The class and complex litigation attorneys at Lagasse Branch Bell + Kinkead are experts in their field.
Our attorneys have extensive experience defending businesses in a variety of class, collective, and representative actions brought in state and federal courts. We routinely litigate class claims brought under state and federal wage and hour laws, state and federal employment laws, and representative actions brought under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). We also have experience litigating class claims brought under the Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
We recognize class and representative actions carry greater potential risks and costs. Because of this, we work closely with our clients to understand their goals and ensure we best meet their objectives.
At the inception of each case, we perform a detailed analysis of the legal claims and defenses. We begin by conducting a prompt, thorough factual investigation, which allows us to accurately assess potential liability and help our clients make informed decisions. We then work with our clients to develop a litigation strategy that aligns with their goals, including determining whether early resolution is preferable over litigation. Our risk assessments also include recommendations for revisions or modifications to company policies and practices, which are designed to prevent ongoing violations and limit damages and penalties.
Our substantial class action experience allows us to deliver thoughtful, strategic, and creative approaches to complex cases. While there is no “one size fits all” solution for defending these claims, we have successfully limited liability for our clients by:
- Moving to compel arbitration and dismissing class claims or staying representative actions.
- Agreeing to participate in informal discovery. We have found the early, voluntary exchange of information and documents allows both sides to get the information needed to assess claims and defenses quickly and efficiently, while minimizing the expense of costly discovery.
- Conducting pick off campaigns to limit class size and settlement value.
- Using motion practice to challenge class definitions, manageability, and certification.
- Obtaining favorable declarations from management and putative class members for use in settlement negotiations and opposing class certification.
- When resolution best meets our client’s goals, we move quickly and efficiently to position the case for settlement and avoid prolonged and costly litigation. We are proud of our ability to facilitate settlements for our clients on favorable terms.
In complex employment litigation cases, our attorneys have successfully defended and negotiated favorable settlements of wage and hour claims involving: misclassification of contractors or employees; allegations of “off the clock” work; time keeping and rounding issues; purported meal and rest break violations; inaccurate itemized wage statements; challenges to bonus and other compensation plans; claims for unreimbursed business expenses; and other claims for damages and penalties resulting from alleged Labor Code or IWC Wage Order violations. We have also successfully defended class actions involving allegations that company policies or practices violate other state or federal laws, including Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
While we appreciate the opportunity to defend any class action, we are equally concerned with helping our clients avoid the next one. That is why we counsel our clients throughout the litigation process on ways to minimize potential liability and avoid future claims. We partner with our clients to audit their employment practices and evaluate compliance levels. We draft policies and procedures outlining compliance methods and requirements, and we help clients educate their employees on the importance of compliance.