Joe Liburt is a Silicon Valley partner in Orrick's Employment Law and Litigation group, which was recently named Labor & Employment Department of the Year in California by The Recorder. This award by the premier source for legal news was in recognition of the group's significant wins on behalf of leading multinational companies on today’s most complex and challenging employment law matters.
Chambers USA has consistently recognized Joe as a top employment litigator. Joe has more than 20 years of experience representing standout companies such as Apple, Sears and Microsoft in their most challenging and complex employment matters.
Most recently, Joe was trial counsel on the team that obtained a complete defense verdict in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, the high-stakes gender discrimination and retaliation case that garnered intense national media scrutiny. Following six weeks of trial and three days of deliberations, a state court jury in San Francisco rejected all of plaintiff’s claims that she was passed over for promotion because of her gender and complaints about discrimination.
Class Actions. Joe has extensive class action expertise representing employers in retail, technology and manufacturing including Sears, Apple, International Paper, Juniper Networks and Home Depot. Joe has defeated class certification or obtained dismissal or summary judgment on the full range of wage and hour claims.
Individual Claims. Joe represents a broad range of employers in all types of cases. He has defended employers such as Apple, Microsoft, Genentech, NVIDIA, and the National Basketball Players Association in high-visibility matters.
ERISA & Benefits Litigation. Joe has litigated various ERISA and state law benefits claims for plans and sponsors including Oracle, Robert Half International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the University of California. Joe has special expertise in change-in-control severance claims.
Examples of Joe’s representative matters include:
Apple. Joe has represented Apple for 20+ years and successfully defended various single-plaintiff and class action cases.
Sears. Joe has repeatedly defeated class certification in wage-and-hour class actions for Sears. In another case, Joe obtained early dismissal of an assistant manager exemption misclassification class action through the purchase of the named plaintiff’s claims in bankruptcy court. In 2014, Joe persuaded two federal courts to reject the California Supreme Court's Iskanian decision and compel individual arbitration of representative PAGA claims.
Genentech. Joe represented Genentech in the trial of Cefalu v. Genentech, which resulted in a jury verdict in Genentech’'s favor on all claims, including disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation, interactive process, CFRA retaliation, and bonus wages.
Microsoft. Joe recently obtained summary judgment on all claims in a case alleging public policy wrongful termination, retaliation, defamation, interference with contract, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Oracle. Joe defended Oracle in numerous ERISA arbitrations regarding change-in-control severance plans in which employees sought change-in-control benefits after Oracle acquired Siebel Systems.
L.L. Nunn Trust/Deep Springs College. Joe represents the dissenting Trustees of Deep Springs College seeking to protect the donor’s intent set forth in the charitable trust that governs the College.
Joe advises clients on a full range of employment issues, and has written articles, spoken and trained on various employment topics.