Jim W. Vogele


Email Address: jimvogele@gmail.com

Jim W. Vogele has served as counsel representing employees in state and federal trials leading to the recovery of over $200 million in wages and other damages1.  Whether large or small, every employment case is important to Jim, just as it is important to you, and every case in which he is retained will receive his personal attention.  Jim has litigated many cases involving sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and frequently provides advice on employment contracts, including noncompetition, nonsolicitation and severance agreements.  He has represented plaintiff employees in two wage & hour class actions through trial to verdict and judgment.  He is active in the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (“OTLA”), having served as co-chair of the OTLA Employment Law Section (2014-2016) and currently as a member of the OTLA Publications Committee.

Since receiving his 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 topics2. He has lectured on a variety of subjects to attorneys, law students, and undergraduates3.  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 volunteered at the Family Law Clinic of the Montana Legal Services Association.

After growing up on an eastern Montana ranch, Jim put himself through college working 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 practice law with outstanding attorney mentors, associates, and friends in Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Missoula, MT.  He enjoys reading, writing, travel, and outdoor activities with his partner Kathy and with Layla, a Labradoodle.  He is also an enthusiastic fan of sports and music.

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).

2.  Publications

“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