Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union at Bryan Schwartz Law

A year ago today, I announced the opening of Bryan Schwartz Law. I directed people to my new website,, and asked them to send their friends in need of employment advice my way. I asked my friends who are employment attorneys to send me any cases they were not going to handle, and to think of me if they had matters in which they needed co-counsel.

I am pleased and proud to say that Bryan Schwartz Law has been a great success though its first year in operation. Of approximately 350 potential cases that I have received, I have accepted about 35 of them, including several class and multi-plaintiff actions. I have settled or otherwise resolved favorably 11 cases, including a class action, resulting in well over $1.5 million in recovery for employees around the country. I have helped employees save their jobs, be compensated unpaid wages, obtain relief for discrimination they have suffered, and negotiate beneficial severance arrangements.

Some other highlights of Bryan Schwartz Law’s first year have included:
filing and settling a Federal District Court wage/hour class and collective action against Samsonite, resulting in nearly $1 million in relief for approximately 90 misclassified Store Managers across the country – an agreement which received the Court’s preliminary approval in December 2009, when the class was certified;

filing suit in California state court on behalf of a class of hundreds of parking attendants and other employees of Certified Parking Attendants, LLC, which engaged in flagrant violations of a host of state and federal wage and hour laws, utterly depriving its employees of overtime, meal/rest period premiums, and other compensation to which they were entitled;

filing suit in Federal District Court in Washington, DC, on behalf of 20 former executives of IndyMac Bank, who were not only laid off and deprived of all of the severance and bonus compensation to which they were entitled by their employment agreements, but from whom IndyMac Resources, Inc. (an IndyMac Bank subsidiary) is now trying to claw back compensation already paid;

defeating summary judgment in an individual age discrimination case in California state court after oral argument, at which I persuaded the court to reverse its tentative ruling granting partial summary judgment striking punitive damages claims;

appearing as amicus curiae (a friend of the Court) in the California Supreme Court on behalf of the California Employment Lawyers’ Association in the matter of Brinker v. Superior Court, S166350, one of the most significant employment cases pending in California, which will define the standard for meal/rest period compliance for all employers of hourly workers in the state;

hiring my first employees – Hillary Baker, an associate, who recently graduated from Hastings College of the Law and passed the California Bar, after working for several top plaintiffs’ employment law firms; Leslie Gordon, an intern for summer 2009, of the University of North Carolina; and Eric Barba, of the University of California Los Angeles law school, who will be a law clerk for summer 2010, who is a recipient of the California Employment Lawyers’ Association’s Diversity Fellowship;

being appointed to a prestigious post on the California Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section Executive Committee, and to the Board of Directors of FAIR, the California Employment Lawyers Association’s non-profit foundation;

speaking at the State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section’s annual meeting, the Hastings Women’s Law Journal’s annual symposium, at a forum at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law sponsored by the California Employment Lawyers Association and Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, at the Employment Law Center, and at a meeting of SCORE (a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA));

serving as Of Counsel to the firm of Hoffman & Lazear;


creating a successful employment law blog ( and website (, which both receive extensive Internet traffic.
My primary goal for the upcoming year is to continue attracting and accepting cases which help the individuals and groups of workers involved, and which have the potential to create a better legal climate for employees throughout the workforce.

I hope to win summary judgment in the matter of Ulloa v. United States Postal Service, on behalf of a disabled former Postal worker in Arizona, and to win class certification in the matter of Meyer v. United States Department of State, on behalf of all disabled/perceived as disabled Foreign Service Officer applicants nationwide. Both motions are fully briefed and pending decisions.

I hope to remain active in the California and National Employment Lawyers Associations and the California State Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and will be speaking at seminars, conferences, conventions, and/or events sponsored by all of these organizations throughout the year.

I hope to finally post the Spanish translation of my website. I hope to continue: writing provocative blog postings and other articles in hot areas of employment law; providing a fulfilling and fun work environment for my employees; providing useful support in Hoffman & Lazear matters in which I can be of assistance; and, to continue supporting my family, which will be moving to a new home in Alameda, California.

Thank you for your support over the last year. Please, keep thinking of Bryan Schwartz Law if you or someone you know needs help with a workplace or civil rights issue.

All the best,

Bryan Schwartz

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