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Littler’s knowledge and successful representation of employers in labor and employment law cases extends beyond the trial court to federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. Over the years, we have represented employers in appeals of some of the nation’s most influential labor and employment law cases, including those before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the last five years alone, Littler has prevailed in over 100 federal and state appellate cases that have helped to define employment laws and shape workplace practices in a direction that is favorable to employers.
A signature of Littler’s appellate practice is our exclusive focus on labor and employment law, which brings important perspective and enables us to identify and address potential issues at the trial court level, while properly positioning the case for further appellate review and success. Because of our singular focus on labor and employment, we see the full picture across the lifespan of a case. Our significant collective experience also protects our clients’ interests by enhancing our ability to realistically predict cost, provide budgets and outline potential outcomes.
Another important aspect of our practice is our collaborative approach at all stages of a case, from its initial filing through all levels of appeal. Practitioners who regularly handle appeals confer with trial leads and review appellate briefings as a matter of course. This approach allows us to offer better solutions and leverage bold thinking on behalf of our clients.
We regularly handle a broad range of civil appeals and extraordinary writ proceedings, as well as amicus curie briefing, which has allowed Littler to hone its experience in all aspects of the appellate process, including carefully evaluating the trial record, analyzing and framing the issues based on the appellate standard of review, conducting focused research on the identified legal issues, writing persuasive briefs and presenting convincing oral arguments. Littler’s experienced appellate attorneys, which include board-certified appellate counsel, have the unique skills needed for this practice area.
Littler has had the distinction of prevailing in a number of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Most recently, in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, Littler represented a cruise line in a significant win for California employers seeking to enforce arbitration agreements under the state's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). In a case of first impression involving the interplay between the ubiquitous Federal Arbitration Act and PAGA, which allows a current or former employee to step into the shoes of California’s Labor Commissioner and obtain civil penalties for violations of certain state labor laws, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled long-standing California Supreme Court precedent when it held that employers may compel arbitration of a plaintiff’s individual PAGA claims. In addition, the court opined that under the PAGA as written, a plaintiff who is required to arbitrate individual PAGA claims lacks standing to prosecute claims on behalf of other aggrieved employees, and therefore the non-individual representative PAGA claims in such cases must be dismissed.