V James DeSimone
From 1987 to 1990, V. James DeSimone 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 Lawrence 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.
In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 he was named as one of California’s Top 10, 20, or 25 Plaintiff Employment Lawyers by the Daily Journal. In 2008, DeSimone was a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. In 2013, he was honored as a Top 100 SuperLawyer in Southern California. In 2014, DeSimone was named Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine
In 2014, he achieved a $1.5 million verdict plus a punitive damage finding in a defamation action on behalf of a transplant surgeon in Roozrokh v. Loma Linda University Medical Center.
In 2013, DeSimone achieved a $1,200,000.00 Federal Tort Claim Act verdict based on California civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the case of Xue Lu and Jie Hao v. Unites States America. The USA was found liable for its asylum officer’s demand for sex or money in return for approving the asylum applications of the Plaintiffs.
In a recent case involving police misconduct, DeSimone was lead counsel in Harris v. City of Los Angeles, where a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded his client $1,686,000 in compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of a disabled man who was subjected to excessive force by the LAPD.
In 2007, he obtained a $2,100,000 verdict on behalf of a woman who was falsely arrested and whose civil rights were violated in the case of Benham v. Walgreens et al.
He was the lead appellate lawyer in the case of Johnson v. United Cerebral Palsy et al. 173 CA4th 740 (2009) a precedent setting case involving the admissibility of evidence of discriminatory acts against other employees. The Johnson case significantly advanced employment protections to California employees.
He was lead appellate counsel 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.
He represents employees in class action cases involving labor code wage and hour violations having achieved $17 million, $16 million, $10.5 million and $5 million class-action settlements for unpaid wages and other unlawful wage-and-hour practices.
In the disability rights case of Charlebois v. Angels Baseball on behalf of wheelchair users who attend baseball games at Angels Stadium, DeSimone achieved beneficial injunctive relief. The law firm was awarded the full amount of attorneys sought by United States District Court Judge David Carter, who stated: “Moreover, Class Counsel’s firm reputation is prestigious and thus on par with its comparator firms. Class Counsel’s firm is a major player in litigating cutting edge international human rights cases, as exemplified by law partner Paul Hoffman’s February 2012 argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, Case No.1 0-1491. 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.“
Another case in which Jim and his partners made a difference, was Fontana v. St. Joseph Hospital of Orange, where, in 2006, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s denial of class certification in a case involving violation of FEHA’s prohibition on asking intrusive question regarding employees’ prior medical and psychological care.
DeSimone was lead counsel for the plaintiff in the precedent setting case of Mogilefsky v. Silver Pictures(1993) 20 Cal App. 4th 409 which was the first published California decision to recognize that same sex harassment violated the California Fair Employment & Housing Act. He was also counsel for the plaintiff in Griffith v. Davis (1995) 161 F.R.D. 687 which held that an internal statement by a law enforcement officer who killed a civilian was discoverable in a civil rights action, despite the assertion of attorney-client and other privileges.
DeSimone is a regular guest on Bob McCormick’s Money 101 Radio Show on KFWB, speaking on the topic of employment law.
He speaks often in continuing education seminars for lawyers conducted by the Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Association, National Employment Lawyers Association and the Los Angeles County Bar.