James P. Cilley

Top rated Estate & Trust Litigation attorney in Danville, California

Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP
James P. Cilley
Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP

Practice Areas: Estate & Trust Litigation, Estate Planning & Probate; view more

Licensed in California since: 1993

Education: University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2023

Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP

40 Oak Ct
Danville, CA 94526 Visit website


The senior trial partner at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP, James P. Cilley focuses his practice on estate and trust litigation, and he has been certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law by the Board of Legal Specialization of The State Bar of California. With clients throughout Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties, Mr. Cilley's experience has encompassed cases involving breaches of fiduciary duty, conservatorships, will contests, elder abuse, the interpretation of estate planning documents and similar matters. He also has handled many of them through such alternative dispute resolution methods as arbitration and mediation, and he frequently serves as an expert witness on issues related to his practice areas.

Admitted to practice before all California courts, Mr. Cilley is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as well as before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Highly regarded by his fellow attorneys for his successes both in and out of the courtroom, he has been given an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Cilley has delivered several presentations to continuing legal education programs, and some of the other groups he has been asked to speak before have included the Professional Fiduciary Association of California and the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

Mr. Cilley's numerous professional memberships include the Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council and the Silicon Valley Bar Association. He has served on the boards of the Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa county bar associations as well. Mr. Cilley received a Bachelor of Science in business finance from San Jose State University in 1990 and his Juris Doctor with distinction from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1993.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Estate & Trust Litigation, Estate Planning & Probate

Focus areas

Estate Planning, Trusts

  • 90% Estate & Trust Litigation
  • 10% Estate Planning & Probate

First Admitted: 1993, California

Professional Webpage: https://www.tcklawfirm.com/james-p-cilley/

  • Peer Review rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale Hubbell
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Member, California Lawyers Association, Trusts and Estates Section
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 1997
  • Board of Trustees, Contra Costa County Bar Association
  • California, 1993
  • Member, Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Silicon Valley Bar Association
  • Board of Trustees, Alameda County Bar Association
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9 Circuit
  • Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association, Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts
  • State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates Section
  • United States Federal Court, Northern District of California
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
Educational Background:
  • San Jose State University, Bachelor of Science, Major: Business Finance, 1990
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Speaker, “He’s in Love With Her! A Mock Trial,” Silicon Valley Bar Association, 2012
  • Author, Chapter 7: “Asserting or Defending Claim Regarding Ownership of Trust Property,” Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trust Litigation, 2011
  • Speaker, “Practical Asset Management in Today’s Economy” (CEB), 2010
  • Speaker, “Practical Problems in Probate” (CEB), 2009
  • Speaker, “Recent Developments,” Fremont Estate Planning Council, 2007
  • Speaker, “Estate Planning and Administration: 22nd Annual Recent Developments” (CEB), 2007
  • Speaker, “Changing Our Plans in 2007,” Silicon Valley Bar Association, 2006
  • Speaker, “Recent Developments,” Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) 11th Annual Educational Conference, 2006
  • Author, “When is a Lis Pendens a Viable Provisional Remedy in Probate Cases,” The Scrivener, Silicon Valley Bar Association, 4th Quarter 2005
  • Speaker, “Trustee and Fiduciary Standards of Care and Liability Issues,” Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Annual Conference, 2005
  • Speaker, “Elder Abuse: The Domestic Violence and Financial Embezzlement Problem of the 21st Century,” State Bar of California, San Francisco and Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council, 2003
  • Speaker, “Trustee Standard of Care” & “Trustee Reporting Duties,” Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Annual Conference, 2002
  • Speaker, co-presented “Probate Code § 21320 – Care Custodian Beneficiaries,” Santa Clara County Bar Association, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section, 2000
  • Speaker, co-presented “The Finality of Judgments, Are They Really Final?” & “Statute of Limitations on Claims Based upon the Liability of Deceased Settlors,” Northern Trust Companies Association Seventh Annual Education Program, 1998
  • Speaker, “Anatomy of a Trial,” Santa Clara County Bar Association & Contra Costa County Bar Association Estate Planning and Trust Sections, Northern Trust Bank Trust Forum, 1997

Office location for James P. Cilley

40 Oak Ct
Danville, CA 94526

Phone: 408-780-1912


20 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2023

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