People: Rebecca S. Bjork, Senior Counsel

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Rebecca S. Bjork

Senior Counsel

Washington, D.C.
Direct: (202) 828-5340
Fax: (202) 641-9219
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Rebecca S. Bjork is Senior Counsel in the Labor and Employment Department in the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  She has represented clients in the pharmaceutical, automotive, transportation, food and beverage, telecommunications, staffing, higher education, and retail industries in employment, products liability, and consumer class actions and other aggregate litigation proceedings. 

Ms. Bjork has particular experience in defending Rule 23 class action lawsuits and government-initiated litigation, including by the EEOC (e.g.,the EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. matter in the Western District of New York and the two EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick’s matters in Baltimore).  In so doing, she has represented clients on issues related to the permissible scope of discovery in such cases, statutes of limitations issues, bifurcation in case management orders, burdens of proof and defenses to pattern or practice lawsuits, coordination of private plaintiff and EEOC-driven litigation, jurisdictional issues (e.g., removal of cases filed by state agencies), and others.  In several cases, Ms. Bjork has achieved success in early stages, including securing an order striking class allegations in nationwide class action alleging gender discrimination in pay. She has obtained dismissals and summary judgments in othercases, and also has secured denials of class certification and approvals of class action settlements, including one involving over 6 million class members.  She also has practiced in the area of multidistrict litigation, including petitioning the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to establish such proceedings and appoint a specific federal court to oversee them, transferring newly-filed state court cases to them through removal and remand opposition briefing, and managing pretrial activities in the transferee court.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Bjork was an associate professor at the University of Utah, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Communication and Debate.

Ms. Bjork is a contributing author for Seyfarth Shaw’s Workplace Class Action Blog, available at: www.workplaceclassaction.com.

Rebecca S. Bjork is Senior Counsel in the Labor and Employment Department in the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  She has represented clients in the pharmaceutical, automotive, transportation, food and beverage, telecommunications, staffing, higher education, and retail industries in employment, products liability, and consumer class actions and other aggregate litigation proceedings. 

Ms. Bjork has particular experience in defending Rule 23 class action lawsuits and government-initiated litigation, including by the EEOC (e.g.,the EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. matter in the Western District of New York and the two EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick’s matters in Baltimore).  In so doing, she has represented clients on issues related to the permissible scope of discovery in such cases, statutes of limitations issues, bifurcation in case management orders, burdens of proof and defenses to pattern or practice lawsuits, coordination of private plaintiff and EEOC-driven litigation, jurisdictional issues (e.g., removal of cases filed by state agencies), and others.  In several cases, Ms. Bjork has achieved success in early stages, including securing an order striking class allegations in nationwide class action alleging gender discrimination in pay. She has obtained dismissals and summary judgments in othercases, and also has secured denials of class certification and approvals of class action settlements, including one involving over 6 million class members.  She also has practiced in the area of multidistrict litigation, including petitioning the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to establish such proceedings and appoint a specific federal court to oversee them, transferring newly-filed state court cases to them through removal and remand opposition briefing, and managing pretrial activities in the transferee court.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Bjork was an associate professor at the University of Utah, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Communication and Debate.

Ms. Bjork is a contributing author for Seyfarth Shaw’s Workplace Class Action Blog, available at: www.workplaceclassaction.com.

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
  • Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • M.A., University of North Texas
  • B.A., University of Minnesota

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota

Courts

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Curcuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Affiliations

  • Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • American Forensic Association (Lifetime Member)

Representative Engagements

  • Secured order striking class allegations in nationwide class action alleging gender discrimination in pay.
  • Ongoing trial and appellate court representation in several class action lawsuits alleging gender discrimination in pay and promotions.
  • Ongoing representation in EEOC pattern-or-practice and private plaintiff lawsuits alleging race discrimination in hiring and promotions.
  • Ongoing representation in FLSA collective action alleging wage and hour violations.
  • Representation in multidistrict litigation proceeding including multiple overlapping class actions alleging violations of state and federal laws regarding classification of workers as independent contractors.
  • Representation in multidistrict litigation proceeding including multiple overlapping class actions, personal injury, and state Attorney General lawsuits alleging failure to warn of dangers of prescription drug.
  • Representation in several personal injury trials alleging failure to warn of dangers of prescription drug
  • Representation in several settled class action lawsuits alleging defect in automobiles sold by various manufacturers.
  • Helped secure dismissal of class action complaint filed in state court on the grounds that plaintiff had not stated a claim for relief. The court found that plaintiff’s economic loss theory did not state a compensable injury because she did not allege that the prescription drug at issue had been ineffective, did not allege any personal injuries, and her allegation that she paid more for the drug than she should have was too speculative to support relief.
  • Researched and drafted law and evidentiary motions on behalf of pharmaceutical company in numerous state court personal injury trials that resulted in a defense verdicts.
  • Secured transfer of numerous cases involving allegedly dangerous prescription drug to federal MDL, including class actions, personal injury cases, and cases brought by state attorneys general and other government entities.
  • Helped obtain denial of certification of class action against automobile manufacturer involving claims that company misled customers about the size of the radiators installed in the customers’ trucks. Also successfully defended company in plaintiff’s appeal to state supreme court.
  • Drafted briefing to secure approval of a settlement of automotive class action with over 6 million class members.
  • Drafted briefing to establish an MDL proceeding to conduct coordinated pretrial proceedings in cases alleging that users of defendant’s contact lens solution caused personal injury.
  • Helped secure dismissal of an adversarial proceeding in bankruptcy case for investment manager clients whose customers held bonds that plaintiff’s alleged were issued to fund a transaction designed to avoid asbestos liability.
  • Advised investment bank on Department of Education regulatory matters in connection with their underwriting of initial public offering of stock for company that owns for-profit colleges around the country.
  • Regularly represents, on a pro bono basis, incarcerated persons and individuals and organizations seeking to protect civil liberties.

Reported Cases

  • Wolf, et al. v. Sprenger + Lang, PLLC, et al., Nos. 11-CV 1206 & 11-CV 1208, 2013 D.C. App. LEXIS 883 (D.C. Jan. 30, 2014) (Amended Opinion).
  • Scott v. Family Dollar Stores, No. 3:08cv540, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4669 (W.D.N.C. Jan. 13, 2012) (Striking class allegations and the denying motion to amend complaint in nationwide class action sex discrimination lawsuit) (appeal pending).

Publications

Accolades

  • Recipient of the American Forensic Association Distinguished Service Award (1997)