Jim W. Vogele has served as trial attorney for employees in state and federal trials leading to recovery of over $200 million in wages and other damages. Jim has litigated, arbitrated and mediated many sexual harassment, wage & hour, discrimination and retaliation cases. He frequently provides advice on employment contracts, including noncompetition, nonsolicitation and severance agreements. He has represented employees in two successful overtime class actions through trial. Jim often works collaboratively as co-counsel or contract attorney with other lawyers. From 2014 to 2016, he served as co-chair of the Employment Law Section of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.
Since receiving a J.D. from Harvard Law School, Jim has been an active member of the Montana State Bar (1988), the California State Bar (1991), and the Oregon State Bar (2011). During law school he served as a summer law clerk for Justice Warren W. Matthews, Jr. of the Alaska Supreme Court. He received his B.A. with Honors in English Literature from Montana State University.
Jim has published articles, essays, and treatise selections on employment law and other topics. He has lectured on a variety of subjects to attorneys, law students, and undergraduates. While living in San Francisco, Jim volunteered as a supervising attorney at the Legal Aid Society of California Worker’s Rights Clinic, and, in Missoula, Montana, he served as a volunteer attorney at the Family Law Clinic of the Montana Legal Services Association.
Raised on an eastern Montana ranch, Jim grew up working year-round on the ranch and later worked in the summers as a roughneck in the oil fields of North Dakota and as a seismographer in the mountains of Wyoming. He has also worked as a house painter, a landscaper, and a Law School Admissions Test preparation instructor. He served as a legal research assistant at Harvard Law School and as a tutor to Native American students at Montana State University.
Jim has been fortunate to work with outstanding attorney mentors in Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Missoula, MT. He enjoys reading and writing as well as travel and outdoor activities with his wife Kathy and Layla, a Labradoodle. He is an enthusiastic fan of all sorts of music and sports.
1. Selected Cases
Britton v. Brown, 2013 MT 30 (2013) (co-authored appellant’s briefing in the Montana Supreme Court and obtained a reversal in favor of appellant on constitutional due process grounds)
Bell v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 115 Cal.App.4th 715 (CA 2004) ($200 million recovered for employee class members in an overtime class action after nearly 10 years of litigation and a jury trial in which Jim was second chair trial counsel)
Breaux v. Agency Rent-A-Car, (N.D.Cal. 1997) ($8 million judgment obtained in U.S. District Court for the employee class in an overtime class action in which Jim was second chair trial counsel)
Williams & Woods v. RIACS, (San Mateo County CA 1995) (lead counsel in a complex breach of contract case representing two computer programmers employed by RIACS at NASA Ames Center; after a successful judicially-mandated arbitration, the case settled for a confidential amount on the first day of trial)
Triunfo v. Philippine Airlines, (N.D. Cal. 1994) (lead counsel in age discrimination litigation in U.S. District Court resulting in a confidential settlement and a statutory fee award on behalf of the plaintiff employee)
Dept. of Rev. of Mont. v. Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. 767 (1994) (in his first year as an attorney, Jim handled the initial investigation, pleadings, and appearances in U.S. Bankruptcy Court where the Montana Dangerous Drug Tax Act was held unconstitutional on double jeopardy grounds in In re Kurth Ranch v. Dept. of Rev. of Mont., 145 B.R. 61 (1990), a decision that was ultimately affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court).
Masto v. Uniphase Corporation, (Santa Clara County CA 1994) (successful arbitration and settlement of a whistleblower case)
“Preliminary Injunctive Relief: When Damages Are Not Enough,” Trial Lawyer (Oregon Trial Lawyers Association), Fall 2017
“The Continuing Bar Exam,” Trial Lawyer (Oregon Trial Lawyers Association), Summer 2017
“When Things Go Wrong,” Trial Lawyer (Oregon Trial Lawyers Association), Winter 2015
“Contract Lawyers: Independent Contractors or Employees,” Co-Author with Lisa Brown, In Brief (Oregon State Bar), 2012
“Others Evidence,” Co-Author with Deborah England, Feature Article, California Employment Law Reporter, 2003
“Compensation,” Treatise Chapter 11 (Wage & Hour law), Co-Author, Rutter California Practice Guide, 2001
Book Review, “Snow Falling on Cedars,” Montana Lawyer, 1998
Book Review, Co-Author with Jennifer Moore, Harvard Women’s Law Journal, Vol. 11, 1988
“Dickens and the Law,” Harvard Law Record, 1987.
3. Recent Speaking Engagements
“Lessons Learned from Recent Disability Discrimination Trials,” Oregon Trial Lawyers Association CLE, Portland, OR, 2016 – co-panelist
“Wage & Hour Claims: Sometimes Simple, Sometimes Not,” Oregon Trial Lawyers Association CLE, Portland, OR, 2014
“Sexual and Racial Harassment,” Employment Law Beyond the Basics CLE, Portland, OR, 2014
“Evidence – Rule 404 and ‘Other Acts’,” Oregon Trial Lawyers Association CLE, Employment Law Section, Portland, Oregon, 2013
“Sexual, Racial and Other Harassment in the Workplace,” Fundamentals of Employment Law CLE, Portland, OR, 2013
“Contract Lawyering – Getting Paid,” Oregon Women Lawyers CLE, Portland, OR, 2013
“Montana Employment Law Update” CLE, Missoula, MT, 2011
“Montana Employment Law Update” CLE, Missoula, MT, 2010