James I. Ham is a California State Bar discipline defense trial attorney. He represents attorneys in State Bar disciplinary proceedings and trials, in legal malpractice cases, and in related civil litigation. He consults with attorneys about legal ethics issues, including lawyer advertising, conflicts of interest, motions to disqualify, fee disputes and fee splitting, and multi-jurisdictional practice. He also represents plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation, and serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice proceedings as well as in other disputes between attorneys and between attorneys and clients.
Mr. Ham was named a Commissioner of the State Bar of California’s Rules Revision Commission in 2015. The Commission is tasked with reviewing and updating California’s Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.
From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Ham was a Lecturer at Law at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, where he taught legal ethics. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of California Indian Legal Services, a non-profit legal services organization, where he served on various Board Committees, including its Executive and Finance Committees, from 2008 to 2015. In addition, Mr. Ham has been selected as a participant on the Law360 Legal Ethics Editorial Advisory Board for 2016.
Mr. Ham is a long time member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, serving as that Committee’s chair twice. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Association, and was a member of its Evaluation of Professional Standards Committee and ABA Ethics 2000 Sub-Committee, among other committees. Mr. Ham is also a long time member of the American Bar Association, participating in the Section of Litigation’s Ethics and Professionalism and Professional Liability Litigation Committees, the Section of Business Law’s Professional Responsibility and Firm Counsel Projects, and the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility. He also served a term on the California State Bar’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC). He is an active member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) and a member of its Public Statements Committee. Since 2012, he has served as APRL liaison to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professional Discipline.
Mr. Ham is admitted to practice in the State of California and is a member of the Bars of the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of California. He previously served for a number of years as a member of the Attorney Settlement Officer Panel of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Prior to joining Pansky Markle Ham, LLP, Mr. Ham spent 10 years as a partner at Arnold & Porter, LLP in its Los Angeles office. In addition to handling complex civil litigation for Fortune 50 companies, foreign corporations, sovereign governments and others, he regularly assisted the law firm and its attorneys with legal ethics and compliance issues as a member of the firm’s Loss Prevention and Ethics Committees. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, LLP, Mr. Ham was a member of the Los Angeles litigation boutique of Quinn, Kully and Morrow, P.C., where he provided advice to attorneys and law firms as well as other firm clients.
Mr. Ham received his law degree from UCLA School of Law in 1981. He was a member of the UCLA Law Review and served as Executive Editor of the UCLA Law Review (Volume 28). He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California (Magna Cum Laude). Mr. Ham has an AV Peer Review rating by Martindale Hubble. He has also been named a Southern California Super Lawyer in each of the years 2006 through 2017.
Mr. Ham lectures and publishes articles relating to legal ethics and professional responsibility, and has participated in Bar Association seminars as well as MCLE programs for individual law firms.
Mr. Ham’s speaking engagements include the following:
Panelist, 2015 Trusts and Estates Symposium: Ethical Considerations for the Probate Bar and Trusty Contest Strategies, Los Angeles County Bar Association, September 25, 2015, Los Angeles, California
Panelist, Legal Ethics, Recognizing and Dealing with Conflicts of Interest, September 4, 2015, Consumer Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nevada
Speaker, Ethics presentation regarding the ethics of social media, client trust accounting, and recent events in legal ethics, for the law firm of Knapp Peterson & Clarke, August 5, 2015, Glendale, California
Panelist, UPL and MJP: The Times, They Are A Changin’ – Does It Really Matter Where a Lawyer Sits?, with George R. Clark, Washington, D.C. (Moderator) and James C. Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court, Denver, Colorado, February 6, 2015, APRL 2015 Conference, Houston, Texas
Speaker, Advertising, Social Media, Trust Accounts And the State Bar – What You Need To Know, Burbank Bar Association, September 17, 2014
Panelist, Non-Traditional Ethics Considerations For The Attorney In The Internet Age (with Ian C. Ballon, Hon. Kevin C. Brazile and Sarah E. Luppen), Los Angeles County Bar Association, April 22, 2014
Panelist, Marketing Insights to Help Expand Your Law Firm, Roundtable Discussion (with Brad Simon, Scott Corwin and Shawn McCann), Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, California, September 24, 2013
ABA Review of Disciplinary Rules of Procedure, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Dallas, Texas, February 8, 2013
Recent Trends and Developments in Legal Ethics, Burbank Bar Association, November 14, 2012
Legal Ethics for the Litigator, Central Coast Trial Lawyers Association, October 23, 2012
Ethics Panelist, Public Relations & Reputation Management for Mid-to-Small Sized Law Firms, Presented by the Legal Marketing Association (Los Angeles) and the Daily Journal, May 31, 2012, Century City
Panelist, Conflicts and Choice of Law Updates, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Sixth International Meeting, Istanbul, Turkey, May 4, 2012
Strategies to Address Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Identification and Techniques to Address Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues, MCLE presentation to Stutman, Treister & Glatt, PC, Ojai, California, June 25, 2011
Ethics: All You Need to Know, Los Angeles County Bar Association, January 29, 2011
An Era of Change in the Legal Profession, Everything You Wanted to Ask About Ethics, San Luis Bar Association, November 18, 2010, San Luis Obispo, California
Retirement 101 – Happy Times are Here Again: Ethical and Practical Advice for Winding Down or Retiring from the Practice of Law, November 17, 2010, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Senior Lawyers Section, Los Angeles, California
Representing, as an Advocate, the Disabled Client in Protective Proceedings, Aviva K. Bobb Advanced PVP Attorney Training Symposium, October 23, 2010, Santa Monica, California
Identifying and Resolving Conflicts of Interest, Presentation to Stutman, Treister & Glatt, PC, Ojai, California, June 13, 2009
Settlement and Approval of Class Actions, Consumer Attorneys of California and Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Second Annual Class Action Seminar, June 4, 2009, Los Angeles, California
The Good, The Bad And The Unethical: 21st Century Ethical Issues, January 24, 2009, Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Section, Los Angeles County Bar, 32nd Annual Symposium, Santa Monica, California
Ethical Considerations for the Civil Litigator, with Ellen A. Pansky, October 23, 2008, Central Coast Trial Lawyers Association, San Luis Obispo, California
Proposed Ethics Rule Changes, Recent Developments in Conflicts, and 10 Tips for Operating a More Sound Law Office, June 4, 2008, Pasadena Bar Association, ADR/Litigation Section, Pasadena, California
Off-Shoring Legal Services, May 16, 2008, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Fifth International Meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Air Quality Regulation in California, Ethical Issues in the Administrative Law Setting, April 15, 2008, Law Seminars International, Los Angeles, California
The Road to Renewables, Energy and Climate Change Symposium, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, January 18, 2008
Ethical Issues: The Do’s and Don’ts of Criminal Law Practice: Perspectives from the Bench and the Bar, Loyola Law School, Criminal Inns of Court, November 7, 2007
New Developments in Class Action Litigation, Including New Cases in 2007, The Quisenberry Law Firm’s Class Action Seminar, September 27, 2007, Irvine, California
Strategies for Managing Civil, Criminal and Ethical Risks in the Large and Medium Size Law Firm, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 15, 2007
Energy, Environment & Air Quality Policy Forum Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and UCLA Institute of the Environment, January 12, 2007
Tribal Energy – Southwest, Law Seminars International, April 7-8, 2005
Ethics 2005 – Keeping Current in a World of Change, Los Angeles County Bar Association, December 10, 2005
Practical Legal Ethics in California: Issues and Answers, National Business Institute, October 9, 2003, December 9, 2002 and July 12, 2002
Managing Conflicts In and Out of Court, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1998, 1999 and 2000
Mr. Ham’s publications include the following:
“Overview of State Bar Court Procedure,” California Litigation (The Journal of the Litigation Section, State Bar of California), Vol. 29, No. 2, 2016 (with Ellen A. Pansky, Esq.)
“Is Your Association Lawyer Splitting Fees? What to Ask and What to Know,” The Law Journal, Summer 2011, California Association of Community Managers (with Ellen A. Pansky, Esq.)
“LOL (or not): Lawyers, Social Media, and Professional Responsibility,” program materials for Ethics: All You Need to Know, Los Angeles County Bar Association, January 29, 2011 (with Paige Gold, Esq.)
“A Flat Fee Future?” Los Angeles County Bar Update, January, 2010 (with Ellen A. Pansky, Esq.)
“Ethical Issues in Class Action Litigation,” Consumer Attorneys of California and Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Second Annual Class Action Seminar, June 4, 2009
“Resolutions for a New Year: Enjoying an Ethical and Profitable Law Practice,” Los Angeles County Bar Update, January, 2009
“Ethical Considerations Relating to Outsourcing of Legal Services by Law Firms to Foreign Service Providers: Perspectives from the United States,” Penn State International Law Review, Volume 27, No. 2, Fall 2008
“Perspectives from the United States on Legal Ethics Considerations Associated with the Outsourcing of Legal Services by Law Firms to Foreign Service Providers,” Proceedings of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Fifth International Meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 6, 2008
“Ethical Considerations for Lawyers Handling Air Quality and Climate Change Issues in California,” Air Quality Regulation in California, Law Seminars International, Los Angeles, April 15, 2008 (with Ellen A. Pansky, Esq.)
“The Duty to Self-Report Ethical Violations to the State Bar,” Bulletin, San Louis Obispo Bar Association, March, 2008
“Ten Golden Rules for Successful (and Ethical) Law Practice,” Los Angeles County Bar Association Update, February 2008, and The Bar Bulletin, Fresno County Bar Association, May, 2008
“Efficient Billing: Not in the Cards”, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Forum, June 18, 2007
“Tribes and States Working Together – What Has to Happen to Succeed,” Law Seminars International, April, 2005
“New California Law on Gifts to Health Care Providers: Interpretation Challenges and Liability Risks,” Arnold & Porter Client Advisory, November, 2004
“Proposition 64 Modifies California’s Unfair Competition Law,” Arnold & Porter Client Advisory, November, 2004
“Practical Legal Ethics in California: Issues and Answers,” National Business Institute, 2002 (with Kurt L. Schmalz)
“Golden Rules: Ethics Decisions and Opinions of 1995 Address Ethical Minefields,” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, July – August, 1996
“Significant Changes to Ethics Rules,” Lawyer Referral and Information Service, May, 1989
“Flying High: Baker v. Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport Authority Redefines the Nuisance Doctrine,” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, March, 1986
The Business Jury Trial, Program Materials Editor, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Eleventh Annual Seminar, October 26 – 28, 1984