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City of BelvedereCandidate for City Council

Photo of James K. Lynch

James K. Lynch

Planning Commissioner
779 votes (25.52%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protecting Belvedere from earthquake, fire, flood, and climate change events in the most cost-effective way, and in coordination with neighboring towns, County, State and Federal governments.
  • Fiscal discipline. We're a small town with a small budget, and we face significant challenges. We have to prioritize spending to protect our residents and City Hall team. .
  • Continue to enhance and streamline Planning & Building. Our government serves us, not the other way around. And our teams and Commission work best when helping residents get to "yes."



Profession:Belvedere Planning Commissioner; retired lawyer.
Planning Commission, including Vice Chair and Chair, Belvedere Planning Commission — Appointed position (2014–current)
Chair, Committee to Protect Belvedere's Seawalls, Levees and Utilities — Appointed position (2019–current)
Block Captain, City of Belvedere Block Captain Program — Appointed position (2018–current)
Board of Directors (now Board President), The Redwoods, a Community of Seniors — Appointed position (2018–current)
Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP (2004–2017)
Associate, Latham & Watkins LLP (1998–2004)
Associate, Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (1995–1998)
District Accountant, Digital Equipment Corporation (1990–1992)


University of California Hastings College of the Law Juris Doctorate, Trial advocacy, contracts, corporations, constitutional law, civil procedure, administrative procedures, mediation. (1995)
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, with an emphasis on American Institutions (1990)

Community Activities

Board Member, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (2013–2016)
Founding Board Member, San Francisco Road Runners (2001–2008)


I was raised in a military family, and lived in or traveled all 50 states and Western Europe before moving to Tiburon in 1992, then Belvedere 20 years ago.  After decades of having more addresses than years, I found home.  I live with Janis Crum, my partner of 10 years, and my daughter Kate, a Junior at Redwood High School in Larkspur.

I earned degrees at Cal, with honors, and Hastings Law School, where I was Executive Editor of the Law Journal, and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif.

Before retiring three years ago, I was a lawyer in private practice, the last 19 years with the global law firm Latham & Watkins.  I solved clients' complex civil litigation disputes involving banking, financial accounting, auditing, commercial construction, and intellectual property issues.  I successfully tried 15 cases to verdict, including California's "Defense Verdict of the Year 2010."  But most of my matters settled -- by mastering each side's issues, listening, and reaching consensus.  

My Latham management roles included Vice-Chair of Latham's 600-lawyer Global Litigation & Trial Department, and Global Chair of the Mentoring Committee for Latham's 1,400 associates.  My pro bono work focused on securing benefits for combat Veterans, and protecting fundamental rights of incarcerated juveniles and the developmentally disabled.  I also helped the underrepresented through the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Legal Services for Children, and similar organizations.

In 2014, the City Council appointed me to Belvedere's Planning Commission, and I've served terms as Vice-Chair and Chair.  My current term runs through 2022.  In 2019 the Belvedere City Council appointed me Chair of the Committee to Protect Belvedere's Seawalls, Levees, and Utilities, and that work continues.

In 2018 I was appointed to the Board of The Redwoods, a non-profit Community of Seniors in Mill Valley, and currently am Board President.

I'm an active donor to the Reed and Tamalpais school districts.  In 2015, I launched and annually self-fund, a scholarship at my alma mater, Damien High School, in east Los Angeles County.  The scholarship supports academically eligible students who require financial aid.  The program supports more than a dozen students every year.


Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Bill Smith (Former Mayor)
  • Ken Johnson (Former Mayor)
  • Justin Faggiolo (Former Mayor)

Elected Officials (5)

  • James Campbell (Belvedere City Council)
  • Nancy Kemnitzer (Belvedere City Council)
  • Damon Connolly (County Supervisor)
  • Claire McAuliffe (Belvedere City Council)
  • Bob McCaskill (Belvedere City Council)

Individuals (1)

  • More than 160 Belvedere residents including numerous former Mayors, Citizens of the Year, and Planning Commissioners

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