Julie Totten



San Francisco

Julie Totten, who leads Orrick’s Global Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group, built her reputation by helping companies prevent and resolve their most challenging litigation and compliance issues in the employment law arena.

In doing so, Julie closely collaborates with each client, gathering an in-depth understanding of their specific tensions, challenges and objectives. Legal 500 noted she “truly understands corporate politics and works with in-house counsel to understand the intersections of legal advice and business objectives.” Julie then draws upon nearly three decades of experience to guide clients towards the best possible resolution. Her client-focused approach is one of many reasons she was selected to lead Orrick’s global employment practice, which Chambers ranks as one of the country’s foremost practices and describes Julie as “a big thinker and a thought leader.”

Julie has experience litigating and arbitrating both class actions and individual plaintiff cases. She defends clients in all types of employment matters, including complex wage-and-hour class, collective and representative actions, pay equity and promotion cases, whistleblower retaliation actions, discrimination, harassment and retaliation litigation and trade secret and non-compete matters. She also guides clients through sensitive investigations, as well as government agency audits and litigation. Julie is proactive in helping clients avoid litigation by assisting them with the development of policies and practices designed to minimize exposure, including advice and counseling work in the areas of AI and DEI in selection and recruiting. Julie is honored to be a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment and a member of the American Employment Law Council. She also served as a Council Member of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section.

  • Some of Julie’s more notable engagements include the following:  

    • Fortune 100 Telecommunications Company. Julie is defending several related co-defendants in a nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act collective action involving independent contractor and joint employment issues. Julie employed a novel procedural strategy to change jurisdiction following several years of active litigation handled by other counsel, thereby significantly driving down the value of the case.
    • Privately Held Technology Company. Julie demonstrated her ability to lead clients out of a crisis when she was retained after another firm failed to stop a class from being certified. Julie was brought on just 10 days before the decertification brief was due. Using the previous firm’s gathered evidence, Julie wrote a powerful new brief and convinced the court to reverse its class certification order.
    • Fortune 100 Telecommunications Company. Julie defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action alleging off-the-clock work at the client’s California call centers 
    • Global Fortune 200 Pharmaceutical Company. Julie obtained summary judgment for a pharmaceutical company in a wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of pharmaceutical representatives.
    • Professional Services Firm. Julie represents a professional services firm in several class and collective actions challenging the exempt status of accountants and other entry-level professionals.
    • Technology Company. Julie successfully represented a technology company in the handling of a high-profile matter alleging gender discrimination and whistleblower retaliation.
    • Technology Company. Julie represents a technology company in defending against wage-and-hour and joint employment allegations.