Steven defends employers in complex employment litigation matters, class and collective actions, and multi-plaintiff disputes. He concentrates his practice in wage and hour litigation, and has defended numerous employers in retail sales, pharmaceuticals, information technology, food service, manufacturing, automotive, hospitality, and insurance.

He is also certified as an appellate specialist in California, representing clients before all levels of the state and federal appellate courts, including the California and United States Supreme Courts, and acting as counsel of record in more than 30 cases.

A former federal law clerk, Steven also formerly served on the clinical faculties at UCLA School of Law and Stanford Law School.  

Honors & Recognitions

  • Southern California Super Lawyers® (2007-2010, 2012)

Professional & Civic Associations

  • Law360 Employment Editorial Advisory Board, 2015

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Gentry v. Superior Court, 42 Cal.4th 443 (2007), cert. denied sub nom. Circuit City Stores, Inc. Gentry, 128 S.Ct. 1743 (2008): holding that class relief waivers in arbitration are not per se invalid and establishing criteria for determining whether such waivers are enforceable against wage and hour claims.
  • Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Enterprises, 40 Cal.4th 1094 (2007):  holding that Labor Code § 226.7 imposes a premium wage for missed meal or rest breaks, subject to a three-year limitations period. (Brief of amici curiae)
  • Reynolds v. Bement, et al., 107 Cal. App. 4th 738 (2003), affirmed 36 Cal.4th 1075 (2005): holding for the first time that California overtime law does not provide for individual liability of directors, officers, and/or agents of a corporate employer.  (Brief of amicus curiae.)
  • Sav-On Drug Stores, Inc. v. Superior Court, 34 Cal.4th 319 (2004):  affirming class certification in misclassification case.  (Brief of amicus curiae.)
  • Lockheed v. Superior Ct., 29 Cal.4th 1096 (2003):  reversing certification of medical monitoring and punitive damages classes in mass toxic tort litigation and announcing for the first time that under California class action law predominance is not satisfied unless each element of the claim is susceptible to class proof.
  • Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Company, 733 F.3d 916 (9th Cir. 2013): holding employment-related arbitration agreement unconscionable.
  • Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 197 Cal. App. 4th 489 (2011), cert. denied sub nom. Ralphs Grocery Co. v. Brown, 132 S.Ct. 1910 (2012):  Reversing ruling that employment-related arbitration agreement was unconscionable and requiring class representative to arbitrate on individual basis.
  • ARP Pharmacy Services, Inc. v. Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc., et al., 138 Cal. App. 4th 1307 (2006):  holding for the first time that penalty provisions of Civil Code § 2527 violate free speech protections under state and federal law.
  • Palmer v. Schindler Elevator Corp., 108 Cal. App. 4th (2003):  holding that service of a second statutory offer of compromise acts as a revocation of an earlier offer, even if the second offer is defective and does not operate to shift costs.
  • Waremart Foods v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 588, 87 Cal. App. 4th 145 (2001):  holding that Labor Code § 1138.1 may be retroactively applied to injunctions restraining labor picketing.
  • CPI Builders, Inc. v. IMPCO Technologies, Inc., 94 Cal. App. 4th 1167 (2001):  reversing trial court and ordering arbitration where one party to lawsuit initially agreed to binding arbitration, but then repudiated its agreement.
  • Rutledge v. Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, 208 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 992 (2000):  reversing award of attorney's fees for improvident removal on the ground that the underlying remand was erroneous because ERISA preempted state law claims asserted by plan participant on behalf of a class of all participants against service provider to the plan's trustees.
  • Waffer Int'l Corp. v. Khorsandi, et al., 69 Cal. App. 4th 1261 (1999):  questioning validity of doctrine that attachment constitutes an election of remedies and holding that attachment is not an election of remedies against joint tortfeasors lacking privity of contract.
  • AT&T Management Pension Plan v. Tucker, et al., 902 F. Supp. 1168 (C.D. Cal. 1995):  decision of first impression holding that ERISA preempts application of the California Family Code's attorneys fee provision to plans joined as third parties to divorce proceedings.
  • Bell Gardens Bicycle Club v. Department of Justice, 36 Cal. App. 4th 717 (1995):  holding that the playing of jackpot poker in licensed card clubs is an unlawful lottery subject to injunction.

News & Analysis

Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications

  • "Horton hears a death knell," Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 2017
  • “Doubt On PAGA Passing Muster,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Feb. 25, 2016
  • “Once More Unto The Federal Arbitration Act,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Apr. 8, 2015
  • “Once More Unto The FAA . . . Again,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Aug. 7, 2015
  • “Supremacy At The State High Court,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Dec. 21, 2014
  • “Iskanian: Arbitration’s Got A Brand New Bag,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 30, 2014

Blogs, Videos & Podcasts

  • “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”
  • Sun Tzu

Practice Emphasis

  • Employment Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Wage and Hour Compliance and Litigation
  • Appeals and Writs


Stanford Law School 

  • J.S.M., 1988

University of Southern California Law School

  • J.D., 1987 
  • Order of the Coif

University of Southern California 

  • M.A., 1987

University of Southern California

  • A.B., summa cum laude, 1984
  • Phi Beta Kappa 

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California, 1988 (Certified Appellate Specialist)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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