Boutin Jones INC., Attorneys at Law

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James L. Leet / Shareholder

Detailed Practice Description

James Leet specializes in corporate, partnership and personal income tax planning and business advice to individuals and small and mid-sized businesses. He advises clients on issues relating to conservation easements, structure, formation and operation of partnerships, limited liability companies, and planning and implementation of corporate reorganizations, business sales and acquisitions. He also has extensive experience in advising on tax issues involving real estate transactions, like kind exchanges and conveying conservation easements. Jim is a frequent speaker on corporate, partnership and tax issues for firm-sponsored seminars, state and local bar associations and private seminar companies.

The economy has had a huge effect on tax planning, and it continues to impact what I do. I see companies positioning to grow, but there continues to be ramifications for our region of working out of the recession.

The Basics

I perform business and taxation work independently and alongside our group of corporate and securities advisors. I help clients to structure, change and dispose of their organization’s activities in a way that is sensitive to what the tax implications are going to be.

Delivering for Clients

Even in the largest transactions, it’s about people. I identify their values, I listen to them and don’t interrupt them then, I figure out how to implement a successful tax plan consistent with their priorities.

I’m still developing new interests. In the last few years, I’ve been very focused on hiking, gratefully experiencing the varied beauty of our world. I hiked the entire state of California – about 400 miles – from east to west. I went with a group of people over a long series of weekends and we hiked between 12 – 15 miles a day. I’ve also hiked the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks in New Zealand and Haute Route in Switzerland. In 2016, I finished the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland. Great hikes, but now I would like to hike the many trails in the USA.



  • Practices
  • Corporate and Securities
  • Tax
  • Education
  • University of Florida, LL.M., Taxation, 1981
  • University of Santa Clara Law School, J.D., 1979
  • St. Louis University, A.B., magna cum laude, Mathematics, 1973
  • Honors
  • U.S. News and World Report Best Lawyers in America in Tax Law, 2014, 2016-2018
  • Best Lawyer, 2006 – 2018
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2006 – 2017
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer, 2015 – 2017
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2013 – 2017
  • Associate Editor, Santa Clara Law Review
  • Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Certified Specialist in Taxation, The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Board Member, Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, 2008–2014
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association – Tax Section
  • Board Member, Resource Area for Teaching, 2007–2010
  • First Chair of the Sacramento County Bar Association –Tax Section, 1985
  • Member – Sacramento Angels
  • Community
  • President, Sacramento Rotary Foundation, 2016 – 2017
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Martin Luther King Law School, University of California, Davis, Corporate Taxation, 2016 – present
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, McGeorge School Law, University of the Pacific, Partnership Taxation, 2011 – present
  • Trustee, Sacramento Rotary Foundation, 2014
  • Board Member, Sacramento Rotary, 2010—2012
  • Member, Sacramento Rotary, 2005–Present
  • President, Arden Carmichael, Inc., 2001–2011

Articles and Presentations



Current Trends in LLC and Partnership Taxation, Regulatory and Proposed Legislation Pertaining to Partnership/LLC Structuring: Tips for Attorneys, Aspatore Books, Author


Lobbying, PACs and Campaign Finance – 50 State Handbook, 2012-2014 Education, State Capital Group (California Chapter), published by West, Thompson Reuters, Co-Author


Conservation Easements: Benefits in Preserving Land, Author

Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, Co-Author


Sale or Exchange of Conservation Easements, California Rangeland Trust News, Spring 2008, Author


In the Tax Interests of the Client, Inside the Minds – Tax Law Client Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Understanding and Allocating Risks, Assessing Settlements and Negotiations, and Developing Deal Strategies, Aspatore Books, Author


The Limited Liability Company, Co-Author



Short Sales and Foreclosures, Annual Income Tax Seminar, State Bar of California Tax Section, Presenter

Hot Topics in Real Estate Taxation, California CPA Real Estate Forum, Co-Presenter

Tax Trends in Pass-Through Entities, Sacramento County Bar Tax Section, Presenter

Issues Involving Mineral Rights in Gifting Conservation Easements, California Council of Land Trusts Annual Meeting 2014, Presenter


“Exit Strategies,” Sacramento Business Owner’s Conference, Presenter