James L. Leet

James L. Leet

Senior Counsel

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.

“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.”

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.




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


Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer, 2015 – 2021

The Best Lawyers in America in Tax Law, 2006 – 2022

State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Honor for 20 Years as a Certified Taxation Law Specialist, 2007

Northern California Super Lawyer, 2006 – 2022

The Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in Tax Law, 2019

Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2013 – 2017, 2019 – 2020

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