Cathy has sealed her reputation as a
leading labor and employment litigator with more than 25 years trial experience
representing major companies in high-stakes employment cases. Her
practice focuses on complex employment litigation, including class actions with
an emphasis on wage and hour litigation trials. She has trial experience
in state and federal litigation, including wage and hour claims, employment
discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, unfair competition,
protection of employer trade secrets and unfair business practice litigation
under the California Business and Professions Code Section 17200. Cathy
has advised boards of directors in many confidential investigations and
represents a large variety of employers, including national retail companies,
insurance companies, Internet companies, manufacturers, banks, investment
banking and financial services firms, national restaurant chains, oil companies
and law firms.
Cathy joined Gibson Dunn in
a strongly contested sexual harassment case in the Northern District, Cathy was
lead counsel on behalf of an individual defendant. U.S. District Judge
Phyllis Hamilton on May 11, 2012 granted summary judgment dismissing the case
against Cathy’s client. The court found no basis for liability for
March 2012, Cathy obtained a significant victory for Michaels Stores when
a federal judge indicated he planned to rule in the arts and crafts chain’s
favor following a bench trial held with an initial “test” plaintiff. More
than 100 individual plaintiffs are named in the case, former and current store
managers who claim Michaels improperly classified them as exempt from overtime
and other labor violations. The Adams case was
filed after Cathy obtained decertification of the class in a previous class
action making similar claims against the company.
On August 6, 2013 U.S. District
Judge George Wu, issued his final written decision, and found that Michaels'
expectations that the test plaintiff spend most of her time managing were clear
and realistic, so she was properly classified as exempt. This decision
greatly impacted the resolution of the remaining cases.
November 27, 2012, Cathy along with Gibson Dunn, secured a grant of review from
the Ninth Circuit in Brown v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a class action
brought under the California Private Attorney General Act, which allows private
litigants to prosecute violations of the California
labor laws. In this "suitable seating" case, plaintiffs are
seeking to recover statutory penalties on behalf of a putative class comprised
of more than 22,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees, alleging that
Wal-Mart violated California law by failing to provide its cashiers with seats
while they worked. This case marks the first time a state or federal
court of appeals will consider a case involving the seating requirement.
is a part of the Gibson Dunn team that has secured multi district dismissals of
class action claims after the Dukes decision. In each case, plaintiffs
argued that a smaller, regional class could overcome the U.S. Supreme Court’s
ruling in Dukes. The cases include the following:
v. Wal-Mart On May 24, 2013, the United States District Court for the
Western District of Wisconsin dismissed class allegations brought by
a group of current and former female Wal-Mart employees. Gibson Dunn
attorneys persuaded the Court that plaintiffs’ theory of class certification,
whether applied to a regional or national class, cannot satisfy commonality as
a matter of law under the Supreme Court’s ruling. The Court agreed and
dismissed plaintiffs’ class claims.
v. Wal-Mart On February 20, 2013, the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed with prejudice the class
allegations brought by a group of current and former female Wal-Mart
employees. Gibson Dunn attorneys persuaded the Court that the new,
regional class allegations were untimely, arguing that tolling principles do
not apply to successive class actions. The Court agreed, holding that
plaintiffs' class claims were barred by the relevant statute of limitations.
v. Wal-Mart On October 15, 2012, the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Texas dismissed with prejudice the class allegations
brought by a group of current and former female Wal-Mart employees.
The plaintiffs claimed Wal-Mart engaged in gender-based discrimination in both
pay and promotion decisions. Gibson Dunn attorneys persuaded the Court that the
new, regional class allegations were untimely, arguing that familiar tolling
principles do not apply to successive class actions involving the same
parties. The Court agreed, holding that plaintiffs' class claims were
barred by the relevant statute of limitations. In addition, the court agreed
that the individual claims of lead plaintiff and original Dukes class
representative Stephanie Odle are time-barred.
- In addition, Cathy has been lead counsel on the
resolution of a number of class action cases and high profile cases in
state and federal court for such clients as Conoco Oil, Phillips 66,
Orchard Supply Hardware and Michaels Stores.
Cathy has been recognized as a
leading employment lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for
Business in 2009-2013, named one of the Daily Journal’s Top Labor
and Employment Lawyers in California
in 2009-2012 and received a California Lawyer of the Year award from California
Lawyer magazine in the employment law category in 2010.
- Indiana University, Juris Doctor
- Purdue University, Bachelor of Arts
Ms. Catherine Conway
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
333 South Grand Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3197