John J. Hamilton - Lawyer

Orange County litigation lawyer - Contracts, Collections, Business or Personal Disputes. He often helps 'The Little Guys" who cannot afford a full-time attorney in a lawsuit. He can be a 'ghost-writer' for ALL your documents and appear in Court.

Contact Us

Firm Overview

John J. Hamilton - Attorney is a solo practice.

Mr. Hamilton handles every client's matter, personally. He is a "roll-up-the-sleeves," hands-on attorney. He employes no other attorneys, paralegals or legal secretaries.

Clients of Mr. Hamilton can expect that he will personally write every legal letter and legal document, make every phone call, will personally answer every client's phone call; and conduct any trial (if necessary) on a client's behalf.

Mr. Hamilton recognizes that some individuals are unable to afford 'full-representation' in a lawsuit -- particularly where the individual is being sued. In such cases, Mr. Hamilton can provided "Limited Scope Representation" to be the plaintiff or defendant's 'ghost-writer' for writing pleadings; responding to and demanding 'Discovery' from adversarial parties; writing motions; attending motion hearings and will represent you at trial -- all on a ala carte' basis.

Prior to earning a law degree in 1993, Mr. Hamilton had over 25 years experience in the securities, insurance and banking industries including being Senior Vice President of one of the nation's largest financial institutions in the 1980's. This prior business experience gives him not only a legal perspective but also a practical business perspective in seeking solutions to clients' legal problems.

Upon becoming admitted to both the California and Florida State Bars, Mr. Hamilton volunteered to participate in the Orange County District Attorney's "Trial Attorney Project" for 3 months and, during that time, was a Deputy District Attorney.

In 1997, Mr. Hamilton worked as a contract attorney for a boutique Century City law firm mentored by a senior attorney known for prosecuting complex litigation cases against Northwest Airlines and, earlier, Western Airlines.

Beginning in 1998, Mr. Hamilton offered his services to other attorneys as an independent contractor and over 50 attorneys in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties have hired him to do trials, arbitrations, mediations, and argue motions for them and their clients in court, often at "the last minute."

Since 2005, Mr. Hamilton has dedicated his practice to taking only a limited number of cases where he handles all aspects of the case without using a secretary, paralegal or other attorneys.

Mr. Hamilton handles both civil and criminal matters.

Example cases:

Mr. Hamilton has represented a business against claims of misrepresentation in the sale of the company's business by a buyer.

He has represented businesses to collect money owed his clients and he has represented creditors to collect judgments obtained earlier but never collected.

Mr. Hamilton has represented debtors being sued by creditors and collection agencies often resulting in the cases being abandoned by the plaintiff suing his client. Mr. Hamilton is often able to negotiate a settlement for much less than what is being demanded by plaintiffs. Mr. Hamilton has represented investors in an NASD arbitration regarding stockbroker misconduct.

He has represented plaintiffs -- through a trial and favorable judgment -- for claims of unpaid wages and commissions. He has represented a plaintiff in a wrongful termination where the employer offered a mediocre severance package hoping Mr. Hamilton's client 'would just go-away'. The client didn't 'go-away' and after the former employer hired attorneys to make motions in an attempt to end the litigation -- which they were not able to do -- Mr. Hamilton's client obtained a settlement enabling her to buy a new Lexus for cash and a Business Class flight to Amsterdam to purchase several diamond rings.

Mr. Hamilton represented an employer against claims that the person should have been classified as an "employee with benefits' and not an "independent contractor". Conversely, Mr. Hamilton has represented individuals improperly classified as 'independent contractors' when, in fact, they were 'employees'.

Mr. Hamilton represented an employer against claims of religious discrimination by a former employee who was doing nothing more than a 'shake-down' of his former employer, hoping to get 'free money'.

Mr. Hamilton has represented a plaintiff against a group running a Ponzi scheme in Orange County. One of the perpetrators was a California licensed attorney and the story was described in the L.A. Times and Orange County Register. Mr. Hamilton obtained a $2 million judgment for his client while the U.S Attorneys Office obtained a criminal conviction of two of the defendants with them now serving sentences in Federal Prison in Rochester, Minnesota.

Main Office

John J. Hamilton - Lawyer
39 Chadwick
Irvine  CA  92618

Phone
  • (949) 552-1170
Fax
  • (949) 666-5003

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

Yes, a 20-minute free consultation.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

Hourly Fees. 5% discount for mentioning Nolo. In certain instances and certain cases, I will consider a contingency-fee arrangement.

Hourly Rates

$285 per hour - $299 per hour

Office Information

Office Hours

7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., everyday. Willing to meet at prospective client's office

Emergency After Hours

Yes

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

The 25 years of business experience I had prior to earning a law degree, involving contract disputes, employee/employer litigation, breach of employment contract, fraudulent business practices by companies, and claims by investors of stockbroker fraud, inspired me to not only go to law school mid-career but to pursue the specific areas of practice where I had actual hands-on business experience earlier.

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

I believe, and have personal experience prior to obtaining a law degree at age 45, that an individual can often save substantial money by doing certain things without a lawyer. However, when it comes to a person representing oneself in court and particularly at trial, neither the courts nor the juries take a person as seriously when representing oneself and in litigation, a person should hire an attorney to make sure their rights are protected and asserted fully.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am very willing to review documents prepared by clients and have done such work for over 15 years.

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

I have been the 'ghost writer' of court documents for clients that wish to represent themselves. Examples include writing summons, complaints, responsive pleadings (e.g., Answer to the complaint), and "discovery", both demanding discovery and responding to discovery.

I have also provided "Limited Representation" to clients in court, in accordance with the California Rule of Court 3.36.

John J. Hamilton

In the 1980's, prior to earning a law degree in 1993, I was a Senior Vice President of American Saving Bank and its asset management subsidiary, FCA Asset Management.

I was also a stockbroker for three New York Stock Exchange firms working on Wall Street, LaSalle Street (Chicago) and Minneapolis.

I have a unique blend of practical business experience in addition to a legal background. Prior to earning a law degree in 1993, I had over 25 years experience in the securities, insurance and banking industries including being Senior Vice President of one of the nation's largest financial institutions in the 1980's. This prior business experience gives me not only a legal perspective but also a practical business perspective in seeking solutions to clients' legal problems.

I am highly motivated, energetic, and assertive when necessary.

Personal interests:

• Judge Advocate of Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Newport Beach, California
• Member: Catalina Island Yacht Club

License
  • Bar Number: 182095
    California , 1996
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1993
    St. Paul, MN
    A.T.L.A. Tournament of Champions Trial Advocacy National Competition held at Ohio State University; Honorary Moot Court Competition Team
  • Minnesota State University
    Master of Business Administration , 1981
    Mankato, MN
  • University of Minnesota
    Bachelor of Science , 1966
    Minneapolis, MN
    Business Administration

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

Articles Written

Can I represent myself and have an attorney represent me in parts of the lawsuit where I need help?

Created On: 10/22/2013

The short answer is yes.  In fact, there are some of attorneys – mostly at smaller law firms – where their law practice is, in large part, providing just such services.   Be rest

LA-NOLO6:DRU.1.6.2.20140813.27175