SELECTED PUBLISHED DECISIONS
Amerson v. Kindredcare, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23350 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 20, 2013) (granting motion to dismiss)
Okwu v. McKim, 682 F.3d 841 (9th Cir. 2012) (affirming dismissal)
Keehner v. Jackson Lab., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71352 (E.D. Cal. May 21, 2012) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Mendoza v. Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78072 (N.D. Cal. June 5, 2012) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Lane v. Stausboll, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47697 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 2011) (granting motion to dismiss)
Lane v. Stausboll, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24602 (9th Cir. Cal. Nov. 29, 2012) (affirming dismissal)
Okwu v. McKim, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8451 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 19, 2011) (granting motion to dismiss)
Geluz v. Kindred Hosp., 323 Fed. Appx. 616 (9th Cir. 2009) (affirming dismissal)
Kolstad v. American Dental Ass'n, 527 U.S. 526 (1999) (brief amicus curiae) (punitive damages standard in Title VII cases)
Nicks v. CompUSA, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94027 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 29, 2006) (granting motion to dismiss)
Lamke v. Sunstate Equip. Co., 387 F. Supp. 2d 1044 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (granting motion to dismiss)
Lamke v. Sunstate Equip. Co., LLC, 319 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (N. D. Cal. 2004) (denying motion to remand)
Dove v. PNS Stores, 982 F. Supp. 1420, 1426 (D. Cal. 1997) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Duncan v. Office Depot, 973 F. Supp. 1171 (D. Or. 1997) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Williams v. Herman Goelitz Candy Co., 11 Indiv. Empl. Rts. Cases (BNA)(E.D. Cal. 1995) (affirmed, 9th Cir. 1997) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Roberts v. Hit or Miss, Inc., 11 Indiv. Empl. Rts. Cases (BNA) 49 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Germany v. Ryder Dedicated Logistics, Inc., 11 Indiv. Empl. Rts. Cases (BNA) 55 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Alstad v. Office Depot, Inc., 10 Indiv. Empl. Rts. Cases (BNA) 689 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (granting motion for summary judgment)
Ross v. Ragingwire Telecomm., Inc., 42 Cal.4th 920 (2008)
Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc., 39 Cal. 4th 384 (Cal. 2006) (brief amicus curiae)
Kohler v. Interstate Brands Corp., 103 Cal.App.4th 1096 (2002) (affirming summary judgment)
Pratt v. Vencor, Inc., 105 Cal.App.4th 905 (2003) (affirming JNOV)
Ross v. RagingWire Telecomm., 132 Cal.App.4th 590 (2005) (affirming demurrer)
Success at Trial
It is a fact that nearly all employment law cases are resolved long before a trial judge, arbitrator, or jury ever considers the case. The best (and least expensive) results usually are obtained via prevention, and cost-effective pre-trial litigation. Nevertheless, when the time comes, Shaw Valenza LLP is ready. Here are some examples of the partners' successes in court and before administrative agencies:
- In a retaliation and wrongful termination case, a Sacramento County jury took four hours to reach a verdict in favor of our client after a four-week trial. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in full.
- An arbitrator awarded $550,000 in favor of our client against a former employee who stole its trade secrets and violated copyright law.
- A jury took just four hours to find in favor of our happy client in a three-plaintiff retaliation case tried in Alameda County Superior Court.
- In a trial involving 13 causes of action, including retaliation and violation of the First Amendment, the State of California prevailed 12-0.
- In a sexual harassment trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the trial judge dismissed the case at the close of evidence.
- In a retaliation and sexual harassment trial in San Diego Superior Court, a jury awarded the plaintiff just $1,400.00 after a three-week trial. Trust us, the plaintiff did not consider that a victory.
- In a judicial arbitration, the arbitrator dismissed a sexual harassment claim holding there was insufficient evidence of harassment.
- In a bench trial, a superior court judge found a retailer's manager was exempt from overtime law.
- In a trial before the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, the judge decided in favor of a major retailer in a claim of retaliation brought by a former manager.
- In labor arbitrations involving discharges and contract interpretation matters, the Firm has lost one case in their 35 years of combined experience.
- In matters before the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the hearing officers have dismissed claims based on unpaid overtime, unpaid bonuses, penalties, "on call" pay, and a host of other wage and hour issues.
Success Before Trial
Published opinions reveal only a small slice of a lawyer's experience because most favorable resolutions are not published in reported decisions. The Firm's attorneys have obtained favorable demurrer rulings and summary judgment in numerous cases before federal district courts and California superior courts. The types of cases we have litigated are as varied as California employment law will permit.
- The Firm's attorneys have persuaded courts to grant summary judgment in state court cases alleging discrimination and retaliation on nearly every protected basis, harassment, wage and hour, breach of contract, and other claims.
- Courts also have dismissed a number of cases before the parties have conducted any discovery. The Firm's attorneys have prevailed on motions involving statute of limitations, exhaustion of administrative remedies, workers' compensation preemption, insufficient facts, and other bases for dismissing lawsuits at the pleading stage.
- In one of the first cases brought under California's "baby WARN" act, Greg Valenza successfully brought a motion to dismiss (demurrer) against a class action involving a major health care company.
- In a wage and hour class action against a major retailer, the Court refused to grant the plaintiff's motion to certify a class of assistant managers seeking overtime pay and penalties.
- In another wage and hour class action against another retailer, the Court refused to certify a class of store managers seeking overtime pay, and penalties for missed meals and rest periods.
SUCCESS OUT OF COURT
When in court, victory is measured by favorable rulings. But an employment lawyer's success often is measured out of court. We know each client measures success in different ways. We have helped employers achieve their goals without litigation:
- Defending against administrative agency audits involving various national employers, minimizing potential exposure to penalties and litigation.
- Resolving threatened claims by negotiation and early resolution.
- Drafting new policies and procedures and assisting with low-risk implementation.
- Advising management regarding difficult termination decisions, layoff analysis, investigations of workplace misconduct, disability/accommodation/leaves of absence, with the goal of avoiding the courthouse.
- Drafting and revising policies and procedures that comply with laws of multiple jurisdictions, resulting in reduced risk.
- Assisting with implementation of policy changes that reduce legal exposure.
- Preventive audits of wage and hour and compliance issues to identify problem areas.
- Conducting timely and credible investigations of alleged misconduct to support management decision-making and assess potential liability.
- Providing training to employees that clearly expresses the organization's expectations with respect to workplace conduct and decision-making processes.
WHAT ATTENDEES ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR TRAINING SESSIONS
Below are some excerpts from attendees' reviews of our training sessions.