is a partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He divides his practice among his employment litigation, “disaster mitigation,” and appellate practices. Mr. Abele’s employment litigation practice includes the representation of private and public employers in all aspects of employment law, including wage and hour class actions, wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment litigation, and traditional labor arbitrations. He has particular experience in wage and hour class actions and has recently obtained decertification for a firm client. Mr. Abele also helps lead the firm’s disaster mitigation practice, helping his clients undo or significantly reduce disastrous verdicts levied by California juries. His extensive appellate practice serves as a perfect complement to disaster mitigation, as most of those matters ultimately are resolved in the courts of appeal.
- Defeated class certification on behalf of a major communications company whose retail store managers had claimed to be misclassified as exempt, asserting claims for overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and other wage-and-hour violations.
- Prepared a Petition for Permission to Appeal a remand order under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) in a case involving a purported waiver by plaintiff of any recovery over the federal court jurisdictional threshold.
- Sought to dismiss individual defendants from personal liability for penalties under the California Private Attorneys General Act. Cal. Labor Code section 2698 et. seq.
- Convinced a federal district court, just three weeks before trial, to decertify a class of over 1300 supervisors in a case plaintiff’s counsel had valued at several hundred million dollars. Marlo v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 251 F.R.D. 476 (C.D. Cal. 2008). Prepared the appellate court briefing in which the decertification was upheld. Marlo v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 639 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2011).
- Took over a case for a nationwide financial institution against whom a California jury had awarded $1.6 million in an age-harassment trial, and convinced the trial court to order a complete new trial. After plaintiffs appealed from directed verdicts entered earlier by the trial court, Mr. Abele persuaded the appellate court not only to uphold the directed verdicts, but (on a cross-appeal) to direct the trial court to order judgment notwithstanding the verdict, thereby avoiding the new trial altogether.
- Helped reverse an $89.5 million verdict in favor of two individual plaintiffs who claimed to have been denied a promotion. Through briefing up to the California Supreme Court, Mr. Abele’s team successfully obtained a new trial for the firm’s client. Lane v. Hughes Aircraft Company, 22 Cal.4th 405 (2000).
- Obtained numerous summary judgments in federal and state courts on individual plaintiff cases asserting various forms of discrimination and wrongful termination.
Accolades and Recognitions
- Elected as a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (June 2011).
- Selected of as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal (July 2011).
- Selected for inclusion on the Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyer listings each year since 2003
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- BNA Webinar Series, "Appellate Lawyers In The Trial Court: Towards a Multiphase Litigation Strategy" (February 15, 2012)
- National Employment Law Institute, "Cutting Edge Wage-Hour Issues" (March 22, 2011)
- Client Roundtable, "Wage and Hour 360: From Compliance to Resolution" (February 10, 2011)
- American Conference Institute, National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, "Collective and Class Action Certification Battles: Analysis of Recent Rulings, and Crafting a Strategy for Managing Large Scale Litigation" (January 31 - February 2, 2011)
- Matthew Bender, California Employment Law, Chapter 9: "Wage and Hour Class Actions" (Wilcox, ed.)
- Rutter Group, California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Chapter 7: “Employment Discrimination – In General” (Chin, Wiseman, Callahan & Exelrod, eds.).
- California State Bar, Labor & Employment Law Review, “Tip-Pooling Or Tip-Allocation? How the Law Applicable to Tip Policies Evolved in 2009.” (May 2010)
- Matthew Bender, California Labor & Employment Law Bulletin, “Stray Remarks May Not Be Deemed ‘Stray’: The California Supreme Court Clarifies the Role of Stray Remarks” (November 2010).
- University of Virginia, B.A. (with distinction), 1985
- UCLA School of Law, J.D., 1990