Abigail W. Clark

Abigail W. Clark Associate

Abigail (Abby) Clark advises the Firm’s public agency clients regarding defense side employment litigation, and provides strategic advice and counsel to community colleges and schools in employment, education, and business and facilities matters. 

Abby’s litigation experience includes advice to senior management of California cities, counties, school districts, and public safety districts regarding complex pre-litigation and litigation employment issues.  She regularly drafts dispositive motions, and argues at the state and federal court level, successfully defending agencies and managers against claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and wrongful termination, among others.  She conducts appellate work, and has prepared writs of administrative mandamus as well as Ninth Circuit appellate briefs.  She also advises clients regarding employee discipline and investigations, disability and leave issues, and represents clients in administrative proceedings. 

Abby’s Business and Facilities practice centers on advising community college districts regarding transactional matters, including surplus property sales, leases and facilities use, dual enrollment and apprenticeship program agreements, and goods and services contracts.  She helps community college districts manage risk in relationships with foundations, non-profits, and other community partners.  She also advises college boards and administrators regarding ethics and conflicts of interest, government transparency under the Brown Act and Public Records Act, discipline and student safety matters, and compliance with laws governing students with disabilities and privacy.  In addition, she helps manage discrimination complaints made to administrative agencies such as OCR, EEOC, and DFEH, as well as labor complaints before PERB.

Prior to joining Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Abby worked for almost five years at an international law firm where she represented corporate clients in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings, cross-border insolvency matters, and litigation.  Her experience in federal court and advising clients on complex transactional matters helps her spot issues and be attentive to detail, which provides clients with a strategic advantage. 

Abby has two stepchildren attending an Oakland public middle school, and for fun, enjoys teaching them how to ski.  

Abby received her BA, cum laude, from Dartmouth College and her JD, cum laude, from The George Washington University Law School. She is admitted to the California State Bar and the New York State Bar.  

Aug 9, 2018 Business & Facilities

Ninth Circuit Upholds California Statute Requiring Public Works Employers to Obtain Employee Collective Consent before Contributing to Anti-Union IAFs to Meet Prevailing Wage Requirement

California Labor Code section 1770 requires contractors on public works projects to pay their employees a “prevailing wage.”  To satisfy the prevailing wage requirement, employers can either pay all cash wages or pay a combination of cash wages and benefits, such as contributions to healthcare, pension funds, and other fringe benefits, such as employer payments to third-party industry advancement funds.  (“IAFs”).  In 2017, the Legislature, in Senate Bill 954, amended the Labor Code to clarify that employers may take a wage credit to support their prevailing wage contributions to IAFs only if their employees consented to doing so through a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”).  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld SB 954 against Constitutional challenge.

May 4, 2017 Business & Facilities

General Contractor Entitled To Partial Indemnification From Subcontractor Despite Its Own Active Negligence

An employee of a plastering subcontractor suffered injuries when he attempted to erect scaffolding and he fell through an opening in a roof for the installation of a skylight that had been left covered in plywood by a General Contractor’s employee.  The plastering subcontractor’s (PS) employee sued the General Contractor (GC) for negligently cutting the skylight hole and leaving the hole inadequately covered.  The GC cross-claimed against an intermediate sub-contractor responsible for the interior design, which had hired PS as its subcontractor.  The GC sought full indemnification for damages resulting from the PS employee’s injury pursuant to the GC’s contract with interior design subcontractor (IDS).  That contract required IDS to (i) indemnify the GC for the acts or omissions arising out of the work of IDS or its subcontractors; and (ii) obtain the same signed indemnity from any of IDS’ subcontractors prior to any such subcontractor’s commencement of work.  PS had not executed the indemnity agreement at the time of its employee’s injury.  The indemnification provision applicable to IDS and any of its subcontractors provided that the indemnification provision would apply “except to the extent claims arise out of, pertain to, or relate to the active negligence or willful misconduct of the contractor parties…, or to the extent such obligation is inconsistent with the provisions of California Civil Code 2782.05.” 

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