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James Urbanic

“I’m Jim Urbanic. I’m an attorney. I represent employees who have been harassed or wrongfully terminated.”

Background

I have tried, to verdict, over forty cases in Los Angeles County. I have tried cases in both state and federal court. Of those cases, over ten have resulted in FEHA-related verdicts in favor of my clients in excess of $1,000,000.

Education

  • J.D., Pepperdine School of Law, Los Angeles, California
  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California

Bar Admissions

Verdicts

I have also received several non-FEHA related employment verdicts in favor of my clients, including Incalza v. Fendi ($1,088,440 – implied contract) and Williams v. Ralphs ($804,001 — defamation).

History of James Urbanic

In the early summer of 1987, I was splitting my time between working for a congressman in Washington D.C and Meet the Press, a Sunday news program. At the time academic elites were focused on the backroom international diplomacy being revealed in the Iran Contra hearings. Everyone else’s attention, however, was on two people: the dashing, young Colonel Oliver North and the beautiful former beauty queen Donna Rice. Both were embroiled in controversy but it didn’t diminish their celebrity status. North may have suffered from misguided patriotism, and Rice may have been embroiled in an alleged affair with a married Presidential hopeful (Gary Hart). Nonetheless, the Country, it seemed, was enthralled despite their apparent flaws because, well, they were young and attractive.

I’m Jim Urbanic. I’m an attorney. I represent employees who have been harassed or wrongfully terminated. I’ve had a lot of clients. Over my career I’ve learned that people are often very forgiving toward people they like, while others are held to far more rigid standards. In the workplace, this comes across as simple favoritism, but it can hide a bigger problem. Once a double standard becomes acceptable in the workplace, supervisors begin applying it get rid of employees they don’t like. Sometimes this means people of a certain race, gender, or age. Other times it means people who need time of for medical reasons or who complained about improper conduct in the workplace.

My clients often have a difficult time explaining how they are being discriminated against, but they know favoritism when they see it. So I’ve learned that sometimes it is best to avoid words like “discrimination,” harassment,” and “retaliation.” Instead, I try to find out how they were treated less favorably than their coworkers. I almost always find that their problems didn’t begin with their final warning; instead, it began months earlier, when they realized they weren’t being invited to lunch with the rest of their group. I find that getting to know my clients – really spending time talking about their work – sheds a lot of light on what happened to them, and this helps us both put the events leading up to their termination into perspective. This takes time, but I’m happy to do it.

I received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988, with Departmental Honors. I was awarded a Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine School of Law in 1992. I was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1992. I am admitted to practice in the Federal Ninth Circuit Central and Eastern districts. I serve as a Special Master for the State Bar of California, and under California Penal Code §1524 I oversee the execution of search warrants conducted by variety of local, state, and federal agencies, including the Los Angeles District Attorneys’ Office, the State Bar of California, the California Department of Insurance, the Secret Service, and other various joint task forces.

My dad was forced out of a career in his 50s in a brutal way. His employer forced him to quit during his last year

I practice employment law, representing individuals who have been subject to workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Prior to my current practice I was employed at a large Los Angeles law firm; the majority of my work consisted of handling and/or overseeing cases against an international religious organization, throughout the western United States. I belong to several bar associations, including the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Consumer Attorneys of California, and the California Employment Lawyers Association. I have been a guest speaker at continuing education events sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and the Consumer Attorneys of California. I have testified as an expert on an attorneys’ standard of care regarding trial preparation and conduct.

I have tried, to verdict, over forty cases in Los Angeles County. I have tried cases both state and federal court. Of those cases, over ten have resulted in FEHA-related verdicts in favor of my clients in excess of $1,000,000, including Lozano v. Alcoa Global Fasteners ($9,065,000), Palma v. Rite Aid ($3,522,070), Behar v. Union Bank ($3,200,000), Tovar v. Bank of America ($1,600,000), Martinez vs. Rite Aid ($8,200,000), Cochran v. CBS ($8,546,384), Duffy v. City of Los Angeles ($3,255,000), Nickel vs. Staples ($26,107,328), Liggins v. Archdiocese ($3,662,806), Simers v. Los Angeles Times ($7,137,391), and others. I have also received several non-FEHA related employment verdicts in favor of my clients, including Incalza v. Fendi ($1,088,440 – implied contract) and Williams v. Ralphs ($804,001 — defamation).

I have been fortunate enough to receive recognition from my peers for my accomplishments, including the Award of Meritorious Service from the Consumer Attorneys of California, placement on the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and recognition as a 2012 EBoss Watch Top Employment Lawyer.

Discrimination is real to me. My dad was forced out of a career in his 50s in a brutal way. His employer forced him to quit during his last year on the job by piling on work, taking away resources, and repeatedly minimizing his performance. When took time off to deal with the stress it caused, his employer had to hire three people to do his job. As with many cases of discrimination, my dad’s employer immediately hired a replacement who was far younger, far cheaper — and far less qualified. My dad never had an attorney in his corner.

When I see discrimination it motivates me. Every case is an opportunity to put injustice in front of a jury. That’s why my firm chose as its motto, “Fight Back,” and that’s why, if you’re my client, you might hear from me at night or on the weekends, as I work on your case.

If you’re reading this you’re probably looking for an attorney. Give me a call. I’m happy to talk.

Articles

FEHA’s “Ghost Employee” Loophole How Companies Secretly Allow Discrimination in the Workplace Chances are you say “hello” to the security guard standing at the entrance of your office building.  Positioned at a desk in the lobby, he does more than secure the building; he is the face of your… Read more
New Laws for Moms in the Workplace Effective January, 2020, mothers in California will enjoy greater protection under the law with respect to infant care. Senate Bill 142 (amending Labor Code Sections 1030, 1031, and 1033, and adding Labor Code Section 1034) provides that employees desiring to express… Read more
Business to Business or Employer/Employee As California’s gig economy grows and more and more workers try their hand at freelancing, relationships between businesses face new challenges to avoid running afoul of employment laws. Of particular concern are those relationships that involve single-person… Read more

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From our offices based in Los Angeles, Urbanic & Associates provides superior representation to clients throughout Los Angeles County and southern California.