NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanford Heisler LLP, a leading national civil rights law firm that specializes in fighting gender discrimination in the workplace, today announced it was promoting two women to partner. New partner Felicia Medina will be the managing partner of the Firm's San Francisco office. New partner Deborah Marcuse will co-manage the Firm's New York office with Jeremy Heisler.
Medina and Marcuse both graduated from Yale Law School. They follow in the footsteps of Katherine M. Kimpel, also a Yale Law graduate, who is the managing partner of the Firm's Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the Firm's Executive Committee.
"We welcome Deborah and Felicia to the partnership and to their new leadership roles," said David Sanford, Chairman of the Firm. "Both are exceptionally skilled attorneys who have amassed incredible success while also playing an instrumental role in mentoring and managing our attorneys and staff.
Jeremy Heisler, co-managing partner of the New York office, added, "The Firm is fortunate to have such outstanding attorneys joining our leadership team."
A 2006 Yale Law graduate, Felicia Medina has significant experience in gender and race discrimination and wage and hour class actions. She is currently lead counsel in Wellens et al. v. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., a national gender discrimination class action filed on behalf of pharmaceutical sales representatives and district managers, and many wage and hour class actions. During her time at the Firm, Medina has successfully litigated and negotiated numerous class and individual matters. She played a key role in the Firm's victory in Velez et al. v. Novartis, which resulted in the largest employment verdict in U.S. history. She is a board member of the Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Resources (FAIR), a California non-profit designed to increase diversity in the plaintiffs' employment bar and raise public consciousness about workers' rights. Medina is especially passionate about fighting for the rights of LGBTQ individuals in and out of the workplace and is a member of the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) bar association. She was previously a Board Member of the Tom Homann Law Association, another LGBT lawyers' organization. Before becoming a lawyer, Medina was a political consultant and a public school teacher in her hometown of Fresno, California.
"I am proud of the positive impact Sanford Heisler has had in the lives of tens of thousands of American workers," said Medina. "Leading the group of passionate and dedicated attorneys in our San Francisco office will be an incredible honor. I look forward to continuing our outstanding record of success in fighting for the rights of low wage workers who have been denied overtime; mothers who have been pushed out of their jobs for having children; female scientists and executives who have been passed over for promotions without justification; and individuals who suffer discrimination for not conforming to gender stereotypes."
A 2008 graduate of Yale Law, Deborah Marcuse also has played a key role in numerous victories, both in the class and individual context. She is currently lead counsel in Barrett et al. v. Forest Laboratories et al., a national gender discrimination class action filed on behalf of pharmaceutical sales representatives. Marcuse also represents Cushman & Wakefield's New York Tri-State Chief Operating Officer Suzy Reingold in her $20 million gender and age discrimination case against her employer, the largest private real estate company in the world. Along with representing plaintiffs at the highest levels of management, Marcuse dedicates significant time to representing the rights of entry-level workers who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Marcuse is particularly passionate about the rights of individuals who are or have been incarcerated. As an Arthur Liman Public Interest fellow, she worked to establish the City of New Haven's Prison Reentry Initiative and to pass a municipal ordinance banning unfair discrimination against job applicants with conviction histories. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Marcuse received a Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University.
"As the child of a gay parent, I grew up feeling a particular responsibility to make sure that the rights I might be able to take for granted are available to everyone," said Marcuse. "The lawyers and staff at Sanford Heisler are all animated by a strong commitment to social justice, and I feel a real responsibility in being tasked to lead them in their work. In a time marked by growing income inequality and a daunting legal landscape, employees need strong advocates more than ever, and our Firm is well positioned to rise to that challenge."
"I'm overjoyed that Felicia and Deborah will be playing such a key role in shaping the future of our Firm, and I take a particular delight in the fact that we are three Yale Law women," commented Katherine Kimpel, the Firm's D.C.'s Managing Partner. "These promotions are yet another indication of how our Firm practices what we preach. It is possible to realize a simultaneous commitment to excellence and diversity; those firms that blame an underrepresentation of women at their highest levels on a 'pipeline problem' are just making excuses."
The Firm also announced the promotion of Kate Mueting to Senior Litigation Counsel. Ms. Mueting will now fill a more senior role on major litigation for the Firm and also will assist in the management of the Firm's Washington DC office – its largest office. Mueting is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, and she volunteers with Reading Partners, a national education nonprofit.
About Sanford Heisler
Sanford Heisler is a public interest law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, qui tam and other civil rights matters. The Firm has extensive experience in complex class action litigation having successfully represented thousands of individuals in major class action cases in the United States. The Firm also represents select individual clients with a particular emphasis on the representation of executives and lawyers in employment disputes and whistleblowers. In May 2010, the Firm won the largest jury award in the U.S. in a gender discrimination employment class action when a jury returned a verdict of $253 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. In 2012, the firm settled a wage and hour case on behalf of sales representatives employed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals for $99 million. For more information, contact Sanford Heisler at (202) 499-5200.
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SOURCE Sanford Heisler LLP