James R. Wakefield

James Wakefield

Senior Partner

“I specialize in trying cases compared with lawyers who focus on specific areas of law. This is a somewhat unique skill. I relate well to jurors and find something in common (and compelling) when presenting my clients’ cases, with excellent results.”


  • BA (Philosophy), California State University, Fullerton
  • JD, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law


  • Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory’s highest AV rating

Mr. Wakefield represents more than 30 clients in the construction industry, ranging from large general contractors and large specialty contractors to material suppliers.

He represents construction and commercial clients in all manners of business disputes, including business torts, collections, breach of contract, lien and bond claims, and other real estate disputes. Mr. Wakefield handles premises liability disputes on behalf of individuals, building owners, property managers, and self-insureds.

Mr. Wakefield joined Cummins & White, LLP in 1986 and has successfully tried more than 60 jury trials involving business torts, real estate disputes, construction contract claims, premises liability, and transportation cases. Mr. Wakefield served as the firm’s managing partner from 2000 to 2006 and from 2010 to 2013.

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. District Court (Central District of California)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Practice Areas

  • Construction Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Casualty Defense
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Transportation
  • Wine Law

Representative Clients

  • Main Electric Supply
  • 7-Eleven
  • Red Robin International
  • KDC, an EMCOR company
  • Affordable Housing Access, Inc.
  • Great American Insurance Group


  • State Bar of California
  • The State Bar of California, Business Law Section, Real Estate Section, Intellectual Property Section
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
  • Southern California Contractors Association (SCCA)
  • American Subcontractors Association (ASA), Orange County District Board of Directors

Charitable Interests & Community Service

In 1990, Mr. Wakefield helped establish the Friendship Club in Los Angeles County, which works with mentally challenged adults to teach them self-esteem and living skills. Previously, he served his time on several committees for Project Access, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing residents of affordable housing communities the opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency by offering educational, health, and social services.

Special Notes

Mr. Wakefield was an extern law clerk for the Honorable Edward C. Reed, Jr., U.S. District Court, District of Nevada (1979–1980). He also served as a law clerk for the Honorable A. Andrew Hauk, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (1981–1982).