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JD, University of Southern California Law School
BA, University of California, Los Angeles
Did You Know
Employee v. City (2017) – Obtained decision from Hearing Officer and City upholding termination of police department dispatcher for misconduct including inappropriate and disruptive outbursts towards coworkers and supervisors.
Police Officer v. City (2015) – Obtained decision from Hearing Officer and City upholding the termination of a police officer for misconduct including engaging in numerous on-duty sexual encounters with multiple women.
Police Officer v. City (2014) – Obtained decision from Hearing Officer and City upholding the termination of a police officer for misconduct including damaging a police vehicle and then lying about it during the investigation.
Employee v. City (2013) – Obtained decision from Hearing Officer and City Personnel Commission upholding the termination of maintenance supervisor for misconduct including using obscene language, engaging in violence in the workplace and engaging in retaliatory action against a subordinate employee.
Siegmund v. County of Orange (2011) – 700 deputy sheriffs alleged that the County failed to pay overtime at the correct regular rate in violation of the FLSA. LCW obtained summary judgment for the County, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling for the County, finding that the deputy sheriffs failed to show that any employee was paid less than the FLSA requires for any pay period.
Sotelo v. City of Oxnard (2015) – Successfully defended the City of Oxnard against five causes of actions, including FEHA discrimination and whistleblower retaliation claims, brought against it by the City’s former City Manager in a jury trial in federal court. The jury returned a defense verdict on all claims.
Community College v. Former Faculty Member (2013) – Represented a community college district in a case where the District and the faculty member entered into a settlement agreement to resolve an administrative appeal of his dismissal from employment. The District agreed to keep the faculty member on the payroll so that he could retire from CalSTRS and then apply for District’s paid retiree health benefits. The District upheld its end of the settlement, but the faculty member, after collecting over one year of pay on administrative leave, asserted that the settlement agreement did not require him to retire from CalSTRS. As a result, he did not timely retire from CalSTRS, which rendered him ineligible to receive the District’s health benefits. After a bench trial, the court held that the faculty member was not a District retiree as a result of his own actions and that the District is not responsible for any losses suffered as a result of his failure to timely retire from CalSTRS.
Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District (II) (2012) – Obtained dismissal of a Federal Court disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a retired fire captain, who alleged he was discriminated against in his efforts to be re-hired into the position from which he disability retired several years ago. LCW attorneys had previously obtained dismissal of a prior action filed by this retired fire captain in state court. When he then tried to re-litigate his claims in the federal court system, the motion was filed to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12 (b)(6) arguing the state court judgment on these claims precluded the fire captain from re-litigating in federal court. They also argued the federal complaint failed to state a viable claim because the District’s limit to a one year requalification period applied to anyone who wanted to be re-hired into a prior previously held position, not just disabled individuals.
Taylor v. LAUSD (2010) – Taylor was a teacher with LAUSD who was terminated for cause for unsatisfactory performance and rude conduct towards students. Melanie successfully represented the District in the underlying termination appeal hearing by Petitioner Darryl Taylor. Subsequently, she obtained a denial from the Los Angeles County Superior Court of Taylor’s writ appealing the Commission on Professional Competence’s decision terminating him.
Ventura Regional Sanitation District – SEIU, IUOE
San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Ass’n – SEIU Local 721
City of Los Alamitos – POA, Teamsters
City of Claremont – POA
City of Ventura – SEIU Local 721, VMEA (municipal employees)
Rancho Santiago Community College District– FARSCCD (Faculty), CEFA (Part-time Non-Credit Faculty)
Chaffey Community College District – CSEA (classified)
City of Simi Valley – Legal Support for PMA (police management)
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority – Legal Support for SMART (transit operators), TCU
City of Glendora – POA, AFSCME
Orange County – Teamsters
City of Santa Paula –POA, VCPFA (Fire), SEIU Local 721
Desert Community College District – CSEA (classified)
Hope Elementary School District – HDTA (teachers)
Constantino Gabriel v. LACCD (2014) – Successfully represented the District against unfair practice charge alleging unlawful retaliation under the EERA. PERB dismissed the charge without leave to amend.
GMEA v. City of Glendora (2011) – After receiving City’s response, PERB office dismissed UPC alleging, among other things, that City failed to exercise good faith during impasse procedure when it unilaterally imposed furloughs on its members.
This article was originally published in February 2014. The information has been reviewed and is up-to-date as of August 2021.
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