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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.