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James Jackson Phillips

Trusts Attorney at Pleasanton, CA

5.0   12 reviews

also known as James J. Phillips


Licensed for 42 years

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

3
Practice areas
  1. Trusts
    40%
    Over 20 years as a certified specialist in probate, estate planning, and trust law. AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. LL.M. in taxation. Included in Northern California Super Lawyers. Offices in Pleasanton and Hayward. www.jamesjphillips.com

    40 years

  2. Estate planning
    30%
    Over 20 years as a certified specialist in probate, estate planning, and trust law. AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. LL.M. in taxation. Included in Northern California Super Lawyers. Offices in Pleasanton and Hayward. www.jamesjphillips.com

    40 years

  3. Probate
    30%
    Over 20 years as a certified specialist in probate, estate planning, and trust law. AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. LL.M. in taxation. Included in Northern California Super Lawyers. Offices in Pleasanton and Hayward. www.jamesjphillips.com

    40 years

I have been a certified specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization since inception of State certification program in 1990. LL.M. degree in taxation.


My law practice is rated "av" (highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards) by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, and has been included in their Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers annually since 1995. Northern California Super Lawyer designation annually since 2005.

1991-1992 Member of the Executive Committee of California State Bar's Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section. 1990 President of the Eastern Alameda County Bar Association. 2020-2021 President of the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council.

Appointed by Alameda County Probate Court as Special Master, Guardian Ad Litem, and Personal Representative in contested trust, probate, conservatorship, and guardianship cases.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 42 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 1980
Updated 09/14/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact James

Phillips & Phillips, A Professional Corporation
Law Offices of Phillips & Phillips
2807 Castro Valley Blvd
Castro Valley, CA, 94546
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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  12 customer reviews
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Posted by Gena | August 3, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best experience during a horrible time
I was just dealing with the sudden impact of my father dying. When my siblings were fighting me on his remains being sent to me. I had no idea where to even begin. We werent fighting over money or assets. After contacting several lawyers and paralegals who left me frustrated and discouraged, i contacted Mr Phillips. The entire situation changed immediately. Needless to say things went in my favor. I hope to never be in this situation but if i know anyone who needs legal help within his scope i will definately send them his way. He is kind, smart, and definately knows what hes doing
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Posted by Fred | June 7, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phillips and Phillips - Outstanding
Our family experience (elderly parents and my wife and I) with Phillips and Phillips over the years has been outstanding. Jim, and now also Katelyn, have put together wills, guided overall estate planning, established trusts, and most recently provided expert support and advice upon the passing of my parents. Phillips and Phillips provided all these services in such a professional, knowledgeable, responsive, and efficient manner, that it made dealing with these matters easy. With all the legal requirements, paperwork, and bureaucratic detail, handling these items on our own would have been extremely difficult. Even with tremendous diligence, we undoubtedly would have made some serious errors with negative fiscal impact. Jim, Kaetlyn, and Donna were also caring and kind as they guided us through the difficult estate decisions required upon the passing of loved ones. We couldn’t be more satisfied and will continue to recommend Phillips and Phillips to anyone who might be in need of their services.
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Posted by Dennis | September 13, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
I have been a client of Jim Phillips for over 10 years. Jim helped my wife and me to get our estate planning in order. He took the time necessary to get to know us better and to understand what our future plans and goals were when creating our Wills, Trust, and other documents. He guided us through the process, explaining in plain understandable terms what all the documents were about and offering thoughtful suggestions. He has since helped us to revise our documents as our life situations have changed over the years. I have always found Jim to meet the highest ethical standards. He is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Estate and Trust planning. I am also pleased the he has added his daughter Katelyn to his practice as it will add continuity to the practice for another generation to come. I highly recommend the firm of Phillips & Phillips to anyone in need of Estate and Trust Planning.
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Posted by Roy | August 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Real Estate Broker
I have known personally, and been aware through others, of the stellar reputation of Mr. Phillips for over 20 years Mr. Phillips has not only prepared my family Trust but has also prepared my mother’s family trust. Over the years he has also provided expert guidance to many others who I have confidently referred to him. Everyone that I am aware of who has had the experience of working with him, had nothing but rave reviews. I would strongly recommend Mr. Phillips and the Phillips and Phillips Law firm, to anyone needing Estate Planning, Probate, Trust or Conservatorship matters dealt with in a prompt and professional mannor. I have met Mr. Phillips associate Katelyn, and would feel comfortable dealing with her on any issues or problems with the same degree of confidence I have in Mr. Phillips. Should anyone wish to speak to me personally about my experiences with the firm, they are welcome to call me. Mr. Phillips has my direct line. Thank you Roy
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Posted by Catherine Brent | August 22, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent Service !
Jim Phillips has proven to be an excellent attorney with a wealth of knowledge and has helped many of my clients through the trying times of losing a loved one and guided them with expertise on all the steps that need to be taken. Katelyn Phillips now works with Jim as well and Jim and Katelyn make it a point to always be available to answer questions for myself and my clients. I highly recommend Jim and Katelyn! Cathy B.
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Posted by Tom R | August 21, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phillips & Phillips Law
My family and I have been clients of Jim (and now Katelyn) Phillips for over 25 years. Foremost is Jim has taken the time to understand my family, and our hopes for our children and grandchildren.. Jim created our Trust & Wills...a complete estate plan that after much consultation has given my wife and I peace of mind. Importantly, Jim is focused on my concerns and has provided thoughtful options for us to consider. As a business owner I am concerned about both estate taxes and a business succession plan. The Phillips family has served our local community (Jim's father was a Superior Court Judge) with legal advice for many decades, and Katelyn continues into another generation. Tom R.
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Posted by Bruce | August 20, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phillips&Phillips guiding hand
When a family member passes,it is a trying time.You need the guiding hand of a great Law firm. Jim and Katelyn Phillips of Phillips and Phillips were the rock solid guiding hand of Knowledge,Wisdom and Compassion.They guided us through the California legal system,and brought about the conclusion of my brothers estate. Jim has put together a great team and Katelyn is following in his foot steps.They are great people and the pride show's in there work.Please do yourself a favor and contact them if your are in need of a estate attorney,you will not regret it I guarantee it. Bruce
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Posted by William | May 30, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A really great attorney and advisor
Jim has been a trusted advisor and counselor for my mother, my siblings, and me for at least 30 years. He wrote my wife and my first will many years ago. He established a living trust for my wife and me when I became a business owner. His advice has always been spot-on. More recently, he helped establish a living trust for my mother after she sold her house and had to move to an independent living facility. Jim had great recommendations regarding different facilities for Mom. Jim was always available to answer questions quickly and with compassion when Mom had to be moved to an assisted living facility. After Mom passed away, he helped me to deal with my job as trustee and executor of the estate, giving me excellent, thoughtful advice all the way through that very trying time for my siblings and me. I have recommended Jim to numerous friends and relatives. In my mind, he is the epitome of a good attorney and advisor.
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Posted by Janis | May 30, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Someone you can trust!!!
I have been working with Jim Phillips since 2010 and prior to that my parents use his services. Jim is knowledgeable, thorough and thoughtful about the advice and information he gives his clients. In addition, he is one of the most personable, caring attorneys that I have had the pleasure to work with. An appointment with an attorney typically involves much stress and anxiety, so it is so refreshing to have Jim as someone who I can confide in and know that he will listen to me. I am always confident that Jim will give me the best advice, even though it may not be what I want to hear; however, a needed perspective that I could not have come to on my own. I would definitely recommend Jim Phillips and his staff for estate planning!!!
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Posted by Joel Malakoff | October 8, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Diligence and Care
Jim is a rare find in that he cares deeply for people while keeping a high bar where confidentiality and integrity are concerned. I have referred a number of clients to him, many of whom have come back to thank me. Especially in more delicate cases, I have found him insightful with creative solutions for real life challenges.
Posted by anonymous | October 10, 2012
Excellent estate planning attorney.
When my husband and I finally agreed it was time to have our wills written up, we asked around for recommendations for estate planning attorneys. James Phillips was the name that kept coming up. In our first meeting with Mr. Phillips we noticed immediately that he has the rare ability to explain complex legal issues in a way that was easy to understand. I have found that when people are extremely educated in a given field, they tend to not take the time to explain things fully. Mr. Phillips took his time talking with us, really getting to know our unique needs before advising us as to any course of action. At no time did we feel rushed or “talked at.” A major concern for my husband and I was the fact that we are a blended family. We wanted to make sure that each child got their fair share of our estate whether they were a biological child or a step child. Mr. Phillips listened carefully to our concerns, and, without judgment, offered some very reasonable suggestions as to what might be considered “fair” for each child as far as funds for trade school, advanced college degrees, or homeownership. Mr. Phillips and his excellent team made what we expected to be a very trying and emotional process into an interesting and rewarding experience. Looking back now, I am so grateful to know that our kids will be taken care of.
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Posted by Dianne | October 5, 2012
Thoughtful, thorough, and focused on his client.
My husband and I worked with Jim on our family trust and estate planning, and he helped me deal with the challenges of creating new trust documents after my husband died several years ago. I recently sought his help with the administration of my mother's trust. He is patient, thoughtful and very thorough. He anticipates situations and guides you through the thought process required for each decision, without interjecting his own opinion. I trust him implicitly and seek his advice with confidence. I have also recommended him to my friends.
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Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • President
  • Law Offices of Philllips & Phillips, A Professional Corporation
  • 2018 - Present
  • Of Counsel
  • Varni, Fraser, Hartwell & Rodgers
  • 1989 - 1992
  • President
  • Law Offices of James J Phillips, A Professional Corporation
  • 1989 - 2017
  • Attorney
  • Smith, Etnire, Polson & Scott
  • 1983 - 1989
View all work experience

Education

  • Golden Gate University School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 1988
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1980
  • University of California - Davis
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1976
  • Castro Valley High School
  • High school
  • 1972
View all education

Associations

  • Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council
  • Director and Officer
  • 2017 - Present
  • Castro Valley Rotary Club
  • Affiliate Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Castro Valley Track Club
  • Coach
  • 2001 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • East Bay Estate Planning Council
  • Director
  • N/A
  • State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates Section
  • Executive Committee
  • 1991 - 1992
  • Eastern Alameda County Bar Association
  • President
  • 1990 - 1991
  • Hayward Rotary Club
  • Member
  • 1982 - 2012
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2020
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2019
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Northern California Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2016
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Friend of Education Award
  • The Castro Valley Education Foundation
  • 2015
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Diablo Magazine
  • San Francisco East Bay Wealth Manager
  • 2013
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Diablo Magazine
  • San Francisco East Bay Wealth Manager
  • 2012
  • James J. Phillips
  • Five Star Professional Award
  • 2012
  • Circle of Excellence
  • American Registry Circle of Excellence
  • 2012
  • James J. Phillips
  • Five Star Professional Award
  • 2011
  • San Francisco East Bay Wealth Manager
  • Diablo Magazine
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2010
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2009
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2008
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2007
  • Super Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 2006
  • David E. Snodgrass Moot Court: First Place Written Brief
  • Hastings College of the Law
  • 1980
View all awards

Publications

  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
  • Tax Comparison of Living Trusts and Wills
  • 1991
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
  • Tax Considerations in Comparing Living Trusts and Wills
  • 1990
  • California Lawyer Magazine
  • Taxes and Living Trusts
  • 1989
  • Tax Exchange
  • Federal Income Tax Differences Between Living Trust Administration and Probate Administration
  • 1988
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Samuel Merrit Univeristy
  • Estate Planning
  • 2012

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (2)
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Jim Phillips for many years. He is highly experienced in his practice areas of Trust and Probate administration and Estate Planning. He is exceptionally focused on servicing his client's needs, and I have always found him to exemplify the highest degree of integrity."
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jim is an extremely competent, thorough and thoughtful trusts and estates attorney, with a wonderful staff."
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim is an experienced, certified estate planning specialist and tax expert. He is also a Rotarian who lives by the motto "Service Above Self".n"
Probate Attorney | Sep 14
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."