James J. McDonald Jr.: Lawyer with Fisher & Phillips LLP

James J. McDonald Jr.

Regional Managing Partner
Irvine,  CA  U.S.A.
Phone(949) 851-2424

Peer Rating
 5.0/5.0
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & ReviewsOther Offices
 

Practice Areas

  • Labor and Employment
  • Disability Law
  • Employment Litigation
  • Sexual Harassment
 
University New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL, B.A., 1981
 
Law SchoolGeorgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, J.D., cum laude, 1984
 
Admitted1984, Georgia; 1990, California; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California; Supreme Court of California; Georgia Supreme Court
 
Memberships 

Professional Activities
Member, Editorial Board,Employee Relations Law Journal
Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
Member, Society for Human Resource Management

 
Biography

Jim McDonald is managing partner of the Irvine office and a partner in the Los Angeles office. He is also the firm's marketing partner and chair of the firm's Development Committee. Jim tries employment cases before juries, judges and arbitrators.

His practice especially focuses on executive terminations, workplace harassment and discrimination claims, the Americans with Disabilities Act, mental health issues in the workplace, and trade secrets and unfair competition matters.

Jim also advises employers on how to prevent employment disputes from arising, on how to manage union strikes and picketing, and on the labor and employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Jim is editor of the second edition of the treatise,Mental and Emotional Injuries in Employment Litigationpublished by BNA Books in 2001 and author of more than 50 published articles.

He has spoken before many national organizations on issues such as the defense of psychological injury claims in employment litigation, mental disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, new theories of harassment and discrimination, and the use of expert witnesses.

Jim serves as Vice Chair and General Counsel of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, and he is a past Chair of the Chamber's Board of Directors.

Jim is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management, and he teaches employment law in the Human Resources Management Program at the University of California, Irvine.

Representative Work
Class Action Defeated with Arbitration Agreement.Jim led a team of attorneys who defeated a putative class action alleging race and national origin discrimination against a Southern California employer. A judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court held that the twelve year old arbitration agreement signed by the plaintiff and putative class representative, which did not contain an express class action waiver, nonetheless barred a class action because the parties agreed only to arbitrate with one another and not with a class.

Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Disabilities Case.Jim successfully argued before a California Court of Appeal in favor of a trial court's award of summary judgment to a national manufacturing company against a former manager who was terminated after he failed to return to work after 14 months of medical leave.

Arbitration Victory in Defamation, Tortious Interference Case.Jim tried and won a case in arbitration before a retired judge in which the plaintiff claimed her former employer defamed her and interfered with her business following her termination for misrepresenting to an unemployment appeals judge the reason for her missing an appeal hearing.

Strike Victory Against Carpenters Union.Jim led a team of attorneys that assisted a national construction contractor in winning a strike by the Carpenters Union on all counts. The strike against three large construction projects in Southern California ended after less than a month, the strikers were replaced, and no delays occurred. Jim obtained two injunctions against violent and mass picketing and filed a section 303 lawsuit against the Carpenters that resulted in a six-figure settlement for the employer. The team also pursued unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board which issued a complaint.

Professional Activities
Member, Editorial Board,Employee Relations Law Journal
Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
Member, Society for Human Resource Management

Recognition
Fisher & Phillips Attorney Selected For Inclusion In 2012 Southern California Super Lawyers
January 24, 2012
Listed inThe Best Lawyers in Americasince 2007.
Listed inSouthern CaliforniaSuper Lawyerssince 2007.
Recipient of Burton Award for Legal Writing, 2006.
AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

News/Media
Labor And Employment Aspects Of Mergers And Acquisitions March 10, 2014

Will the DSM-5 Lead to Crazy Employment Law? July 11, 2013

New Mental-Health Manual Likely to Impact HR May 22, 2013

New Commission Agreements Law Requires Review of Pay Plans February 1, 2013

Not-So-Free Speech at Work September 25, 2012

Lookism: The Next Form of Illegal Discrimination November 10, 2010

Take Your Dog to Work Day - Everyday January 15, 2007

Eliminate Vacation Policies for Attorneys January 10, 2007

Humpty Dumpty Goes to Court September 25, 2006

You (Might) Have the Right to Remain Silent June 1, 2006

Social Framework Evidence: Why Social Psychology Should Not Supplant Clinical Evaluations in Harassment and Discrimination Cases April 1, 2006

Be Nice, or Be Sued March 25, 2006

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire December 1, 2005

I Want a Nicer Boss September 1, 2005

Let's Talk About Sex June 1, 2005

The Narcissistic Plaintiff March 25, 2005

You're Looking at Me Like I'm Crazy! December 25, 2004

Weeds in the Garden September 25, 2004

Taking Out the Garbage June 1, 2004

What's God Got to do With It? December 1, 2003

Civil Rights for the Aesthetically-Challenged September 1, 2003

My Life's a Mess and It's All Your Fault June 1, 2003

Posttraumatic Stress Dishonesty March 1, 2003

The Problem of False Claims of Clergy Sexual Abuse January 1, 2003

I'll Never Work in this Town Again December 1, 2002

The Ninth Commandment September 25, 2002

This Place Makes Me Sick! June 25, 2002

Personality Disorders in Employment Litigation April 25, 2002

Sticks and Stones March 25, 2002

Posttraumatic Latefiling Syndrome December 25, 2001

My Disability Made Me Do It! September 25, 2001

Putting a Price on the Pain December 25, 2000

The Equal Opportunity Jerk June 25, 2000

The Rise of Psychological Issues in Employment Law December 25, 1999

A Plaintiff's Obligation to Avoid Harm Otherwise September 25, 1999

Lawful and Effective Use of a Human Resources Expert Witness
California Labor & Employment Law Review -Volume 25, No. 5:
August, 2011

Quotes and Soundbites
Service-Dog 'Fakers': Could It Happen at Work? April 21, 2014

Employee Leaves In California: Your To-Do Checklist February 4, 2014

Fisher & Phillips Partners Quoted In Inside Counsel January 3, 2014

Disability Diagnoses August 1, 2013

New Mental Disorders Mean ADA Headaches For Employers May 19, 2013

Beauty Bias September 1, 2012

Bill Would Ban 'Unemployed Need Not Apply' Ads August 9, 2012

How to Hire Winners (and Avoid Wackos) August 1, 2011

My Disability Made Me Do It June 28, 2011

New Regs Could Lead to Greater Acceptance of Psychiatric Service Dogs in the Workplace June 7, 2011

Newsletter Articles
Updated Psychiatric Manual May Pose New Challenges for Employers July 1, 2013

Has The NLRB Outlawed Courtesy? January 2, 2013

Here's Looking At You, Kid - The EEOC Looks For Beauty Bias July 2, 2012

Beauty And The Bias November 1, 2010

Presentations

Ten Great Ways to Lose A Lawsuit in California - Anaheim, CA
August 26, 2013

New California Employment Laws for 2013 - Palm Desert, CA
December 11, 2012

You're Gonna Miss Me: Managing FMLA, CFRA and PDL Leaves - Irvine, CA
September 11, 2012

Reasonable Accommodation: When Are You Done? - Anaheim, CA
August 28, 2012

I'm Too Sexy for My Job! - Appearance Bias in the Workplace - Atlanta, GA
June 25, 2012

My Disability Made Me Do It! - San Francisco, CA
April 24, 2012

Is Lookism Illegal? Appearance Discrimination at Work - Webinar
April 3, 2012

My Disability Made Me Do It - Las Vegas, NV
June 28, 2011

Ten Good Ways to Get Your Company Sued By An Employee - Reno, NV
May 13, 2011

Employment Law for the Solo or Small Firm: Ten Mistakes to Avoid.
Orange County Specialty Lawyers Guild
April 9, 2014

The Fine Line Between Diversity and Just Not Fitting In,
2010 Professionals in Human Resources Annual Conference, Pasadena, CA.

Community

Chairman of the Board of Directors (1998-99), Vice Chair and General Counsel, Irvine Chamber of Commerce (1999-present)
Vice President, The Colony at Indian Wells Homeowners Association (2010-present) (Also at Los Angeles Office)

 
Reported CasesRepresentative Work; Class Action Defeated with Arbitration Agreement. Jim led a team of attorneys who defeated a putative class action alleging race and national origin discrimination against a Southern California employer. A judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court held that the twelve year old arbitration agreement signed by the plaintiff and putative class representative, which did not contain an express class action waiver, nonetheless barred a class action because the parties agreed only to arbitrate with one another and not with a class. Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Disabilities Case. Jim successfully argued before a California Court of Appeal in favor of a trial court's award of summary judgment to a national manufacturing company against a former manager who was terminated after he failed to return to work after 14 months of medical leave. Arbitration Victory in Defamation, Tortious Interference Case. Jim tried and won a case in arbitration before a retired judge in which the plaintiff claimed her former employer defamed her and interfered with her business following her termination for misrepresenting to an unemployment appeals judge the reason for her missing an appeal hearing. Strike Victory Against Carpenters Union. Jim led a team of attorneys that assisted a national construction contractor in winning a strike by the Carpenters Union on all counts. The strike against three large construction projects in Southern California ended after less than a month, the strikers were replaced, and no delays occurred. Jim obtained two injunctions against violent and mass picketing and filed a section 303 lawsuit against the Carpenters that resulted in a six-figure settlement for the employer. The team also pursued unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board which issued a complaint.
 
ISLN905001171
 


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Office Information

James J. McDonald Jr.

2050 Main Street
IrvineCA 92614




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