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Experience You Can Count On

Criminal cases demand great skill from your defense attorney. James A. Baker has the experience and expertise to protect your rights during any criminal prosecution.

James A. Baker


James A. Baker vigorously defends people in Ithaca New York, Auburn New York, and surrounding counties against a wide range of criminal charges, from misdemeanors to felony offenses. He has intentionally kept his office and practice small, so that he can give your case the personal attention that it deserves. Attorney Baker brings almost 40 years of experience to each case, which includes time he has spent as a special prosecutor and training in defending capital cases. This unique background enables him to anticipate the prosecution's strategy and to skillfully protect each client's rights.

James A. Baker routinely handles cases that involve allegations of homicide, assault, drug crimes, sexual offenses, burglary, larceny, and driving while intoxicated. In addition, he represents college students who face disciplinary proceedings over violations of campus rules. Attorney Baker offers free initial consultations for most of these matters. Although his office does not accept credit card payments, he does accept PayPal.

Regardless of the specifics of a case, James A. Baker personally investigates and carefully prepares for each stage of the legal process. To identify the most effective defense strategy he thoroughly reviews the police reports and videos, routinely visits the scene of the alleged crime, and personally interviews pertinent witnesses. With his experience and preparation, Mr. Baker stands ready and able to provide you with a vigorous defense and obtain the best result possible.


  • Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
    • J.D. - 1980
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
    • B.A. - 1976
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Major: English Literature/Spanish Literature (Double Major)

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 1987

Representative Cases

  • People v. Johnson, 81 N.Y.2d 980
  • Jane PP v. Paul QQ, 65 N.Y.2d 994, 65 N.Y.2d 15
  • People v. Liggins, 56 A.D.3d 1265
  • Brown v. Skalwold, 228 A.D.2d 749
  • Commissioner of Social Services of Chemung County o/b/o Rynkowski v. Pronti, 227 A.D.2d 705
  • Zimmer v. Town Bd. of Town of Locke, 226 A.D.2d 1117
  • People v. Vann, 216 A.D.2d 599
  • People v. Prentice, 208 A.D.2d 1064
  • Vann v. Friedlander, 170 A.D.2d 782
  • People v. Reagin, 148 A.D.2d 854
  • People v. Swartz, 130 A.D.2d 288
  • People v. Harding, 101 A.D.2d 221
  • People v. Andrews, 170 Misc.2d 67

Professional Associations

  • New York State Defender's Association, Member, 1993
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Tompkins County Criminal Justice Association, Chairman, 1992 to 1994
  • Tompkins County Criminal Justice Association, Member, 1992 to 1996
  • New York State Bar Association, Member, 1981

Current Employment Position

  • Sole Practitioner

Practice Areas

  • Criminal Litigation (Felonies, Driving While Intoxicated, Misdemeanors) 100%
  • Criminal Litigation (Traffic Violations)
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Criminal Appeals
  • Criminal Defense
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Charges
  • Drunk Driving
  • Felonies
  • Internet Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Larceny & Theft
  • Misdemeanors
  • Parole & Probation
  • Sex Crimes
  • Sexual Assault
  • Theft & Property Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Weapons Crimes
  • White Collar Crimes


  • Tompkins County Bar Association Pro Bono Award

Classes & Seminars

  • New York State DWI-License Issues, Lorman Education Services, 2007 to 2007
  • New York State DWI-License Issues, Tompkins County Bar Association, 2009 to 2009

Past Positions

  • Sovocool, Pfann, Tyler & Baker, Partner, 1992 to 1994
  • LoPinto, Schlather & Baker, Law Clerk/Associate Attorney/Partner, 1978 to 1986
  • Solo Practice of Law as James A. Baker, Attorney at Law, 1987 - 1992 and 1994 - Present