Becky S. James


When the government comes calling and puts your livelihood and liberty on the line, you call Becky James. A former federal prosecutor, section chief, and instructor at the Department of Justice, she plays a crucial role at trial and appeal of complex commercial disputes and white-collar criminal cases.

Becky represents individuals to large corporations in civil and criminal investigations, courtroom litigation, and appeals.

Sanctioned by the California State Bar Association as a Certified Appellate Specialist, she also frequently serves as embedded appellate counsel in both civil and criminal cases, sitting in a strategic “third chair” role to shape legal issues for trial and preserve the record for appeal. She’s achieved numerous wins for clients, including dismissals, reversals, acquittals, releases from civil contempt, and probationary and reduced sentences, as well as substantial damages awards and favorable settlements.

Clients value Becky for her willingness to fight, and never-give-up, always-a-chance attitude.

Although she served as the appellate lead on the trial team representing Bill Cosby in his criminal retrial, most of her victories don’t appear in the news, which is itself a victory for her clients.

Based out of Dykema’s San Antonio and Los Angeles offices, Becky’s white-collar practice focuses on defending clients against charges brought under the Securities and Exchange Act, False Claims Act, mail and wire fraud statutes, and other federal laws.

Before entering private practice, Becky spent more than 12 years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. During her tenure there, she worked as a prosecutor and served consecutively as Chief and Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section and Chief of the Criminal Appeals Section.

I enjoy the thinking part of my job: the strategy, analysis, and intellectual approach to written advocacy. I want the best result for my clients, and if the court adopts my language in its rulings, that’s even better.
    • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1990  
    • Stanford University, A.B., 1987  
  • Bar Admissions

    • California
    • Texas
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
    • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Appellate Law, 2022

    • Selected by the Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal as one of the top 2021 White Collar Lawyers in California, 2021

    • Prosecutor, Chief of the Criminal Appeals Section, and Chief and Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California

    • Trial and Appellate Advocacy Instructor, Department of Justice National Advocacy Center

    • Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine Law School and Loyola Law School

    • Law Clerk, Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

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