Adjunct Professor James M. Wagstaffe, a partner of Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP, specializes in defamation, privacy and intellectual property litigation. Professor Wagstaffe handles diverse cases in California courts and federal courts throughout the country.
Professor Wagstaffe received his B.A. degree in communications, with distinction, from Stanford University in 1977. While at Stanford, he was National Collegiate Speaking Champion, DSR-TKA Persuasive Speaking, and winner of the Medaille Voltaire-82nd Annual Berkeley-Stanford Debate in 1976. He received his J.D. degree in 1980 from Hastings College of the Law, where he was the David E. Snodgrass Moot Court Award Winner (Best Overall Oral Argument and Brief) and a champion in the National Moot Court Competition (Best Brief in the Western Region). After clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Spencer Williams, Professor Wagstaffe first became associated with Cooper, White & Cooper in 1982. For the period from 1986 to 1990, he was a partner of the law firm of Kaus, Kerr & Wagstaffe.
Professor Wagstaffe has developed a speciality in defending against libel, privacy and related claims. He defended The New Yorker Magazine in its nationally prominent and successful trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Professor Wagstaffe has also successfully represented numerous other parties at the trial and appellate levels, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Billboard Magazine, The Sacramento Union, and the California Newspaper Publishers Association.