, 2009 WL 4941987, Court of Appeal, Sixth District, California, December 22, 2009 — Upheld decision denying SLAPP motion based on likelihood of prevailing.
- Carmignani, et al. v. Paganini, et al., 2007 WL 2697312, Court of Appeal, First District, Division 3, California, September 17, 2007 — Appeal and reversal on behalf of defendants after finding of liability on real estate non-disclosure.
- McLachlan, et al. v. Simon, et al., 31 F.Supp.2d 731, United States District Court, N.D. California, July 23, 1998 — Defense of outside director resulting in Rule 12 dismissal of certain charges.
- McCoy v. San Francisco, City & County, 14 F.3d 28, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, January 7, 1994 — Defense of a police officer and reversal on appeal of a 42 USC § 1983 action ruling the running of the statute of limitations.
- United States of America v. Moore, 607 F.Supp. 489, United States District Court, N.D. California, April 17, 1985 — Defense against the challenge of the Bail Reform Act of 1984.
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- Associate of Certified Fraud Examiners
- Bar Association of San Francisco
- Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court
- US Department of Justice, United States Attorney, Former Assistant
- American Bar Foundation
- University of San Francisco
- Alumni Association
- Board of Governors
- California District Attorney’s Association
- Board of Directors, former member
- San Francisco Municipal Attorney’s Association
- Former president
- The District of Columbia Bar Association
- New York Bar Association
- California State Bar
- Acting examiner for hearing to guarantee fitness of candidates for admission
- California Continuing Education of the Bar
- Lecturer and panelist for numerous programs
- Hastings College of the Law
- Trial and Advocacy Clinic, San Francisco, instructor
- Chapter 25, “Termination of Prosecution Without Judgment,” Criminal Law Procedure and Practice, CEB, co-author
- “Writs of Mandate and Prohibition Defined, Chapter 7,” Appeals and Writs in Criminal Cases 3d (The Regents of University of California, 2007)
- Peer-Review Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell ( (AV Preeminent is a
Certification Mark used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell®
certification procedures, standards and policies)
- Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyer magazine (2005-present)
J.D., University of San Francisco
B.A., Santa Clara University