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James L. Leet
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.

James L. Leet

Senior Counsel


  • Corporate and Securities
  • Tax


  • 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

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Certified Specialist in Taxation, The State Bar of California,
    Board of Legal Specialization

Delivering for Clients

“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.”

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.



  • Value Added Tax: Has the Time Come? Tax Notes, Vol. 153, No. 2 pp. 277-282, Author


  • 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



Internal Revenue Code Section 199A, Sacramento County Bar Tax Section 5th Annual Tax Symposium, Presenter


  • Partnership Allocations of Liabilities, California CPA Federal, State and International Conference, Presenter


  • Recent Tax Decisions: Legislative and IRS Updates, California Council of Land Trusts Conservation Law Forum, Presenter


  • Tax Consequences of Conservation Easements, American Agricultural Law Association Regional Conference, Presenter
  • Qualified Real Property Interests, California Council of Land Trusts, Presenter


  • 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


  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2006 – 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America in Tax Law, 2006 – 2021
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer, 2015 – 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in Tax Law, 2019
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2013 – 2017, 2019 – 2020
  • State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Honor for 20 Years as a Certified Taxation Law Specialist, 2007
  • Associate Editor, Santa Clara Law Review

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
  • Board Member, Sacramento Rotary, 2010 – 2012
  • Trustee, Sacramento Rotary Foundation, 2014 – 2018
  • Member, Sacramento Rotary, 2005 – Present
  • President, Arden Carmichael, Inc., 2001 – 2011
  • President, Sacramento Transportation Management Association, 1999 – 2003
  • Board Member, Juvenile Diabetes Association, 2002 – 2004
  • First Chair of the Sacramento County Bar Association –Tax Section, 1985


  • Adjunct Professor of Law, McGeorge School Law, University of the Pacific, Partnership Taxation, 2011 – 2018
  • President, Sacramento Rotary Foundation, 2016 – 2017
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Martin Luther King Law School, University of California, Davis, Corporate Taxation, 2016 – 2017
  • Trustee, Sacramento Rotary Foundation, 2014
  • Board Member, Sacramento Rotary, 2010—2012
  • Member, Sacramento Rotary, 2005–Present
  • President, Arden Carmichael, Inc., 2001–2011