Our People

Labor, Employment, and Education Law Experts. 

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Jolina A. Abrena

Jolina A. Abrena
Jolina A. Abrena, Associate

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. 

Elizabeth Tom Arce

Elizabeth Tom Arce
Elizabeth Tom Arce, Partner

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

Bruce Barsook
Bruce Barsook, Partner

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.

Steven M. Berliner

Steven M. Berliner
Steven M. Berliner, Partner

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.

Janae Biers

Manager, Litigation Support
Janae Biers
Janae Biers, Manager, Litigation Support

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

Michael Blacher
Michael Blacher, Partner

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.

Ashley Bobo

Ashley Bobo
Ashley Bobo, Associate

Ashley Bobo is an Associate in Liebert Cassidy Whitmore’s Los Angeles Office where she provides assistance to clients in matters pertaining to employment law and litigation. Ashley has experience researching and drafting pre-trial motions which include reply briefs, oppositions, and motions for summary judgment in employment litigation. She has also managed discovery tasks including form interrogatory responses and objections, document production, and incoming response and document organization. 

Peter J. Brown

Peter J. Brown
Peter J. Brown, Partner

Peter Brown has been involved in all areas of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore's practice since 1989, representing public agencies in litigation, collective bargaining negotiations and many different types of administrative hearings.  Peter has a unique talent in promptly developing an expertise in most of the laws which impact our public agency clients such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Acts, and the state labor relations laws.  Many of the firm's clients have come to rely on his advice in guiding them in these constantly changing areas of law.


Daniel C. Cassidy

Daniel C. Cassidy
Daniel C. Cassidy, Partner

Dan Cassidy is among the most experienced and accomplished practitioners in the fields of public sector labor relations, negotiations and employment law.  For more than 30 years, he has effectively advocated on behalf of counties, cities, special districts, community colleges and school districts in negotiations, arbitrations and in civil service commission and other administrative hearings.  Dan, a founding partner of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, has negotiated hundreds of labor agreements for his public agency clients, and various public safety, general, professional, and supervisory units.  He has also represented public agencies as a presenter and panel member in numerous interest arbitrations and factfinding proceedings.

Melanie L. Chaney

Melanie L. Chaney
Melanie L. Chaney, Partner

Melanie represents and regularly advises cities, counties, community college districts, school districts, public safety departments and special districts regarding employee and labor relations matters.  The breadth of her experience as both a negotiator and a litigator informs her practical approach to the myriad of labor and employment issues faced by public entities.

Awards & Involvement
Oct 1, 2017 Press Release

LCW is Proud to Announce New Partners - Adrianna Guzman and Che Johnson

Los Angeles, CA - Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW) is pleased to announce that Adrianna Guzman and Che Johnson have been named Partners effective October 1, 2017.

Jul 27, 2017 Press Release

LCW Named a Best Law Firm for Female Attorneys

July 23, 2017 – Liebert Cassidy Whitmore has been named a best law firm for female attorneys again in the Law360 third annual Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys list published today. The list surveyed law firms across

Jul 19, 2017 Press Release

Erich Shiners Joins LCW

July 19, 2017 – We are very excited to announce that Erich W. Shiners has officially joined Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. As a Senior Counsel in our Sacramento office, Erich is continuing his long career serving California’s public employers.

Jul 10, 2017 Press Release

Nine LCW Attorneys Selected to the List of 2017 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

We are proud to announce that nine LCW attorneys were recognized by the Super Lawyers for their work in labor and employment law.

May 4, 2017 Press Release

LCW Victory Named “Case of the Month”

LCW litigation victory on behalf of City of Stockton has been named the “Trials Digest’s Case of the Month.”

Feb 6, 2017 Press Release

Six LCW Attorneys Selected to the list of 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers

Six LCW Attorneys got selected to the list of  2017 Southern California Super Lawyers.

Oct 3, 2016 Press Release

LCW is Proud to Announce New Partners - Judith Islas and Oliver Yee

We are pleased to announce that Judith Islas and Oliver Yee have been named Partners effective October 1, 2016.

Jul 20, 2016 Press Release

Four LCW Partners Have Been Named "Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers" by the Daily Journal.

Four LCW Partners have been named California's "Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers," by the Daily Journal

Jul 8, 2016 Press Release

Seven LCW Attorneys Selected to the 2016 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Seven LCW attorneys were selected to the 2016 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Jun 13, 2016 Press Release

James E. Oldendorph Jr. Selected to the 2016 Southern California Rising Stars

We are proud to announce that James E. Oldendorph Jr. has been selected to the 2016 Southern California Rising Stars list, published by Super Lawyers

May 16, 2016 Press Release

LCW is Named A Top 15 Law Firm for Minority Attorneys

Law360 published its second annual The Top 100 Firms For Minority Attorneys list that surveyed law firms across the United States. We are proud to announce that LCW was listed in the #15 spot in this ranking. 

Apr 18, 2016 Press Release

LCW is Named A Top 5 Best Law Firm for Female Attorneys

Law360 published its second annual 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys and The Best Law Firms For Female Partners. We are proud to announce that Liebert Cassidy Whitmore was ranked in the #4 spot in both of these categories.

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