Liebert Cassidy Whitmore has a long track record of success in employment law cases and we have successfully defended our clients through motion practice, in jury trials and in appeals involving allegations of harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and wage and hour claims. Members of the Litigation Practice Group are trial lawyers who have obtained defense verdicts in a number of jury trials. We also regularly win cases at the initial pleading stage and through summary judgment motions. We are proud to have earned the trust and respect of our clients - counties, administrators, and elected officials - throughout California because of our effective advocacy.
We specialize in defending our clients in federal and state court litigation and have earned a reputation as a results-oriented, successful and efficient litigation firm. We are experts in all phases of litigation in both federal and state courts: pleading, discovery, motion practice, alternative dispute resolution, settlement, trial, and appeals. Our particular expertise is in actions brought by employees, former employees, applicants or other individuals alleging employment-related claims such as violations of: California Fair Employment and Housing Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Americans with Disabilities Act; Federal Civil Rights (§ 1981 and § 1983 claims); Fair Labor Standards Act; Meyers-Milias-Brown Act; Family and Medical Leave Act; wrongful termination; retaliation, and tort claims. We also represent our clients in administrative proceedings involving the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the California Labor Commissioner, and the California Employment Development Department. We also regularly defend and handle declaratory relief and injunctive relief actions. Our litigation practice also includes all aspects of appellate work. Since 2000, our attorneys have been involved in over 80 appellate decisions. In addition to many unpublished appellate victories, our attorneys are responsible for several key decisions in California public sector labor law.
Our deep knowledge of wage and hour law enables LCW to remain on the cutting edge of wage and hour litigation to obtain successful outcomes in complex matters. LCW has litigated over 250 wage and hour cases for public agencies in state and federal courts, including dozens of class and collective actions. In addition to litigation initiated by private attorneys, we have also defended public agency clients in administrative hearings and litigation pursued by administrative agencies. We have successfully litigated cases involving the regular rate of pay, overtime exemptions, off-the-clock work/unauthorized overtime, standby and waiting time, meal breaks and “donning and doffing.” Most of the cases were class and/or collective actions and have included as many as 10,000 plaintiffs. We have also represented numerous public agencies in FLSA/wage and hour matters which were resolved through practical and innovative solutions before litigation was initiated.
Additionally, we have handled both individual and class grievances alleging violations of wage and hour provisions contained in applicable Memoranda of Understanding. When these claims are brought as class grievances we have been successful in having the class grievances decertified so that each grievance must be heard individually (the employees usually drop the grievances in such situations.) For example, LCW litigated the case County of Los Angeles v. LA County Employee Relations Commission resulting in a significant published decision preventing the union’s ability to arbitrate wage and hour grievances on a class-wide basis.
At any given time, the firm defends dozens of discrimination lawsuits, many involving claims of discrimination under FEHA and whistleblower retaliation under both state and federal law. We understand all of the facets of representing public employers throughout the litigation process, including representing elected officials and board members, high-level managers and co-workers, and appearing before governing bodies. We evaluate the lawsuit at every stage from both a cost and liability perspective so that our clients are continually informed of developments which may impact the litigation strategy and ultimate disposition of the lawsuit. We understand the importance of positioning a case from the outset for summary judgment, and we work with our clients throughout the process to realize the best possible outcome based on their goals.
Our practice is to establish immediate, open and collaborative communication with our clients to understand and assess the client’s goals in the litigation. We understand that mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution is a part of litigation practice, and we work proactively with clients to evaluate settlement when it is aligned with their goals and to position the case for the best possible resolution at the optimum time. We regularly participate in mediations with employment law mediators throughout California and are skilled in selecting the appropriate mediator for the case, preparing for mediation, and negotiating the settlement.
Our firm is committed to professional litigation management so that all cases are handled efficiently and proactively. Our Litigation Manager works closely with the litigation team on compliance with ligation guidelines, budgeting and defense strategy. In addition, at regular intervals throughout the matter, a team of our litigators from across the firm convenes to share resources, insights, and strategies about each case. These are value-added components provided by LCW for which our clients are not billed. We also have broad experience with experts, including jury consultants, economists, statisticians and vocational rehabilitation experts. Our Litigation Support Specialist and paralegals manage e-discovery and provide specialized trial support at a much lower rate than outside technical consultants.
At the outset of the litigation, LCW provides a detailed case analysis and plan outlining the initial case strategy, and communicates regularly with our clients on the execution of the plan. We also create a detailed budget for each phase of the litigation and review and update this budget at regular intervals and discuss any necessary changes with the client.
On behalf of both employers and individually named defendants LCW defends complex (class and collective actions) and high-profile litigation through trial and the appellate process (when necessary) in state and federal courts. We have successfully defended alleged violations of the Peace Officers Bill of Rights Act, the Firefighters Bill of Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the California Labor Code, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, the Military and Veterans Code, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, First Amendment Retaliation, Whistleblower Retaliation, and claims brought under the California and United States Constitutions.
Clients have prevailed in multiple published appellate cases that have helped public safety employers more effectively manage their employees. Published decisions on behalf of public safety employers include, among others:
Our attorneys are experts in all phases of litigation in both Federal and State courts: pleading, discovery, motion practice - including summary judgments and summary adjudications, alternative dispute resolution, settlement and trial. For more information, visit the Litigation Services section of our website.
Examples of cases we are currently handling or have handled include: