James C. Pennington

Shareholder || Birmingham

James Pennington is a founding member of the Birmingham office of Ogletree Deakins. For more than three decades, he has represented employers in diverse labor and employment law matters, including administrative agency charges, federal and state court litigation, union campaigns and collective bargaining.

James strives to help employers achieve peaceful, productive workplaces. He helps employers avoid workplace disputes by providing management training and developing defensive documentation such as effective employee handbooks, dispute avoidance and resolution policies, and procedures to address and remedy harassment and discrimination. He is well known for helping employers navigate through the difficult intersections of disabilities and leave laws.

James’s litigation experience includes matters such as employment discrimination, disabilities, wage and hour disputes, FMLA, restrictive covenants and trade secrets, labor strikes, executive compensation, employee benefits, first amendment and due process and other constitutional issues. He has also arbitrated many discipline and labor contract arbitration matters before labor arbitrators.

A founder of the firm’s Higher Education Practice Group, James has extensive experience representing colleges and universities in matters related to labor, employment, academic policies and student discipline. He guides higher education institutions through the challenging process of investigating and adjudicating Title IX and other misconduct complaints. He defends institutions’ disciplinary decisions when disappointed parties ask courts to overturn “responsible” findings.

James focuses not only on results, but achieving premier client service, resulting in him being awarded the Lexology Client Choice Award, the BTI Client Service All Star-award, and the Acritas Star award. A client that nominated him for the Acritas award had the following comments about him:

“He puts the client first in terms of developing business relationships that transcend straight legal work and in terms of developing programs that have long-term benefits for the company. He thinks proactively instead of simply reactively to a new matter of litigation or a new problem.”

Learn more about James C. Pennington


Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Alabama State Bar (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys


Best Lawyers Award Badge

Lexology Client Choice 2021 Winner

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Ranked in Chambers USA

Lawyer of the Year James Pennington 2017

Best Lawyers Award Badge

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