James L. Payne is a founding partner at Payne & Fears, 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 more than 400,000 putative class members.
Jim lectures extensively to business, civic and legal groups on topics relating to labor, employment and trade secrets law. For 20 years, he 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, 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.
Jim is a music enthusiast who plays piano, organ and synthesizer. He composes and performs regularly with a variety of jazz, blues and rock combos.