We are employment law specialists

    Attorney Joseph Ainley, Founder


Attorney Joseph Ainley, Founder

Most firms only dabble in employment law (for both employees and employers) while primarily practicing personal injury law and/or business law. Often this subordinate approach leads to understaffing and insufficiently experienced attorneys working on a case; not a recipe for success.

At Ainley Law, we are specialists in the field of employment law and we use our skill, experience, judgment, and record of success to maximize your recovery, whatever the wrong to you may have been.

We are experienced

We have over 22 years of litigation experience, representing plaintiffs in a wide variety of matters (e.g. wrongful termination, non payment of overtime/ break time, age or gender discrimination, leave violation, retaliation, failure to accommodate, sexual harassment).

Over the years, our attorneys have developed expertise and particular skill in the litigation of employment-related cases.  This expertise is essential for evaluating, preparing and trying employment-related cases. These cases are complex, and success requires an exhaustive knowledge of the law, the application of a great deal of skill and experience, and a mastery of detail. 

We are dedicated

Employment law cases are labor-intensive, and the legal landscape is constantly evolving. For these reasons, we limit our practice to employment law and handle only a small number of cases at any one time so the appropriate amount of effort and time can be devoted to each case.

Joseph Ainley, Founder

Joseph Ainley has been practicing law in the Bay Area since he passed the California State Bar examination on his first attempt in June, 1989.  Born and raised in England, Joseph met his wife while studying philosophy at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.  While he attended law school at the University of Georgia, she acquired a Master’s degree in artificial intelligence at the same institution.  After law school, Joseph turned down an offer from a major New York City law firm and headed west to California, where his wife had accepted a position with IBM’s research labs in San Jose.

Upon arrival in San Jose, Joseph joined the law firm of Popelka, Allard, McCowan & Jones, which was, at the time, one of largest law firms in the Bay Area.  It was with Popelka that Joseph served his legal apprenticeship.  In his first year, Joseph drafted an extensive set of motions for summary adjudication, resulting in judgments of $2.5 million for one of Popelka’s clients.  For the first seven to eight years of his practice, Joseph gained experience in all manner of defense and plaintiff litigation, including insurance defense, insurance bad faith, toxic tort litigation, wrongful termination, wrongful death, elder abuse, motor vehicle accidents, and wrongful death.

After becoming an equity partner in 1996, Joseph had the freedom to limit his focus to the field of law which interested him most: employment litigation on behalf of the plaintiff.  From 1996 to the present, that has been Joseph’s primary, although not exclusive, focus of representation.  Joseph has enjoyed great success as a litigator, winning every case he has tried, with one exception, which loss can fairly be attributed to extraordinary circumstances.

In 2008, Joseph left Popelka Allard to form the Law Offices of Ainley Law, which is where he currently remains employed.  Some of the highlights of his career include the authorship of a book entitled The Regulation of Nuclear Power in Three Countries: The United States, France, and Japan, co-authored with Professor Thomas Schoenbaum and published by the University of Georgia Press.  He has litigated two cases which have resulted in published opinions on appeal.  They are Wise v. Pacific Gas & Electric, et al. (1999) 77 Cal.App.4th 287; Juday v. Rotunno, 225 Cal.App.3d 1571, and Schmidt v. Levi Strauss, et al., 621 F.Supp.2d 796 (N.D. Cal. 2008).

Joseph is an active athlete, having recently completed two marathons (Tucson and San Jose), and coached his daughter’s soccer team to two state championships and to a number one ranking in the United States.  Several of the players he coached have been selected for the U.S. Regional teams, and one was chosen to play with the United States national team.