The Daily Journal (subscription) has published its annual listing of Top Women Lawyers in California, which list includes Lieff Cabraser partners Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Kelly M. Dermody. The Top Women Lawyers award recognizes exemplary female attorneys actively involved in cutting-edge work in litigation, regulation, and corporate transactions with the most influential impact across the legal field.
The publication highlights Ms. Cabraser’s involvement as sole lead plaintiff’s counsel in the Volkswagen Clean Diesel litigation, where more than 500 federal lawsuits against the auto manufacturer were consolidated into one matter in San Francisco after VW publicly admitted that it had rigged emissions testing and production in the diesel engines of approximately 11 million vehicles worldwide.
“Like a climber returning from Mount Everest struggling for adjectives to characterize the experience, it seems inadequate to describe the Volkswagen case as enormously complex, but no better words exist,” The Journal wrote. The VW lawsuit settled for a total of $14.7 billion, with more than 95 percent of the class participating in the settlement and with some aspects of the consumer restitution process still ongoing. The publication also mentions Cabraser’s work in the Takata Corp. Airbag Products Liability litigation, as well as the BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill case.
“Cabraser’s list of accomplishments is long enough to require an appendix and yet every time it appears that she has already done it all, she demonstrates an uncanny knack for finding another mountain worth climbing,” noted The Journal.
The Journal separately singles out Ms. Dermody’s many cases, which involve wage suppression, gender discrimination and matters related to the #MeToo movement. Last year, Dermody and co-counsel filed a high-profile gender discrimination class action against tech giant Google alleging the tech giant fails to pay and promote women the same as men for equal or similar work.
According to Dermody, the Google Gender Equal Pay case “is one of the first cases that has been prosecuting equal pay claims under the amended California Equal Pay Act or the Fair Pay Act. So that’s been, I think, an important piece of litigation independent of our role in it… It’s a piece of litigation that’s being watched because it has the potential to actually flesh out some of the standards of the amended law.”
Dermody added that “the case is one of the rare class action cases being prosecuted in solely in California state court that challenges equal pay practices systemically, with most cases in that area seen in federal court under federal law.”
Dermody is also actively leading employment lawsuits against Microsoft, Sandia National Laboratories, and Goldman Sachs over claims the companies discriminate against female employees for pay, promotions and evaluations.
Congratulations to both Elizabeth and Kelly for this extraordinary recognition!
About Elizabeth Cabraser
A name partner and co-founder of Lieff Cabraser, Elizabeth Cabraser chairs the firm’s personal injury and environmental litigation practice groups. One of the nation’s leading class action litigators and possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, she has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. Today, she serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation’s highest profile civil cases, including a solo leadership role in the VW “Clean Diesel” Emissions case, as well as lead positions in the GM ignition switch defect and Takata defective airbag cases, and the recently-filed Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge diesel emissions fraud litigation, Generic Drugs Pricing antitrust litigation, and the National Prescription Opiates litigation.
About Kelly Dermody
The Chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Kelly M. Dermody specializes in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases, including gender discrimination cases against Google, Microsoft, Sandia National Labs and Goldman Sachs. Her additional case work includes wage suppression claims against technology, healthcare, and academic institutions; overtime and lost pay lawsuits for low-wage workers, I/T professionals, and foreign nationals working for American corporations; and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.