Jim is an honors graduate of both the University of Arizona’s undergraduate program (B.S. with a double major in astronomy and physics, 1978) and law school (J.D., 1981). After a one-year clerkship with Arizona Supreme Court Justice Frank X. Gordon, Jr., Jim embarked on a career in litigation in private practice, first in Arizona and then (beginning in 1998) in California. As an adjunct to his private practice, he also has served in selected cases as a judge pro tem for both the Maricopa County Superior Court and Arizona Court of Appeals, an arbitrator for FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), a due process hearing officer for the Arizona Department of Education, and a mediator. Outside his law practice, he also has worked as a member of a number of community organizations in both Arizona and California.
Over the last few years, Jim’s practice has evolved to focus on the litigation of trusts, estates, and probate matters before both trial and appellate courts in Southern California. Matters in which he has been involved have included challenges to trusts and wills based upon claims of undue influence, fraud, lack of capacity, or mistake; claims of breach of fiduciary duty and/or requests to change a trustee or personal representative; demands for accountings, requests to approve accountings, and objections to accountings; claims of financial elder abuse; other matters of trust or estate administration; powers of appointment; conservatorships; requests to modify estate planning documents; distributions where there is no will or trust; and other issues.
In addition to working directly with clients, Jim frequently works with other attorneys, often being brought into a matter as co-counsel or as counsel to whom a litigation or appellate matter is referred.