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Recommended: California – Labor and Employment
Benchmark Litigation 2021


Defended Uber against a lawsuit filed by Alphabet Inc.-owned Google’s Waymo LLC in what has been hailed as the trade secrets case of the century. Waymo sought $1.6 billion from the ride share startup and an injunction that would have imperiled Uber’s presence in the self-driving car market. Four days into trial, Uber settled the case, giving Waymo equity stake in the company of .34%, worth about $244.8 million, viewed by many observers as a win for Uber. Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al., 17-CV00939 (N.D. Cal., filed Feb. 23, 2017).
Defeated preliminary injunction sought against Shaklee Corporation for its hiring of former Melaleuca executive in China to lead Shaklee’s China operations allegedly in violation of his restrictive covenants. The parties subsequently entered into a settlement to end the dispute. Melaleuca, Inc. et al. v. Kot Nam Shan et al., Case No. 4:18-cv-00036-DCN (D. Idaho).
Represented American International Group (AIG) and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) in a customer- and employee-raiding and trade secrets misappropriation case against billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy and several executives who left ILFC to found competitor Air Lease Corporation, which later achieved a nearly $1B IPO. Also defended AIG and ILFC in a cross-complaint by Steven Udvar-Hazy alleging that AIG breached an oral contract to sell to him approximately a billion dollars’ worth of aircraft. After years of litigation, the parties ultimately resolved the case with AIG receiving $72 million in payments under a settlement of the lawsuit. AIG v. Air Lease, BC483370, Superior Court of California (Los Angeles).

Secured a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and ultimately a seven figure settlement for a publicly traded financial institution in an action against former employees and their new employer who used data taken from plaintiff by the former employees at the request of the new employer to raid plaintiff of employees and solicit customers using misappropriated confidential and trade secret information.

Using our U.S. and U.K. experience, we resolved a cross-border poaching dispute, allowing our client to hire a key executive prior to the expiration of post-termination restrictions.

Obtained appellate affirmance of order denying class certification in manager misclassification action alleging that our client misclassified its grocery store managers and assistant managers—the two highest-level managers in the stores—as exempt from California overtime laws. Secured dismissal of representative PAGA claim after obtaining summary adjudication of one time-barred PAGA plaintiff’s claim and winning an early motion in limine excluding all the purported representative evidence the other PAGA plaintiff proposed to offer.

Defeated class certification in manager misclassification action alleging that our retail client misclassified its General Managers—responsible for every aspect of leading their stores’ multimillion-dollar per year operations—as exempt from California overtime and related laws. Successfully moved to strike representative PAGA action on grounds that it could not be manageably tried consistent with due process.

Defeated class certification in action claiming our supply chain client violated California wage-and-hour laws by requiring warehouse employees to undergo security screening at the end of their shifts. Obtained this result by showing that the plaintiff’s trial plan was deficient and a class action would not be manageable or superior to individual actions.

Secured plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal, after we filed a motion to strike, of representative PAGA claim seeking recovery of civil penalties on behalf of our client’s retail pharmacists for alleged violations of overtime, meal and rest break, and other California wage-and-hour laws.

Through six years of litigation, we defeated multiple claims of whistleblower retaliation under SOX and other federal and state statutes by a former employee of a large publicly traded engineering company. We won at every stage of the process, including before OSHA and similar state agencies, a Department of Labor administrative law judge, the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.