Payne & Fears LLP offers a full range of business and litigation services to its clients in three primary practice groups: Labor and Employment, Business Litigation, and Insurance Coverage. Across these practice areas, we represent all types of clients, from multi-national corporations to emerging tech startups to individual insurance policyholders.

Practice Areas

 

Testimonials

  • Your support at Payne and Fears is top rate and it is such a pleasure to work with someone who understands business and offers a conservative, yet aggressive approach – not very easy but something that you seem to demonstrate well!  You are always my first choice of outside counsel.

    - Senior Vice President, Human Resources, International Consumer Goods Company
  • I have had nothing but great experiences with Payne & Fears. The attorneys are knowledgeable and efficient.

    - Counsel, Large Regional Financial Institution
  • I hire Payne & Fears LLP because of certainty--certainty in my receipt of value, in its strategic approach to problem solving, in its integrity of billing, in its candor when evaluating my cases, in its creativity while searching for an economical and fair resolution and in its attorneys’ tenacity throughout the ensuing battle. In a world of unknowns, I value constancy in characteristics that matter most. Payne & Fears LLP delivers that constancy.

    - Chief Litigation Officer, Fortune 500 Company
  • The attorneys at Payne & Fears have the unique ability to size up complex matters and provide well-reasoned solutions. Their knowledge of the law and depth of experience, coupled with the responsive and personal service they provide, all contribute to a strong and valued relationship with our organization.

    - Vice-President of Labor, Publically Traded Silicon Valley Technology Company
  • With over 35 years of in-house counsel and executive operations experience, I have worked with many law firms throughout the U.S. Payne & Fears is at the top of my list of law firms for handling commercial litigation and employment law matters on the West Coast based upon the highest level of competence, responsiveness and cost-effectiveness that has been delivered. They also stand apart with the highest ethical standards and, might I add, a not often seen virtue of humility among their partners.

    - Executive Vice President & General Counsel, National Highway Equipment Dealer and Distributor
  • Payne & Fears LLP has represented me and my company for many years. It is an excellent law firm with the highest standards. I have worked with hundreds of attorneys in my career. I get results with Payne & Fears LLP.

    - Small Business Owner

Successes

Apr 10

Federal Court Grants Judgment in ERISA Case in Favor of Our Clients Before Trial Begins

In an employee benefits case brought in federal court under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against our client, a national retailer, and its group health insurance plan for denial of an expensive surgery as not medically necessary, the court granted judgment in favor of our clients at the time of trial.  

The court ordered trial briefs from both parties in advance of trial, which plaintiff provided.  Payne & Fears went a step further and in conjunction with our trial brief, moved for judgment on partial findings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(c) based on an undisputed administrative record.  Under Rule 52(c), a federal court has discretion to enter judgment when a party has been fully heard on an issue, but can decline to render judgment until the close of evidence.

Having received our motion and plaintiff’s opposition, and having previously ruled in the plan’s favor that the abuse of discretion standard of review applied, the court took the matter under submission, took the trial date off calendar, and entered judgment in defendants’ favor.  The court thus upheld the decision of the plan administrator to deny coverage for the surgery without conducting a trial.  

Eric C. Sohlgren defended the case on behalf of the plan and prepared the motion for judgment, with Andrew K. Haeffele assisting.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation

Attorneys: Andrew K. Haeffele, Eric C. Sohlgren

Feb 14

P&F Prevails on Summary Judgment in a Race Discrimination / Retaliation Case

Payne & Fears LLP was recently retained as trial counsel in a hotly contested race discrimination and retaliation case. At mediation, Plaintiff was demanding $6 million to settle and prior counsel had been unable to resolve the case. The trial team of Dan Fears, Jeff Brown, Ray Boggess and Sean O'Brien quickly transitioned into the case and assisted prior counsel in preparing a motion for summary judgment.  

Following oral argument by Dan Fears, the Court issued a 15-page decision granting total summary judgment as to all 10 claims and all defendants.  Payne & Fears attorneys saved the client from having to go through an expensive and time-consuming trial that would have exposed the client to considerable risk of damages, including punitive damages.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation

Attorneys: Daniel F. Fears , Jeffrey K. Brown , Ray E. Boggess, Sean A. O’Brien