Debra L. James is a Partner in the Real Estate Department.

Debra has over 30 years of experience in real estate law. She concentrates her practice on solving problems on a wide area of transactions. Her areas of practice include:

  • Real estate acquisitions and dispositions
  • Leasing, development and construction
  • Title work
  • Real estate tax appeals
  • Entity formation and structuring

Debra has represented all sides of real estate transactions: owners, purchasers, landlords, tenants, lenders, borrowers, developers, contractors and small businesses. She has extensive experience in acquisitions and divestitures, including:

  • Purchase and sale of commercial real estate for development
  • Residential estates
  • Shopping centers
  • Multi-unit residential complexes
  • Industrial buildings and centers

Debra has represented a national hospital chain in the divestiture of 13 skilled nursing facilities located across the United States and has experience with real estate transactions involving health care facilities, including acquisitions, dispositions and leases of skilled nursing facilities and other long term care facilities.

In real estate transactions, Debra has addressed and resolved myriad title issues. Additionally, in the last several years, has resolved to her clients’ benefit several real estate tax appeals involving change of ownership reassessments.


Honors & Recognitions

Women’s Leadership Awards, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2022 

Community & Professional

California Bar Association, Business Lawyers Section



  • Attorneys’ Assistance In Residential Real Estate Transactions
    Construction Chaos, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 04.01.2014



J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law

B.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, With Highest Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

Practice Areas


  • California
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