James (Jim) M. Wagstaffe, is the co-founder of Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP, a firm that handles a diverse range of litigation matters. His practice focuses on complex litigation, professional and governmental representation, legal ethics and First Amendment matters. In addition, Jim is recognized as an authority and frequently is consulted by other law firms and clients alike on complicated civil procedure, attorneys' fees and trial practice issues.
Jim received his B.A. from Stanford University with Distinction in 1977. He earned his law degree from Hastings, College of the Law in 1988. Thereafter, he clerked for the Honorable Spencer Williams, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California.
Jim’s reputation as litigator is exemplified by his frequent retention in high stakes cases. For example, he was the successful lead attorney in the seminal e-discovery case, Qualcomm, Inc. v. Bathchelder et al., 327 Fed. Appx. 877 (Fed. Cir. 2008). He represents the Australian government in the high profile litigation involving the patent for indoor wireless technology. See Microsoft Corp. v. Commonwealth Scientific and Indus. Research Organisation, 297 Fed. Appx. 970. In 2013, Jim successfully argued the high-profile In re Sergio Garcia case before the California Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of the Bar, holding an undocumented, immigrant can be a licensed attorney.
In addition to Jim’s courtroom experience, Jim has authored and co-authored a number of publications, including the widely-used Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial(TRG 2014 – Three Volumes, 3,500 pages, cited in over 1,000 published decisions), the nation’s leading practice guide on federal court practice. Jim’s other publications include: California Trial Evidence (Practising Law Institute; Litigation and Administrative Practice Course Handbook Series)(PLI 2013); Game Changers: New Federal Rule Amendments (Thomson Reuters2012); California Legal Ethics (TRG 1999.
Jim also has served as an instructor at the Federal Judicial Center’s annual “New Judges Workshop” since 1990, educating newly-appointed federal judges on all aspects of federal procedure. Throughout the year, Jim presents moderates and participates in panel discussions and seminars throughout the country with other judges and lawyers on current topics of interest to the legal community. In addition, Jim is an adjunct professor in constitutional law and civil procedure at Hastings College of the Law. This past year, Jim was appointed to serve as a member and Chair of the Federal Judicial Center Foundation Board by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In addition to the previously mentioned honors, in 2009and 2011, Jim was selected by the students at Hastings College of the Law asthe Teacher of the Year and was chosen each year to be the graduation speaker at commencement. In 2011, Jim won the Federal Judicial Center’s Judge John R. Brown Award for Judicial Scholarship and Education.
Jim has also received numerous awards and recognition for his legal work. For example, in2005, he received a Peabody Award for his legal counsel on the documentary “The DNA Project.” In December 1999, California Lawyer named him as one of its Top Twenty Lawyers of the Year, followed by his selection each years as a SuperLawyer, an honor given to the top 5% of attorneys practicing in Northern California. And in 1991, Jim received the prestigious James Madison Freedom of Information Award from The Society of Professional Journalists