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FPS Update

Major Change to Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

By Litigation Tips

Many employers insist that their employees sign mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.  However, on October 10, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that will prohibit employers from requiring mandatory arbitration agreements for nearly all types of employment claims.  The bill adds a new Section 432.6 to the California Labor Code prohibiting any person (including employers) from requiring an applicant or employee (as a condition of employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit) to “waive any right, forum, or procedure” for alleged violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the California Labor Code.  

In light of the sweeping reach of the new law, many anticipate a successful legal challenge on the ground that it is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.  This could lead to years of litigation, and ultimately, the issue may need to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Given the current uncertainty, employers would be well-advised to consult with experienced employment counsel when considering whether to continue to use mandatory arbitration agreements or whether existing agreements need to be modified.

Lewis & Llewellyn in the Community

By Speaking Engagements

Our attorneys were busy last month presenting on all aspects of civil litigation.  Ryan Erickson and Evan Burbidge returned to the California Superior Court Boot Camp Conference hosted by Pincus Professional Education, giving presentations on “Mastering Oral Argument” and “How to Prepare for Trial.”  Becca Furman moderated a panel for the Bar Association of San Francisco on best practices for working with in-house counsel.  Paul Llewellyn presented at Bridgeport CLE’s trial preparation program on preparing witnesses for trial.  And Ryan Erickson and Nick Saenz traveled to UCLA to speak to law students about prosecuting and defending trade secret disputes.

Also in October, Marc Lewis spent two intensive days at NPR’s How I Built This Summit, a gathering of successful entrepreneurs.  Marc met with many groundbreaking builders and innovators including the founders of Instagram, JetBlue, Bliss, Slack, Away, Urban One, and others.  Programming included several small sessions where Marc discussed business fundamentals, personal and organizational leadership, and innovation with other entrepreneurs.

Lewis & Llewellyn Recognized as One of California’s Top Boutique Law Firms by The Daily Journal

By Announcements

Each year the Daily Journal, California’s leading legal publication, selects 20 law firms across the State as a “Top Boutique.”  This year, Lewis & Llewellyn earned a spot on the coveted list—the only firm selected in Northern California for complex litigation.  The Daily Journal recognized Lewis & Llewellyn’s success in handling complex business disputes, as well as the firm’s niche practice bringing civil lawsuits on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse.  This is the second time the firm has been included on the elite list, the first being in 2017.

See the Daily Journal’s full article on the firm below.

Lewis & Llewellyn Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

By Announcements

Last week, Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys, released its 2020 rankings.  Lewis & Llewellyn is pleased to have once again been recognized as one of the few “Recommended Firms” in both San Francisco and California—meaning Benchmark deems the firm a “leader” in both markets.  Additionally, Marc Lewis was named as a Labor & Employment Star, with an emphasis on his burgeoning employee mobility practice.  And Paul Llewellyn was named as a Benchmark Litigation Star, a category which Benchmark identifies as the preeminent litigation practitioners in the U.S. 

Lewis & Llewellyn in the Community

By Speaking Engagements

Last week, Lewis & Llewellyn partner Paul Llewellyn was a featured speaker at the Practising Law Institute’s Pocket MBA 2019 program.  This two-day intensive course was designed for non-accountants, in-house and law firm attorneys looking to improve their understanding of business strategies and accounting fundamentals taught by a faculty from elite accounting and law firms, private equity investors, bankers, consultants and academics.

And on November 1, 2019, Lewis & Llewellyn partners Evangeline Burbidge and Ryan Erickson will be speaking at Pincus Professional Education’s Superior Court Boot Camp in San Francisco on “Mastering Oral Argument” and “How to Prepare for Trial.”  This full day program will focus on the nuts and bolts of litigating in California State Court from the filing of a complaint to post-trial motions and appeals.  To learn more about the program, or to register, click here.

How to Avoid Accusations of Trade Secrets Theft

By Litigation Tips

Lewis & Llewellyn partner Nick Saenz is a regular contributor to Tech Crunch, one of the web’s leading publications focused on the technology industry.  In a recent article, Nick cautioned readers on how to avoid accusations of trade secrets theft, when either leaving for a competitor or onboarding new employees.  You can read the article, which includes Nick’s sage advice, below or on TechCrunch’s website.