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Bryan Schwartz

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Bryan Schwartz

Bryan Schwartz

A smart and tenacious litigator, Bryan Schwartz has represented clients’ interests before a wide range of adjudicative bodies: from the United States District Court to the United States Courts of Appeals; from California Superior Courts to the California Supreme Court; from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to the Merit Systems Protection Board; from the United States Department of Labor to labor arbitration before the American Arbitration Association and other organizations. Mr. Schwartz has helped many grateful clients get their careers back on track after employer wrongdoing derailed them, obtaining tens of millions in recovery for employees across the country.

Mr. Schwartz’s efforts on behalf of whistleblowers and discrimination victims have been publicized worldwide, from The NY Times to The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, from National Public Radio to MSNBC, from Voice of America to India’s Hindustani Times. Mr. Schwartz has developed a niche in Federal employees’ unique claims and has led multi-plaintiff, class, and collective actions involving overtime and other wage violations under state and federal laws across the country.

Before founding his own firm in 2009, Mr. Schwartz led the San Francisco, California, office of Nichols Kaster, LLP. Previously, Mr. Schwartz practiced with the Washington, DC-based firm of Passman & Kaplan, PC, and clerked for the late Hon. Franklin Van Antwerpen, formerly a member of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Schwartz is a member of the Board of Directors of Legal Aid at Work. He is the past chair of the State Bar of California’s Labor and Employment Law Section, which has over 7500 members, and also past President of FAIR, a non-profit foundation dedicated to increasing diversity in the plaintiffs’ employment Bar and to workers’ rights education. He is also a past member of the Executive Board of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

Mr. Schwartz has chaired the Annual Meeting of the Labor and Employment Law Section, the State Bar’s Advanced Wage and Hour Conference, and Legal Aid at Work’s Annual Gala. He helped to initiate CELA’s statewide Employee Justice Fellowship, to aid law students of all backgrounds in entering the practice of representing workers, and CELA’s annual Diversity Summit, by which hundreds of labor and employment lawyers gather to discuss how to create leadership opportunities for diverse attorneys in the field and overcome bias in the profession. Mr. Schwartz appeared as amicus curiae before the California Supreme Court on behalf of CELA in several critical cases, including Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, and Duran v. US Bank.

Mr. Schwartz is one of California’s most prolific speakers and authors on employment law subjects. He has presented often to the State Bar, the National Employment Lawyers Association, CELA, and elsewhere, from NPR’s “Your Legal Rights” radio show to the ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights, to the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, to JAMS (the arbitration and mediation provider). His articles have been published in the California Labor and Employment Law Review, Plaintiff Magazine, and other media. The firm’s blog is a resource for jurists, attorneys, and workers nationwide.

As a young man, Mr. Schwartz was elected the International Programming Vice President of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization and President of Cornell University’s student government. After graduating from Cornell and before law school at the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Schwartz was a Federal Investigator (bilingual-Spanish) at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a campaign manager, and a school teacher in Costa Rica. Also a professional photojournalist, Mr. Schwartz has traveled to nearly 50 countries on five continents, is the author of Scattered Among the Nations and is President of the non-profit organization, Scattered Among the Nations. Mr. Schwartz is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alameda Boys & Girls Club, past President of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, California, past chair of the City of Alameda’s Open Government Commission, and past chair of the dads’ club of the PTA at his children’s public school.

Personal Experience

Admissions
  • California Supreme Court
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Mr. Schwartz has also been admitted by special permission (pro hac vice) in many District Courts nationwide.
Education
  • J.D. 2000, Berkeley Law, University of California at Berkeley
  • B.A. 1994, Cornell University, magna cum laude
Committees
  • Alameda’s Open Government Commission – Past Chair
  • California Lawyers Association (formerly State Bar of California) Labor & Employment Law Section – Past Chair
  • California Employment Lawyers Association – former Executive Board Member
  • Foundation for Advocacy Inclusion & Resources – Board Member, Past President
  • Legal Aid at Work (formerly Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center)Board of Directors, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee, Member
Speaking Engagements
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Convention, “Identifying and Overcoming Biases,” Moderator/Panelist (July 2, 2022)
  • ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, 15th Annual Conference, “Diversity in Perspectives: Views from the Bench, General Counsel, Law Firm Partnerships, High-Ranking Government Officials and the C-Suite,” Panelist (November 13, 2021)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Conference Diversity Luncheon, “We Hold the Key to Building a Diverse Community,” Speaker (November 5, 2021)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, “Taking Critical Depositions During a Pandemic: Best Practices and Tactics in Sexual Harassment, Disability Discrimination and Whistleblower Retaliation Cases,” Panelist (October 15, 2020)
  • CEB Webinar, “Whistleblower Protections,” (September 22, 2020)
  • Strafford Webinar, “Class Action Settlement Mediation,” (August 12, 2020)
  • Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law Seminar, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, “Taking on Goliath: Fighting Discrimination Through Employment Law,” (September 26, 2019)
  • 9th Annual Advanced Wage and Hour Conference of the California Lawyers Association, “Wage and Hour Ethics: Paydirt Gameshow,” Host (July 18, 2019)
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Wage & Hour Seminar, “Understanding & Preparing To Address Unique And Current Defense Strategies” (April 12, 2019)
  • California Lawyers Association, New Lawyers Conference, “The Nuts and Bolts of Arbitration and Mediation” (February 21, 2019)
  • UC Berkeley School of Law, Wage & Hour Law, “The Importance of Joint Employer Liability,” Guest Lecturer (January 14, 2019)
  • Alameda County Bar Association’s Annual Employment Law Symposium,  “Valuing Cases” Panelist, (October 26, 2018)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, “Member Victories,” Panelist (October 12, 2018)
  • The Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Workers’ Rights Evening, Speaker, (September 14, 2018)
  • California Lawyers Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Eighth Annual Advanced Wage and Hour Seminar, “Hottest Topics in PAGA Litigation and Arbitration,” Moderator/Speaker (July 12, 2018)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, “Effective Intake,” Speaker (June 8, 2018)
  • California Lawyers Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, “What Does Dynamex Mean for California Employers and Workers?,” Webinar Moderator (May 9, 2018)
  • 2018 Impact Fund, 16th Annual Class Action Conference, “Class Action Settlement Ethics,”  Moderator/Panelist (February 16, 2018)
  • 2018 California Lawyers Association (formerly State Bar of California Labor & Employment Law Section), Immigration and Employment Summit: Current Issues in the Trump Era, Conference Co-Chair, “Immigration and Employment Law – an Update on the Latest Developments,” Panel Moderator (January 25, 2018)
  • California Lawyers Association, “Gender Bias Issues in the Court System,” Moderator (January 24, 2018)2017 State Bar of California Advanced Wage and Hour Seminar, Wage and Hour Trivia Luncheon, Host (July 2017)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, 2017 NorCal Summer Law Clerk Orientation,Legal Writing,” Speaker (June 2017)
  • 2017 National Employment Lawyers Association Wage & Hour Seminar, Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges & Opportunities, “How to Settle Without Settling,” Panelist (April 2017)
  • The State Bar of California, The Challenge of Fair Employment in a Pluralistic Democracy: Comparing Israel’s and California’s Laws, Moderator (November 16, 2016)
  • UC Berkeley School of Law, Small, Midsize & Boutique Law Firm Panel, Speaker (September 26, 2016)
  • 2016 State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, “Happy Lawyering: a Discussion with Prof. Deborah Rhode,” Moderator (April 2016)
  • 2016 Impact Fund, 14th Annual Class Action Conference, “Class Action Settlement Ethics,”  Moderator/Panelist (February 2016)
  • 2015 State Bar of California Advanced Wage and Hour Seminar, Wage and Hour Trivia Luncheon, Host (July 2015)
  • 2015 CEB San Francisco Seminar, “Whistleblower Law: Views from the Inside,” Speaker (June 2015)
  • 2014 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Trial Demonstration Seminar, “Litigating a Disability Discrimination Case,” Conference Chair (November 2014)
  • JAMS San Francisco Seminar, “Updates on the Legal Landscape of Wage & Hour Cases and the Increasing Focus on PAGA,” Speaker (November 2014)
  • 2014 National Employment Lawyers Association Federal Sector Conference, “Representing Federal Employees: Navigating A Complex Landscape,” Steering Committee Member, and “EEOC Class Actions,” Moderator/Panelist (October 2014)
  • JAMS San Francisco Seminar, “Resolving Wage & Hour Mass Actions: The ever-changing landscape,” Speaker (May 2014)
  • 2014 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, “Economic Realities Test and Martinez v. Combs –Determining Who the Employer Is Under FLSA and California Law,” Speaker (April 2014)
  • ABA Commission on Disability Rights, 4th National Disability Rights Law Conference: Breaking Down Barriers to Employment and Education, “Are you Screening for Disabilities?” Speaker (April 2014)
  • 2014 California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Wage and Hour Conference, “Emerging Trends in Wage and Hour Class Actions,” Speaker (April 2014)
  • Impact Fund, 12th Annual Class Action Conference, “Class Action Settlement Issues” Moderator / Panelist (February 2014)
  • Temple Beth Abraham Panel Discussion, “The Crisis of Labor and Sex Trafficking: Legal and Community Action,” Moderator (February 2014)
  • 2014 California Employment Lawyers Association Seminar, “Marketing Your Law Practice,” Panelist (February 2014)
  • 2013 UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law Panel, “Careers in Labor and Employment Law,” Moderator (November 2013)
  • National Public Radio, KALW San Francisco 91.7 FM Employment Law — ADA Issues in the Workplace,” Speaker (November 6, 2013)
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, “Top 5 Discovery Motions,” Panelist (August 2013)
  • 2013 State Bar of California’s Third Annual Advanced Wage and Hour Conference, “Wage Claims Against Insolvent Defendants: Litigating and Settling Actions Worth More than the Defendants,” Steering Committee Member/Moderator (July 2013)
  • 2013 California Employment Lawyers Association Diversity Summit, “Diversity in the Employment Bar: Overcoming Bias,” Steering Committee Member/Moderator (June 2013)
  • 2013 State Bar of California New Lawyers Conference, “Nuts & Bolts of an Employment Practice – for New Employment Lawyers,” Faculty Member (January 2013)
  • 2012 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, Chair (November 2012)
  • 2012 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, “Litigating a Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) Case,” Moderator (November 2012)
  • 2012 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, “Wage and Hour Litigation 101,” Moderator (November 2012)
  • The Future of Wage and Hour Class Actions,” Panelist (October 2012) 2012 California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference
  • 2012 State Bar of California’s Second Annual Advanced Wage & Hour Conference, Chair (July 2012)
  • 2012 State Bar of California’s Second Annual Advanced Wage & Hour Conference, “Wage and Hour Class Arbitration Issues Post-Concepcion and Stolt-Nielsen,” Moderator (July 2012)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, 2012 NorCal Summer Law Clerk Orientation, “Law and Motion Practice,” Speaker (June 2012)
  • National Public Radio, KALW San Francisco 91.7 FM “Your Legal Rights: a Discussion on Employees’ Rights on Computers at Work,” Speaker (June 13, 2012)
  • 2012 California Employment Lawyers Association‘s Northern California Diversity Summit, Chair (May 2012)
  • Winston & Strawn’s eLunch Briefing, “Brinker, Kirby, Duran, Concepcion, and Dukes — What’s Next for Wage and Hour Class Actions — a Plaintiff’s and Defense Counsel Perspective,” Speaker (May 2012) (Click here to listen)
  • 2011 California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, “How to Increase Diversity in the Plaintiffs’ Employment Bar,” Diversity Luncheon Speaker (October 2011)
  • 2011 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section, Annual Meeting, “Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Plaintiffs’ Practice,” Moderator (October 2011)
  • 2011 Willamette University College of Law (Salem, Oregon), “Seeking Social Justice Through Administrative Law,” Speaker (October 2011)
  • 2011 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section, First Annual Wage & Hour Conference, “Wage and Hour Litigation After ATT Mobility v. Concepcion,” Co-Chair (July 2011)
  • 2011 California Employment Lawyers Association, Litigation Basics Seminar, Chair and Presenter (June 2011)
  • National Public Radio, KALW San Francisco 91.7 FM “Your Legal Rights: A Debate on the ATT Mobility v. Concepcion Supreme Court Decision, and How it Affects Your Rights in the Workplace,” Speaker (May 4, 2011)
  • 2011 Golden Gate University School of Law, “Discovery Challenges,” Panelist (April 2011)
  • 2011 UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law and California Employment Lawyers Association Panel, “Careers in Employment Law,” Moderator (March 2011)
  • 2010 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, “Strategically Positioning Your Disability Discrimination Case for Trial,” Co-Chair / Moderator (October 2010)
  • 2010 National Employment Lawyers Association Convention, “How to Create & Grow Your Solo Legal Practice,” Panelist (June 2010)
  • 2010 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Public Sector Conference, “The First Amendment in the Public Sector: Do Privacy and Free Speech Still Exist?” Moderator (May 2010)
  • SCORE (Counselors of America’s Small Business Owners, a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)) Meeting, “How to Avoid Hearing From Someone Like Me – Tips for Small Businesses From a Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyer,” Speaker (December 2009)
  • 2009 UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law and California Employment Lawyers Association Panel, “Hot Topics and Recent Victories in the California Employment Law Plaintiffs’ Bar,” Moderator (November 2009)
  • 2009 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Annual Meeting, “Gaze Into Our Crystal Ball as We Reveal Labor and Employment Trends for the Future,” Moderator (June 2009)
  • 2009 UC Hastings Women’s Law Journal Symposium, Ongoing Struggles for Economic Equality: Challenges Faced by Women and Marginalized Communities, “Low-Wage Workers in the Economic Crisis,” Panelist (February 2009)
  • 2008 National Employment Lawyers Association Convention, “Advanced Strategic Thinking in Whistleblower Cases,” Panelist (June 2008)
  • 2007 National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, Representing Workers in Individual and Collective Actions Under the FLSA, “Encouraging Wage & Hour Actions Against State & Local Public Employers,” Panelist (October 2007)
  • 2007 San Francisco Hillel Business and Law Mentorship Program, “Don’t Sell Out: Keeping Jewish Values in Your Career and Life,” Keynote Speaker (February 2007)
Publications
Memberships
  • National Employment Lawyers Association Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • California Lawyers Association, Labor & Employment Law Section
Languages
  • Spanish (fluent)

Awards & Affiliations

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