James P. Lambe has been a Fresno criminal defense lawyer since 1986. In trials of life sentence cases, he has obtained eight acquittals, four hung jury dismissals, and three in limine motion dismissals.
He has employed creativity in settling four death penalty cases. He has also concluded thirty-three other murder cases (preventing a murder conviction in eighteen of them) and one hundred and four three strikes cases (preventing a three strikes sentence in ninety-four of them).
He was the trial attorney in two published cases which effected significant changes in California law: People v. Myers (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 328, 71 Cal.Rptr.2d 518 (self defense) and People v. Howard (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1129, 23 Cal.Rptr.3rd 306 (felony murder).
He is Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. In 2009, he became the first criminal law attorney from the San Joaquin Valley to be named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
He is AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a Barrister of the Order of Centurions and a member of the National Trial Lawyers. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who in American Law, and Super Lawyers.
He is the author of "Right to Speedy Trial" and "Jury Deliberations and Verdict" in California Criminal Law Procedure and Practice (2013-16), "Injury and Death" and "Increased Punishment for Prior Similar Offenses" in California Criminal Sentencing Enhancements (2012-16), and "Monetary Sanctions" in the Contempt Defense Manual (2007, 15).
He has been a trial advocacy instructor at the California Public Defenders Association Trial Skills Institute (2001-09, 11, 13-15), and a lecturer on discovery, jury selection, cross-examination, closing argument, sentencing, ethics, and civility at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting and the State Bar of California Section Education Institute (2003-15).
In recognition of his writing, instructing, and lecturing, he received the Spirit of CEB (Continuing Education of the Bar) Award in 2008 at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting.
He has served on the State Bar of California Criminal Law Advisory Commission, the State Bar of California Criminal Law Section Executive Committee, and the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
He was admitted to the California Bar in 1977 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1985. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois.
District of Columbia, 1985
United States District Court (Eastern District of California), 1977
United States District Court (Central District of California), 1983
United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit), 1978
United States Supreme Court, 1981
University of Illinois, Juris Doctor, 1977
University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 1974
Professional Associations & Memberships
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
California Public Defenders Association
District of Columbia Bar
Fresno County Bar Association
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Certified Specialist-Criminal Trial Advocacy-National Board of Trial Advocacy
The National Trial Lawyers
Barrister, Order of Centurions
Phi Alpha Delta
Certified Specialist-Criminal Law-The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Honors and Awards
Barrister, Order of Centurions, 2014-
Fresno County Public Defender of the Year, Employees of the Fresno County Public Defender's Office, 2014
Member, The National Trial Lawyers, 2011-
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, 2010-
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2009-
Spirit of CEB Award, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2008
Lawdragon 3000, Lawdragon.com, 2007-10
Super Lawyers List, Thomson Reuters, 2006-09, 15-
Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who, 2000-
Who's Who in American Law, Marquis Who's Who, 1998-
Certified Specialist-Criminal Trial Advocacy-National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1998-
Certified Specialist-Criminal Law-The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, 1994-