Patrick J.S. Nellies

Patrick J.S. Nellies

Managing Partner

San Diego, California




Prior to co-founding the firm in 1999, Patrick served over four years as the Chairman of the Employment Law Practice Group of a mid-size law firm in La Jolla, California. Patrick represents private sector employees, and has successfully represented parties across the state in over 750 employment-related matters. He has had significant success negotiating cases privately in addition to prosecuting or defending them through mediation, arbitration, bench or jury trial. He has successfully argued a number of cases in California appellate courts as well.

While Patrick’s practice is focused exclusively on employment law, he handles a wide variety of employment-related issues, including wrongful termination, public policy violations, and breach of contract. Patrick has represented parties in litigation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act in cases involving discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation based on age, race, gender, national origin, disability (mental, physical, or pregnancy-related), medical condition, sexual orientation, marital status, and religious belief. He also has represented numerous clients in actions brought under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).

Patrick also is highly regarded in wage and hour actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or the California Labor Code. Patrick has represented a large number of clients in such actions brought in both an individual capacity and on a class-wide basis. He also represents clients in disputes pertaining to stock and stock option agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and trade secrets. Patrick represents clients in state and federal courts, mediation, arbitration, and in proceedings before the California Labor Commissioner (DLSE), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB).

In October 2013, Patrick was honored by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego at its annual Evening With the Trial Stars event, receiving the CASD’s 2013 Outstanding Advocate Award for his work in Brewer v. Hennessey’s Tavern.  That case was a class action in which Patrick represented 94 current and former Assistant Managers for unpaid overtime and other wage and hour claims.  Patrick secured a $1,637,000 settlement of that case, resulting in payments to class members ranging from just over $500 to just over $33,000.  After settling the case, Patrick worked feverishly to identify and locate every member of the class, including one in Australia, one in Chile, and the next of kin of two deceased class members.  As a result of those efforts, every class member received his or her settlement share.

Patrick’s recent successes include the following:

  • $5 million class action settlement for wage and hour claims brought on behalf of class of loan agents and processors misclassified as exempt employees;
  • $4.75 million class action settlement for meal and rest period claims brought on behalf of fast food restaurant managers;
  • $2.5 million class action settlement for overtime claims brought on behalf of fast food restaurant managers;
  • $1.85 million class action settlement for overtime claims brought on behalf of class of technical specialists;
  • $1.637 million class action settlement for overtime and meal & rest period claims brought on behalf of class of restaurant assistant managers;
  • $1.5 million class action settlement for overtime claims brought on behalf of employees subjected to illegal alternative workweek;
  • $398,000 settlement of individual retaliatory wrongful termination claim;
  • $330,000 recovery for single plaintiff on a wage and hour claim;
  • $250,000 settlement of individual pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination claims; and
  • $250,000 settlement for individual pregnancy discrimination case (client was only employed for 4 days)

Originally from Baltimore, Patrick graduated from the prestigious James Madison University located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. There Patrick received his Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Communication and Political Science, with double minor concentrations in Journalism and Telecommunications. Patrick received his Juris Doctor degree from San Diego’s California Western School of Law in April of 1993 and passed the California Bar Exam that July. Patrick is admitted to practice in all courts in California and Maryland, having passed that state’s Bar Exam in February of 1994.

Patrick is an avid golfer and enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Public Policy Violations
  • Breach of Contract
  • Discrimination
  • Wage & Hour Claims

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 1994
  • California


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • Juris Doctor – 1993
  • James Madison University
    • Bachelor of Science
    • Major: Communication
    • Major: Political Science
    • Minor: Journalism
    • Minor: Telecommunications

Past Employment Positions

  • Employment Law Practice Group, Chairman