Jump to Navigation

James M. Polish


Los Angeles,California

James Polish is a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office. He concentrates his practice on civil litigation, including commercial and real property litigation, and legal ethics. He also serves as general counsel to the firm.

Representative Matters

Breach of Contract and Fraud Long-term representation of a major California public electric utility in regulatory matters and in litigation arising out of power purchase contracts, including prevailing at trial in defense of $65 million breach of contract action, successful prosecution of $4 million fraud action, obtaining a favorable Court of Appeals decision in a landmark contract interpretation case and successfully fending off creditors' lawsuits against client during the California energy crisis.

Breach of Fiduciary Duties Litigation Successfully defended former corporate director against claims of mismanagement and failure to exercise proper oversight of corporate activities.

Unfair Competition Litigation Represented large retailer in defense of action for restitution and injunctive relief for unfair competition law and obtained very favorable settlement.

Copyright Litigation Prosecuted and defended copyright infringement matters to favorable settlements.

Land Use Litigation Representation of major hotel owner and other landowners in successful defense of multiple lawsuits pending in the Northern Mariana Islands arising out of application of a Constitutional provision limiting acquisitions of real property to persons of Northern Marianas descent.

Civil Forfeiture Successful representation of Mexican banks in challenges to actions for forfeiture of bank funds based on the U.S. Government's Casablanca sting operation.

Legal Ethics Advises lawyers in Carlsmith Ball LLP and other law firms on issues of legal ethics.

Tax Litigation Prosecuted claims of four major hotels to recover statutory and contractual tax rebates, resulting in a complete victory for hotels.

Contract Litigation Successfully tried a lawsuit to recover a prototype aircraft and related technology and damages based on breach of purchase and financing contracts.

Trust Litigation Successfully prosecuted a lawsuit for misappropriation of trust assets and obtained a favorable settlement during trial.

Judicial Foreclosure Litigation Prosecuted a lawsuit for judicial foreclosure and a deficiency judgment against borrowers and related parties on behalf of a major bank and obtained a favorable settlement.

Land Use and Insurance Litigation Represented California County in successful defense of multi-million dollar litigation arising out of the denial of development rights and inverse condemnation. Judgment in favor of County was affirmed by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Settled related insurance coverage litigation, resulting in significant financial benefits to the County.

Trusts and Estates Advised trustees of trusts with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets regarding issues of fiduciary responsibilities and trust termination issues.

Published Works

  • The California System of Adjudicating Property Tax Protests is Ripe for a Constitutional Challenge, California Tax Monthly & Real Estate Tax Digest, December, 1990
  • Compensating Victims of Crime, UCLA Law Review, 1973


  • Highest "AV" Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • UCLA Law Review, Associate Editor


  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility
  • Real Estate & Land Use Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Federal Courts
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • UCLA School of Law,Los Angeles,California
    • J.D., Order of the Coif, Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    • A.B., magna cum laude


  • Pi Gamma Mu