Linda M. Dardarian

Attorneys

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho: New Law Firm Portraits.

Named California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for her extraordinary achievement in 2013 in Disability Rights, Linda M. Dardarian joined Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho as an associate in 1991 and has been a partner since 1998.  Ms. Dardarian has extensive experience in litigating class action employment discrimination, disability access, and wage and hour cases.  She was one of the lead negotiators of the largest-ever disability access class action settlement, Willits v. City of Los Angeles, valued in excess of $1.4 billion.  Ms. Dardarian has also been lead counsel in employment class actions that resulted in tens of millions of dollars in payments to wronged employees, and has litigated landmark citizen suits brought to enforce the Clean Water Act and California’s Proposition 65.  She leads the firm’s disability rights practice, and also leads cases involving environmental enforcement and wage and hour class and collective actions.  She is a frequent lecturer and panelist on subjects relating to disability rights, litigation practice and procedure, and attorney’s fees recovery.  In addition to her CLAY award, each year since 2005 to the present, Ms. Dardarian has been named a northern California “Super Lawyer” practicing employment law, and was named one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in 2009. She is also regularly listed as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” and is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.

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Education

  • J.D., Berkeley Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), University of California at Berkeley (1987)
  • B.A., magna cum laude and with highest honors, California State University, Chico (1983)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • California, 1987

  • United States Supreme Court, 1992

  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California and the District of Minnesota

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits

Awards

  • Disability Leadership Award, World Institute on Disability, awarded October 2015

  • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (“CLAY Award”) for extraordinary achievement in Disability Rights, awarded 2014

  • “The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation: Labor & Employment” 2010-2015

  • Law & Politics Magazine, “Top 50 Women Super Lawyers” for Northern California, August 2009

  • Law & Politics Magazine, “Northern California Super Lawyer” award, August 2005-2015

  • 2007 Achievement Award, American Council of the Blind, for excellence in representing blind and visually impaired persons in obtaining access to technology

  • 2008 Access Award, American Foundation for the Blind, for representing blind and visually impaired persons in obtaining independent access to information through talking ATMs, tactile point of sale machines, alternative formats for printed materials, and accessible pedestrian signals

  • Noted in California Lawyer Magazine, December 2000, listing of Lawyers of the Year

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Board of Directors of Disability Rights Advocates (President, March 2015 to present; member, October 2007 to present)
  • Executive Committee, Disability Rights Bar Association (Vice Chair, June 2015 to present; member, January 2013 to present)
  • Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco (June 1999 to present)
  • Board of Directors of World Institute on Disability (January 2008 to December 2015)

Prior Employment

  • Duane, Lyman & Seltzer, Berkeley, CA, 1988–1991; Associate
  • Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, San Francisco, CA, 1987–1988; Associate

Representative Cases

  • Structured Negotiations: Since 1995, Ms. Dardarian has represented the American Council of the Blind, its various state affiliates, the American Foundation for the Blind, and many individuals with visual impairments nationwide, negotiating more than 50 non-litigated, groundbreaking settlements with some of the country’s largest corporations to ensure that their information and services nationwide are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or have low vision.

    Highlights include:  Settlement agreements with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Bank One/Chase, Citibank, American Express, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, and other financial institutions to ensure that persons with visual impairments have independent access to automated teller machines, and systemic access to websites, mobile applications, and printed materials including bank statements, mortgage information, and credit file disclosures.

    Settlement agreements with national retail and mail-order pharmacies, including Wal-Mart, Caremark, CVS/pharmacy, Humana, Rite Aid, and Walgreens to provide talking pill bottles and alternative formats nationwide to their pharmacy customers who are blind or have low vision.

    Settlement agreements with some of the nation’s largest retailers, including Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, RadioShack, 7-Eleven, and Trader Joe’s, to make their point of sale machines and websites accessible to persons with visual impairments nationwide.

    Settlement agreements with Major League Baseball to ensure access to MLB.com and all 30 club websites; with Weight Watchers to ensure that its online programs and weekly meeting printed materials are accessible to members who are blind or visually impaired; and with Cinemark Theatres to ensure that blind patrons have access to audio description of movie visual images.

    Most recently, Ms. Dardarian negotiated a systemic settlement with Kaiser Permanente to ensure that its blind and low vision patients throughout California have access to patient care information and services through the provision of talking pill bottles; braille, large print, audio, and other alternative formats for patient specific and general medical forms and documents; accessible website and mobile applications; training staff on provision of services to patients with visual impairments; and removal of architectural barriers affecting blind patients.

  • Litigation: Willits, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, No. CV-10-5782 CBM RZX (C.D. Cal.) (certified class action on behalf of all persons with mobility disabilities who have been denied access to pedestrian rights of way in the City of Los Angeles as a result of defendant’s failure to provide and maintain accessible sidewalks and curb ramps throughout the City, resulting in a settlement valued in excess of $1.4 billion); see 925 F. Supp. 2d 1089 (C.D. Cal. 2013).

  • Reynoldson, et al. v. City of Seattle, No. CV-15-01608 MJP (W.D. Wash.) (class action on behalf of all persons with mobility disabilities who have been denied access to pedestrian rights of way in the City of Seattle as a result of defendant’s failure to provide and maintain accessible curb ramps throughout the City’s pedestrian right of way).

  • Balero, et al. v. Lumber Liquidators, No. CV 15-01005 JST (N.D. Cal.) (class action on behalf of California consumers who purchased laminate wood flooring products manufactured in China and sold by Lumber Liquidators, which Lumber Liquidators falsely advertised as compliant with California formaldehyde emission limits).

  • Ochoa, et al. v. City of Long Beach, CV 14-04307 DSF FFM (C.D. Cal.) (certified class action on behalf of persons with mobility disabilities who have been denied access to pedestrian rights of way in the City of Long Beach as a result of defendant’s failure to provide and maintain accessible sidewalks and curb ramps throughout the City’s pedestrian right of way).

  • Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc., et al. v. Cable News Network, Inc., CV-11-3458 LB (N.D. Cal.) (class action on behalf of all persons in California who are deaf or hard of hearing and have been denied access to video content on CNN.com because of CNN’s failure to provide captioning); see 2012 WL 99647 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 23, 2012).

  • Bautista-Perez, et al. v. Holder, et al., No. C 07-4192 TEH (N.D. Cal.) (certified class action on behalf of 400,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras who have been overcharged by the U.S. Government for registration or re-registration for Temporary Protected Status); see 2009 WL 2031759 (N.D. Cal. July 9, 2009), 2009 WL 1202261 (N.D. Cal. May 1, 2009).

  • Center for Self-Improvement and Community Development v. Lennar Corporation, et al., No. CGC07-465738 (San Francisco Cnty. Super. Ct.) (Proposition 65 citizen suit and tort claims against Lennar Corporation and related entities for generating dust containing asbestos, hexavalent chromium, and other hazardous materials during construction of housing in Bayview Hunters Point).

  • Olson, et al. v. Sutter Health, No. RG06-302354 (Alameda Cnty. Super. Ct.) (class action under the ADA and California disability access laws requiring Sutter Health to remediate architectural barriers, install accessible medical equipment, and enhance policies and procedures to ensure accessible services for persons with mobility, visual, hearing, or speech disabilities at all of its hospitals throughout Northern California).

  • Lane v. Tennessee, No. 3:98-0731 (M.D. Tenn.) (Americans with Disabilities Act case against State of Tennessee and various Tennessee counties for denying constitutionally guaranteed access to court proceedings to citizens with mobility impairments); see 541 U.S. 509 (2004).

  • Butler v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. BC 268250 (Los Angeles Cnty. Super. Ct.) ($30 million class action under California wage and hour laws on behalf of “account executives” seeking overtime, meal period compensation, and reimbursement of unlawfully deducted wages).

  • Lin v. Siebel Software Systems, Inc., No. CIV 435601 (San Mateo Cnty. Super. Ct.) ($27.5 million class action under California wage and hour laws on behalf of software engineers, seeking unpaid overtime wages).

  • Lieber, et al. v. Macy’s West, Inc., No. C96-02955 MHP and Camalo, et al. v. Macy’s West, Inc., No. C98-2350 MHP (California statewide class actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act and California law on behalf of persons with mobility disabilities, resulting in systemic injunctive relief requiring removal of architectural barriers at all Macy’s stores in California and a monetary class fund; see 80 F. Supp. 2d 1065 (N.D. Cal. 1999).

  • Communities for a Better Environment v. Union Oil Co., No. C-94-0712 TEH (N.D. Cal.). See 861 F. Supp. 889 (N.D. Cal. 1994), aff’d, 83 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 1996), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 1101 (1997); 996 F. Supp. 934 (N.D. Cal. 1997) (citizens suit under the Clean Water Act to limit refinery discharges of selenium into San Francisco Bay). Listed as one of the year’s top 10 environmental cases, California Lawyer Magazine, Dec. 1995.

  • San Francisco BayKeeper v. Dow Chemical Company, No. C97-01988 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 action to protect Contra Costa County water supply from discharges of carcinogens and reproductive toxins).

  • Citizens for a Better Environment v. Union Oil Co., Case No. C-94-0712 TEH (N.D. Cal.).  See 861 F. Supp. 889 (N.D. Cal. 1994), aff’d, 83 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 1996), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 1101 (1997); 996 F. Supp. 934 (N.D. Cal. 1997) (citizens suit under the Clean Water Act to limit refinery discharges of selenium into San Francisco Bay).  Listed as one of the year’s top 10 environmental cases, California Lawyer Magazine, December 1995.

  • Citizens for a Better Environment v. Exxon Oil Co., Case No. CV-S-94-1151 GEB (E.D. Cal.) (citizens suit under the Clean Water Act to limit refinery discharges of selenium into San Francisco Bay).

  • Shores v. Publix Super Markets, No. 95-1162-CIV-T-25E (M.D. Fla.) (class action under Title VII challenging gender discrimination in defendant’s job assignment, promotion, training and compensation practices, resulting in systemic improvements to job assignment and promotion procedures and more than $84 million in monetary relief); see 69 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) ¶ 44,477, 87681 (M.D. Fla. 1996).

  • Butler v. Home Depot, No. C-94-4335 SI (N.D. Cal.) (class action under Title VII challenging gender discrimination in defendant’s job application, assignment, promotion, training and compensation practices, resulting in systemic improvements to personnel practices and procedures and approximately $85 million in monetary relief); see 70 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 51 (N.D. Cal. 1996); 984 F. Supp. 1257 (N.D. Cal. 1997).

Representative Publications

  • Executive Co-Editor, Lindemann & Grossman, Employment Discrimination Law, 2008 Supplement (BNA) (4th Ed.)

  • Executive Co-Editor, Lindemann & Grossman, Employment Discrimination Law (BNA) (4th Ed. 2007)

  • Talking ATMs speak to the Power of the ADA and California Disability Rights Laws, The Verdict (Summer 2004)

  • Executive Co-Editor, Lindemann & Grossman, Employment Discrimination Law, 2002 Supplement (BNA) (4th Ed.)

Representative Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, War and PeaceThe Saga of Willits v. City of Los Angeles, a Class Action Battled on Four Fronts with Historic Results, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, upcoming April 2016

  • Presenter, Digital Accessibility Annual Legal Update, California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities’ 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, upcoming March 2016

  • Litigation Strategy in Disability Rights Actions, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, April 2014

  • Digital Accessibility Annual Legal Update, California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities’ 29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, March 2014

  • Structured Negotiations, A Winning Strategy for Technology and Information Access, 2014 Impact Fund Class Action Conference, February 2014

  • Structured Negotiations:  Strategy for Access, California State University, Northridge, Center on Disabilities’ 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Mar. 2013

  • Web Accessibility: Annual Legal Update, California State University, Northridge, Center on Disabilities’ 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Feb. 2013

  • Structured Negotiations:  An Alternative to Litigation to Achieve Systemic Changes Related to Assisstive Technology, Neighborhood Legal Services’ 16th Annual Bridges to Better Advocacy Conference, Oct. 2012

  • Disability Rights Class Actions after Dukes v. Walmart, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, April 2012

  • Web Accessibility: the Role of Law, California State University, Northridge, Center on Disabilities’ Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Mar. 2012

  • Web Accessibility Under the ADA, Law Seminars International, Jan. 2012

  • Retainer Agreements and Attorney’s Fees Recovery, Berkeley Law, Oct. 2010

  • Trial Advocacy Workshop, Stanford Law School, Sept. 2010

  • New ADA Regulations for Public Accommodations, Law Seminars International, Sept. 2010

  • Effective Direct Examination Skills, Disability Rights California 2008 All Staff Training, Sept. 2008

  • How to Assist Our Clients and Still Get Paid, a Re-Examination, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Annual Convention, June 2007

  • Subjective Decisionmaking: Proper or Problematic? American Bar Association EEO Committee Mid-winter Meeting, Mar. 2006

  • Of Course My Opinion Matters-I’m an Expert!, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Section of Labor & Employment Law, Aug. 2005

  • Curveballs in EEO Litigation, American Bar Association EEO Committee Mid-winter Meeting, Apr. 2005

  • Techniques for Effective Taking and Defending Depositions, Bar Association of San Francisco Litigation Section Skills Seminar, Feb. 2004