Bar & Court Admissions
- State Bar of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California
Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club
California Bar Association
The San Francisco Lawyers’ Club Inn of Court (Executive Committee Member)
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D.
University of California at Santa Cruz, B.A.
Numerous published opinions evidence Robin James’ extensive appellate experience. Indeed, she has drafted countless party and amicus curiae briefs, petitions for writs of mandate and supersedeas, responses to writ petitions, and appellate motions. Additionally, she advises clients and lawyers during the trial phase to optimize their positions in the appellate forum.
Ms. James also has experience in administrative law, including administrative mandamus proceedings and appeals stemming from these actions. Likewise, she represents clients in quasi-judicial administrative hearings, and drafts client positions and other communications to be presented to regulatory agencies. Her regulatory/administrative law clients include publically-funded entities charged with delivering services to Californians with developmental disabilities under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, insurance agents and brokers, and insurance companies.
In addition, Ms. James has represented numerous major domestic and foreign insurers, as well as insureds, in insurance coverage and bad faith disputes. In that vein, she has litigated and advised clients on many types of policies, including commercial general liability, commercial property, jewelers block, commercial and personal auto, homeowners, errors and omissions, and directors and officers liability policies.
Within M&R, Ms. James is Co-Chair of the firm's Conflicts, Ethics & Opinions Committee.
Ms. James earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and graduated Order of the Coif (Top 10%). While in law school, Ms. James was a staff member and note and comment editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, a member of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society, and she received an American Jurisprudence Award in Remedies. Ms. James was awarded a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
She has also completed numerous courses at the Gemological Institute of America and has a GIA Diamonds Certificate.
- Windsor Pacific LLC v. Samwood Company, Inc. (2013) 213 Cal.App, .4th 263): Successfully defended a developer against an adjacent landowner’s lawsuit by claiming the developer controlled a prescriptive easement over the property. The trial court had ruled that the contract provided for recovery of attorney fees for an “action to enforce or interpret the contract,” the adjacent landowner did not allege any contract-based theory and the developer’s contract-based defense did not make the lawsuit an “action to enforce or interpret” the contract. The Court of Appeal held that the adjacent landowner was equitably estopped to deny that permission had been granted to travel over the property, and it also reversed the trial court’s denial of the developer’s motion for attorney fees. The Court of Appeal, departing from established precedent, also held that an “action to enforce or interpret” a contract includes an action in which the contract supports a defense.
- Harbor Regional Center v. Office of Administrative Hearings (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 293: Represented a regional center responsible for delivering services to people with developmental disabilities. The case raised a novel question of whether (and under what circumstances) the California Office of Administrative Hearings has jurisdiction to settle a caregiver pay rate dispute between a regional center and the parent of a developmentally disabled child.
- Samantha C. v. Office of Administrative Hearings(2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 1462: Represented a regional center to determine whether a claimant had a “developmental disability” as defined by Welfare and Institutions Code section 4512(a).
- Haynes v. Farmers Insurance Exchange (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1198:Represented a major automobile liability insurer to determine whether a provision in the policy that set liability limits for permissive users at the statutory minimum—regardless of limits available to named insured—was sufficiently conspicuous, plain, and clear to be enforceable.
- March 14, 2017
- November 14, 2016
- September 9, 2016
- April 16, 2014
- California Lawyer, March 14, 2017
- Law360, November 14, 2016
- Law360, September 9, 2016
- Appellate DecisionFebruary 11, 2014
- “Good" Bad Faith vs. "Bad" Bad Faith: Equitable Principles and the Doctrines of Adverse Possession and PrescriptionMiller & Starr Real Estate News Alert, January 28, 2014
- Employment Class Action Waivers Under the Federal Arbitration Act: Clarity From the California Supreme CourtBloomberg BNA: Class Action Litigation Report, September 12, 2014
- Should California Abandon Primary Rights?Comment, Res Judicata: (1989) 23 Loy. L.A. L.Rev. 351., February 2010
Past Speaking Engagements
- Court Budget Cuts: Exploit Them and Pay The PriceThe Lawyers Club of San Francisco Inns of CourtSan Francisco, CA, May 8, 2013
- San Francisco Lawyers' Club Inns of CourtSan Francisco, CA, September 15, 2010
- (In)efficient (Ap)proximate Cause: Proving and Disproving Covered Losses Under Property Insurance PoliciesLawyers' Club of San Francisco's Inn of CourtFebruary 2010
- Here Come the Judges: Help Me, Help You, Help Us [Know What Not To Do in the CourtroomLawyers' Club of San Francisco's Inn of CourtSeptember 2009
- White Lawyers Playing the Race Card: Exploitation, Arrogance, or Advocacy?Lawyers' Club of San Francisco's Inn of CourtOctober 2008
- Are Your Citations Out of Order?Legal Secretaries, Inc. ConferenceNovember 2007
- Using Experts to Win Your Bad Faith CaseDefense Research Institute’s Insurance Coverage and Claims InstituteMay 2006
- Mold-Related Insurance Coverage IssuesNational Business Institute Seminar on Emerging Issues in California Indoor Air Quality and Toxic Mold LitigationNovember 2002