James Kirby focuses his practice on representing businesses and individuals in complex civil litigation, particularly in cases raising professional liability issues, including malicious prosecution, as well as trade secrets and related intellectual property questions. His practice has spanned a wide variety of matters in the state and federal courts at both trial and appellate levels, ranging from contract and real estate disputes through civil rights, attorney malpractice and intellectual property actions.
His clients have included local and national business entities and start ups, as well as large, small, sole practitioner and public interest law firms in California and several other states.
James was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina and grew up in eastern North Carolina. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Thomas J. MacBride, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California and later served as a Writ Clerk for the Eastern District. He began private practice as an associate with Hansen, Boyd, Culhane & Mounier in Sacramento, which he left to form Segal & Kirby LLP in 1983.
He maintains an AV rating and is recognized in Best Lawyers In America.
He has lectured on federal practice, attorney ethics and legal malpractice before public and private groups as well as in continuing legal education settings. He has been a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court for many years, and regularly serves as an early neutral evaluator in the Federal District Court as well as an arbitrator in the California Superior Court.
Represented businesses and individuals in disputes over alleged misuse of software and other intellectual property in biotech, agricultural, packaging and medical technology industries.
Obtained dismissals and attorney=s fee awards under California=s anti-SLAPP statute in numerous actions for malicious prosecution as well as in libel and other civil disputes.
Represented regional and local law firms and members of law firms in litigation at all levels of state and federal courts for over twenty five years. He has provided advice to firms on ethics, conflicts of interest and loss prevention.
Served as lead appellate counsel in a broad spectrum of matters, resulting in published decisions in areas as disparate as federal abstention, statutes of limitations, the core elements of attorney malpractice and international border searches.
Represented businesses and individuals in contract and business fraud disputes and ancillary litigation.
Represented clients in class action litigation in federal courts in California.
Succeeded in establishing a new form of immunity for advocates for indigent children in abuse and abandonment cases.