LOS ANGELES (May 11, 2012) — Leading law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced today that two of the firm’s Los Angeles office partners, Laura Shelby and Diana Tabacopoulos have been named to the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Lawyers” list. The annual list of California's top female attorneys profiles 75 litigators and 25 corporate or transactional lawyers who have played a significant role in California's legal market over the past year.
Laura Shelby has been at the forefront of California employment practice for more than 20 years and recently assumed the role of Managing Partner for Seyfarth’s Los Angeles - Century City office, one of the fastest growing offices in the firm. Shelby's practice focuses on employment litigation. Over the years, she has also been successful at obtaining dismissal of cases through summary judgment. Most recently this was evidenced by dismissals on race discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract and a long fought disability case. Through these victories, Shelby has helped shape employment law in California. She was highlighted in a profile in the Daily Journal for her work on a Supreme Court case in which an employer was being sued on the issue of privacy in the workplace, when a surveillance camera was installed in the office of a nonprofit residential facility for neglected and abused children.
Shelby successfully argued that the reason that the employer installed the camera was to find out who was using the computer at night to look at child pornography. The Court agreed that employer had the right to conduct surveillance in the workplace under appropriate circumstances
“It was the right thing to do,” Shelby told the Daily Journal. “It’s always an uphill battle for employers. Laws are very much in favor of plaintiffs suing, and the system favors plaintiffs. As a defense lawyer, I think to win a case, you’ve got to grab the moral high ground.”
With more than 20 years of experience, Diana Tabacopoulos specializes in defending corporations in complex wage and hour class actions as well as ERISA and consumer class actions. Tabacopoulos has been lead counsel in more than 75 wage and hour class and collective actions in California and nationwide. She has been most successful in challenging class allegations at the outset of litigation, thereby saving her clients the significant time and expense associated with the defense of class actions. When cases do proceed, she has a nearly perfect record of opposing class certification in California state-based and federal nationwide wage and hour class and collective actions. When it comes to facing opposing counsel, Tabacopoulos said, “I try to be well-prepared for them and give them a snapshot of what’s to come, how the evidence will shake out. I give them a lot to think about.”
In her Daily Journal profile, Tabacopoulos was commended for her work in defeating class certification for a client charged with claims for alleged missed meal periods on behalf of nearly 55,000 employees in California. In a 42-page decision, the judge found that regardless of how Brinker turned out, [the client] provided evidence to that it made every effort to provide legally compliant meal periods. Tabacopoulos said she knew her client had a solid case, regardless of the outcome of the highly anticipated Brinker meal-and-rest-period Supreme Court decision.
Seyfarth Shaw has over 800 attorneys located in 10 offices throughout the United States, including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as internationally in London. Seyfarth Shaw provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. The firm’s clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, and our practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the economy. For more information, please visit www.seyfarth.com.