Payne & Fears LLP offers a full range of business and litigation services to its clients in four primary practice groups: Business Litigation, Business Transactions, Insurance Coverage and Labor and Employment. Across these practice areas, we represent all types of clients, from multi-national corporations to emerging tech startups to individual insurance policyholders.

Practice Departments


Insurance Coverage


  • Your support at Payne and Fears is top rate and it is such a pleasure to work with someone who understands business and offers a conservative, yet aggressive approach – not very easy but something that you seem to demonstrate well!  You are always my first choice of outside counsel.

    - Senior Vice President, Human Resources, International Consumer Goods Company
  • Payne & Fears LLP has represented me and my company for many years. It is an excellent law firm with the highest standards. I have worked with hundreds of attorneys in my career. I get results with Payne & Fears LLP.

    - Small Business Owner
  • I hire Payne & Fears LLP because of certainty--certainty in my receipt of value, in its strategic approach to problem solving, in its integrity of billing, in its candor when evaluating my cases, in its creativity while searching for an economical and fair resolution and in its attorneys’ tenacity throughout the ensuing battle. In a world of unknowns, I value constancy in characteristics that matter most. Payne & Fears LLP delivers that constancy.

    - Chief Litigation Officer, Fortune 500 Company
  • The attorneys at Payne & Fears have the unique ability to size up complex matters and provide well-reasoned solutions. Their knowledge of the law and depth of experience, coupled with the responsive and personal service they provide, all contribute to a strong and valued relationship with our organization.

    - Vice-President of Labor, Publically Traded Silicon Valley Technology Company



Jury Verdict in Significant Sex Discrimination Case

Following an eight-week jury trial of a high-stakes glass ceiling sex discrimination case, the jury returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Payne & Fears LLP’s client, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. ("TAIS").  The plaintiff, a former national sales vice president, alleged that TAIS, a maker of sophisticated laptop computers, failed to promote her to the highest executive levels of the company due to her sex. In addition, the plaintiff pointed to an alleged under-representation of women at the top executive level as evidence of a general atmosphere of discrimination. At trial, Payne & Fears LLP litigators demonstrated that various promotional decisions and reorganizations surrounding the plaintiff were necessary adaptations to a volatile technology industry. Payne & Fears LLP also established that TAIS, in the face of a declining workforce, had made good faith efforts to increase representation of women in upper management.  James L. Payne and Laura Fleming handled the jury trial.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation

Attorneys: James L. Payne


Victory in Wage & Hour Class Action

Payne & Fears LLP obtained summary judgment on behalf of its client, a major national manufacturer, in a wage-and-hour class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had failed to provide its union-represented employees with meal periods required under state law.  Payne & Fears LLP removed the action (which had been filed in California Superior Court) to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California based on the argument that plaintiffs' claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act.  Payne & Fears LLP then successfully resisted the plaintiffs' motion to remand by demonstrating that the putative class members had agreed, through the applicable collective bargaining agreement, to take "on-duty" meal periods, and that the relevant contract terms required interpretation that could only be performed under the Labor Management Relations Act.  The court then granted Payne & Fears' motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case.  James L. Payne, Jeffrey K. Brown and James R. Moss handled the defense of the case.

Practice areas: Class Action Defense, Wage and Hour Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation

Attorneys: James L. Payne, James R. Moss, Jr., Jeffrey K. Brown