Attorney Profile

Over his 17 years as an attorney, Berkeley native James Higa has earned a well-deserved reputation as a zealous advocate committed to securing justice for his clients.  During his career as a criminal and civil litigator, he has tried over 20 jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court.  

While in law school, James served as a judicial extern for The Honorable Edward M. Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.   After graduating law school, James began his career as a Deputy Public Defender with the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.  As a Deputy Public Defender, James fought for hundreds of clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges.  There, he honed his litigation skills by arguing hundreds of motions, engaging in extensive negotiations with prosecutors and other interested parties, delivering appellate arguments and preparing and conducting jury trials.    

After leaving the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, James sought additional civil trial and federal court experience by continuing his career as a civil litigation attorney with a law firm in Oakland, California.  While in firm practice, James worked with the City of Oakland in an array of advisory and litigation matters.  

James's combination of criminal and civil litigation and trial experience in both state and federal courts provides him with a unique skillset and perspective.  As a result, he achieves excellent results for his clients.


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of California at Berkeley
  • Juris Doctor, University of San Francisco 


  • All California state courts
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California


  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (Founding Member)
  • Asian American Bar Association