James C. Dale
Boise, ID
(208) 387-4282 Direct
(208) 389-9040 Fax


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James C. Dale


Jim Dale is a partner in Stoel Rives' Labor and Employment practice group. He routinely advises and represents some of Idaho's largest private employers on virtually every aspect of labor and employment law, including employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, contract, wage and hour, and ERISA issues. Jim has also served as lead defense counsel on class and collective actions seeking recovery of unpaid wages. He also represents management in traditional labor disputes and provides counsel on union avoidance. Jim has handled numerous labor arbitrations addressing discharge, discipline, scope of work and management rights. He regularly appears before administrative agencies charged with enforcing human resources issues, including the Idaho Human Rights Commission, EEOC, NLRB, U.S. Department of Labor, Idaho Department of Labor, and the Idaho Industrial Commission. Employers also seek his counsel on workplace policies and training for all levels of employees. For many years Jim has been recognized in Chambers USA: Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a first-tier employment lawyer in Idaho. He is also listed in Best Lawyers in America© and Mountain States Super Lawyers®. Jim is a founding member of the Management Labor and Employment Roundtable, a national, invitation-only employment law practice group.

Representative Work

  • Represented a semiconductor manufacturer in conjunction with one of the first multi-plaintiff claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Led the defense of a large manufacturing business named in a multi-plaintiff age discrimination lawsuit that included claims of disparate impact that were dismissed on summary judgment.
  • Obtained dismissal in numerous claims advancing breach of contract and other theories intended to circumvent the doctrine of at-will employment and broaden the existing public policy exception recognized under Idaho law.

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Selected by Best Lawyers® as Employment Law-Management Lawyer of the Year, Boise, 2013 and 2017; Litigation-Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year, Boise, 2015; Labor and Employment Law Lawyer of the Year, Boise, 2011 
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Employment Law-Management, Litigation-Labor and Employment Law), 2006-2017
  • Elected as a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers for sustained outstanding performance in the profession
  • Recipient of International Law Office and Lexology Client Choice Award in Idaho for Labor & Employment Law, 2014
  • Named one of Idaho's Leaders in the Law by Idaho Business Review, 2014
  • Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Idaho, Star Individual) by Chambers USA (currently: Labor & Employment), 2006-2016; one of only three Idaho attorneys selected as a "Star Individual" – the highest ranking available in Chambers. Chambers' commentary and client quotes include: "Jim Dale is the clear standout employment lawyer in Idaho, and is acknowledged as such by clients and peers alike. 'Jim knows more about employment law than anyone else in the state,' one source enthused" (Chambers USA 2012). He is known to be an "[e]xcellent labor and employment lawyer who understands the law and always keeps up to date with the most recent changes." Clients also note his ability to draw on his extensive experience and to give detailed responses quickly. One client said, "[E]ven though we are one of his small clients, he responds like we are a big client" (Chambers USA 2011).
  • Listed in International Who's Who of Management and Labour & Employment Lawyers, 2012
  • Listed in Mountain States Super Lawyers® (Employment and Labor), 2007-2016
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated with Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Member, Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program Policy Council, 2006-2010
  • Member, Idaho State Bar; co-chair, Employer Liability Subcommittee for Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, 2004-2006
  • Editor, Idaho Employment Law Newsletter, 2001-2004
  • Board of Directors, Management Labor and Employment Roundtable, 2001-present
  • Member, Idaho Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Editorial Review Board, Idaho Labor Letter, 1995-1996
  • Editor-in-Chief, Idaho Labor Letter, 1996-2000

Civic Activities

  • Member, Access to Justice Leadership Committee, 2015-2016
  • University of Idaho College of Law Advisory Council, 2006-2011: Member Emeritus, 2012-present; Chair, 2011-2012
  • Board of Directors, Ballet Idaho, 2001-2004

Reported Decisions

  • Paolini v. Albertson's, Inc., 149 P.3d 822 (Idaho 2006)
  • Mitchell v. ZiLOG, Inc., 874 P.2d 520 (Idaho 1994)
  • Albertson's, 116 LA 635 (2002)
  • Idaho Dep't of Health & Welfare v. Syme, 714 P.2d 13 (Idaho 1986)


  • University of Idaho College of Law, J.D., 1982
    Member, Idaho Law Review
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A., 1979


  • Idaho
  • Utah
  • District Court for the Districts of Idaho and Utah
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

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