James M. Penning

James M. Penning

Of Counsel
San Jose, California

James M. Penning joined Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP, in 2016. Mr. Penning provides representation in estate planning, incapacity planning, and decedent estate administration, focusing on estate planning for large and moderate estates with specific emphasis on family wealth preservation. Mr. Penning also provides representation in estate and trust litigation matters including will and trust contest actions, elder abuse actions, fiduciary removal and surcharge actions and breach of fiduciary duty claims, as well as mediation and alternative dispute resolution in all types of trust and estate matters.

Mr. Penning represents trustees, personal representatives, and beneficiaries in all aspects of trust and probate administration. His estate administration practice includes postmortem trust administration, trust reformations, tax planning, federal estate and gift tax return preparation, complex trust and estate accountings, and incapacity planning and conservatorships.

Prior to joining Temmerman, Cilley, & Kohlmann, LLP, Mr. Penning founded Penning Law Group where he provided representation in estate planning and administration, trust and estate litigation, family law, corporations and complex litigation matters. Mr. Penning also spent several years with Cooley LLP where he represented large public companies, startups, partnerships, and individuals in a variety of complex and technology related litigation matters.

Year Joined Firm

  • 2016

Areas of Practice

  • 40% Trust Administration
  • 20% Trust and Estate Litigation
  • 15% Estate Planning
  • 10% Business Planning
  • 10% Business Litigation
  • 5% Probate

Litigation Percentage

  • 30% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2004


  • Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California
    • J.D. cum laude - 2003
    • Honors: CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Federal Estate and Gift Taxes
    • Honors: Volunteer, East San Jose Community Law Center
    • Honors: Vice President, Santa Clara University's Intellectual Property Association
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
    • Honors: CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Legal Analysis, Research and Writing
    • Honors: CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Contracts
    • Honors: Certificate of Excellence, Research and Writing
  • Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1997
    • Major: Accounting


  • Introduction to Basic Estate Planning, California State Bar Association, 2017 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California Lawyers Association, Trusts and Estates Section, Member, 2016 - Present
  • Silicon Valley Bar Association, Member, 2016 - Present
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Member, 2014 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Penning Law Group, Attorney/Founder, 2014 - 2018
  • Cooley, LLP, Senior Associate, 2003 - 2014


  • English (Primary)