V. James (“Jim”) DeSimone
V. James DeSimone (“Jim”) graduated from Johns Hopkins University
in 1981 and earned his law degree from UCLA in 1985 He was admitted to
practice law in California in 1985 and has dedicated his law career to
providing vigorous and ethical representation to achieve justice and make
a difference for those whose civil and constitutional rights are violated
by corporations or government entities.
Overview of Experience
From 1987 to 1990, he was a staff attorney at Westside Legal Services,
in Santa Monica, California where he was the lead trial lawyer representing
lower income families and individuals who could not afford a lawyer. In
1990, DeSimone founded the cutting edge civil rights law firm Schonbrun
& DeSimone. Later known as Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris &
Hoffman, the firm established a reputation as one of the most prestigious
civil and employment rights law firms in the State of California and in
the entire country.
After twenty-five years as a partner, Jim decided to carve out his own
path by establishing V. James DeSimone Law, a California law firm dedicated
to representing individuals in civil rights cases, with an emphasis on
employment discrimination and harassment, employment wage and hour class
action cases, police misconduct and brutality cases, including wrongful
death, excessive force, and false arrest cases, and personal injury cases.
DeSimone also accepted an Of Counsel position with the Bohm Law Group,
partnering with Lawrance Bohm to establish a team of lawyers dedicated
to achieving justice for persons who are harmed by discrimination, harassment,
excessive force or other damaging conduct. Bohm Law Group is renowned
for bringing advanced technology into the court room to achieve justice.
Coupled with DeSimone’s thirty year experience as a civil rights
trial lawyer, the team of DeSimone Bohm vigorously advocate for the rights
of their clients in and out of the court room.
Experienced Class Action Counsel
DeSimone represents employees in class action cases involving labor code
wage and hour violations having achieved $17 million, $16 million, $12.5
million, $10.5 million and $5 million class-action settlements for unlawful
wage-and-hour practices on behalf of computer technicians, pharmacists,
employees in the entertainment injury and other occupations.
In the disability rights case of
Charlebois v. Angels Baseball on behalf of wheelchair users who attend baseball games at Angels Stadium,
DeSimone prevailed on a contested motion for class certification and achieved
beneficial injunctive relief so wheelchair users could enjoy equal amenities
at Angels’ baseball games. United States District Court Judge David
Carter awarded DeSimone the full amount of attorneys requested by, stating:
“Moreover, Class Counsel's firm reputation is prestigious and
thus on par with its comparator firms. …. One of the members of
Class Counsel, DeSimone, has been named by the Daily Journal among the
Top 50 Employment Lawyers in the State of California, inclusive of lawyers
from top international law firms, for three years in a row.''
Achieving Justice in the Courts of Appeal
DeSimone was lead appellate attorney and obtained a 9th Circuit published
opinion in the case of
Xue Lu et al. v. United States of America, 621 F.3d 944 (9th Cir. 2010) reversing dismissal of the case against
the United States of America while holding an asylum officer was acting
in the course and scope of employment when he demanded sexual favors and
money in return for approving asylum applications.
DeSimone was lead appellate counsel in the case of
Johnson v. United Cerebral Palsey et al. 173 CA4th 740 (2009), a precedent setting case in which the Court of Appeal
reversed a summary judgment and directed the trial court to admit evidence
of other employees who contended they were subjected to discriminatory
conduct similar to that alleged by the Plaintiff.
DeSimone was lead counsel for the plaintiff in the precedent setting case of
Mogilefsky v. Silver Pictures, 20 Cal App. 4th 409 (1993) which was the first published California decision to recognize
that same sex harassment violated the California Fair Employment &
Griffith v. Davis, 161 F.R.D. 687 (1995), DeSimone compelled the United States of America
to produce documents which pertained to the IRS investigation of the shooting
death of a young man killed by an IRS special agent, which included the
recorded statement of the IRS special agent.
Representative Speaking Engagements
DeSimone is a regular guest on Bob McCormick’s Money 101 Radio Show
on KFWB, speaking on the topic of employment law, is a guest contributor
to KNX News and recently appeared on KABC’s Gurvey Law.
Jim has conducted legal seminars on Trial Tactics & Techniques, Discovery
in Police Misconduct Cases, Nuts and Bolts of Settlement Agreements in
Employment Law Cases, and Current Trends in California Employment Litigation.
- In 2003, Jim was the Keynote Speaker at Southwestern University School
of Law's Public Interest Week.
- In 2007, Jim was one of the featured speakers at the Los Angeles County
Bar's Seminar on Successful Trial Techniques in Employment Law Litigation.
- In 2007, Jim spoke at the California Employment Lawyers Association Annual
Employment Law Conference on the topic of Winning Don't Come Easy,
Tales from Trial Lawyers in the Trenches.
- In January of 2010, Jim spoke on a panel hosted by the Los Angeles County
Bar Association on the topic of Mastering the Mediation Process, Strategies
and Secrets to Maximize Results.
- In September of 2010, he spoke at a meeting of the Orange County Employment
Lawyers Association on the topic of Maximizing Emotional Distress Damages
in Mediation and Arbitration.
- In March of 2011, Jim was a panelist for the National Employment Lawyer's
Association's Seminar on Trial Advocacy for the Plaintiff's Employment
Lawyer on the topic of Direct Examination.
- In September of 2011, Jim was a featured speaker at the Consumer Attorney
Association of Los Angeles Annual Conference on Hot Topics in Employment Law.
- In October of 2011, Jim spoke at the California Employment Lawyer's
Association's Annual Conference on the topic of Social Media for Employment Law Firms
- In July of 2012, he spoke at California Employment Lawyer’s Association
Employment Law Overview for employment law summer clerks.
- In February of 2013, DeSimone spoke at the Los Angeles County Bar’s
seminar on the topic of employment law torts and contract causes of action.
- In May of 2013, DeSimone was a panelist at an event hosted by the Santa
Monica Bar Association on the Secrets to Success at Trial.
- In February 2014, he was on a panel sponsored by the National Employment
Lawyers Association Los Angeles Chapter speaking on trial tactics.
- In January of 2015, DeSimone was a panelist on the topic of civil rights
trials in State and Federal Court hosted by the Mexican American Bar Association.
- DeSimone was a Speaker and Instructor California Employment Lawyers Association’s
Trial Lawyer College held June 4-6, 2015 and also instructed at CELA’s
2014 Trial Lawyer College.
Awards and Recognition
- In 2017, DeSimone was named to the list of Best Lawyers®
- In 2014, DeSimone received the prestigious CLAY Civil Rights Lawyer of
the Year Award
- In 2008, Jim was nominated for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer
Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.
In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, he was honored with inclusion
in the list of
California Super Lawyers®.
In 2013, DeSimone was honored as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Southern
- In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014, DeSimone was honored by the Daily
Journal as one of the Top Ten and Top Twenty Plaintiff Employment Lawyers
in the State of California and one of the Top Fifty or Seventy Five Labor
and Employment Lawyer in the State of California .
- In April of 2006, Jim authored an article in the Journal of Consumer Attorneys
Associations of Los Angeles entitled "Discovery in Employment Civil
Rights Cases: Finding Where the Bodies are Buried"
- DeSimone authored an article for the ABA Small Practice and Solo Practitioner
Journal entitled "Employment Policies and Workplace Responsibility."
- He co-authored an article for the California Employment Lawyer's Association
September 2009 Bulletin entitled, "CONTEXT MATTERS: EXAMINING THE
ADMISSIBILITY OF 'OTHER EMPLOYEE/SUPERVISOR' EVIDENCE IN FEHA
- In May of 2013, DeSimone authored an op ed piece for the Daily Journal
entitled “Sexual Harassment Bill is Necessary to Fix the Law”
The article was used to persuade the California legislature and Governor
to pass a law establishing that sex harassment could be hostile and need
not be based on sexual attraction to the victim
- In November of 2014, DeSimone’s article, “We need Peace Officers,
its Time for Crisis Intervention Training was published in Truthout and
- In January of 2015, DeSimone’s article, “Non-Economic Damages:
Destination to a Fair Outcome” was published in Consumer Attorney’s
Association of Los Angeles’ Advocate Magazine
- DeSimone authored an article published on the AVVO web-site entitled “What
is Sexual Harassment.”
Other Attorney Bar Admissions
- Supreme Court of the State of California
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- California, 1985
- U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1986
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, California - 1985
- Johns Hopkins University - 1981
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Member
- California Employment Lawyers Association, Member
- National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
- Santa Monica Bar Association, Member
- Trial Lawyers Charities, Honorary Board Member
- Venice Community Housing Corporation, Sponsor
Past Employment Positions
- Westside Legal Services, Staff Attorney, 1987 – 1990
- Schonbrun & DeSimone 1990-1999
- Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman, 1999-2015