Few accomplishments in the legal profession are more honorable than arguing a case before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Recently, McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP Partner Michele Vercoski became the latest attorney to fulfill this accomplishment. We are extremely proud of Michele’s efforts as she represented our Inland Empire complex litigation firm in front of the highest court in the land.
Lamp Plus Inc. v. Varela
Michele Vercoski argued as class counsel on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case Lamps Plus v. Varela. The case involved class arbitration of an employee data breach when the arbitration agreement did not explicitly prohibit it. While the Supreme Court has traditionally taken the side of companies in cases where arbitration clauses have been used by employees and customers in class action suits, Lamp Plus could be a landmark case, should the Court decide to rule on the explicit ability of workers and consumers to arbitrate claims at a class action level.
In the case of Lamp Plus, employees filed a class action after an employee was misled by a fraudulent email that appeared to be from a supervisor. This led to copies of current and former employees’ W-2 forms being sent to a third party. Michele Vercoski has stated that this case, “demonstrates that the powerful are not using arbitration clauses for speedy resolution, but instead as a tool to eliminate all employee rights in the most egregious circumstances.”
Vercoski went on to state that, “Arbitration provisions were not intended to allow companies to not only inflict harm upon employees, but also block meaningful recourse in any forum to such injured employees and effectively avoid any liability for its actions.”
Lamp Plus v. Varela comes at an interesting moment for SCOTUS, when the Court is showing a renewed interest in class actions for the first time since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Chief Justice John Roberts had indicated that he might be interested in these types of cases as early as 2013, and with the recent additions of Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the court, there could soon be several important rulings on arbitration issues. Most critically, if the Lamp Plus case is ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, it could reopen the debate on whether employers should be allowed to bar class action arbitration specifically.
About Michele Vercoski
Arguing Lamp Plus is just the latest outstanding moment in a long career of legal excellence for Michele M. Vercoski. A member of the California Bar Association, the San Bernardino County Bar Association, the Consumer Attorneys of California, the California Young Lawyers Association, the New Jersey Bar Association, and the New York Bar Association, she first joined McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP in 2017, and has been a tireless advocate for justice at our firm ever since.
Some of her notable successes include:
- $1.7 million settlement for defective ankle implants
- $1.2 million settlement fund established in a class action against SlimFast
- $950,000 settlement for an airway burn product
About Our Approach to Class Actions
At McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP our approach to class actions is holistic. By giving our clients a personalized experience that focuses on their comfort and understanding, our Inland Empire complex litigation firm has been able to recover over $1 billion in settlements. Come in for a free consultation and see why the people of the Inland Empire and beyond have trusted us with their class action needs for over 30 years.
Call (909) 345-8110 to speak with an experienced attorney, or contact us online today.