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James J. Phillips

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Pleasanton, CA

Phillips Law Offices, A Professional Corporation
4900 Hopyard Road, Suite 260
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Phone: 866-549-5220
Fax: 925-463-8656
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2022
Licensed in California Since: 1980
Practice Areas: Estate Planning & Probate, Elder Law, Estate & Trust Litigation, Tax: Consumer
Attorney Profile

James J. Phillips is an estate planning and probate attorney with over 40 years of legal experience. He is a co-founder of the Law Offices of Phillips & Phillips, A Professional Corporation, in Pleasanton, California.

Mr. Phillips handles cases involving elder law, estate planning, probate, special needs trusts and trust administration. He provides probate services for California residents statewide and estate planning services for clients in Alameda and Contra Costa counties and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Phillips has earned respect and recognition from his peers in the legal profession. In 1990, he was certified by the State Bar Legal Specialization Program in estate planning, probate and trust law.

Among other honors he has received, Mr. Phillips holds an AV Preeminent* peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. This is the highest available rating, presented to attorneys possessing high legal capability and ethical standards.

Outside of his practice, Mr. Phillips is involved in many professional and community activities. He is a member of the California Lawyers Association trusts and estates section and taxation section, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council. He has served in several leadership roles for legal and community organizations.

Mr. Phillips graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Davis, with a bachelor’s degree in human development. He received a Master of Laws degree in taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law and earned his law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

*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
  • 70%Estate Planning & Probate
  • 10%Elder Law
  • 10%Estate & Trust Litigation
  • 10%Tax: Consumer
Focus Areas

Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Power of Attorney, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts, Wills


18 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2022

Certificates and Credentials

About James J. Phillips

First Admitted: 1980, California

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Author: "Tax Comparison of Living Trusts and Wills," Fundamentals of Estate Planning, CEB and the State Bar Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law Section Program, April 1991
  • "Tax Considerations in Comparing Living Trusts and Wills," Drafting Wills and Related Estate Planning Documents, CEB and the State Bar Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section Program, April/May 1990
  • "Taxes and Living Trusts," California Lawyer, February 1989
  • "Federal Income Tax Differences between Living Trust Administration and Probate Administration," Tax Exchange, November 1988


  • , Awarded Northern California Super Lawyers since 2005
  • AV Rated: Achieved the Highest Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, and included in their Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 1995
  • First Place, 1979 David E. Snodgrass Moot Court Competition--Best Written Brief, Hastings College of Law, 1979

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, 1990

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Former Director, Castro Valley Arts Foundation
  • Director, Emeritus of California State University Hayward Educational Foundation, Inc.
  • Director of Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of Pleasanton, Livermore, Castro Valley Chambers of Commerce and Castro Valley Rotary Club
  • Former director, Tri-Valley Community Foundation
  • Former Director, Eden Area Foundation
  • Founder and Coach of Castro Valley Track Club. Director of Eden Area Foundation.
  • Director Emeritus, California State University Hayward Educational Foundation, Inc.

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member, Executive Committee, California State Bar's Association Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section, 1991-1992
  • Former member of the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the Alameda County Bar Association
  • Former Director, Estate Planning Council of the East Bay
  • Judge Pro Tem, Alameda County Superior Courts
  • Former Member, Executive Committee of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the Alameda County Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
  • President, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association, 1990
  • Member, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section and Taxation Section of the State Bar of California and Director of Tri-Valley Business and Estate Planning Council
  • Appointed by Alameda County Probate Court as Special Master, Guardian Ad Litem, and Personal Representative in contested trust, probate, conservatorship, and guardian cases

Educational Background

  • Castro Valley High School, 1972
  • University of California at Davis, B.S., in Human Development, Honors: with High Honors, Magna Cum Laude, 1976
  • Golden Gate University School of Law, Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation, 1988


Industry Groups

  • Conservatorship
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Gift Tax Planning
  • Probate
  • Trust Administration
  • Trust Planning
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Office Location for James J. Phillips

4900 Hopyard Road
Suite 260
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Phone: 866-549-5220

Fax: 925-463-8656

Last Updated: 3/29/2022

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