James L. Payne is a founding partner at Payne & Fears LLP, where he represents companies in all aspects of employment law and related civil litigation, including wage and hour litigation and consulting, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, labor management relations and union arbitrations.
Jim has a practice focused on the subfield of wage and hour law, as both an advisor and litigator. He has served as the lead litigation counsel in dozens of wage and hour class action cases ranging in size from a few hundred to over 400,000 putative class members.
Jim is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of labor and employment law, is consistently ranked by his peers on the Southern California Super Lawyers list, and has been listed as one of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Orange County, California. He is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of both the American Bar Association and the Orange County Bar Association.
Jim lectures extensively to business, civic and legal groups on topics relating to labor, employment and trade secrets law. For twenty years, he has served regularly as an author and lecturer for the University of California’s Continuing Education of the Bar on the subject of labor and employment law. Jim is a cum laude graduate of Loyola Law School where he served as Articles Editor of the Loyola Law Review and was made a permanent member of the Saint Thomas More Law Honor Society.
Jim serves as a pro bono Arbitrator for the Orange County Bar Association’s Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program. He is a Founding Member of the Orange County Bar Foundation, Society of Fellows, and is a partner in the Southern California Special Olympics.
Before forming Payne & Fears LLP, Jim was a partner in the Employment Law Department of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP. He previously served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas Tang, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.