Sometimes a quick settlement is not the best path to getting the highest possible recovery. When selecting an attorney, its good to know that you have a team with the understanding and experience to navigate California’s Courts of Appeal when that is needed. At the Graves Firm, we have a strong track record of success in the Courts of Appeal. We are proud of our record, not only obtaining success for clients, but also shaping the law to better protect California workers. Here are a few of our past results:
Successful Defense of Appeal in Turrieta v. Lyft, Case No. B304701
In Turrieta, the Graves Firm achieved one of the largest settlements ever reached in a case brought exclusively under the California Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”). Two non-parties, who were plaintiffs asserting PAGA claims against Lyft in other cases, sought to object to the settlement. Following the trial court's determination that non-parties were not entitled to object to a PAGA settlement, intervene in the case, or move to vacate the judgment approving the settlement, the non-parties appealed. After briefing and argument by Graves Firm attorneys, the Court of Appeal upheld the trial court judgment. The California Supreme Court has accepted review of this matter. See Case No. S271721.
Obtained Order to Show Cause on a Writ Petition in Leenay v. Lowe's Home Centers, LLC
In Lowe's, a number of cases against Lowe's were coordinated along with the case brought by Ann Leenay. The trial court granted the defendant's motion to stay all of the coordinated cases, pending resolution of individual arbitrations brought by claimants who were not party to any of the coordinated cases. Plaintiff Leenay filed a writ petition contending that a stay was inappropriate because: 1) a stay pending any and all Labor Code arbitrations brought against Lowe's - a large national retailer - was, in effect, a perpetual stay that would effect injustice in PAGA claims; and 2) Leenay's matter, specifically, had no overlapping issues with any of the currently pending arbitrations against Lowe's. The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District Division Two, issued an Order to Show Cause why relief should not be granted. The Court of Appeal has scheduled March 9, 2022 as the date for issuing a tentative opinion on the matter.
Obtained Writ Relief in Bamossy v. Bloomingdales
In Bamossy v. Bloomingdale's, Case No. 30-2017-00933266 in the Orange County Superior Court, the defendant, Bloomingdale's, Inc., moved to compel arbitration of Plaintiff's Private Attorney General claims seeking to recover penalties on behalf of the State of California for Bloomingdale's failure to 1) reimburse its sales employees for the use of their personal cellular telephones for work; and 2) pay its sales employees for time worked away from the store and off the clock. The trial court struck Plaintiff's claims for violation of Labor Code Sections 201 and 202, finding that the PAGA did not provide a remedy for violation of these sections. The Court of Appeal issued an alternative writ rejecting the trial court's decision and ordering the trial court to permit amendment of the complaint to seek penalties under Labor Code Section 2699(f) for violation of Sections 201 and 202.
Successful Defense of Appeal in George v. Manheim
In George v. Manheim, Case No. 16-56594 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, Plaintiff, an auctioneer, filed an action against his employer alleging the employer illegally terminated him on the basis of his age. The employer argued that auctioneers such as the Plaintiff were independent contractors, not employees entitled to protections against age discrimination. The District Court decided to stay the case pending the decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, which evaluated the question of the appropriate test for distinguishing whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Defendant appealed the order staying the case; and the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal on the motion of the Plaintiff.
Amicus Participation Baumann v. Chase Inv. Servs. Corp., 747 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2014)
In Baumann, The Graves Firm represented amicus curiae in successfully arguing that federal courts may not exercise original jurisdiction over Private Attorney General actions under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.