Dumas & Associates

Dumas & Associates

Business Litigator with International Emphasis,Free Consultation - Former Bankruptcy Trustee

Firm Overview

Insolvency work of all kinds and commercial litigation.

The firm was established in 1981. Although I was the founder of the firm I had name partners in the 1980s. Since 1989, it has been known simply as Dumas & Associates. At various times it has had as many as eight lawyers and it currently has four. I was a bankruptcy trustee in the 1980s and 1990s and I office today and collaborate with two bankruptcy trustees who I represent on many matters. Our offices were on the West Side during the 1980s, downtown in the 1990s, and we've been at our current location in Mid-Wilshire since 1999. The firm has been a sole proprietorship since 1989.

Example cases

I represented a client in a case that had started out as a divorce but which eventually involved thirteen bankruptcies and over one hundred lawsuits in four states and in which our litigation opponents employed over seventy law firms. We prevailed, recovered over three million dollars, and our litigation opponents were sent to federal prison. I represented a trustee in a bankruptcy that was filed as a no asset case with approximately a million dollars in scheduled claims. I recovered thirty-five million for the estate and seventeen million in claims were paid. I represented a trustee in a bankruptcy also filed as a no asset case with approximately a million in listed claims. I eventually recovered six million dollars, all of which was paid out to creditors.

Main Office
3435 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 990
Los Angeles  CA  90010
  • (213) 368-5000
  • (213) 368-5009


Free Initial Consultation?
Free 30 minute consultation if you mention Nolo. Whether I charge for a face-to-face meeting depends on the nature of the case.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
For simple Chapter 7 bankruptcies I charge as little as $1,000 per case but not every Chapter 7 is "simple." I frequently work on a flat fee/contingency basis in more complex litigation, insolvency cases, i.e., the client commits to certain fixed fees and the balance of the fee is contingent on some degree of success. I am also willing to handle some work just on a flat fee basis. It is a rare case where I would be willing to work solely on a contingent basis but at any given time I may have one or two of them.
Hourly Rates
I charge $400 per hour. Two other attorneys in my office with similar experience levels charge $350 per hour. A young contract lawyer charges $250 per hour. I have intentionally kept my hourly billings lower than insolvency and litigation attorneys of my level of experience and expertise.

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Office Manager
Danielle Landeros.
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
We have an attorney who speaks Korean.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I started out as a commercial litigator in a large national firm representing banks. I was introduced to bankruptcy during this period and when I started my own practice in the early 1980s, insolvency was a growth area in the law. I was drawn to it because it allowed me to deal with many different types of litigation claims and industries, while always being anchored in my core bankruptcy expertise.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

It is all to the good that a client be somewhat educated regarding his case but there's also great truth to the adage that "a little bit of knowledge can be a bad thing." There's no substitute for professional training and years of experience. The most capable people are the ones who know what they don't know and have the good judgment to know whom they can trust to help them.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

In most cases, it's less work to for me to simply draft the document myself.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I am willing to provide advice to people who prefer or need to represent themselves.

James A. Dumas

Before starting my firm, I was a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Curtis and was a litigation associate in the national law firms of Morrison & Foerster and Herzfeld & Rubin.

I'm a great believer in seeing legal claims in the broader context of what is really in the client's interest, even when the client himself may not have such a focus. I have seen the destructive effect of litigation throughout my career and, although I love the sport of it, my focus is on practical objections that I can achieve for my clients, most of whom are suffering some form of financial distress. I am empathetic to the emotional state of clients in litigation and/or faced with insolvency. The "work and life experience that continues to make me a better lawyer" is simply learning from and teaching my clients.

My strengths are strong writing and oral advocacy skills, a good sense of the business and personal context of my work, client empathy, and broad experience in civil litigation and insolvency. My style is to deal candidly with my clients, courteously but firmly with my litigation opponents, and to keep a human perspective and sense of humor about what my work.

Personal interests:

Running, swimming, opera, French culture, politics, and literary fiction.

  • Bar Number: 76284
    California , 1977
  • University of Southern California
    Juris Doctor , 1977
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was a member of the law review.
  • U.C. Berkeley
    Bachelor of Arts , 1973
    Berkeley, CA
    Major in Philosophy, as well as completion of full pre-med curriculum.

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