James Mattesich has practiced law since 1972. Together with Gene Livingston, Jim founded Livingston & Mattesich in 1982 to represent clients in their interactions with the State of California, and was among the first attorneys in Sacramento to provide experienced and effective advocacy in all forums of public decision-making: legislation, regulation and litigation. Prior to his appointments to his state government positions, Jim litigated at all levels of the state and federal court systems, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He taught trial practice for the United States Legal Services Corporation.
He has combined his insider's knowledge of state government and his knowledge of the Legislature, state agencies, and the courts to the full advantage of his clients. Jim's multidimensional experience enables him to not only respond effectively to the current political and regulatory landscape, but to also anticipate new trends and changes that could affect his clients' goals.
Jim's legislative advocacy practice involves a broad range of regulatory and policy issues, and offers services unique to a lawyer-lobbyist. He combines his understanding of the statutory and administrative law relevant to the specific issue with his familiarity of how the legislature and the regulatory agencies actually work on behalf of each client. Jim can evaluate whether a regulation complies with the underlying law, court decisions and the administrative procedures for adopting regulations. If lobbying and administrative advocacy does not suit the client's specific needs, he can remedy legislative and regulatory problems in the courts.
Jim's clients include businesses and trade associations with significant interests in California. His work encompasses advising and representing clients in a wide range of regulatory, administrative and legislative matters. He counsels clients in the consumer products industries in regulatory compliance issues and legislative advocacy efforts. His practice encompasses environmental subspecialties, including toxic chemical regulation, air emissions standards, pesticide regulation, compliance and litigation regarding California's unique "Proposition 65" statute, and regulatory and compliance matters before the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
Jim also handles matters involving professional licensing, including disciplinary and revocation hearings. Prior to founding Livingston & Mattesich, he held two key state government positions in California state government. Jim was appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate to serve as the first General Counsel and Deputy Director of the California Office of Administrative Law from 1980 to 1982. He and the first director, Gene Livingston, organized the newly established office charged with reviewing all state agency regulations. Jim hired and supervised a staff of 16 attorneys, and managed the review of every new regulation adopted by the 124 state agencies. Charged with evaluating the legality of the 13,000 pages of regulations proposed annually by the state, he worked with Gene Livingston to cut new regulations by 50%.
Prior to helping establish the Office of Administrative Law, Jim served as Deputy Director and Legal Counsel to the Director of the California Employment Development Department, an agency with 15,000 employees and a budget of $2.5 billion. He was responsible for drafting pleadings in major litigation, drafting state and federal legislative proposals as well as department regulations. He also represented the California Employment Development Department before the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature, as well as at administrative hearings, and in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Labor.