Reed Smith announced today that the Daily Journal has named two of its partners – Michele Haydel Gehrke and Mara Curtis – as “Top Labor & Employment Lawyers” for 2023.

Profesionales relacionados:: Mara D. Curtis Michele Haydel Gehrke

Law and justice concept - Themis statue, judge hammer and books. Courtroom.

The Daily Journal honor recognizes leading attorneys based in California who have made significant contributions in national labor and employment law.

This is the sixth year in a row that San Francisco-based Gehrke has appeared on the list, on which Curtis makes her first appearance. Los Angeles-based Curtis also was recently named a 2023 “Top 100 Lawyer” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and a 2022 “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Recorder.

In this year’s profile of Michele Gehrke, the Daily Journal spotlighted her defense of leading businesses in complex employment litigation and class actions. Gehrke was also profiled for her “unique niche” representing airlines in “cutting edge” employment disputes under the Railway Labor Act, including a major airline in three cases this past year.

“It’s always a good thing for your client when you understand their industry and can jump in with that knowledge,” Gehrke said.

Gehrke was further praised for her high-profile National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) work, including recent first-of-their-kind representation petitions in the video game industry.

In its profile of Mara Curtis, the Daily Journal highlighted her high-stakes wage-and-hour class action work. The profile likewise called out her contributions to California law in this area, including a recent case of first impression regarding labor violation claims brought under the Private Attorneys General Act.

Such work includes defending two supermarket chains in “unusual” lawsuits claiming wage and hour violations on behalf of customers who used self-checkout while shopping at the stores and a trucking company in three class actions in California and Florida over whether truckers are employees or independent contractors.

“Wage-and-hour law is fun, because it is precise and statute-based, you get to explore in-depth legal issues, and there is always something new under the sun,” Curtis said.