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James E. King - Expert Qualifications

Jim King's extensive experience as a testifying expert on both legal ethics and legal fee disputes provides him with a unique perspective to attorney fees issues. Very few experts are qualified to testify in both areas yet, in Mr. King's experience, a proper analysis of the fee dispute issues often cannot be performed without inquiry into one or more pertinent ethical considerations. Mr. King has testified in a number of attorney fee dispute cases that turned on the ethical issues, even though those issues were not readily apparent at the inception of the case. A witness who can competently testify to ethics, malpractice, and fees is exceptionally qualified to testify as to matters where these subjects intersect.

Legal Education

  • Stanford Law School, J.D. 1979
  • Order of the Coif, Law Review

Written decisions validating Mr. King's testimony as an expert witness

  • Sakey v. Lester, #D017493, Cal. Ct. App. (1995). The California Appellate Court stated that any claim "that King was unqualified is without merit."
  • Estate of Saunders v. Commissioner, 136 T.C. No. 18 (April 28, 2011)). The U.S. Tax Court cited Mr. King's testimony as authority for its decision.
  • Kaiser v. Simpson, D053348, 2009 WL 1363296 (Cal. Ct. App. May 15, 2009). Mr. King's testimony was expressly held to be proper by Fourth District Appellate Court.
  • In re Ateco, Inc. (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2012). Mr. King’s testimony was cited with approval by the Bankruptcy Court

Professional Qualifications and Experience - Fee Disputes

Fee Arbitrations

Mylan Laboratories et al. v. Ervin, Cohen & Jessup, LLP, et al., Binding Arbitration, #55 194 Y 0022507, Pittsburgh PA 2009, American Arbitration Association. Mr. King was selected by the AAA (and all counsel) as the Panel Chair in this 250 million Legal Fee/Legal Malpractice dispute. The legal fees at issue in this matter were over 50 million dollars.

Mr. King has been a legal fee arbitrator since 1985 for the State Bar of California, the American Arbitration Association, and the San Diego Bar Association. He has arbitrated over 250 legal fee disputes; and has been either an attorney for legal  malpractice, an expert witness or counsel in numerous additional matters.

Testimony as an Expert Witness on Legal Fees

  • Phillip Spector v. Robert L. Shapiro et al., #BC382572 , Superior Ct., Los Angeles County (2010). Testified (deposition) as an expert witness in this million dollar fee dispute.
  • Young & Stenzel v. Ray L. Coulter et al., #INC 1100997, Superior Ct., Riverside County (2011). Testified (Declaration) as an expert witness on behalf of client opposing 2.2 million dollar fee request. Within one week of receipt of the expert declaration, plaintiff attorneys determined to settle the case for no fees at all.
  • Allen Matkins et al. v. Burlingame Capital Partners II, LP. Testified (2 day deposition) as an expert witness in this 9 million dollar fee dispute.
  • Michael King v. Proskauer Rose, L.L.P., #ADRS 10-0804-AHW, Superior Ct., Los Angeles County (2010). Testified (two days in binding arbitration) as an expert witness in this 8 million dollar fee dispute.
  • People of the State of California v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., #JCCP No. 4041, Superior Ct., San Diego County (2012). Testified as an expert witness in opposition to fee requests in this megamillion dollar tobacco settlement case.
  • YTY Industry SDN.BHD v. The Dow Chemical Company, CV05-8881, U.S. District Court, Central District (2009). Testified as an expert witness in support of attorney's multimillion dollar fee request.
  • Linda Adams et al. v. Colony Park Estates, #611455, Superior Ct., Stanislaus County (2011). Testified as an expert witness in support of attorney's multimillion dollar fee request.
  • Gilberto Aguirre et al. v. Advanced Group dba Capistrano Terrace Mobile Home Park, #07CC11632 , Superior Ct., Stanislaus County (2011). Testified as an expert witness in opposition to attorney's multimillion dollar fee request.
  • Sierra Charles vs. Mountain View Mobile Home Estates et al., #CIVDS 1004144 , Superior Ct., San Bernardino County (2011). Testified as an expert witness in support of attorney's multimillion dollar fee request.
  • Nigel Hudson vs. Jaime Vasquez, #SC096028, Superior Ct., Los Angeles County (2011). Testified as an expert witness in support of attorney's multimillion dollar fee request.
  • Law Offices of John F.L. Hebb vs. Aetco et al., #07CC11632 , Superior Ct., Stanislaus County (2011). Testified (deposition) as an expert witness in this fee dispute matter. Mr. King testimony was then cited by the court in the subsequent bankruptcy case In re Ateco, Inc. ((Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2012).
  • Pumilia, Patel & Adamec LLP v. Wang, Hartmann, Gibbs & Cauley P.L.C. and Jeffrey Wang, #BC399158, Superior Ct., San Francisco County (2009). Testified (deposition) as an expert witness in this fee dispute matter.
  • Justin Killman vs. Gold Coast Reality Investments, #GIC 881505, Superior Ct., San Diego County (2008). Testified (deposition) as an expert witness in support of an attorney fee request.
  • Larry Rothman vs. Cherry Pacific Homeowners Association, #05CL03419, Superior Ct., Orange County (2006). Testified as an expert witness in opposition to attorneys’ fee request.
  • El Toro Plaza, LP vs. Charlie Abujudeh, #30-2009-00117237, Superior Ct., Orange County (2009). Testified (deposition) as an expert witness in support of an attorney fee request.

Professional Qualifications and Experience - Legal Ethics, Legal Malpractice

Testimony as an Expert Witness on Legal Ethics and Malpractice

  • Mylan v. Disner, Pittsburgh PA 2009, American Arbitration Association. Mr. King was selected by the AAA (and all counsel) as the Panel Chair in this 250 million Legal Fee/ Legal Malpractice dispute. The legal malpractice claim in this matter was for over 200 million dollars.
  • Striffe v, Rosenberg, #37-2009-00100859-CU-PN-CTL, Superior Court San Diego (2011). Deposition testimony: Nov. 2012
  • Demeter Energy Corporation v. Thomas V. Girardi, #BC47226, Superior Ct. Los Angeles County (2012).
  • Kaiser v. Simpson, D053348, 2009 WL 1363296 (Cal. Ct. App. May 15, 2009). Coulter.
  • Andrew Grossman et al. v. McAfee & Taft et al., Arbitration, #CIV-10-853-M, W.D. Ok. (2012).
  • Sakey v. Lester, #D017493, Cal. Ct. App. (1995). The California Appellate Court stated that a claim "that King was unqualified is without merit."
  • U.S. v. Mason, 26 F.3d 134 (9th Cir. 1994) (appeal). Testified at trial court in felony prosecution of 15 attorneys (the "Alliance") for multimillion dollar billing fraud.
  • Estate of Saunders v. Commissioner, 136 T.C. No. 18 (April 28, 2011)). The U.S. Tax Court cited Mr. King’s testimony as authority for its decision.
  • Fred Wood Snell, III, et al. vs. Lloyd J. Michaelson, et al., #LC091249, Superior Ct., Los Angeles County (2012).
  • Guthrie v. Espiau, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2009). Mr King testified as a legal ethics attorney in patent prosecution matter before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Additional Expert Testimony

DAC Aviation (East Africa) Limited v. Aero Century Corporation, #Civil333, High Court of Kenya (2012). Presented expert testimony on California law which was dispositive on a central issue in the case.

Legal Education Courses Taught

Law School Courses Taught:

  • Client Relations: Fees (Visiting Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School)
  • Professional Responsibility (Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School)

Continuing Legal Education Awards:

  • Best Course in State: Getting In, Getting Out, Getting Paid - The Law of Attorney Fee Agreements, Withdrawal as Counsel, and Fee Disputes, State Bar of California.
  • Greatest Contribution to Legal Education By A Professional: San Diego County Bar Association.

Continuing Legal Education Courses:

  • Working with Experts, www.attorneycredits.com (2012 course)
  • Obtaining Attorneys' Fees, www.accessmcle.com (2012 course)
  • Fee Agreements: Ethics & Reasonableness, www.attorneycredits.com (2012 course)
  • Attorney Client Agreement (two parts), www.accessmcle.com (2012 course)
  • Avoiding Legal Malpractice Lawsuits, an Experts' Perspective, www.accessmcle.com (2012)
  • Avoiding Ethical Violations and Legal Malpractice Claims, www.attorneycredits.com (2012)
  • Ethical Aspects of Attorney Retention Agreements (2011)
  • Ethical Aspects of Attorneys Fee Issues (2011)
  • National Ass'n of Legal Fee Analysts: Effects of Ethical Violations on Fees (2010)
  • CNA Malpractice Insurance Carrier: The Minefields of Practice
  • Continuing Education of the Bar: Evidence for Business Lawyers
  • Continuing Education of the Bar: Evidence, Laying the Foundation
  • State Bar of California: Engagement, Disengagement, and Conflicts Waiver Agreements-Practical and Ethical Considerations of Forming and Terminating
  • State Bar of California: Getting the Work and Keeping It
  • State Bar of California: How Lawyers Screw Up
  • San Diego Inn of Court: Trial Advocacy
  • San Diego Inn of Court: Workshop on Evidence
  • San Diego Inn of Court: Ethics of Trial Advocacy
  • American Arbitration Association: Effective Advocacy
  • Litigation Services Institute: The CPA as an Expert Witness
  • California CPA Society Education Division: Evidence and Advocacy
  • California CPA Society Education Division: Effective Retention Agreements
  • San Diego CPA Litigation Section: How Experts Screw Up
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Retention and Withdrawal
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Federal Practice
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Doing the Job Right
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Getting In, Getting Out, Getting Paid

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