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James R. Cunningham



Estate Planning, Trust Administration, Probate, Business Planning

Mr. Cunningham has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, tax, business planning, probate, and trust administration. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law with a concentration in Tax.

Mr. Cunningham works closely with his clients designing and implementing a variety of tax, business and estate planning strategies. He has worked extensively with the estate and gift tax laws and is well versed in the techniques which are available to minimize the harsh impact of those taxes.

In the areas of Wealth Preservation and Wealth Transfer Planning, Mr. Cunninghams work ranges from foundational planning for the management and transfer of family wealth (such as the design and drafting of Wills and Living Trusts) to more advanced planning techniques using Family Partnerships, Irrevocable Gift Trusts, Charitable Trusts, and other such instruments for the preservation, management, and transfer of wealth.

In the area of Business Planning, Mr. Cunningham counsels owners of closely held businesses on tax advantaged strategies to further their business transactions. His work in this area includes business entity selection and formation, buy-sell agreements and related transactions.


Juris Doctor Degree, McGeorge School of Law

  • Tax Concentration
  • Witkin Award for Taxation of Business Enterprises


California State Bar – 2001

Professional and Community Affiliations

California State Bar Association

California State Bar Trusts and Estates Section

Orange County Bar Association

Client Quotes

  • Leslie Foote "Up to date knowledge, always responsive, friendly."
  • Beverly Toy "Jill is very knowledgeable and practical Glad we found her."
  • Dirmali Botejue "Easy access to advice and excellent knowledge on the subject."
  • Don Sheridan "Honesty, dedication and knowledge. You are truly amazing."
  • Judy Michael " Your unbelievable knowledge and caring for your clients."
  • Joan McCauley "Personal attention."
  • David Young "Appreciate your follow-up."
  • Dietrich Buss "The expertise on living trusts."
  • Ken Batinovich "Clear, knowledgeable, pleasing presentation."
  • Robert & Kay Johnson "Individual personal services from Jillyn and the staff."
  • Verna H. Dougherty "Very thorough. Great advice and information."
  • Paula Zintl "Good information about our specific issues with disabled children."
  • Doreen Kaller "Straight forward information and professional treatment."
  • Josie Togle "The expertise, knowledgeable, and personable."
  • Annette Batinovich "You! You are the BEST. You posses a practical expertise."
  • Edward & Susan Conway "You know the answers to help us."
  • Don Knapp "Always up to date in these fast paced and volatile times."
  • Carol Netta "Jillyn's knowledge. Always does a terrific job of explaining everything."
  • Winona Walton "Thorough and straight forward approach."
  • Ken Carr "Your sincere honesty makes me feel good! 5 stars!"
  • Joan Karr "The feelings of being comfortable with having your firm prepare our trust."
  • Gerald McClellan "Personal interest."
  • Nancy Christian "Friendly, competent, complete, trustworthy."
  • Andrew F. Washington "The personalized living trust."
  • Cynthia Carson "Personal aspect Listening skills and her responding to my needs."
  • Maureen Turk "Knowledge & accessibility."
  • Ron Spink Value your perspective on how personal goals can be met."
  • Bill LaFave "Professional and knowledgeable."
  • Lynne Spink "Up to date information and easily understood explanation."
  • Lee Hobbs "Trust in ability and competence."

Hess-Verdon & Associates
A Professional Law Corp.
(949) 706-7300 FAX (949) 706-7373