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About Me

About the firm:

We are dedicated to preserving our client's rights and keeping their records clean. Our goal is always dismissal of all charges. We only handle criminal defense cases - and that gives us an expertise beyond other firms.

Summit Defense was founded eight years ago by a group of accomplished attorneys who combined their expertise to become more effective at winning cases. Our attorneys include three former District Attorneys, a former police officer, and graduates of top schools including Harvard and Hastings.


About me:

I learned discipline and dedication at West Point and in military service. Years of litigation experience have taught me how to prepare for criminal cases through and including trial.


Excellent written and oral communication skills, a thorough preparation, and a dedicated work ethic are critical, particularly in trial.


Personal interests:

Lifetime runner, now retired to golf. Collect casinos and gambling memorabilia and challenge coins (military, patriotic and historical). Strategy gaming, including Strat-O-Matic football.


Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 40%
    39 years
  2. Federal Crime: 30%
    39 years
  3. Consumer Protection: 10%
    39 years
  4. Child Abuse: 10%
    39 years
  5. Domestic Violence: 10%
    39 years



Retainer (Always)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

3 total 

  • Jeffrey Dean Schwartz

    James Reilly has impeccable knowledge and experience. He has seen criminal law from all sides and can assess the best strategy needed for a client.


    Jeffrey Schwartz Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Mark Reynold Prioste Figueiredo

    Jim successfully got all charges dropped for a referred client. Even more impressive was that the client's initial (and soon, former) defense attorney was recommending a plea bargain. The client was very happy. I would not hesitate to refer to Jim.


    Mark Figueiredo Business Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Summit Defense Attorneys

4040 Civic Center Drive
Suite 200
San Rafael, CA, 94903

Summit Defense Attorneys

580 California Street
12th floor
San Francisco, CA, 94104




Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Rated Attorney - Criminal DefenseLead Counsel2014
Rated Attorney - Criminal DefenseLead Counsel2013
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2013
A+ RatingBetter Business Bureau2012
Rated Attorney - Criminal DefenseLead Counsel2012
Commitment to Integrity and Customer ServiceBetter Business Bureau2011
2011 Nationwide Leaders in Criminal DefenseNewsweek Magazine2011
Lead CounselRated Attorney - Criminal Defense2011
Am Jur Award for Labor LawThomson West Publishing1975
Am Jur Award for Conflict LawsThomson West Publishing1975
Top Advocate, Vincent J. Dalsimer AwardPepperdine Moot Court Competition1975
ParticipantRoger J. Traynor State Moot Court Competition1975
Am Jur Award for Constitutional LawThomson West Publishing1974
Am Jur Award for Contracts LawThomson West Publishing1973
Am Jur Award for TortsThomson West Publishing1973
Centurion Award (100 public speaking appearances)United States Navy1971
Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century AwardUnited States Military Academy, West Point1967
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Senior Trial AttorneySummit Defense Attorneys2008 - Present
General CounselA&J Electric Cable Corporation1997 - 2008
Instructor, Legal Writing and ResearchUniversity Of California, Hastings College Of The Law1985 - 1986
Criminal Defense and Appeals AttorneyLaw Offices of James T. Reilly1985 - 1997
AttorneyFirst District Appellate Panel1985 - 1997
Senior Trial AttorneyOrange County District Attorney1980 - 1985
Supervising Attorney Multiple DUI ProgramOrange County District Attorney1976 - 1985
Deputy District AttorneyOrange County District Attorney1976 - 1979
LieutenantUnited States Navy1967 - 1971
Association NamePosition NameDuration
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMember2014 - Present
American Association for JusticeCriminal Law Section Member2014 - Present
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMember2013 - Present
Pepperdine Student Bar AssociationPresident1973 - 1974
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Pepperdine University School of LawLawN/A1975
United States Military Academy, West PointEnglishBA with Honors1967
Defense Information School, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IndianaN/AN/A1967
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Handling Your First DUI CaseHandling Your First DUI Case2012
Equal TimeJuvenile Justice2011
KRON4New Ruling on Miranda2010