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Jason E. Murtagh

Jason E. Murtagh


Chair of California Employment Law

Head of the San Diego Office

San Diego, CA
Philadelphia, PA

How Jason Helps Clients

Jason understands how the practice of law can serve as an effective tool to advance business objectives. With clients in a variety of fields, including financial services, pharmaceuticals and life sciences and other service industries, his expertise includes commercial litigation and products liability, employment litigation, risk management and protection of trade secrets. He has represented clients in matters involving such issues as employee raiding and recruitment, privacy and theft of trade secrets, wrongful termination, constructive discharge, defamation, fraud, consumer protection and breach of contract, and has conducted numerous internal employment investigations. Jason drafts and negotiates employment agreements and handbooks, contracts and other documents. Senior executives also turn to Jason as a trusted advisor to provide counsel regarding departing a company or joining a new one.

Jason has extensive experience with cases in arbitration and mediation, including FINRA, JAMS and AAA. He handles cases in state and federal courts and has won an appellate argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jason is uniquely positioned to help clients with the challenges posed by California law. After practicing for the last several years in both Philadelphia and San Diego, Jason is able to guide clients through the complexities of California-based laws and regulations that can impact businesses - and their bottom lines - across the United States. Although some of his clients are on the west coast, many of his clients are east coast companies with business interests in California.

During his time in law school, Jason served as the Judicial Codes Counselor for Cornell University, responsible for supervising Assistant Counselors and representing students charged with violations of the Cornell Student Code of Conduct or the Code of Academic Integrity. Prior to that, he served as Chief Advocate for the University of Georgia, overseeing and advocating the University’s position on all student disciplinary issues and supervising other Advocates.

What Clients Can Expect

Jason is always interested in finding out what drives his clients and what they’re trying to accomplish, allowing him to plan the best and most efficient way to help them meet their goals. He knows how to connect the law to the business needs and interests of his clients in order to obtain the best possible outcome. Through regular communication and the ability to simplify complex topics, Jason ensures clients are part of every stage of the dispute process.

I am doing my job well when a client views me not just as their lawyer, but as part of their business team.

Outside the Office

Jason spends a lot of time on airplanes, often with his wife, Mary. He is a self-described “plane geek” and once flew around the world in 14 days, during which time he had the chance to fly on both the Airbus A350 and the Airbus A380 for the first time. He has been known to take a connecting flight rather than a direct flight on more than one occasion.

Proof Points

  • Argued and won a United States Supreme Court case involving a significant issue of Constitutional law applicable to a variety of different areas
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 50 client against claims of constructive termination by former employees
  • Obtained extremely favorable severance agreement for senior executive upon departure from company
  • Defeated claims for vesting of deferred compensation by a terminated employee
  • Obtained injunctive relief against former employees who violated a non-compete agreement
  • Successfully prosecuted a claim for raiding when a company hired most of the employees from our client’s office
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of client faced with the potential of significant punitive damages, as well as dismissal of a claim on procedural grounds for another client in a hostile jurisdiction
  • Negotiated favorable settlements for several clients, including a famous actor faced with litigation concerning a personal assistant
  • Defeated class certification in FLSA case involving approximately 1,000 potential class members