Newmeyer Dillion Defends Lender in Labor & Employment Suit Between Former, Current Executive

Successfully defended a prominent, national lender in a contentious sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination lawsuit brought between a former and current executive. With over one million dollars in lost wages, emotional distress and punitive damages at stake, plus upwards of $400,000 in costs and legal fees, it was a high-stakes and hostile claim within the finance industry, amid the backdrop of the #MeToo movement. We focused our strategy on prevailing at trial, leveraging criminal trial experience during deposition testimony and informal discovery to drive a slashing cross-examination during arbitration. On the first day of arbitration, Michael Studenka's day-long cross-examination of the plaintiff yielded a waiver of costs, walk-away deal that ended 14 months of litigation—a rare outcome.


Newmeyer Dillion Defends National Homebuilder in California Age Discrimination and Wrongful Termination Claim Resulting in Total Defense

Successfully defended a national homebuilder in its first labor and employment lawsuit, which was centered around age discrimination and wrongful termination. Not only could this lawsuit have jeopardized the culture and reputation of the client, but the victory prevented the client from paying over $560,000 in alleged lost wages and non-economic damages, $2 million in punitive damages and up to $400,000 in attorney fees sought by the plaintiff. Drawing from our extensive experience defending clients in high-stakes labor and employment disputes, our strategy focused on guiding the company through each stage of the lawsuit – protecting their reputation and leaving no stone unturned as our team triumphed through five full days of arbitration and the examination of 13 witnesses scattered across the country. Ultimately, the client walked away paying $0 in total – a monumental win for the client and the second total defense verdict for Michael Studenka and our Labor & Employment team in 90 days.


Won Appeal to Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board Resulting in Reversal of Finding of an Employment Relationship for Entire Category of Workers

Appealed Employment Development Department’s finding of an employment relationship between employer-client and an entirety category of its workers, which determination would have been detrimental to the client’s ability to operate. Tara crafted an innovative legal argument for her client, which resulted in a three judge panel of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board unanimously deciding to reverse the findings of the EDD, determining that the workers were independent contractors and not employees.

Pursuit of Rogue Employee for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Successfully pursued former high level employee of a large, international company who left and began to compete against our client relying on trade secrets and proprietary information.  Through formal and informal discovery techniques, was able to reveal a plot to unfairly compete against the client.  Compelled a settlement that saw the return of all trade secret information and payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the client in damages.

Successful Defense of Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Took over an age discrimination lawsuit against a major homebuilder and within 60 days, through his own informal discovery efforts and deposition was able to show that the plaintiff had engaged in various illegal activities to compel a settlement that required the client to pay nothing.

Successful Defense of Discrimination / Harassment Lawsuits

Defended a restaurant in several lawsuits arising out its kitchen personnel.  Single-handedly uncovered a plot amongst various former employees to defraud the employer through litigation, implicating even their counsel.  Litigation ended in “waiver of cost” deals for the employer for which they paid nothing.

Successful PAGA Defense

Handled defense of client with more than 500 employees in resolving PAGA complaints which alleged numerous Labor Code violations regarding minimum wage, overtime, rounding meal and rest breaks, expense reimbursements, and paystubs.

Product Distributor, Employment Compliance

A very successful product distributor needed assistance in ensuring compliance with California’s wage and hour laws.  Newmeyer Dillion helped the business transition to a system that helped the business document its compliance, improve its management systems, while at the same time improving employee morale.  Newmeyer Dillion then performed a detailed analysis of unique issues affecting executive level staff to make sure the business was fully informed when making key business decisions.

NLRB Unfair Labor Practice Charge

Defended a service employer charged with refusal to bargain in good faith and unlawful recognition of another labor organization as the exclusive bargaining representative of the affected employees.  Following extensive briefing, the NLRB Regional Director dismissed the charge and determined that the affected employees were properly accreted to a preexisting bargaining unit.


Assisted a service client with more than 1,000 employees in resolving PAGA complaints which alleged numerous Labor Code violations regarding minimum wage, overtime, rounding meal and rest breaks, expense reimbursements, and paystubs.