O'Melveny's Amdursky, Chopra, Siegel, Virjee Named Leading California Labor and Employment Lawyers by the Daily JournalJuly 20, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CA -- July 20, 2012 -- The Daily Journal has named O'Melveny & Myers LLP partners Eric Amdursky, Apalla U. Chopra, Robert Siegel, and Fram Virjee to its 2012 list of California's leading labor and employment lawyers. In its July 18, 2012, Labor & Employment supplement, the Daily Journal discusses the "cutting-edge" work that earned Amdursky, Chopra, Siegel, and Virjee a spot on its collection of the "very top practitioners in the field." This is the third year in a row that Siegel and Virjee have been recognized as leading California labor and employment lawyers, Chopra’s second consecutive appearance, and Amdursky joins the list for the first time.
Considering himself a “businessman as well as a lawyer,” Eric Amdursky, Managing Partner of O’Melveny’s Silicon Valley Office, regularly works on management-crisis consulting and providing advice to clients on employment law issues arising out of venture capital partner disputes, mergers, and acquisitions. Amdursky also frequently engages in contentious litigation focusing on executive compensation, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret noncompetition, and venture capital partnership disputes. Last year, Amdursky represented Babcock & Brown International Pty. Ltd. (BBIPL) in a “complex dispute” against BBL (its parent company) over the rights to a US$9.1 million employee benefits trust, which was created as a vehicle to purchase and distribute BBL shares to compensate employee equity awards. During an 18-hour mediation, Amdursky scored a favorable settlement for BBIPL resulting in the client awarded more than US$5 million in US currency of the trust proceeds.
Apalla U. Chopra is Chair of O’Melveny's Labor and Employment Practice and practices both employment and labor law. She specializes in litigating complex multi-plaintiff and class action discrimination and wage and hour cases. Chopra also represents clients in traditional labor matters under the National Labor Relations Act. In October 2011, Chopra secured a significant victory for The DIRECTV group, a leading provider of digital television entertainment services when a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles County enforced an arbitration agreement that included a class action waiver provision. Leveraging the recent US Supreme Court decision in AT&T v. Concepcion, Chopra and her team filed a motion to compel arbitration, arguing that the arbitration agreement the employee executed required the plaintiff to arbitrate his claims on an individual basis and precluded him from bringing class claims. As a result of the decision, the plaintiff’s class claims have been dismissed, leaving his individual claim to be arbitrated. The matter is currently on appeal before the 2nd Appellate District.
Robert Siegel focuses his practice on the representation of airlines, as well as major companies in other industries. He represents several major airlines in employment law litigation and counseling, and also in labor negotiations, National Mediation Board matters, arbitrations, and litigation under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). In 2011, Siegel won victories for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and US Airways in three separate cases, two of which (United and US Airways) returned verdicts in the same week. In the Delta case, Siegel obtained a favorable decision when a federal judge denied a preliminary injunction that would have required Delta to pay millions of dollars to a group of union-affiliated flight attendants who alleged to have been underpaid by the airline following its 2008 merger with their former employer, Northwest Airlines Inc.
Fram Virjee represents employers in employment-related litigation (especially multiparty and class action litigation), collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, and administrative actions before state and federal agencies. Last year, Virjee secured an important victory for Bank of America (BofA) against inventory services company, RGIS LLC. RGIS brought an action for indemnity against BofA, alleging that BofA’s charging of check-cashing fees to RGIS employees who were non-BofA accountholders when they cashed RGIS payroll checks caused RGIS to violate California Labor Code Section 212. BofA filed a motion for summary judgment challenging RGIS’ claims based upon National Bank Act preemption and also on the ground that RGIS was fully informed of the fee. In response, RGIS was forced to change its legal theory completely, filing a first amended complaint, this time seeking class action recovery as an alleged third-party beneficiary to an agreement between BofA and another customer, and raising new class claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and false advertising. In a unique attempt to avoid the statute of limitations based upon the “delayed discovery” rule, RGIS claimed BofA had withheld from RGIS knowledge of the earlier agreement. Virjee argued on behalf of BofA that RGIS was not a third-party beneficiary to the earlier agreement, that the earlier agreement did not provide RGIS with any rights, and that the delayed discovery rule did not apply because, as a court-approved settlement, the earlier agreement was a matter of public record and, therefore, the statute of limitation had run. The trial court agreed, as did the court of appeal, adopting BofA’s position in total and eviscerating significant class action exposure for the Bank.
About O'Melveny's Labor and Employment Practice
O’Melveny’s Labor and Employment lawyers practice in virtually every area of labor and employment law—from litigating in federal and state courts across the country, to working with O’Melveny’s Transactions deal teams as employment, labor and employee benefits specialists; from drafting and negotiating of senior executive employment contracts, to conducting “best practices” training of our clients’ supervisors and managers; from representing clients in union organizing drives, at the collective bargaining table and in collective bargaining related arbitrations and court litigation, to advising and counseling clients on virtually every aspect of employment and labor law. O'Melveny's labor and employment lawyers provide this work to clients across the US, in virtually every state and in a myriad of industries and business lines. With over 40 labor and employment lawyers in six offices on both coasts, O'Melveny's practice is both national in scope and local in focus.
About O’Melveny & Myers LLP
With approximately 800 lawyers in 15 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com.