James K. Ulwelling

Top rated Real Estate attorney in Costa Mesa, California

Ulwelling Law, APC
James K. Ulwelling
Ulwelling Law, APC

Practice Areas: Real Estate, Civil Litigation, Business Litigation; view more

Licensed in California since: 1994

Education: Santa Clara University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023

Ulwelling Law, APC

600 Anton Blvd
Ste 640
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Visit website


Attorney James K. Ulwelling is the principal of Ulwelling Law, APC, in Costa Mesa, California. Recognized as one of the top attorneys in California, Mr. Ulwelling has more than 25 years of total legal experience, and he provides exceptional counsel and support to a diverse range of clients throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties and the surrounding areas who have legal needs involving any of the following:

· Real estate law and litigation

· Real estate contracts and transactions

· Commercial property matters

· Landlord-tenant issues

· Community association and HOA law

· Business law

· General civil litigation

Throughout the course of his legal career, Mr. Ulwelling has served as lead counsel in many trials and arbitrations, and he has achieved remarkable success helping his clients protect their rights and interests regarding their properties as well as their businesses. He has gained a reputation for his outstanding trial skills and aggressive advocacy along with his effective strategies aimed at helping his clients obtain the favorable outcomes they expect and deserve as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

A 1990 dean's list graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Mr. Ulwelling obtained his Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1994. While there, he was associate editor of the Santa Clara Law Review, and he gained extensive mediation training with the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations along with invaluable experience volunteering as a mediator in his area.

Mr. Ulwelling is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of California and the District of Colorado as well as before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

He is a member of The State Bar of California's Real Property Section, the Orange County Bar Association's Real Estate Law Section and the Community Associations Institute, where he has served on various committees. He is also a former member of the California Associations Institute's Publications Committee and past affiliate member of the California Association of Community Managers. He has also served on the ADR Executive Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

Mr. Ulwelling has also published articles in various trade and professional journals, and he routinely conducts lectures and seminars across his region on a variety of legal topics. Honored for his professionalism and service, he has received consistent top rankings and endorsements from his peers, and he received a certificate of appreciation for outstanding service from the Community Associations Institute Orange County Regional Chapter and a certificate of appreciation for commitment to the community from Dispute Resolution Program Services.

Practice areas

Real Estate: Business, Civil Litigation: Defense, Business Litigation

Focus areas

Condominiums & Cooperatives

  • 50% Real Estate: Business
  • 30% Civil Litigation: Defense
  • 20% Business Litigation

First Admitted: 1994, California

Professional Webpage: https://ulwellinglaw.com/team/james-ulwelling/

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • Community Associations Institute, Publications Committee
  • California
  • Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations, Dispute Resolution Program Services
  • State Bar of California, Real Property Section
  • California Association of Community Managers
  • Orange County Bar Association, Real Property Section
  • Community Associations Institute, Mediation Committee
  • University of California, Los Angeles Alumni Association
Educational Background:
  • University of California at Los Angeles B.A., Dean’s List, Political Science, 1990
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Significant Trends and Cases Affecting the Architect, AIA Orange County Chapter, Speaker, 2003
  • Speaker, Community Associations Institute, Chapman University School of Law, the Orange County Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Employer Advisory Council of Orange County
  • Design Zone: ADA, Accidents and Arbitration, AIA Orange County Chapter, Speaker, 2004
  • A Primer on the Formation and Functions of Committees: OC View, Author, 2004
  • Legal Update: AB 1836 – Dispute Resolution Process, OC View, Author, 2005
  • Case Update: Emerald Bay v. Golden Eagle, OC View, Author, 2005
  • Mediation, Chapman University School of Law, Orange County, California, Guest Lecturer, 2005
  • Employer Civil Liability for Holiday Parties, Employer Advisory Council of Orange County, Speaker, 2006
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FNMA, FHA, VHA – Oh My!, CACM Law Journal, Author, 2010
  • 2011 Legislative Update, CACM Law Journal, Author, 2010
  • Anti-Deficiency Laws and Short Sales, Speaker, 2012
  • Fannie Mae Shortens the Short Sale Process…and Other Changes to Come, CACM Law Journal, Author, 2012
  • Deciphering the Code: Learn How to Read (and Actually Understand) Recorded Documents, Speaker, 2014
  • Real Estate. Judgment ordering court-supervised elections entered in favor of plaintiffs. Jim filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of homeowners who alleged that elections run by their HOA were rigged. Jim brought a successful motion, arguing that the HOA misapplied its rules for voting by proxy, resulting in hundreds of ballots being improperly discarded. The court voided the results of the election and ordered a new election under the supervision of a neutral third party. The new election resulted in the defeat of the sitting board. Jim's clients recovered a substantial portion of their costs and attorney fees., 2016
  • Arbitration award of specific performance confirmed by court. Jim's clients were a husband and wife seeking to purchase a new home in Torrance. They entered into a contract but the seller refused to complete the transaction, arguing that the buyers had failed to close the escrow on time. Jim's clients went to binding arbitration and prevailed. The arbitrator entered an award requiring the opposing party to complete the sale at the contract price, and to fully reimburse Jim's clients for their attorney fees and costs. Jim then successful petitioned the Los Angeles County Superior Court to confirm the arbitration award and enter a judgment., 2017
  • Mohamed Saiful Islam v. Mahfuz Alam, et al. Summary judgment motion granted. Jim's client, a real estate agent, was sued for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to defraud the plaintiff. Jim took the plaintiff's deposition, conducted written discovery, and then brought a motion for summary judgment. Jim argued that all causes of action against his client should be thrown out before reaching trial, because there was insufficient evidence for any reasonable juror to conclude that his client could be held liable. The judge agreed. The motion for summary judgment was granted, resulting in Jim's client being completely removed from the lawsuit., 2018
  • Civil Rights. Award of $890,100. Jim and his partner, Omar Siddiqui, represented a client in a civil rights action, alleging that a sheriff's deputy used excessive force while effectuating an arrest. Jim and Omar took the case to trial before a jury in the United States District Court, Central District of California. The jury returned a swift verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $890,100, exclusive of costs and attorney fees. The jury also found that the deputy acted with malice, justifying an award of punitive damages., 2014
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • James Ulwelling serves as an experienced attorney mentor to newer attorneys working to provide invaluable legal aid on a pro bono basis to clients who cannot otherwise afford legal representation., 2018
Representative Clients:
  • Residential Real Estate Brokerages, 2018
  • Commercial Real Estate Brokerages, 2018
  • Entrepreneurs, 2018
  • Real Estate Investors, 2018
  • Small Businesses, 2018
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Expert, Provided trial testimony as standard of care expert in Orange County Superior Court in action against attorney arising from real estate transaction, 2018
  • Real estate.  Jim worked to overcome difficult zoning and permit issues to help his client close on the sale of a multi-million dollar commercial property in Orange County. , 2020
Industry Groups:
  • HOA
  • Real Estate

Office location for James K. Ulwelling

600 Anton Blvd
Ste 640
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Phone: 714-689-2189


4 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023

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