Jim King, ESQ - A Lawyer's Lawyer
Defending Attorneys & Protecting Their Good Name

Jim King, Esq.

A Trusted Representative for Attorneys Nationwide

James King's trial testimony as a legal expert has been praised nationally by juries and judges for his unique ability to distill complex legal issues into understandable concepts. A graduate of Stanford Law School (Order of the Coif, Law Review), Mr. King has consistently qualified as an expert whenever his testimony has been offered. His 30+ years of knowledge and experience are reflected in his assignments: he has supervised and coordinated billion dollar litigation and has arbitrated or testified in over 250 legal fee and malpractice claims (with hundreds of millions of dollars at issue).

Among the areas of Jim's expertise are:

  • Legal Ethics –Standard of Care & Conduct
  • Attorney Fee Disputes
  • Standards of Practice in Litigation and Trials
  • Legal Malpractice and Professional Liability
  • Attorney's Professional Responsibility
  • Malicious Prosecution

Superior Court Judges have chosen Mr. King to work confidentially with them as a Special Master in a number of serious criminal cases, including homicide and judicial bribery. Mr. King has testified extensively in Federal and State Courts and has appeared as an expert before the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Jim has held the AV® Preeminent™ rating from LexisNexis® | Martindale-Hubbell® and is affiliated with ShawnCoulson International Lawyers. (Offices located in Washington D.C., London and Brussels)


  • Stanford Law School, J.D. 1979 Order of the Coif, Law Review
  • Honors: Order of the Coif
  • Stanford Law Review
  • University of Georgia, B.A. 1976, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
  • Summa Cum Laude Graduation
  • Blue Key


  • Solo Practice (2002 – Present)
  • Solo Practice; Partner – ShawnCoulson (1994 – 2002)
  • Partner – Solomon, Ward, Seidenwurm & Smith (1990 – 1994)
  • Associate and Partner – Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps (1980 – 1989)
  • Law Clerk – Honorable Howard Turrentine (So. Dist. Cal.) (1979 – 1980)

James King has served as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the State Bar of California, and the San Diego County Bar Association since the 1980's. In 2009 Jim was selected by the AAA to serve as the lead arbitrator in a $250 million legal malpractice and antitrust dispute in Pittsburgh, PA. Altogether, Jim has issued or approved more than 250 awards in fee dispute arbitration. For details on specific matters that Jim has handled please Click Here.

Recent Special Master Appointments in Matters Involving the Attorney-Client and Work Product Privileges:

  • Court Order in People v. Moore, Sup. Ct. San Diego, CD236506, Judge Einhorn (Feb. 9, 2012).
  • Search Warrant 42281 in People v. Wachtmann, Sup. Ct. San Diego, Judge Clark (Feb. 9, 2012).
  • Search Warrants No. 41057A,C (July-Sept. 2011) (reviewed thousands of attorney and attorney-client documents at request of Judge Danielson (Criminal Presiding) in first degree murder case where attorneys were suspects).
  • Search Warrant No. 40761, Judge Danielson (April 19, 2011) (attorney suspect in homicide).
  • Search Warrant No. 40019, Judge Danielson (Nov. 9, 2010) (attorney accused of grand theft (billing fraud); lengthy forensic e-search).
  • Orange County Superior Court #BA332047 F A, People v. Silberman, Judge Richard M. King (2010) (judicial bribery, lengthy forensic e-search (asked to serve by California Attorney General)).

Expert Witness Testimony:

  • Most recent deposition: Demeter v. Girardi, Nov. 2012.
  • Designated as expert witness for jury trials in U.S. Tax Court (Estate of Saunders v. Commissioner) and San Diego, Orange County, and San Francisco Superior Courts in 2009 and 2010.
  • Retained by I.R.S. in Estate of Saunders to analyze and opine on value of highly complex case; opinion in Estate of Saunders was validated by Estate of Saunders v. Commissioner, 136 T.C. No. 18 (April 28, 2011).
  • Held to be a qualified expert on the standard of practice of law in San Diego by the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Sakey v. Lester, D017493 (1995); testimony expressly held to be proper by Fourth District in Kaiser v. Simpson, 2009 WL 1363296 (2009).
  • Federal Court Trial Testimony: Appropriateness of Legal Work and Conduct.
  • Patent Office Appeals: Standard of Practice, ABA Code of Ethics.
  • California Superior Court Trial Testimony (at least 7 cases): Legal Ethics, Standard of Practice; Abuse of Process.
  • Bankruptcy Court Testimony: Legal fees, standard of practice, legal ethics.
  • Binding Arbitration Testimony (numerous): Legal Fees, Standard of Practice, Duties Of Attorney.
  • Deposition and Declaration Testimony (numerous): Legal Ethics, Standard of Care, Legal Fees.

Legal Education Courses Taught:

  • Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School, Legal Ethics (Ethics Credit)
  • Ethical Aspects of Attorney Retention Agreements (Ethics Credit) (May 2011)
  • Ethical Aspects of Attorneys Fee Issues (Ethics Credit) (May 2011)
  • National Assn of Legal Fee Analysts: Effects of Ethical Violations on Fees (2010)(Ethics Credit)
  • 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 (Ethics Credit)
  • State Bar of California: Getting In, Getting Out, Getting Paid (Ethics Credit)
  • State Bar of California: Getting the Work and Keeping It
  • State Bar of California: How Lawyers Screw Up (Ethics Credit)
  • San Diego Inn of Court: Trial Advocacy
  • San Diego Inn of Court: Workshop on Evidence
  • San Diego Inn of Court: Ethics of Trial Advocacy (Ethics Credit)
  • 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 (Ethics Credit)
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Federal Practice
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Doing the Job Right (Ethics Credit)
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Getting In, Getting Out, Getting Paid (Ethics Credit)
  • San Diego County Bar Association: Substance Abuse: A Clinical and Ethical Perspective


  • U.C. Davis Law Review, 1980: Liability for Newsgatherer Torts.
  • Criminal Justice Journal, Winter 1990: Providing Limits on the Powers of Two States to Prosecute for the Same Crime.
  • Stanford Law Review, 1979: Note – Double Jeopardy for Successive Federal State Prosecutions.
  • San Diego Board of Realtors Magazine, 1987 and 1988: Antitrust Liability.
  • California Litigation: Fast Track: Living Through the Experiment.
  • San Diego County Bar Assn. Dicta: The Absolute Work Product Privilege Is No Longer Absolute.
  • San Diego County Bar Assn. Dicta, July 1991: Does Having a Written Fee Agreement Make a Difference.
  • San Diego County Bar Assn. Dicta, Aug. 1995: The Law of Law.
  • My Brush With History, American Heritage, Sept. 2004.

Activities, Honors and Awards:

  • State Bar of California, Moral Character Counsel
  • San Diego County Bar Association, 1995 Law Week Award for Contribution to Legal Education
  • San Diego County Bar Association, 1998, Award for Organizing High School Oratorical Contests for 15 years for the Bar Association
  • State Bar of California, Special Master
  • State Bar of California, Chairman, San Diego County Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • Vice Chairperson, Fee Arbitration Committee, San Diego County Bar Association
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
  • Fee Arbitrator, San Diego County Bar Association
  • Fee Arbitrator, State Bar of California
  • San Diego City Council Resolution for Pro Bono Work: 1988
  • Coordinator, High School Speech Contest, San Diego County Bar Association
  • Ethics Committee, San Diego County Bar Association

Contact James King

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