Recognized as a national leader in disability civil rights impact litigation, 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 disability access, employment discrimination, 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 other public interest 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. Ms. Dardarian has received numerous accolades for extraordinary achievement in civil rights advancement, including being named a 2021 Elite Trial Lawyers Finalist for Disability Rights, and a Finalist for the Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the year in 2017. In addition, 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.
- 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
United States Supreme Court, 1992
United States District Courts for the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
United States Court of Appeals for the First and Ninth Circuits
“The Best Lawyers in America,” Litigation: Labor & Employment, recognized each year from 2010 to the present.
Law Dragon, Top 500 Employment Lawyers, nationally, each year from August 2018 to the present.
2021 Elite Trial Lawyers Award Finalist, National Law Journal, for work in Disability Rights, May 2021.
Public Justice 2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Nominee, in recognition of work in Nevarez v. Forty Niners Football Co., et al., March 2021.
Public Justice 2017 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Finalist, in recognition of work in Willits v. City of Los Angeles, June 2017.
Law & Politics Magazine, “Northern California Super Lawyer,” August 2005 to the present.
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.
Law & Politics Magazine, “Top 50 Women Super Lawyers” for Northern California, August 2009.
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
- Mediation Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (member, November 2019 to present)
- Board of Directors of Disability Rights Advocates (President, March 2015 to March 2019; member, October 2007 to February 2020)
- Executive Committee, Disability Rights Bar Association (Vice Chair, June 2015 to January 2021; 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)
- Duane, Lyman & Seltzer, Berkeley, CA, 1988–1991; Associate
- Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, San Francisco, CA, 1987–1988; Associate
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.
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: Nevarez, et al. v. Forty Niners Football Co., et al., No. 16-CV-07013-LHK (N.D. Cal.) (certified class action under the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act for injunctive relief and damages resulting from defendants’ failure to build Levi’s Stadium in compliance with disability access standards, resulting in a comprehensive settlement agreement requiring extensive, systemic barrier removal in the Stadium and its related parking lot and pedestrian right of way, policy changes to ensure that people with mobility disabilities may fully and fairly obtain accessible seating, and establishing a damages fund of $24 million, the largest ever in a disability access class action against a place of public accommodation); see 326 F.R.D. 562 (N.D. Cal. 2018).
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 resulting in a settlement valued at approximately $300 million).
Lashbrook v. City of San Jose, No. CV-20-01236-NC (N.D. Cal) (certified class action settlement on behalf of persons with mobility disabilities, requiring the City of San Jose to spend in excess of $130 million on curb ramp construction and remediation over the course of a 12-year consent decree, which will result in the construction or remediation of nearly 2,000 curb ramps per year during the first ten years of the settlement; the presiding judge praised the settlement as “remarkable” and “a service to the community.”).
Githieya, et al. v. Global Tel Link Corp., No. CV-15-00986-AT (N.D. Ga.) (certified class action on behalf of all persons nationwide who established an funded a prepaid account through GTL’s interactive-voice response system and had the money in their account taken by GTL after a certain period of account inactivity, resulting in a settlement valued at $67 million.
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 resulting in a settlement valued at approximately $200 million).
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).
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
The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 30 – How Have Class Actions Fared?, Impact Fund Class Action Conference, February 21, 2020
Ethical Considerations in Representing Clients with Disabilities, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, March 24, 2019
Doctors without Barriers: Achieving Accessible Health Care, 2018 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium, March 22, 2018
Telling Our Stories – using mainstream and social media to positively message disability rights struggles and victories, counter the “drive-by” narrative advanced by 60 Minutes and other sources, and engage with clients, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, March 2017
Digital Accessibility Legal Update, California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities’ 32nd Assistive Technology Conference, March 2017
War and Peace – The Saga of Willits v. City of Los Angeles, a Class Action Battled on Four Fronts with Historic Results, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, April 2016
Litigation Strategy in Disability Rights Actions, Disability Rights Bar Association Annual Conference, April 2014
Structured Negotiations, A Winning Strategy for Technology and Information Access, 2014 Impact Fund Class Action Conference, February 2014
Web Accessibility: Annual Legal Update, California State University, Northridge, Center on Disabilities’ 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Feb. 2013
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