James M. Barrett

Shareholder Portland

James Barrett represents private and public employers in all aspects of employment-related disputes.  He has defended clients against single plaintiff and class action lawsuits involving claims relating to wage and hour disputes, drug testing, whistleblowing, discrimination, and retaliation.   He has also successfully obtained injunctive relief to enforce non-competition agreements against a client’s former employees.

Prior to joining Ogletree, James was a partner at Ater Wynne LLP in Portland, Oregon, where he represented private and public businesses on a broad range of issues, including matters of corporate governance and the defense of shareholder claims.  He also represented the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in an investigation of potential claims against directors and officers of a failed bank in Southern California.


Experience

Mr. Barrett has represented clients in litigating employment disputes in Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Idaho.  Representative matters include:

  • Lead attorney in representing a national manufacturer with a facility in Utah against one of the largest class action lawsuits ever brought in that state. Obtained denial of class certification at the trial court level and successfully argued to uphold the denial before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defended large Oregon technology manufacturer against former employee’s claims of age, gender, and disability discrimination.  Obtained favorable settlement after taking plaintiff’s deposition and moving for summary judgment.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of an Idaho utility cooperative against a former Safety Director’s claims of whistleblower retaliation and breach of contract.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of national car rental company against breach of contract and wage claims by a former rental agent.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a Utah retailer against claims of wrongful discharge based on an alleged false positive drug test.
  • Successfully enforced non-competition agreement against former vice president of a Utah staffing company and obtained injunctive relief and sanctions, including criminal sanctions for contempt of court.
  • Defended national phone directory company against discrimination and worker misclassification claims asserted by two former Washington salespersons.  Obtained favorable settlement after successfully forcing a transfer of the cases to Utah over plaintiffs’ objections.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association
  • Multnomah Bar Association
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC)

Speeches:

  • Oregon Association of Corporate Counsel - ''In-House Roadmap for Managing Ethical Obligations and Dilemmas'' - Portland - September 26, 2013

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