James K. Leese

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Newport Beach, CA

Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP
 | 3737 Birch Street, Suite 400
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone: 949-608-6900
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2011, 2014 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1979
Practice Areas:
  • Estate Planning & Probate
Attorney Profile

James K. Leese is a Senior Partner in the law firm of Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, and admitted to the California Bar in 1979. The State Bar of California recognizes him as a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. He earned his bachelor's degree from The Defiance College in 1975, his Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1978, and a master’s degree in taxation from Golden Gate University in 1992.

Mr. Leese is primarily responsible for the firm's estate and business succession planning departments and limits his practice to matters involving business, estate and gift tax planning, preparation of trusts and wills, and to handling probate and trust administration for individuals and owners of businesses. Mr. Leese works with both the high net worth client, using sophisticated estate planning strategies and tools, as well as with the client who has non-tax related planning goals in mind. He also works closely with trust officials, financial planners, insurance agents, accountants and appraisers in a team effort to design and implement plans that will best meet each client's needs and objectives.

Since 1994, Mr. Leese has taught the fundamentals of estate planning and advanced estate planning courses in the personal financial planning certificate program at the University of California at Irvine extension. He also has taught a layperson course on estate planning for UCI extension. He speaks frequently to such professional groups as the National Business Institute, the Orange County/Long Beach Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Easter Seals Society. He has contributed to the estate planning text "Estate Planning and Taxation" by John C. Bost, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company; and is a co-author of the textbook used at UCI extension entitled "Advanced Estate Planning for Financial Professionals." His chapter entitled "Best Estate Plans Take Family Dynamics into Consideration" appeared in Best Practices for Structuring Trusts and Estates, 2015 Edition, 2015 Thompson Rueters / Aspatore.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Estate Planning & Probate (100%): Estate Planning, Trusts

Focus Areas

Estate Planning, Trusts


Selected to Super Lawyers for 10 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2011, 2014 - 2018

Email Me

To: James K. Leese
Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

About James Leese

Admitted: 1979, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.ferruzzo.com/?/people/james-k-leese

Honors and Awards:

  • Listed by Orange Coast Magazine, as a 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Five Star Wealth Manager, Estate Planning (Represents 3 percent of Wealth Managers in Orange County)
  • AV Preeminent Rated Attorney (Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating)

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, The State Bar of California

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • California, 1979
  • Past President, Irvine Senior Foundation, 1996 - 1999
  • Board Member, UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business
  • Member, State Bar of California, Sections on Estate Planning, Trust & Probate, 1979- Present
  • President, Irvine Swim League, 1999 - 2001

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Estate planning should include the consideration of Family Dynamics and Family Values and those planners who take time out to discuss with their clients the factors described in this Chapter, we provide a service outside the box, by helping families get the opportunity to produce lasting legacies for generations., Author, Best Estate Plans Take Family Dynamics into Consideration, Best Practices for Structuring Trusts and Estates, 2015 Edition, Thomson Reuters / Aspatore, 2015
  • Estate Planning & Taxation, (Contributor), Kendal-Hunt, 1996
  • UCI-Extension, PFP Certificate Program, Estate Planning and Advanced Estate Planning, Instructor, 1994
  • Speaker, Arthritis Foundation
  • Teacher, Advanced Estate Planning, PFP Certificate Program at UCI-Extension, 1996 - Present
  • Speaker, Easter Seals Society
  • Speaker, Orange County/Long Beach Chapter of the CA Society of CPAs
  • Speaker, National Business Institute
  • Teacher, Estate Planning for the Layperson, UCI-Extension, 1995 - Present
  • Teacher, Fundamentals of Estate Planning, PFP Certificate Program at UCI-Extension, 1994 - Present
  • Business Succession Planning, a Critical Element for Family-Owned Businesses, Uncertainty About Fate of Estate Tax Increase, Urgency for Effective Planning, Orange County Business Journal, Vol. 25, No. 42, 2002
  • Advanced Estate Planning for Financial Professionals, (Co-Author)

Educational Background:

  • Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California, M.S. in Taxation, 1992
  • The Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio, B.S. in Political Science, Honors: Cum Laude, 1975
Find Me Online
Office Location for James K. Leese

3737 Birch Street
Suite 400
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 949-608-6900


James K. Leese:

Last Updated: 6/20/2018

Page Generated: 5.5746648311615 sec