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Born in Honolulu, Hawaii  in 1957, James attended Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama campus, before attending the University of Hawaii, graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. After serving as legislative assistant to then Congressman Daniel K. Akaka, James returned to Hawaii to attend the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii, from which he graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1988.

Upon graduation, James worked with the Law Offices of Bradley A. Coates doing family law before joining the Office of Prosecuting Attorney as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and a member of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Special Prosecution Teams.  Later, James spent seven years as the senior litigator for the firm’s predecessor, Pitluck Kido Stone & Aipa, LLP, before joining Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties LLC as in-house attorney responsible for risk management activities and development of the company’s policies, procedures and forms, and training for managers and licensees. 

James currently is affiliated with the firm as a real estate educator and is a certified instructor for the real estate industry.  James has developed numerous certified real estate continuing education courses and has also published extensively in the area of real estate risk management.

James is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Outside his law practice, James enjoys playing music professionally and has recorded five compact disk albums (CDs).  He is currently a member of the Hawaiian music duo, “Maikapu`uwai.”  His wife is a condominium specialist with Hawaii State Real Estate Commission and they live in Kailua on the Windward side of Oahu.  They have two adult children.