The Labor and Employment Department of Payne & Fears specializes in representing local, regional and national employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and related litigation.  We defend employers in employment cases, ranging from single-plaintiff wage and hour actions to complex disparate treatment cases brought on behalf of thousands of employees.  We deliver cost-effective results through early, comprehensive assessment of the facts and case strategy.  While many of our cases are resolved by dispositive motions and early resolution, we are also skilled trial attorneys who successfully take employment cases of every size and type through trial, arbitrations and administrative proceedings.  Our major areas of expertise include:



Won Five-Year Battle on Behalf of Client Medway Plastics Corporation

Payne & Fears LLP won a five-year battle on behalf of client Medway Plastics Corporation, ending with the California Court of Appeal upholding dismissals by the arbitrator and trial court.

Two former employees of Medway filed their complaint in 2013.  We moved swiftly to compel arbitration, which the trial court denied. We appealed, and the Court of Appeal agreed with us and ordered arbitration.

When Plaintiffs waited more than a year to file their complaint in arbitration, we moved to dismiss their claims as untimely.  This argument was accepted by the arbitrator, who dismissed the case.  Plaintiffs then appealed, first to the trial court (who agreed with us and the arbitrator) and then to the Court of Appeal.

In its 22-page decision, the Court of Appeal upheld the decisions of the arbitrator and the trial court to dismiss the case.

Medway Plastics Corporation was defended by Phil Lem, who prepared the briefings and argued successfully before the arbitrator, the trial court and twice at the Court of Appeal.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, Appellate Law (Labor)

Attorneys: Blake A. Dillion, Daniel F. Fears, Laura Fleming


Won TRO Against Former E*TRADE Employee

Payne & Fears LLP client E*TRADE was granted a temporary restraining order by the federal district court in Chicago, barring a former employee—a financial consultant—from using confidential information to solicit E*TRADE’s clients away from the provider and to her new employer, Morgan Stanley. 

In the case E*TRADE Financial Corp. v. Pospisil, evidence showed that the former employee accessed E*TRADE’s customer data shortly before she left the firm. The court deemed it reasonable to infer that she accessed it in order to use the information in her new job after leaving E*TRADE. It was discovered that the former employee had contacted E*TRADE clients, and at least four had transferred their business to Morgan Stanley. According to the court, it appeared undisputed that E*TRADE had taken reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality of its customer information. E*TRADE also was likely to establish that it was irreparably harmed by the loss of client accounts and that without emergency injunctive relief, the former employee will continue to divert E*TRADE clients to Morgan Stanley.

E*TRADE was defended by Rod Sorensen, Rhianna Hughes, Alejandro Ruiz and Blake Dillion.

This case was also featured in the following publications:

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, Trade Secret and Unfair Business Practices, Business Litigation, Intellectual Property

Attorneys: Alejandro G. Ruiz, Blake A. Dillion, Rhianna S. Hughes, Rod Sorensen