(310) 413 0266 james@parkinsonlaw.com

About James Parkinson

James W. Parkinson

James Parkinson is a California lawyer, activist, speaker, and literacy advocate. He was born in New OrleansLouisiana in 1949.

James received his law degree from Brigham Young University and began his practice in 1976. James was an activist for reparations to be paid to Americans who were slave laborers for private Japanese companies during World War II. 

In 2006, James authored Soldier Slaves: Abandoned by the White House, Courts and Congress with Lee Benson. More recently, James was producer of the film The Inheritance of War, also about the Americans held prisoner of war by Japan and their quest for reparations.

From 2003-2004, James was the chairman of the Republican Trial Lawyers Caucus.

Significant Cases

Ellis v R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
For purposes of this litigation, Parkinson was to counsel Robinson, Calcagnie, and Robinson and Casey, Gerry, Reed, and Schenk. Critical California case against Big Tobacco in coordination with the national Castano Group.

Harold Poole, et al. v. Nippon steel, et. al.
Parkinson counseled individual cases and class action cases against Japanese corporations that used captured American soldiers as slave laborers in World War II.

Taking Personal Responsibility

James Parkinson is the owner of Taking Personal Responsibility, a site whose purpose is to inspire Literary Activism in young adults. His book Autodidactic: Self-taught has sold over 25,000 copies, and encourages self learning in reading, writing, and vocabulary.

The purpose of Taking Personal Responsibility and Literacy for the 21st Century is to inspire high school and college students to take personal responsibility for their educations. Using his book Autodidactic: Self-Taught, James shares with students—in an interactive classroom setting—the relationship between success and one’s vocabulary, reading habits and writing skills.

Past and Present Professional Associations

Desert Bar Association (Member, Board of Trustees, 1990, 2000-2001)
Riverside County Bar Association
The State Bar of California
American Association for Justice (Formerly, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America- Board of Governors, 1987-1989
American Board of Trial Advocates. (ABOTA)(Associate)
Consumer Attorneys of California
Consumer Attorneys of Southern California
Co-Chair of the Republican Trial Lawyer Caucus Association of Trial Lawyers of America (2004-2005)
Chairman of the Republican Trial Lawyer Caucus Association of Trial Lawyers of America (2003-2004)
United Way of the Desert
Community Advisory Board, El Dorado Bank
Community Advisory Board, Eisenhower Hospital
Indio Enconomic Development Committee
Boys Club of Coachella Valley
National Black Leadership Commission on Aids, Inc. Advisory Group
Chairman, Orrin G Hatch Distinguished Trial Lawyer Series, J Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
Co-Chairman, East Africa Breast Cancer Project
Honorary Membership in 100 Black Men of Columbus, Mississippi


National Jefferson Award for Public Service (2007)
California Trial Lawyers Association Presidential Award of Merit (1987)
Consumer Attorneys of California Award of Merit (1997)
Association of Trial Lawyers of American Citation of Excellence (Wiedemann Wysocki)(2003-2004)(2004-2005)
Association of Trial Lawyers of America Distinguished Service Award (2005)
J. Reuben Clark Law School Brigham Young University Honored Alumni of the Year Award for 2006
Naval Institute Press Author of the Year Award (2006)for book Soldier Slaves, Abandoned by the White House, Courts, and Congress sharing the honor with co-author Lee Benson
Federal Bar Association Defender of the Constitution Award for The Inland Empire (2008).