The Recorder has named Lieff Cabraser partners Dean M. Harvey and Sarah R. London to its second annual list of “California Trailblazers.” The award recognizes 52 lawyers who “have made significant marks on the practice, policy and technological advancement of the practice, and who are truly agents of change.”
The Recorder highlights Dean’s work leading the High-Tech Antitrust class action against Google, Apple, Intel and other tech giants for allegedly conspiring to suppress the mobility and compensation of their technical employees. To retain workers, the companies began operating under a “no poach” agreement, where they would no longer recruit each other’s employees, limiting workers’ ability to change companies and move to higher paying jobs. Dean pioneered the data strategy that successfully proved the companies’ repeated violations of the federal anti-trust laws, and secured a $435 million award to the 64,000 affected tech industry employees. This landmark case resulted in the largest recovery (by far) of any class action asserting antitrust claims in the employment context and is one of several cases in which Dean has used anti-trust laws to protect workers’ rights.
“It’s really been a thrill to be a part of a lot of the leading cases in this area and to help courts wrestle with this and steer the law in, I think a good direction,” Dean noted. “The companies want to keep their employees, but they don’t want to pay them what they are worth. And what you’re worth in the employment setting is what an alternative employer is willing to pay.”
Separately, The Recorder focuses on Sarah’s long history of fighting for social justice. Growing up in a family of union members and public school teachers, Sarah worked as a union organizer and Planned Parenthood lobbyist after college and finally became a lawyer so that she could assist victims whose voices often go unheard.
“I’ve always been a bit of a moth to a flame when it comes to speaking truth to power,” she said.
Sarah is now taking the fight to the tobacco companies, e-cigarette manufacturers, and those responsible for contaminating the drinking water with lead in Flint, Michigan. She is currently subclass settlement counsel in the federal class action on behalf of Flint’s residents and is co-lead counsel in the nationwide multidistrict Juul e-cigarette fraud and injury litigation. After going up against and defeating Big Tobacco in cases in Florida, Sarah says that she was disappointed to see another company trying to “get a new generation back on nicotine.”
Congratulations to both Dean and Sarah on this outstanding accomplishment!