James W. Carson

Office: San Francisco Bay Area
2350 Kerner Boulevard
Suite 250
San Rafael, CA 94901

Jay Carson is a partner in the firm’s Bay Area office advising corporations, non-profit organizations, trade associations, political committees, and individuals on elections, campaign finance, and ethics laws.  Mr. Carson works closely with clients to develop compliance programs nationwide and has successfully guided clients through ethics investigations and audits. He also provides training and guidance on lobbying rules, conflicts of interest, gift restrictions, and pay-to-play laws in federal, state, and local jurisdictions.

As a member of the firm’s litigation team, Mr. Carson also works on matters related to ballot challenges, election contests, property rights, and highly regulated industries.

Mr. Carson serves as legal counsel and treasurer to numerous political action committees, advising on campaign compliance and reporting matters. He also has experience on a variety of issues related to ballot measures, providing strategic advice and counsel to initiative and referendum campaigns.

Mr. Carson represents dozens of tax-exempt organizations and provides guidance on nonprofit formation and governance structures, filing obligations, and nonprofit activities. He also has experience representing transportation industry clients in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission.

Prior to joining Nielsen Merksamer, Mr. Carson was appointed by the Governor of California to be a legislative analyst in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. While pursuing his law degree, Mr. Carson served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Marvin R. Baxter, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court (Retired).

Mr. Carson is a member of the California State Bar.

  • Treasurer and legal counsel to a variety of political action committees, independent expenditure campaigns, and ballot measure committees.
  • Develop and implement nationwide ethics compliance programs for dozens of organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to grassroots nonprofit organizations.
  • Design client training materials and provide regular compliance trainings to key employees.
  • Editor of the “Political Tax Considerations” chapter in the annual Practising Law Institute’s Corporate Political Activities Handbook.