In the Headlines

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein: Kelly M. Dermody (Employment Law – Individuals; Litigation – Labor & Employment, 2010) represented female employees in a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft, which alleged gender discrimination in the company’s pay and promotions. The plaintiffs successfully petitioned for appeal against an initial order denying certification. Thirty women’s and civil rights organizations showed their support for the appeal, including A Better Balance, the Equal Justice Society, and the Women’s Law Project.

McManis Faulkner: James McManis (Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation – First Amendment; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Municipal, 1997) represented Annie Lohman, formerly of the Mountain View Police Department and a SWAT team dispatcher, who alleges she was forced to resign from her position due to sexual harassment. “She was exposed to these disgusting practices this SWAT team had, then they turned on her because she wasn’t going to be one of the gang, ” McManis told Bay City News. “They basically made life miserable for her.”

O’Melveny & Myers: Scott W. Pink (Information Technology Law, 2007) spoke with Sharon Nelson and John Simek on the Legal Talk Network about the California Consumer Privacy Act. “There are a lot of companies, at least larger ones that might be affected by this law, that are doing business in Europe or at least believe they have to comply with the European Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. And to the extent that they have done that work, they are probably a little less concerned about this because this does in some ways mirror a lot of what you have to do in a GDPR,” Pink said of the ways California businesses may react to the impending regulations.

Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger: Doris Cheng (Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, 2010) filed one of two California class-action lawsuits against the Pacific Fertility Center for a tank malfunction that led to the loss of eggs and embryos of would-be parents. Chen called the loss “egregious, oppressive and substantially injurious” enough to have violated the state’s unfair-competition law, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The California lawsuits mirror those currently underway in Ohio, where the “catastrophic failure” of a tank led to the destruction of 4,000 eggs and embryos.

Honorable Mention

Durie Tangri: Ragesh K. Tangri (Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Patent; Patent Law; Trade Secrets Law) was nominated to serve on the board of directors for the San Francisco Bar Association for 2019. Tangri was one of six nominations to the board, including attorneys from Keker, Van Nest & Peters; Shartsis Friese; and Farella Braun + Martel. Doris Cheng (Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, 2010) of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger will serve as the association’s president in 2019.

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian: Jeffrey Vetter (Corporate Law; Corporate Governance Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law, 2011) joined the firm as a partner in its public offerings and public companies practice. “The opportunity to join Gunderson Dettmer and be a part of a corporate transactions juggernaut was irresistible,” Vetter said in a press release. “IPOs are seen as the ultimate exit strategy for many tech companies, and Gunderson Dettmer has all the right resources for growing and guiding entrepreneurs from start-up through IPO and beyond.”

In the News Feature

Paper Seeks Records Access Amid School District's Investigation 

Cannata, O’Toole, Fickes & Almazan: Karl Olson (Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television; Entertainment Law – Music; Litigation – First Amendment, 2006) represented the Tribune in its lawsuit against the Lucia Mar Unified School District. The local paper brought on the lawsuit in an effort to obtain records of the district’s response to allegations that a wrestling coach sexually abused his players. The lawsuit further alleges that the district wrongfully refused the Tribune’s record requests on the matter. Justin Magdaleno, the former Nipomo High School girls’ wrestling coach, resigned in June over allegations of assault. 

“The records requested (by the Tribune) concern the conduct of the public’s business and are vital to enable the public, particularly the residents of San Luis Obispo County and the Lucia Mar School District, to assess whether and to what extent the (district), and schools in general, protect their students against sexual harassment and assault,” Olson’s lawsuit reads in an excerpt published in the Tribune. “Without access to the records requested, the public will be left in the dark both about the conduct of Mr. Magdaleno and about the response of district officials to the reports of said conduct, both in this particular case and others involving similar allegations.” 

A Tribune reporter was the one to first break the story of Magdaleno’s alleged abuse, when 10 members of the girls’ wrestling team made accusations of “wrongful touching and verbal comments that were not appropriate” against the coach, per the Tribune’s report.  Since the initial report, the school district has been repeatedly denied the Tribune access to records due to a pending investigation. “(Both) the case law and the serious nature of the allegations against Mr. Magdaleno strongly support disclosure here,” Olson wrote in a letter. “The public has a right to know about the complaints against Mr. Magdaleno and the extent to which he has been disciplined.”