San Francisco, California 94111
Joan Fife is managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office and the head of the firm’s San Francisco labor and employment group. She represents employers throughout the country in class action employment litigation and has been named repeatedly by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top Women Litigators in California” and “Top Labor and Employment Lawyers.” Chambers USA recognizes Ms. Fife as a leading lawyer in the California labor and employment law. Clients praise her “very good courtroom demeanor” and describe her as “very creative with regards to legal arguments” (Chambers USA 2014). Ms. Fife was also recognized as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell and was named to The Recorder’s list of “Women Leaders in Law 2012.”
Ms. Fife has more than 25 years of experience as a labor and employment litigator. She has had lead responsibility for more than 40 class or collective actions across the country, and has never had a Rule 23 class certified against any of her clients. She has defeated conditional certification in nationwide FLSA actions a number of times. In one collective action, she secured more than $800,000 of her client’s attorney’s fees from the individual plaintiffs after prevailing on summary judgment on all counts.
Ms. Fife currently is the lead attorney defending two of the nation’s largest financial institutions in numerous FLSA collective actions and California state class actions.
Ms. Fife’s wage and hour class and collective actions have involved misclassification issues, “off-the-clock claims,” meal and rest break claims, donning and doffing claims, rounding claims, “seating claims,” stand alone PAGA claims, and failure to reimburse claims, among others. She has spent months as trial counsel defending hundreds of individual wage and hour damages claims.
Ms. Fife also has extensive experience conducting investigations in heavily regulated industries, defending whistleblower claims, and representing companies in trade secret/noncompete litigation.
Ms. Fife is regularly invited to speak on wage and hour issues; in the past year she has spoken at the ABA Annual Meeting for the Labor and Employment Section, the Silicon Valley “All Hands Meeting,” the Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference, and the National Employment Law Institute Wage and Hour Meeting. Most recently, she was a panelist at a roundtable entitled, “Inside & Outside Counsel: Working together in 2013” hosted by Recorder Roundtables. She also holds an annual eLunch on wage and hour issues for clients and colleagues.
Ms. Fife graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1986, and from Northwestern University, cum laude, with a degree in Mathematics and Economics in 1983.
Ms. Fife is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Compensation Committee, and Diversity Committee.
Ms. Fife was also a speaker for at the third annual Institute for Advanced Corporate Counsel (iACC), April 10, 2014.
|Areas of Practice||1) California Employment Counseling and Litigation, 2) Discrimination, 3) Harassment, 4) Retaliation & Wrongful Termination Litigation, 5) Employment Law Advice, 6) Counseling, 7) and Training, 8) Labor, 9) Employment, 10) Executive Compensation and 11) and Employee Benefits|
|Law School||Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1986|
|Education||Northwestern University, B.A., 1983|
|Bar Member / Association||California State Bar Association|
|Most recent firm||Winston & Strawn LLP|
Ms. Fitzgerald represents employers in a wide range of industries, including the entertainment, financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and transportation industries.
Carol R. Freeman is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Ms. Freeman represents employers in employment law, labor relations, and related administrative claims and litigation.