Jolina Abrena, an Associate in the Los Angeles office, represents Liebert Cassidy Whitmore clients in all matters pertaining to labor and employment law. An experienced litigator, Jolina has extensive experience in all aspects of the litigation process, including trials and appeals. Jolina was second chair in the underlying case of Benach v. County of Los Angeles (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 836, and has presented oral argument before the California Courts of Appeal. Jolina also represents clients at administrative hearings, and advises clients about compliance with employment discrimination laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, regulatory requirements and labor agreements. She has conducted thorough investigations, and provided harassment trainings.
Linda Adler, Senior Counsel in LCW's San Francisco Office, represents clients in all matters pertaining to education, labor, and employment law. Well versed in the litigation process, Linda has successfully represented colleges and universities throughout California in disputes regarding employment and student matters. Prior to joining LCW, Linda represented colleges and universities before administrative agencies and in mediations, arbitrations, jury and bench trials. In addition, Linda has served as general counsel for colleges without in-house legal departments.
As LCW's IT Manager, Todd manages all aspects of the Firm's technology, which includes network infrastructure and security, document/records/email management systems, desktop applications, VoIP unified communications, litigation support systems and mobile technology. He is also responsible for establishing the Firm's IT policies and procedures, systems documentation, IT best practices, data backup and disaster recovery strategy, IT department budgeting and supervises application training for LCW attorneys and staff.
Liz is an accomplished advocate with experience litigating a wide array of labor and employment cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Liz has successfully represented employers in matters ranging from single plaintiff lawsuits to wage and hour class and collective actions. Her litigation experience includes numerous successful summary judgment motions, defeating class certification, and decertifying collective actions. Liz's litigation practice also includes handling matters in arbitration and before administrative agencies where she has been effective at obtaining favorable results for the firm's clients.
Bruce Barsook has been with the firm since 1981 and has concentrated in education and public sector employment and labor law for more than thirty years. Bruce has extensive expertise in education and employment law issues including traditional labor relations, discipline, conflicts of interest, retirement, open meeting laws and employment discrimination. He has a wealth of experience in collective bargaining, fact finding hearings, court litigation, arbitrations, and other employment law administrative proceedings. In negotiations, Bruce excels in forging strong, effective relationships both with clients and with employee organization representatives. Additionally, Bruce advises schools and community colleges regarding board, faculty, staff, and student issues, including discipline, leaves and contractual issues.
Shelline Bennett has represented management in labor and employment-law matters for over 20 years. She has worked with both private and public employers, including cities, counties, special districts, housing authorities, and community colleges, as well as nonprofit organizations. She has an extensive litigation background in both federal and state courts.
Steve has developed an extensive labor relations practice since joining the Firm nearly twenty years ago and has unparalleled retirement law expertise. Steve has acted as chief negotiator for many public agencies in labor negotiations with their employee groups, helping them reduce payroll and other costs. He also advises clients on contract interpretation issues and represents clients in grievance matters and is frequently called on to assist agencies in times of fiscal crisis.
As Manager of Legal Support Services, Janae is responsible for hiring, training and supervising the secretarial staff and the legal records department in the Los Angeles office. She also assists in the development and application of firmwide procedures in these areas.
Michael Blacher is the Chair of the firm's Private Education Practice Group. He represents educational institutions in all aspects of labor, employment, and education law. Michael has successfully defended claims involving alleged harassment, discrimination and retaliation, disability accommodation, First Amendment, and alleged violation of wage and hour laws. Michael also advises educational institutions in Office of Civil Rights investigations and has handled a number of Title IX cases. Michael often advises boards on governance and other issues, including updates to bylaws. He works extensively on contractual matters such as employment and enrollment agreements as well as employee and student handbooks. Michael also represents clients during arbitrations and administrative hearings.
Richard (Rick) Bolanos has an exclusive practice representing California cities, counties and special districts in labor relations, negotiations, representation in disciplinary proceedings, arbitration of grievances, investigations, mediations, fact-finding hearings and specialized representation in investigation of employee discipline, harassment and discrimination matters. In addition, Rick provides special counsel to public agencies concerning public safety department formation, consolidation and dissolution procedures and he is one of the firm's specialists in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) consultation and litigation.