James K. Holder


  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    James K. Holder is a Partner in the San Francisco office of GRSM where he represents corporations and individuals in a broad range of complex business litigation, including product liability, mass torts, professional liability, commercial litigation, personal injury, elder abuse, and breach of contract disputes. James has a particular emphasis in complex commercial litigation representing multi-national corporations involved in the sales, marketing, and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.  James’s practice also focuses on the defense of law firms, attorneys, insurance agents and brokers and fiduciaries against malpractice, breach fiduciary duty, negligence and elder abuse allegations.  James has also handled environmental and toxic tort litigation.  He has achieved successful results for a wide range of clients in both State and Federal jurisdictions throughout the United States.

    James earned his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law where he served as an Editor of the Santa Clara Law Review.  While in law school James also competed for Santa Clara Law in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, earning an award for Best Brief, which was re-published in the Pace Environmental Law Review. 

    James obtained his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he played first baseman and designated hitter on the Golden Bears’ NCAA Division I varsity baseball team earning three varsity letters and appearing in over 150 games.



    • California
    • U.S. District Courts, California


    • State Bar of California
    • Defense Research Institute
      • Current Chair, Membership Orientation, Drug & Medical Device Committee
    • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Trial Academy
    • Bar Association of San Francisco
      • Past Chair, Barristers Club – Litigation Section

    Community Involvement

    James is actively involved in service to the community as a member of the Board of Directors of The Guardsmen, a San Francisco non-profit organization which provides access to high quality education and outdoor activities for Bay Area inner-city youth.  James has also previously served as the organization’s General Counsel and as co-chair of The Guardsmen Celebrity Dinner & Sports Auction in partnership with the San Francisco Giants Community Fund.  

    James is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Cal Baseball Foundation, a non-profit organization which was responsible for successfully securing reinstatement of the intercollegiate baseball program at the University of California, Berkeley after its elimination in 2010, and which is now dedicated to ensuring the permanent existence the baseball program.

  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience
    • Representation of pharmaceutical companies in products liability litigation. Highlights include winning summary judgment win in a first-of-its-kind case involving a cholesterol drug in which the plaintiff sought $4 million in damages.

    • Representation of medical device companies in products liability litigation. Highlights include winning summary judgment win in a toxic substance exposure case in which the plaintiff sought $2.5 million in damages

    • Representation of legal professionals and law firms in legal malpractice/breach of fiduciary duty actions, and elder abuse claims, including numerous victories in arbitration on summary judgement, and through successful use of California’s Anti-SLAPP statute 

    • Representation of beverage manufacturers and distributors in California motor vehicle accident litigation

    • Representation of youth soccer organizations in California concussion class-action lawsuit

    • Representation of licensed fiduciaries before California Professional Fiduciary Bureau

  • Publications & Presentations
  • Education


    J.D., Santa Clara University, School of Law
    • Santa Clara Law Review
    • Award for Best Brief, National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, republished in Pace Environmental Law, 25 PACE ENVTL. L. REV. 483 (2008)
    B.A., University of California, Berkeley
    • NCAA Division I Baseball Team
  • Meet Me

    What do you enjoy most about your practice?

    The constantly evolving challenges and opportunities for creative problem solving.

    What is the secret to obtaining successful trial results?

    Preparation, confidence, and flexibility.

    What are your favorite pastimes when you are not practicing law?

    I enjoy participating in all kinds of sports and competitions, cheering for the California Golden Bears, and spending time with family and friends.