Boutin Jones INC., Attorneys at Law

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Julia L. Jenness (Retired)
For me, nothing outside of work can compete with hiking in Yellowstone and enjoying the Tetons. I love it because the diversity of wildlife is incredible. The wilderness corridor in that area of the country is like none other.

Julia L. Jenness (Retired)



  • Corporate and Securities
  • Employment Law

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • University of Oregon, School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • Stanford University, A.B. in Political Science, 1983

Delivering for Clients

“I help employers comply with the law. I help my clients prevent employment problems, contain problems quickly and stay out of the courtroom as much as possible.”


Employment Counseling

  • Special counsel for regulatory compliance on FMLA, reasonable accommodation, and policy issues for public employer with over 2,000 employees
  • Counsel for management in negotiation of Memorandum of Understanding between public employer and union
  • Lead counsel in structuring and implementing Reductions in Force for both public and private employers
  • Development of Employee Handbooks, Executive Employment Contracts, Employee Severance Agreements, Change in Control Agreements, Compensation Plans, and Indemnification Agreements
  • Development of Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Agreements, Employee Leasing Agreements, Independent Contractor Agreements, and Vendor Agreements
  • Lead counsel in defending employer and prior officers of company against wage claims brought on behalf of former employees by federal Department of Labor and California Labor Commissioner’s Office
  • Lead counsel in discipline, termination, post-termination grievance procedures, and appeals by public employees against special districts
  • Investigator for claims of sexual harassment against President of multi-billion dollar private company
  • Investigator for claims of sexual harassment against publicly elected officials of special districts

Corporate Finance and Securities

  • Lead counsel for purchase of $500,000,000 in warrants by Financial Institution from the State of California
  • Counsel for construction of $22,000,000 corporate headquarters of Financial Institution

Detailed Practice Description

Julia Jenness is a member of the Board of Directors of Boutin Jones Inc., one of Sacramento’s largest law firms. Julia served as President and Chairman of the Firm’s Board of Directors from 2015 through 2018. In addition to her role on the Board, she has a thriving law practice where she serves as outside General Counsel and Special Counsel to some of the region’s largest companies, special districts, and nonprofit entities.

She works with employers on all aspects of the employment relationship: reductions in force, termination issues, severance agreements, and employee training, counseling and discipline. She advises employers on wage and hour issues, reasonable accommodations under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act. She has many years of experience conducting sexual harassment investigations for businesses and public entities, including investigations involving publicly-elected officials and the executives of multi-billion dollar private entities. She has drafted executive compensation plans, as well as employment, change in control, indemnification, employee leasing and independent contractor agreements.

In addition to her career-long focus on employment law, Julia has spent the majority of her career representing financial institutions. She helps banks, credit unions and other financial institutions on federal and state regulatory compliance with agencies such as the California Department of Business Oversight, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  She has written vendor, loan purchase and loan participation agreements. She has represented financial institutions, as well as their directors and officers, in business transactions and on the same range of employment issues and agreements that she has for other industries.

Whether it’s counseling clients, structuring employment and severance agreements, or talking to a company about a security risk—it all fits into the category of solving problems for employers.

Articles and Presentations

  • Annual Employment Law Year in Review, Boutin Jones, Moderator and Speaker, 2007 – Present
  • Continuing Education of the Bar, “Business Law Practice: Recent Developments,” Speaker, 2005 – 2007, 2010 – 2011
  • IRS Issues new Guidance on COBRA Subsidy, Co-Author with Jarrod J. Burch, 2009
  • Employment Development Department/North Valley Employer Advisory Council, “Overview of Key Labor Law Developments,” Speaker, 2009
  • Sacramento Employers Advisory Council (SEAC), “Managing Leaves of Absence,” Speaker, 2006
  • Continuing Education of the Bar, “Essential Employment Law Issues for California Businesses: Issues in Hiring and Employee Handbooks,” Moderator, 2005
  • Chamber of Commerce, “Employment Law Year in Review,” Moderator, 2005

Community Leadership

  • Western National Parks Association, Treasurer and Board Member
  • KVIE Public Television, Former Chairman of the Board and Board Member
  • Capital Public Radio, Inc., Former Chairman of the Board and Board Member
  • Capital Public Radio Endowment, Inc., Former Chairman of the Board and Board Member
  • Wells Fargo Bank Community Advisory Board, Former Member


  • Northern California Super Lawyer in Employment and Labor
  • The Best Lawyers in America in Employment Law—Management, Labor Law—Management, and Banking and Finance Law
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer