Jim Hammerschmidt’s practice includes a range of commercial, corporate, and employment counseling and litigation in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Though armed with decades of legal experience, Jim considers his primary task to be listening. The first thing he does when meeting with a client is ask, “What is your goal?” Jim knows that the only way to be successful is if he truly understands the scope of his clients’ objectives and then tailors solutions to that end.

Jim has extensive experience representing and counseling clients on employment law issues. He represents clients in federal and state court, as well as before agencies such as the EEOC, Department of Labor, and local and state human rights commissions and labor departments. He handles claims arising under Title VII, ERISA, FLSA, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, Wage Payment and Collection Law, and Wage and Hour Law statutes, including class actions.

He has extensive litigation experience on a wide range of employment issues, such as breach of contract, wrongful termination, trade secret claims, and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. In addition to litigation, Jim provides daily advice to clients dealing with difficult employees and employee discipline. He also routinely assists clients in developing and implementing employment policies and practices, drafting employee manuals and preparing employment agreements.

Jim’s general civil litigation and appellate practice includes matters involving real estate, land development, breach of contract, trusts and estates, construction, shareholder disputes, business disputes, protection of trade secrets and confidential information among many others. His critical attention to detail and access to a strong litigation department puts clients at ease, knowing they are receiving high quality representation.

Jim was formerly co-President and Chair of the Employment Law group at Paley Rothman.

A self-admitted Peloton addict (he welcomes fellow aficionados to join him at “HammerTime65”), Jim enjoys long Sunday morning hikes with his family and their dog, being part of whatever his kids are up to, and taking just about any outdoor vacation.


  • St. Louis University School of Law (J.D., Cum Laude, 1993)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (B.S.B.A., 1988)


  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

Honors and awards

  • “Top Lawyers,” – Washingtonian magazine (2022)
  • Daily Record Power List of Top 25 Maryland Business & Employment Lawyers (2022)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Best Lawyers: Litigation – Labor and Employment, Employment Law – Management (2016-present)
  • Listed in Washington D.C. Super Lawyers (2014-2020)
  • Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers (2014-2022)
  • “Top Attorneys,” Bethesda Magazine: Employment – Employee, Employment – Employer ​(2019, 2021, 2023)
  • Recognized for his distinguished service to and leadership of the Federal Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section at the FBA Annual Meeting (2011)
  • “President’s Citation for Outstanding Service” from the Bar Association of Montgomery County (2008)
  • Ranked AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

Community involvement

  • Montgomery County Society for Human Resource Management (Member)
  • The American Employment Law Council (Member, 2013 – present; Advisory Board Member, 2017-2020)
  • National Finance Industry Employment Lawyers Committee (Member, 2017-present)

Professional memberships

  • Bar Association of Montgomery County
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Practice Areas


Lerch Early helps employers throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area and beyond prevent and defend against workplace claims. Working with our attorneys is like extending the human resources department without hiring additional people.


Lerch Early’s litigation team helps businesses, including nonprofits, and individuals resolve disputes throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

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