Of Counsel at CunninghamLegal

Attorney John B. Palley has dedicated his entire career to serving families in the areas of probate law and estate planning—and since 1994 he has successfully completed approximately 2,000 probate court cases, in addition to a similar number of estate plans! He is known for his deep knowledge of the California legal system and his diligent, caring approach with clients.

“I see myself as a guide through the complexities of California estate law and the probate courts,” says John. “But a good guide doesn’t just find a way, he clears a way forward. That means pro-active engagement with the entire process and it means doing whatever it takes to help families through some of the most difficult periods of their lives.”

Distinguished Education

John earned his J.D. at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific in Sacramento, and majored in International Business to earn his B.A. from Sonoma State University, where he was honored on the Dean’s List.

Importantly, he is also a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law as determined by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization—a rare achievement.

Honored Lawyer, Lecturer, and Author

Over the years, John has also been honored by his profession and the press on many occasions. He has received the highest ratings of “10.0” from both and Martindale Hubbell has given them their highest rating of “AV,” and since 2014 he has been named as a “superlawyer” by The Sacramento Bee tapped him both online and in-print as a probate and estate planning expert; he was highlighted in an article in Sacramento Magazine; and in 2015 the readers of the Roseville Press Tribune voted John “Best Attorney” in the area.

In 2016, this tireless lawyer published the highly regarded layperson’s guide book, How to Live and Die with California Probate, and he has been interviewed and quoted on such websites as,,, and

In addition, he has lectured on estate planning and probate at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management MBA program, the UC Davis Extension Certified Financial Planning courses, and the National Business Institute, among others.

Deep Community Engagement

John has always believed in engaging with the community as well as his profession. He is a current or former member of the Sacramento Estate Planning Counsel; the Rotary Club of Roseville, the Active 20-30 Club Sacramento, and the Sacramento Planned Giving Forum.

Family Man

John is married with two kids now in college, and he reports that he has “retired as coach for their various sports teams.” Though born and raised in Los Angeles, he has lived in Sacramento for over 30 years, and happily confirms his status as a die-hard Sacramento Kings fan.

Contact Us Today

You can get assistance from John Palley and our full team of attorneys with our full range of practice areas through any of our offices across Northern and Southern California. We offer in-person, phone, and Zoom appointments. Request an appointment online or call (866) 988-3956.

At CunninghamLegal, we guide savvy, caring families in the protection and transfer of multi-generational wealth.

John B. Palley

Attorney John B. Palley

Contact us today for a consultation!