James Hardin

Top rated Employment Litigation attorney in Newport Beach, California

Hardin Law Group, APC
James Hardin
Hardin Law Group, APC

Practice Areas: Employment Litigation, Employment & Labor, Business Litigation; view more

Licensed in California since: 1999

Education: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2023 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2004 - 2008, 2011
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Hardin Law Group, APC

23 Corporate Plaza Drive
Suite 150
Newport Beach, CA 92660 Visit website

Details

Employment law attorney James Hardin is the founder of Hardin Law Group, which has offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, California. He represents employees throughout California. His practice area includes the following:

  • Wage and hour law
  • Wrongful termination
  • Workplace discrimination
  • Employer retaliation
  • Class actions
  • Trade secrets

Obtaining his undergraduate degree in political science and government from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Mr. Hardin earned his law degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law in 1999. The same year, he gained admission to practice law in California and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California.

An active member of the legal community, Mr. Hardin belongs to several prominent associations including The State Bar of California, the Orange County Bar Association, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has authored a book called the California Trade Secret Litigation and written various other publications on employment law-related matters. 

Rated 10 out of 10 on Avvo, with positive client reviews and peer endorsements, Mr. Hardin has earned many honors from the legal community, including being named a Superlawyer (2023-2024) Best Law Firm and Best Lawyer (2018-2024), an America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigator (2017-2022), an Elite Lawyer (2023), a 10 Best Labor and Employment Attorney by the American Institute of Legal Counsel (2022), a Top 100 Employment Attorneys in California by The National Advocates, and a Top 100 Labor and Employment Lawyer by the American Society of Legal Advocates, among others.

Having dedicated his legal career to fighting for the rights of employees, Mr. Hardin has a successful track record of recovering more than $110 million dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients. Recognized for his commitment and zealous representation, he has been made a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious group of trial lawyers in the U.S.

Practice areas

Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Employment & Labor: Employee, Business Litigation

Focus areas

Employment Discrimination, Employment Law - Employee, Non-Compete Agreements, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment, Trade Secret, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

  • 60% Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 30% Employment & Labor: Employee
  • 10% Business Litigation

First Admitted: 1999, California

Professional Webpage: https://hardinemploymentlaw.com/about-hardin/

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • "California Trade Secret Litigation" (2015) is a legal practice guide for attorneys involved in trade secret litigation in California.  In this practice guide, James Hardin provides an in-depth analysis of trade secret law in California, a state on the cutting-edge of trade secret jurisprudence.  The book dissects and organizes all of the key issues, cases, and statutes relevant to trade secret litigation into an accessible outline format that provides legal professionals with up-to-date details on all aspects of the trade secret litigation process., Author, California Trade Secret Litigation Practice Guide, Word Association Publishers, 2015
  • The black letter law that indefinite promises are unenforceable has been a valuable tool for defendants in litigation, particularly employers defending against employee claims of vague or aspirational statements allegedly made in the workplace (e.g., “if you keep up the good work, there will always be a place for you at the company”). But a recent opinion from the state Court of Appeal, Moncada v. West Coast Quartz Corp., may have moved the dividing line between fatally indefinite statements and enforceable promises in favor of employees."        , Author, Some Promises Are Enforceable, It Seems, Daily Journal, 2013
  • For the last 20 years or so, the general consensus (including within the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) has been to adhere to an “exceedingly strict” rule on tacking...  , Author, Trademark Tacking Surprise, Daily Journal, 2013
  • What happens when a party seeks a preliminary injunction for misappropriation of a “customer list”? Most often, the main fight is over whether an injunction should issue, but an equally important fight is over the proper scope of an injunction.  , Author, Trade Secrets are Key in Customer Service Cases, Daily Journal, 2013
  • The initial stage of a trade secrets case is critical. The complaint not only gives the defendant initial notice of “facts” regarding the alleged trade secrets and how they were supposedly misappropriated, but it also often serves as the launching point for an early motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.  , Author, Pleading & Identifying Trade Secrets in California, Law360, 2013
  • A ”key issue in most trademark cases is whether a trade name or trade dress is confusingly similar to another. To prove “confusion,” litigants generally present two types of evidence: (1) one or more consumer surveys; and (2) direct evidence of actual consumer confusion. Although survey evidence can be powerful, it has many drawbacks including being expensive, easily manipulable (and therefore at- tackable on cross-examination), complex (and therefore often not jury-friendly), and unpredictable (i.e., the outcome of a validly designed survey is inherently uncertain)…”less , Author, Unravel the Confusion Over Hearsay in Trademark Litigation, Daily journal, 2013
  • “Companies operating in California are often incorporated out of state. If a foreign company or its directors or officers are sued in California, a threshold question is often which state’s laws apply to the specific claims asserted. The “internal affairs doctrine” is a conflict of laws principle holding that only the state of incorporation should regulate a corporation’s internal affairs. And if — pursuant to the internal affairs doctrine — the incorporating state’s laws apply (e.g., Delaware law), the result may be very different than what one might expect under California law.”, Author, Internal Affairs: An Elusive Doctrine, Daily Journal, 2013
  • A discussion of the business judgment rule as it applies to corporate officers.    , Author, CA's Business Judgment Rule is Not a Defense for Corporate Officers, California Lawyer, 2013
  • An interview with attorney James Hardin on issues that startups and entreprenuers should consider., Author, Legal Troubleshooting for Startups and Entrepreneurs , Legalocity Radio, 2013
  • Although trade secrets can come in many different forms – such as a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process – one form that is frequently litigated is a customer list. Customer lists may be protectable as trade secrets under certain circumstances, but the case results are often fact-driven and hard to reconcile with each other. However, a close reading of the leading California cases reveals several key or decisive factors that lead to customer lists being deemed as protectable trade secrets.  , Author, Customer Lists -- When They Become Trade Secrets, Corporate Disputes Magazine, 2014
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • James helped obtain a settlement of $2.5 million for employee in wrongful termination case., 2023
  • James helped obtain a class action settlement of over $11 million dollars against a college for alleged negligent misrepresentations made to students, 2015
  • James helped obtain a class action settlement of over $10 million dollars against a nutritional supplement company for false advertising
  • James helped obtain a $6.8 million judgment in an unfair competition case involving claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, conspiracy, and intentional interference with prospective advantage.
  • James helped obtain a judgment at trial in excess of $7.5 million on a cross-complaint for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty and a judgment of no liability on the complaint.
  • James helped obtain a $51 million cash settlement for a technology company against its supplier in a case involving claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and fraud.
Honors/Awards:
  • Awarded, California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers, 2023
  • Awarded, Best Lawyer and Best Law Firm, Best Lawyers, 2023
  • Awarded, Elite Lawyer, Elite Lawyer, 2023
  • Awarded, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, America's Top 100, 2022
  • Awarded, Best Lawyer and Best Law Firm, Best Lawyers, 2022
  • Awarded, 10 Best Labor and Employment Attorneys, American Institute of Legal Counsel, 2022
  • Awarded, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, America's Top 100, 2021
  • Awarded, Best Lawyer and Best Law Firm, Best Lawyers, 2021
  • Awarded, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, America's Top 100, 2020
  • Awarded, Best Lawyer and Best Law Firm, Best Lawyers, 2020
  • Awarded, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, America's Top 100, 2019
  • Awarded, Best Lawyer and Best Law Firm, Best Lawyers, 2019
  • Awarded, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, America's Top 100, 2018
  • Awarded, Best Lawyer and Best Law Firm, Best Lawyers, 2018
  • Awarded, Top 100 Labor and Employment Lawyer, American Society of Legal Advocates
  • Awarded, Top 100 Lawyer, Distinguished Attorney Magazine
  • Awarded, Top 100 Employment Attorney in California, National Advocates
  • Awarded, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, America's Top 100, 2017
  • Awarded, Top Attorneys, OC Metro Magazine, 2014
  • Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.    , Million Dollar Advocate, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2013
  • Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.  , MultiMillion Dollar Advocate, MultiMillion Dollar Advocate Forum, 2013
Industry Groups:
  • Million Dollar Advocate
  • MultiMillion Dollar Advocate
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association

Office location for James Hardin

23 Corporate Plaza Drive
Suite 150
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 888-710-3548

Selections

2 Years Super Lawyers
6 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2023 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2004 - 2008, 2011

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