Developing the Facts
Bredhoff & Kaiser has a cadre of highly experienced trial court litigators, with experience in civil and criminal jury and non-jury trials, as well as in cases involving substantial pretrial fact development, electronic discovery, and motions practice. Our practice involves traditional labor-management relations and benefits issues, as well as complex, multi-party civil litigation, including RICO, antitrust, bankruptcy, and constitutional matters, along with many other subject areas.
The firm’s litigation docket is constantly changing, as we are often called upon to handle novel issues in developing areas of the law. In recent years, we have handled cases that run the gamut of substantive areas, representing defendants in some cases and plaintiffs in others. To give just a few examples:
- We have defended private-sector unions against civil RICO claims brought by large employers who have asked the courts to characterize as “extortion” certain hard-charging union publicity and petitioning campaigns designed to secure better contracts for workers or to achieve other legitimate union objectives. One such case, Care One LLC v. United Healthcare Workers East, 22 F.4th 128 (3d Cir. 2021), involved six years of discovery including sophisticated electronic discovery, nearly one hundred depositions, and multiple expert reports.
- We have represented pension plans as plaintiffs in a number of lawsuits aimed at ensuring that employers pay the withdrawal liability or exit fees required by statute or plan terms so as to help maintain the solvency of the funds and ensure that employees receive the pensions their employers promised them.
- We have initiated proceedings with the NLRB and co-counseled NLRA “10(j)” federal court lawsuits with the NLRB General Counsel against employers who have illegally locked out their workers or otherwise violated the NLRA.
- We have represented unions in their capacity as employers of their own staff in a wide variety of cases brought by individual employees under federal and state employment laws, some claiming that the union defamed them and others claiming that the union discriminated against them or wrongfully terminated them.
- On many occasions, we have recovered health benefits for retirees whose former employer unlawfully reduced or eliminated contractually promised benefits. In one such case, we prevailed both at a jury trial and on appeal. See Quesenberry v. Volvo Trucks North America, 651 F.3d 437 (4th Cir. 2011).
- In criminal trials and in criminal proceedings that resolved before trial, we have represented a wide variety of defendants, including three peaceful 2017 inauguration day protesters who, with almost 200 others, were charged with felony conspiracy and rioting charges. In the protester case, we extensively briefed First Amendment issues and helped expose Brady violations by the prosecution—lawyering that led to the government’s decision to dismiss the charges against our three clients and nearly all other charged protesters.
- On behalf of a musicians' union, we brought suit against a major movie studio challenging as a breach of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement the studio's use of overseas nonunion musicians to score a film. See American Federation of Musicians v. Paramount Pictures, 903 F.3d 968 (9th Cir. 2018) (reversing order of summary judgment entered in favor of the employer).
- On behalf of a major pension fund, we brought a series of lawsuits that resulted in the recovery of assets that the fund lost from investments with Bernie Madoff. The suits were brought against the fund's investment consultants, the auditors of the investment vehicles that invested with Madoff, and some of the prior trustees of the fund.
- We have frequently litigated in bankruptcy court to protect the rights and interests of workers, including hotel workers adversely affected by the 2021 bankruptcy of a major Washington, D.C. employer.
- We recovered damages in a jury trial on behalf of a local union whose officers breached their fiduciary duties to the union by planning to formal a rival union while still employed by the local; we then successfully defended the jury award on appeal. See SEIU v. NUHW, 718 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2013).