Munger, Tolles & Olson litigator and Co-Managing Partner Malcolm Heinicke was recognized as a Top Labor and Employment Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal for the 13th consecutive year.
Among other recent successes, Mr. Heinicke led a team that obtained a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of Wells Fargo in a two-week trial. A former high-level employee, who sought over $30 million in damages, alleged he was wrongfully terminated over a foreign exchange transaction conducted via phone and, in a separate action, filed to exclude the recording at the center of the case. Mr. Heinicke and the team obtained a ruling limiting the damages and, on Jan. 22, 2020, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Wells on the merits of the case and the bank’s procedural defense – even though there was no audible recording disclosure on the call in question and the plaintiff hadn’t signed a recording disclosure acknowledgement. The underlying case is ongoing and, in May 2021, the Court confirmed that the recording comes into evidence.
The Daily Journal honored Mr. Heinicke and the team with a Top Defense Verdict award.
Recently, Mr. Heinicke also scored a precedent-setting class action victory on behalf of See’s Candies in the California Court of Appeals. The plaintiff argued that because company policy instructed employees to follow schedules, and those schedules did not specifically provide for second meal periods on long shifts, See’s had failed to follow California law. The plaintiff demonstrated that in over 75% of worker shifts exceeding ten hours, no second meal periods were recorded.
Mr. Heinicke and the Munger, Tolles team demonstrated that the company’s policies were lawful, and presented detailed statistical analyses to show they were effectively communicated to staff. The team used declaration testimony to show the actual compliance rate was effectively even higher and that many employees chose to forego second meal periods for personal reasons, such as to leave early. The Court affirmed the order denying certification after concluding that individual issues would predominate and the plaintiff had failed to present a viable trial plan. After a third-party submission stating this opinion will affect cases around the state, the Court published the ruling.
See Mr. Heinicke’ s profile and the entire list of Top Labor and Employment Lawyers on the Daily Journal’s website.
Based in San Francisco, Malcolm Heinicke focuses his practice on employment and complex commercial litigation, particularly in class and collective actions and employee mobility matters. He has been selected as a Top Labor and Employment Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal every year since 2009.