A long-time professor brought a lawsuit against the university alleging denial of tenure because of gender and disability discrimination. To reach the resolution, partners Jean Hyams and Leslie Levy combed through thousands of pages of tenure files, deposed high-level university officials, and represented the plaintiff during mediation.
A BART employee who had complained about racial harassment by a co-worker and systemic race discrimination brought suit against his employer. Years after the case was originally filed, partners Darci Burrell and Jean Hyams were brought on to take the case to trial. With only a few months to prepare, Darci and Jean worked feverishly to muster the evidence and prepare the legal arguments that would help prove that BART should be held responsible for the retaliation and harassment suffered by its employee. The jury found in his favor on all counts, in a clear vindication of the mechanic’s rights.
Partners Jean Hyams and Darci Burrell tried a case on behalf of a woman who suffered retaliation after she complained repeatedly about sexual and racial harassment on the graveyard shift at Caltrans’ Oakland Transportation Management Center. Members of the jury wept when they rendered a unanimous verdict finding Caltrans liable for maintaining a sexually and racially hostile work environment and subjecting the plaintiff to retaliation. By obtaining a jury verdict and attorneys’ fee award in excess of $1 million, the trial team vindicated the rights of the Caltrans employee and delivered a clear message to employers about the cost of maintaining a work environment in which sexually and racially inappropriate conduct is permitted to thrive.
Partner Sharon Vinick represented an African American woman who alleged that she had been discriminated and retaliated against due to her race and gender, while she was a neurosurgery resident at UCSF. Following her termination for alleged poor performance, Sharon filed suit on her behalf, alleging claims for discrimination, retaliation, and breach of contract. After extensive litigation, the case settled on non-confidential terms.
Partners Darci Burrell and Leslie Levy represented a 27-year employee of the City of Emeryville after she was terminated from her job following a psychiatrist’s report that she was “unfit for duty.” The employee, who was chief union steward at the time of her termination, had challenged racial discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment by City management throughout her career. Darci and Leslie charted new legal territory in this case by bringing a claim against the psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Raffle, for “aiding and abetting” the City in retaliating against their client for her years of anti-discrimination advocacy on behalf of herself and others. On the eve of the jury trial, Emeryville agreed to pay an estimated $3.6 million in damages and attorney’s fees to settle the case. The settlement was a vindication for the employee and restored her good name.
Partners Sharon Vinick and Darci Burrell pursued litigation in state court on behalf of a woman earning minimum wage who had been sexually harassed, as well as assaulted, by her manager. The case settled in the mid-six figures, despite the fact that the client was an undocumented immigrant and had modest economic losses.