Thomas M. McInerney

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Thomas (Tom) McInerney has extensive employment litigation experience in complex litigation matters, with an emphasis on class actions, multi-plaintiff cases, and trade secret and other complex business disputes. He has tried to verdict several cases in both state and federal courts, and represents clients in a wide-range of fields, including technology, financial services, insurance, construction, energy/utility, healthcare, transportation and logistics, and personal services.

Tom brings a practical, problem-solving business perspective to his practice, formed in part by his experience working with large, medium-size, and small business clients throughout California and elsewhere.  Tom’s expertise is in helping clients navigate complex or novel issues, including claims asserting wage and hour class, collective, and representative (PAGA) actions, sex and race discrimination and harassment, alleged theft of trade secrets, and breach of contract.  Tom’s legal expertise has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Labor and Employment Litigation and as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment.  Tom also has significant experience in appellate matters, including litigating cases in the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Arbitrations and mediations are also a large part of Tom’s practice.

Tom managed Ogletree Deakins’ San Francisco office for several years through 2020, and currently serves on the firm’s Pricing Committee.  Tom has a deep commitment to providing legal services to those in need, and serves as a board member of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice & Diversity Center, which advances fairness and equality by providing pro bono legal services to low-income people and educational programs that foster diversity in the legal profession.  In 2014 Tom was awarded JDC’s “2014 Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Award.”  Tom is also a board member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the oldest civil rights organizations on the West Coast. Tom is also very active in the local San Francisco Bay Area community, having served in various roles with the Bar Association of San Francisco, including as chair of its Judiciary Committee for two years, and as a board member of the Marin County Bar Association. For eight years Tom also served as an elected official in Marin County, including two terms as Mayor of the Town of San Anselmo, as a board member of the Transportation Authority of Marin, and as chair of both the Central Marin Police Authority Council and the Ross Valley Fire Board.

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Tom has experience in jury and bench trial on behalf of employers in sex harassment, age discrimination, and complex contract dispute cases. He also has directed all aspects of litigation, including pre-trial discovery and law and motion practice, involving claims of discrimination (sex, race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and others), tort (defamation, assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and others), and breach of contract.

Tom has also developed an expertise in wage and hour defense, including in class actions asserting failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal breaks, and other alleged violations of California and federal law.

Tom has led the defense in arbitrations involving a wide range of claims, including for breach of contract, discrimination, and violations of the California Labor Code.

Tom has also argued a large number of appellate matters, including briefing and arguing cases before the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, and other state and federal courts in California and elsewhere. Examples of Tom’s published cases include:


Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • Chair, Judiciary Committee, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Board Member, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Member of the Town Council of the Town of San Anselmo, California (2009-2017, Mayor in 2012 and 2014)
  • Chair, Central Marin Police Council (2011-2017)
  • Chair, Marin County Flood Control District 9 Advisory Board (2009-2017)
  • Ross Valley Fire District Board Member (2012-2017)
  • State Bar of California (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Barack Obama Delegate, 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO
  • John Kerry Delegate to the Rules Committee, 2004 Democratic Convention, Boston, MA
  • Campaign Field Director – Dukakis for President Campaign (1987-1988)
  • Campaign Organizer – Clinton/Gore Campaign, Los Angeles, CA (1992)


Insights by Thomas M. McInerney