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James C. Fessenden

Partner, San Diego
San Diego
t: 858.597.9600
f: 858.597.9601


Jim Fessenden is a partner in the firm's San Diego office. He represents public and private employers in all aspects of employment law in both state and federal courts, and before administrative and governmental agencies.

Jim has argued before the California Court of Appeal and numerous trial courts and administrative agencies. He has been a part of several arbitration and trial teams and recently he served as second chair in a jury trial resulting in a complete defense verdict.

Jim also regularly defends clients in investigations by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), the Employment Development Department (EDD), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other state and local agencies.

Jim also devotes a significant portion of his practice to counseling clients and developing measures to prevent litigation and governmental investigations.

Prior to joining the firm, Jim practiced employment and entertainment litigation in the San Diego office of a national firm.

While in law school, Jim served as the Managing Editor of the San Diego International Law Journal.

Jim was included in San Diego Super Lawyers - Rising Stars in 2015 and 2016.



  • Represented a dealership group in arbitration on a breach of contract claim, resulting in a complete defense award.
  • Represented an international restaurant chain in an exemption case, in which the arbitrator ruled that the employee was properly classified as an exempt employee.
  • Persuaded trial court to dismiss plaintiff's entire case on procedural grounds, then argued appeal before the California Court of Appeal, which affirmed in full the trial court's judgment.
  • Secured complete walk-away for a large transportation client on class action allegations following filing of demurrer.  The motion argued that complex interactions of state and federal laws rendered the putative class of bus drivers exempt from overtime pay.
  • Represented technology company in pregnancy discrimination trial resulting in complete defense verdict.

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • Nominated for Best Young Attorney in San Diego, 2011

Professional Activities

  • Member, San Diego Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Member, North County Chamber of Commerce
  • Biocom
  • Member, San Diego Hotel & Motel Association



Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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