Altshuler Berzon LLP Announces New Associates Andrew Kushner and Megan Wachspress

Altshuler Berzon LLP is pleased to announce that Andrew Kushner and Megan Wachspress will be joining the firm as associates.

Andrew was an outstanding Summer Associate at the firm in 2014, has since graduated from Stanford Law School and clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He is currently clerking for Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court and will join the firm in October 2017.

Megan is a graduate of Yale Law School and clerked for Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court.  She is currently clerking for Judge William A. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and will join the firm in January 2018.

Altshuler Berzon LLP Thanks Its 2017 Summer Associates

Altshuler Berzon LLP is extremely grateful to its 2017 Summer Associates, who were wonderful colleagues and performed exemplary legal work:  Rebecca Chan (Yale Law School), Jennifer Davidson (University of Virginia School of Law), Jared Dummitt (Harvard Law School), Melissa Greenberg (Harvard Law School), and John He (University of Michigan Law School).

Additionally, Altshuler Berzon LLP congratulates them on accepting post-graduation clerkships with the following federal judges:

Rebecca Chan will be clerking for Chief Judge Virginia Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for the 2019-20 term.

Jennifer Davidson will be clerking for Judge Gregg Costa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for the 2018-19 term, and Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the 2019-20 term.

Jared Dummitt will be clerking for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 2018-19 term, and for Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the 2019-20 term.

John He will be clerking for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 2018-19 term.

The law firm typically hires four or five summer associates each year.  Information about recruiting is available by clicking here.

District Court Approves Settlement of Faculty Union Lawsuit Against Accrediting Agency

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has approved the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the California Federation of Teachers and four of its affiliated local unions against the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The lawsuit, AFT Local 2121 v. Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges, stemmed from ACCJC’s 2013 decision to terminate the accreditation of City College of San Francisco, and challenged ACCJC’s City College decision and many of its accreditation practices as arbitrary and intrusive into the faculty unions’ collective bargaining relationships with California community colleges.  In January 2017, ACCJC restored City College to full accreditation status.  The settlement includes policy and standards changes – some of which ACCJC began to implement while the litigation was ongoing – which will increase ACCJC’s transparency and accountability, and avoid interference with the unions’ collective bargaining relationships.

Altshuler Berzon LLP, together with co-counsel, represented the California Federation of Teachers, the local unions, and five individual plaintiffs in the federal court litigation.

District Court Dismisses Chamber of Commerce Lawsuit Challenging Seattle Ordinance Permitting Collective Bargaining by Uber and Lyft Drivers

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington today dismissed Chamber of Commerce et al. v. City of Seattle et al., a United States Chamber of Commerce lawsuit challenging a Seattle ordinance that establishes a process for independent contractor drivers who contract with for-hire and taxicab transportation companies, including companies like Uber and Lyft, to collectively organize and negotiate with the transportation company over the terms and conditions of their contractual relationships.

The City adopted the new ordinance in January 2016, but delayed implementation while rules were developed.  The Chamber of Commerce filed suit in March 2017, asserting that Seattle’s ordinance was preempted by federal labor and antitrust law and various Washington laws.  The City moved to dismiss the Chamber’s complaint, and the District Court today granted the City’s motion.  The District Court concluded that the Chamber’s federal antitrust preemption theory failed because the ordinance was a valid exercise of Seattle’s delegated authority to regulate the for-hire and taxicab transportation industries and satisfied the requirement for “state action” antitrust immunity.  The District Court also rejected the Chamber’s National Labor Relations Act preemption theories, concluding that in excluding independent contractors from the NLRA, Congress had left the States free to regulate those workers’ labor relations.  Finally, the District Court concluded that the Chamber’s state law theories had no merit.

A preliminary injunction will remain in place while the ‎District Court considers the City’s motion to dismiss a related case asserting preemption and other theories.

Altshuler Berzon LLP, together with the Seattle City Attorney’s office, represents the City of Seattle in the litigation.