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James D. Miller

Office Managing Shareholder   |   Fresno

James Miller is the managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakin’s Fresno office. He represents businesses and employers in business and labor relations and employment law, including contract, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, labor relations, and wage and hour matters. James has litigation experience in the agricultural and dairy industry, including both the grower/farmer sides and in farm labor contracting defense. He regularly advises and counsels employers regarding human resources policy matters and employee relations issues.

James has extensive experience with class action and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative lawsuits, particularly those involving claims of unpaid overtime, off-the-clock work, record-keeping violations, worker misclassification, meal and rest period violations, inaccurate wage statements, and unreimbursed expenses. James has defended companies in class action, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and/or PAGA representative lawsuits in various industries, including agriculture, growers, packing houses, farm labor contractors, trucking/transportation, manufacturing, food processing, healthcare, restaurant, retail, storage services, sales, property management, and temporary staffing. James has defeated numerous attempts to bring class action and PAGA lawsuits against his clients and has advised clients on the implementation of practices to prevent or minimize the likelihood of future class and PAGA lawsuits.

James’ practice includes aggressively litigating complex employment cases in both federal and state courts, private arbitrations, and mediations, and he has represented clients before numerous state and federal administrative agencies, such as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA). James has additionally defended dozens of employers before the California Labor Commissioner and the Department of Labor regarding wage audits, wage citation appeals, and hearings.

James was the managing shareholder of a small firm that specialized in the defense of agricultural businesses such as growers, packers, dairy farmers, and farm labor contractors throughout California. James also has extensive litigation and jury trial experience as a criminal prosecutor, including working as the Fresno Police Department’s Police Legal Advisor with a cross-designation with the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office and as a Financial Crimes Prosecutor with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office. James has also extensive litigation experience in the United States Bankruptcy Courts.

James grew up in the Central Valley of Fresno and Madera Counties. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego, and then from the University of San Diego School of Law where he was a member of the San Diego Law Review (top 2% of his class). After graduation, he worked in a large national law firm practicing business employment defense and securities law.

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