James F. Cote 


James F. Cote has been practicing law in Santa Barbara since 1979. His career has provided him with a broad background of legal experience.

He began his career as a sole practitioner handling general litigation, personal injury cases, contract disputes, easement suits, family law, and criminal defense. During his first three years of practice he had several jury trials and learned how to own and operate a small business - his own law practice.

In 1982, Mr. Cote went to work as an associate at what was then the largest insurance defense firm in Santa Barbara, Archbald & Spray. He was the litigation attorney in the firm's business and estate planning department, handling business disputes and Will contests, and was also involved with the firm's insurance defense cases.

In 1985, Mr. Cote moved to the oldest law firm in Santa Barbara, Griffith & Thornburgh, and became a partner in 1988. He handled complex civil litigation, representing Southern Pacific, Amtrak, and Metrolink railroads, plaintiff personal injury claims, insurance defense cases, civil appeals, as well as probate and trust litigation. He also expanded his practice to include real estate transactions and establishing business entities. In the mid-1990's, he became involved in estate planning for clients of the firm, along with probate and trust administration, including the Sedgewick Ranch gift to UCSB.

 In 1999, Mr. Cote decided to go back where his career began and opened his own office, which has now grown to include three attorneys. He is certified by the State Bar of California as an estate planning specialist.




Rosaleen Wynne earned her undergraduate degree in Global and International Studies from UCSB and her Juris Doctor from Santa Barbara College of Law.

She is a member of the State Bar of California, the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers, and ProVisors, a professional networking group.

Rosaleen has worked since 2005 in varying capacities in the areas of estate planning, probate proceedings, and trust administrations.

Enthusiastic about mentoring children in the Santa Barbara community, she has volunteered for over 20 years with Big Brothers - Big Sisters and CASA.

She has also volunteered with the Dependency Court, the Family Law Facilitator, and the Legal Aid Foundation’s domestic violence clinic. 

In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, and practicing yoga.

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Connor C. Cote


Connor C. Cote joined the office in 2014. His practice focuses on estate planning, probate proceedings, and trust administrations.

While growing up in Santa Barbara, Connor attended Santa Barbara High School and excelled on its golf team.  Connor attended Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, where he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science.

He attended Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where he earned a Juris Doctor in 2014.  During that time, Connor served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Brian Hill, in the Santa Barbara Superior Court, where he honed his legal research and writing skills, and for the Los Angeles District Attorney, Major Crimes Division.

When he is not practicing law, Connor also enjoys cycling, hiking, sailing, surfing, and playing golf.

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Christine Cote Gress is Jim’s sister and the law office’s part-time manager. She is a retired California attorney, having earned her Juris Doctor and a Masters of Law in Taxation at the University of San Diego School of Law.  She is also a retired California Certified Public Accountant.  Christine and her husband, David, are enjoying their well-earned retirement, which they share with their two Siamese cats.  Christine delights in serving as a docent at Lotusland.