James M Peterson

James M. Peterson

Mr. Peterson advises and litigates disputes for a number of business clients on various aspects of the employment relationship, including misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information, protection of customer lists and employees, discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, wage and hour laws, and wrongful termination.

Mr. Peterson is an expert on employment-related class action litigation and has represented several clients on dozens of wage and hour class actions and representative PAGA cases. As part of his employment law practice, he also counsels’ clients on hiring practices, wage and hour compliance, employment agreements, policy manuals, employee handbooks, termination decisions, lay-offs, and disability management.

He has represented large, medium, and small businesses in disputes relating to contracts, competitors, vendors, real estate, securities, protection of proprietary information, and unfair business practices. Additionally, he has represented registered representatives and broker dealers in FINRA arbitrations and pre-arbitration disputes and has represented numerous professionals in negligence and breach of fiduciary duty actions.

Mr. Peterson prides himself on the efficient and effective resolution of disputes with an impressive track record of successful motions for summary judgment and when necessary has extensive trial experience in both state and federal courts throughout California. His ability to identify the key issues and direct discovery to show the other parties’ weaknesses leads to prompt, efficient, and cost-effective resolution of disputes. He is also able to utilize his business education to see beyond the legal issues and suggest resolution options that focus on the bottom line.

In addition, Mr. Peterson is a frequent lecturer on employment-related matters and has presented programs to groups of all sizes in many different industries. He has also authored several employment-related articles that have been published in The San Diego Daily Transcript, the San Diego Business Journal, the L.A. Daily Journal, and other legal and business publications. He was recently named one of the top 75 Labor and Employment Attorneys in California by the LA Daily Journal and The Recorder. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the labor and employment defense category and has been  named a Top Labor and Employment Lawyer by the San Diego Daily Transcript and the San Diego Business Journal. In addition, he has been selected as a San Diego SuperLawyer® each year since 2014.

Mr. Peterson has been involved in many charitable and civic organizations in the San Diego community, most recently serving on the Board of Directors and Past Board Chair for Make A Wish San Diego where he continues to serve as a Board Alum and continues to be a significant contributor and fundraiser for the organization.

Awards & Honors

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© (2021-2024)
  • San Diego Super Lawyers® (2014-2023)
  • San Diego Magazine "Top Lawyers," recognized by Martindale-Hubbell® as an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated Lawyer (2020)
  • Top 75 Labor and Employment Attorneys in California, LA Daily Journal and The Recorder
  • Top Labor and Employment Lawyer, San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Business Journal
James M. Peterson
Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • State Bar of California (Litigation, Labor and Employment Law)
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Former Chair, Labor and Employment Law)
  • American Law Firm Association (Former Chair, Labor and Employment Law Practice Group)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Society for Human Resource Management (National and San Diego Chapters)
  • Make-A-Wish San Diego, Chairman of the Board
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