Douglas N. Silverstein has devoted his entire career to litigating labor and employment cases. He is a founding partner of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob and leads the firm’s labor and employment and class action efforts. Doug has been recognized by fellow attorneys, the national news media, and the general public as an employment law expert, and regularly writes and lectures on labor issues. For over a decade, Doug exclusively represented management at the national labor and employment law firms of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Ballard, Rosenberg, Golper & Savitt; and Littler Mendelson. Doug has represented numerous Fortune 500 corporations, and been involved in cases that established law on issues of first impression. In addition to his employment law experience, Doug has substantial “traditional labor” experience before the National Labor Relations Board. He served as Southern California lead counsel in the 2003 grocery strike. Doug has also litigated ERISA cases with millions of dollars at stake.
Doug now focuses his practice on protecting the rights of employees in a wide variety of areas, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour class actions. In addition to his litigation practice, Doug negotiates employment and severance agreements on behalf of executives. He has argued cases in the California Courts of Appeal, Ninth Circuit, Second Circuit, and D.C. Circuit, has several published opinions, including Rope v. Auto-Chlor System of Washington, Inc., 220 Cal.App.4th 635 (2013), the first California case to recognize a cause of action for associational discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act; Zavala v. Scott Brothers Dairy, Inc., 143 Cal. App. 4th 585 (2006), that established the right of unionized employees to bring statutory wage claims in court as a class action even if their union had already grieved the identical claims; and Leos v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., 217 Cal.App.4th 473, review granted (2013), where the California Supreme Court recently accepted review of it to decide issues related to mandatory arbitration of employment disputes. More importantly, he takes cases to trial. In the last 3 years alone, Doug has tried 8 cases, winning 7 of them. Doug has been appointed lead class counsel in more than 35 class actions. He is also a leader in setting hourly rates for plaintiffs’ attorneys to be comparable to defense attorneys. In the last 3 years alone, Doug has been court approved at a rate of $700/hr 8 times, and has 4 attorneys’ fees awards over $1 million.
Prior to joining a law firm, Doug was a Judicial Extern to Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, and a Judicial Extern to Judge Irving Shimer of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California, Doug is a member of the American, California, and Los Angeles County Bars Labor and Employment Law Sections, the National and California Employment Lawyers Associations, the American Association for Justice, and the Consumer Attorneys Organizations of California and Los Angeles. Doug has been a board member of the Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) since 2008, and in 2012 and 2013, served as the Chair of the Education Committee, overseeing the most successful Las Vegas Conventions in the history of the organization. For his efforts, Doug was given the CAALA President’s Award. In the past 7 years, Doug has had more than 40 speaking and writing engagements. In 2013 and again in 2014, he was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the leading Labor and Employment attorneys in California. He has been consistently designated a Super Lawyer, and was even asked to evaluate other labor and employment attorneys under consideration for being named a Super Lawyer.
Doug earned his J.D., magna cum laude, at Whittier Law School, where he was the Senior Articles Editor of the Whittier Law Review, won numerous awards in moot court and for academics, and received several merit scholarships. He earned his M.B.A. at Nova University, where he was awarded special recognition for outstanding academic achievement, and was a Henry King Stanford Scholar at the University of Miami, Florida, where he earned his B.A.
Through his class action practice, Doug has secured contributions in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to legal aid foundations in California that provide access to justice for those unable to afford it. Doug is a Board Member and General Counsel of the non-profit Tripod, the leading education and support organization for deaf children and their families. He is also active in the pro bono and charitable efforts of TLC – Trial Lawyers for Charity. Doug is conversant in Spanish. When not practicing law, he can be found coaching his children on the soccer fields and baseball diamonds of his local community.