James Q. McDermott


Jim McDermott serves as the chair for Ferguson Case Orr Paterson’s business litigation department and employment litigation and counseling practice department. With over 20 years of experience, Jim is comfortable aggressively litigating complex cases through trial. Jim believes that a thorough analysis of a case at the outset not only creates the best position in litigation, it also assists in developing creative business solutions.

Jim has extensive employment law experience and has provided advice on this subject continually throughout his career. Jim is a frequent speaker on employment law issues and he closely watches the increasingly restrictive laws and regulations emanating from Sacramento. Jim has drafted numerous executive severance agreements and enforced many in various forums throughout the state. Jim has also favorably litigated employment matters through jury verdict.

Jim has also litigated trade secret and general business matters. Most recently, in 2019, Jim obtained a $23,300,000 verdict in an agricultural business dispute case after a three week jury trial (https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sriracha-lawsuit-underwood-ranches-20190712-story.html). In 2017, after years of extremely contentious litigation, one month before trial Jim obtained a complete victory through summary judgement on a multi-party rent control and housing discrimination matter which he also successfully argued on appeal.

Jim is passionate about his clients’ needs and enjoys developing a detailed understanding of their business, whether it is growing crops, designing clothing, or the reinsurance industry.

When he is not working Jim enjoys spending time with his family, preferably surfing or spearfishing off the California coast.

Practice Groups

Bar and Professional

  • State Bar of California
  • AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating


  • J.D., University of Santa Clara School of Law, 1997
  • M.A., University of Dallas, Political Philosophy, 1994
  • Attended, Karl Marx University, Herder Institute (Leipzig, Germany)
  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley, Political Science, cum laude, 1991


  • Ventura County Taxpayers Association (Board Member)
  • Casa Pacifica HR Committee

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