Wigdor LLP has a wide array of talented attorneys. We have been included in Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, AV Rated from Martindale-Hubbell, received the highest ranking in Avvo and were included in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from Best Trial Lawyers in America. Our collective experiences range from degrees at the most highly regarded law schools, large law firm practices and former prosecutors. Our lawyers are admitted in numerous states and federal courts throughout the country and have received consistent recognition from our clients, judges, and even our adversaries.
Douglas H. Wigdor
It is hard to imagine another employment lawyer with a comparable record both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. Mr. Douglas Wigdor routinely tries cases to verdict – having won numerous verdicts in the millions of dollars and regularly appearing in the New York Law Journal’s “Top Verdicts”. Because of his employment trial verdicts and high profile cases, Mr. Wigdor has been referred to in major news publications as “one of New York’s most high profile litigators;” “a top New York Lawyer;” “a high profile American lawyer;” and “a prominent lawyer.”
Mr. Wigdor was named as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the USA by the National Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 100 Labor / Employment Lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates. Two peer review studies, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, have recognized Mr. Wigdor as one of the best Employment Trial Lawyers in America. Mr. Wigdor is also an arbitrator himself, serving on the American Arbitration Association Employment Panel.
Mr. Wigdor’s handling of numerous high profile cases has resulted in frequent media appearances, including Nightline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN American Morning, Your World with Neil Cavuto as well as regular spots on CNBC, ABC News, CBS News, NY1, the BBC and NBC News. He is regularly quoted as a legal expert in newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Law Journal, London Times, Daily Telegraph, London Independent, USA Today, New York Post, and Daily News. One well known media outlet noted that “although U.S. lawyers are known to actively seek out victims to encourage them to sue for damages, Mr. Wigdor doesn’t need to chase clients”.
Mr. Wigdor coined the phrase “Recessionary Discrimination” to characterize the growing trend by companies of using mass lay-offs to cover-up the discriminatory treatment and/or impact on groups of women, people of color and those over the age of 40.
Mr. Wigdor is also a lecturer, editor and author of articles on employment and criminal related subjects. He is regularly invited to appear and participate in leading legal forums regarding topical employment issues. Mr. Wigdor has appeared multiple times as part of an employment mediation panel at JAMS (Judicial Arbitration & Mediation) continuing legal education events and has also appeared as a speaker at the American Arbitration Association forum. Mr. Wigdor also frequently speaks and moderates other continuing legal education seminars for American Conference Institute and Practicing Legal Institute. He is also quoted frequently in the New York Law Journal, presents lectures to various Bar Associations and has published articles in numerous journals. At the request of The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Task Force, Mr. Wigdor testified on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction.
The New York Law Journal has featured Mr. Wigdor and Wigdor LLP’s clients in the top New York State verdicts six times, including the number one and two employment verdicts and the number one disability discrimination verdict. Wigdor LLP has also been honored by the Litigator Awards, the highest awards in trial law. Wigdor LLP has been recognized for extraordinary achievement in the categories of employee discrimination, wrongful termination, civil rights, whistle-blower and wage and hour.
Some of Mr. Wigdor’s notable outcomes include:
- $23.72 million arbitration award (one of the largest single plaintiff employment arbitration verdicts) on behalf of the former Chief Financial Officer of Six Flags;
- $7.5 million verdict in a disability discrimination case against Wal-Mart, one of the largest verdicts ever in a single plaintiff case under the Americans with Disabilities Act;
- $8 million (approx.) verdict on behalf of the former Editor-in-Chief of the Source Magazine, who was retaliated against after she complained of gender discrimination;
- $3.35 million verdict on behalf of a former employee of Nassau County whose due process rights were violated;
- $1.35 million verdict in a disability case where our client was terminated from his employer after disclosing he was HIV positive;
- Arbitration award of over $700,000 on behalf of former Managing Director at Manhattan based Consulting group who was terminated without basis for “Cause”;
Mr. Wigdor’s practice focuses on litigation and counseling of individuals and companies in connection with a wide array of employment issues, criminal matters and international issues. He has represented numerous clients who have been victimized by discrimination or harassment based on pregnancy, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability, including, but certainly not limited to:
- Television personalities, news anchors, and other executives in discrimination, harassment and contract claims against their employers and others individually responsible;
- Employees of the New York Times in a class action lawsuit alleging age, race and gender discrimination;
- A former executive in a sexual harassment and retaliation claim against a top hedge fund that appeared on the front page of the New York Times;
- A nationwide class action against Sephora on behalf of over seven hundred and thirty Asian customers who were the victims of racial profiling and discrimination;
- A former senior VP at renowned T.V. channel Al Jazeera America, in a lawsuit alleging retaliation and discrimination against her former employer;
- The courageous victim of a heinous sex crime at the hands of an Uber cab driver in India;
Mr. Wigdor regularly conducts oral arguments in appellate courts, including second circuit, New York Court of Appeals, and First Department, arguing some of the most closely watched legal issues in the employment field.
Mr. Wigdor was a Federal Law Clerk to United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt and was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, New York where he investigated, prosecuted and tried hundreds of criminal matters ranging from robberies and burglaries to complex schemes to defraud. Because of the breadth of his criminal litigation experience, Mr. Wigdor was appointed under the Federal Criminal Justice Act to serve a three-year term, in the Eastern District of New York, as a criminal defense lawyer in selected criminal cases. Prior to founding Wigdor LLP, Mr. Wigdor was a senior lawyer at one of the nation’s preeminent management side labor and employment firms.
Mr. Wigdor was named as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the USA by the National Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 100 Labor / Employment Lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates. Two peer review studies, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, have recognized Mr. Wigdor as one of the best Employment Trial Lawyers in America. The American Academy of Trial Attorneys, a national organization of premier attorneys, has recognized Mr. Wigdor as one of the Premier 100 trial attorneys for New York. Mr. Wigdor was selected as a Blue Ribbon Panelist for Super Lawyers in the employment litigation / labor and employment field after receiving one of the highest point totals in the Super Lawyers rankings. As a Blue Ribbon Panelist, he rates other candidates and provides recommendations regarding the candidacy of other lawyers to the prestigious Super Lawyers rankings. Mr. Wigdor has also received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating that his peers rank him as one of the preeminent lawyers in the labor and employment field. Avvo, a well-respected lawyer-rating agency, rates Mr. Wigdor at 10.0, its highest rating (“Superb”). Mr. Wigdor is a member of the Law360 Employment Law Editorial Advisory Board; a news source read by thousands of corporate counsel and firm decision makers every day. Members of this board serve as a resource for Law360 to get feedback on the publication’s coverage in addition to insight from experts in the field.
Mr. Wigdor received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, cum laude, where he was a member of the Varsity Tennis Team; a Master’s Degree from Oxford University in England; and his Juris Doctor from Catholic University School of Law in Washington, D.C., graduating in the top of his class. Mr. Wigdor was a senior staff member on the Catholic University Law Review and an editor of the Oxford International Review. While at Oxford, he received a coveted “full-Blue” and was a member of the Vincent’s Club.
Mr. Wigdor is an active and philanthropic member of the Forest Hills community, where he served on the legal committee of the Forest Hills Gardens Association, had the privilege of managing several basketball teams in the Forest Hills Little League in addition to coaching a basketball team at the Forest Hills YMCA and Forest Hills Community House. He was a former member of the Governing Committee of the Oxonian Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing heads of state to address its members, and was also a member in both the Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt Inns of Court wherein he worked together with other selected lawyers and state and federal judges in the analysis of current legal issues. Mr. Wigdor is also an active member of the Westside Tennis Club at Forest Hills and a member of the International Tennis Club of the U.S.A.
Mr. Wigdor has lectured at Oxford (University) and has been awarded the Alumnus of the Year in 2007 and 2014. Due to his continued support of Oxford, St Cross College, a library has been named after Mr. Wigdor and his wife – the Douglas and Catherine Wigdor Library Garden Room. Mr. Wigdor is a member of the New York Eliot Society Membership Committee, and a volunteer for the Leading Together Campaign for Washington University. Mr. Wigdor has also endowed a scholarship for an Arts & Sciences student at Washington University.
David E. Gottlieb
David E. Gottlieb is a Partner at Wigdor LLP and is an aggressive and zealous advocate for employees and victims of civil rights violations. Mr. Gottlieb has represented thousands of employees in individual, multi-plaintiff, collective and class action litigation before a wide array of federal and state trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and arbitral forums.
The following are samples of Mr. Gottlieb’s notable results:
- Represented a class of home loan officers at Citibank who alleged failure to pay overtime and other wage violations, which was resolved for in excess of $4,500,000.
- Represented a class of limousine drivers who alleged misclassification as independent contractors, unlawful tip retention and numerous other wage violations, which was resolved for $3,500,000.
- Represented a woman who was sexually assaulted by her supervisor leading to her constructive discharge, which resulted in a judgment of approximately $2,000,000.
- Represented a class of service employees at the de Seversky Mansion at the New York Institute of Technology alleging unlawful tip retention, which was resolved for $1,625,000.
- Represented a class of servers and bartenders in a class action sexual harassment and wage-and-hour dispute, which settled for an aggregate total of $1,800,000.
- Represented a collective of employees against one of the largest architectural firms in the world, alleging an array of unlawful wage practices, resulting in payment in excess of $1,500,000.
- Represented a man who claimed he was falsely accused of multiple felonies and subject to malicious criminal prosecution only to obtain a complete acquittal at trial.
Mr. Gottlieb is an employment and civil rights litigator.
Mr. Gottlieb advocates for people who have been sexually harassed, subject to hostile work environment, discriminated against by their employers on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, or retaliated against for raising anti-discrimination or whistleblower complaints. These cases have touched virtually every professional industry including: banking, finance, hospitality, architecture, transportation, fashion, education, government, communications, advertising, sports, media and retail. A large aspect of Mr. Gottlieb’s practice includes the representation of individuals within the LGBTQ community, and he serves as pro bono counsel for an LGBTQ advocacy organization.
Mr. Gottlieb also has substantial experience representing employees in class action representation. Mr. Gottlieb has successfully litigated class actions against numerous restaurant and hospitality industry employers in connection with wage-and-hour class actions. He has represented individuals and classes of employees at some of the largest and most well-known establishments in New York including: Tao, Lavo, Bouley Restaurant, 230 Fifth, Philippe Restaurant, Café Un Deux Trois, the De Seversky Mansion at NYIT and Angelo’s of Mulberry Street. Mr. Gottlieb has litigated discrimination and wage-and-hour class actions against numerous employers in a variety of professional industries.
Furthermore, Mr. Gottlieb helps to ensure that the police do not abuse their power or authority. Mr. Gottlieb represents individuals who have claimed Constitutional violations by police officers and municipalities for false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive use of force, malicious prosecution and unlawful racial bias.
Mr. Gottlieb previously worked for The Innocence Project, a nationally recognized organization devoted to the exoneration of wrongfully convicted inmates. Among other accomplishments, Mr. Gottlieb was involved in the matter of Williams v. Carter, No. 03-cv-1067 (S.D. Ind. 2003), wherein a death row inmate received an eleventh-hour stay of execution and ultimately clemency on account of exculpatory DNA evidence.
Mr. Gottlieb has recently been selected as Super Lawyer Rising Star by SuperLawyers.
Lawrence M. Pearson
Lawrence M. Pearson represents both individuals and corporate clients in legal matters involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, whistleblowing, severance negotiations, employment law, contracts, workplace policies and compliance, internal investigations, employee discipline, entertainment law and civil rights law. He has litigated many dozens of employment, contract and tort cases to resolution in federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and American Arbitration Association (AAA), among other forums. Mr. Pearson has represented clients from the fields of financial services, law, technology, media and entertainment, publishing and reporting, medicine, hospitality, education, government, architecture, and many others.
Mr. Pearson’s most recent notable outcomes have been obtained on behalf of both employees/individuals and corporate clients.
Recent representative matters handled by Mr. Pearson on behalf of individuals include:
- Representation of five plaintiffs in connection with high-profile gender discrimination and disparate impact matter against major worldwide financial services firm.
- Representation of plaintiff in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation action against JP Morgan Chase. Grant of summary judgment vacated and remanded following appeal to Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Sharkey v. JP Morgan Chase, No. 10 Civ. 3824(RWS) (SDNY); 13-4741-cv (Oct. 9, 2014 summary order).
- Representation of plaintiff in high-profile Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower retaliation case against Deutsche Bank involving allegations of client overcharges and widespread systems failures. DeDilectis v. Deutsche Bank, 13-cv-01504(VEC) (SDNY).
- Defeated summary judgment on breach of contract claims filed against MSNBC by former on-air personality. DiFolco v. MSNBC Cable L.L.C., No. 06 Civ. 4728(LAP), 831 F. Supp.2d 634 (SDNY 2011).
- Negotiated severance terms and public retraction of mistaken corporate statement on behalf of former CEO of a globally recognized brand of paint and coating products.
- Negotiated terms of modeling contracts with leading modeling agencies on behalf of top fashion model.
Recent representative matters handled by Mr. Pearson on behalf of employers include:
- Defended defamation action against global financial services firm in FINRA arbitration. Panel denied claimant’s claims in their entirety and awarded substantial damages to respondent on counterclaims.
- Obtained a favorable ruling from the bench on a motion to dismiss all claims against a major department store brought into discrimination and retaliation lawsuit as a joint employer by a cosmetics salesperson suing a store vendor. Conde v. Sisley Cosmetics USA, Inc., No. 11 Civ. 4010(RJS), 2012 WL 1883508 (SDNY May 23, 2012).
- Conducted and issued findings in connection with many internal corporate investigations, including matters involving fraud, kickbacks, sexual harassment and retaliation.
Before joining the Firm, Mr. Pearson was an attorney at Jackson Lewis LLP, where he counseled and represented employers in labor and employment matters, as well as at Morgan Lewis LLP, where he was an associate in the Labor & Employment Practice Group.
Mr. Pearson has successfully represented individuals pursuing claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, torts, civil rights violations and unpaid compensation and benefits. He also has successfully defended management-side clients from various employment, contract and tort claims.
Mr. Pearson is a trusted advisor to businesses and individuals, and has extensive experience counseling clients on dispute resolution, employee discipline, reductions-in-force and terminations, wage-hour compliance, workplace policies and practices, leaves of absence and disability accommodation, restrictive covenants, recruiting and hiring practices and many other issues. He develops and implements employment policies, handbooks and agreements, partnership and services contracts and conducts training seminars for management and employees on employment law compliance and avoidance of discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
Mr. Pearson received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was Book Review Editor of the Journal of Labor and Employment Law and won a Public Service Award for his work with the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, from The George Washington University, where he also was a member of the Honors Program, minored in Philosophy and received a merit scholarship.
Mr. Pearson has been selected as a Super Lawyer Honoree by Super Lawyers.
Jeanne M. Christensen
Jeanne M. Christensen is a Partner at Wigdor LLP. Ms. Christensen concentrates her practice in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases. In addition to wage and hour collective actions, her experience includes discrimination and harassment cases brought on a class wide basis. She also practices in the area of federal consumer protection law, including unfair trade, unlawful debt collection and consumer fraud matters. Ms. Christensen has successfully arbitrated numerous matters on behalf of securities industry professionals and defrauded consumers before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Ms. Christensen represents clients from a wide variety of professions including, but not limited to, the financial services industry, restaurant and hospitality industry, and corporate entities.
Ms. Christensen has successfully litigated multiple consumer and employment class actions, including cases against Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Chase, UBS and TD Bank. Recently, as lead counsel, she obtained a jury verdict in a federal trial on behalf of former employees against an upscale Manhattan restaurant. In addition to extensive experience representing plaintiffs, her past experience includes insurance defense litigation in commercial and employment matters.
Ms. Christensen has been involved in the litigation of many large, complex and high profile matters including:
- Lead counsel in class action representing thousands of residential tenants against international real estate developer.
- Class action against national retailer on behalf of minority consumers alleging systemic racial profiling.
- Lead counsel in three class actions against national parking garage companies on behalf of individuals whose vehicles were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy.
- Represented consumers in breach of contract claims against major financial institution.
- Represented female employees with pregnancy discrimination claims against major companies and institutions.
Ms. Christensen is currently representing clients in the following actions:
- Nationwide class action against cosmetics giant Sephora on behalf of Asian customers – Lee et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc. et. al.
- Sexual assault action on behalf of two women who were allegedly sexually assaulted by their Uber drivers – Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 v. Uber Technologies, Inc.
- A vicious and violent attack by a professional rugby player on three innocent victims – Joseph Cartright, Ruth Fowler and Carolin Dekeyser v. Matthew Lodge.
Ms. Christensen received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School Of Law, where she was the Manuscripts Editor of the Maryland Law Review. She graduated with a B.A. in History and Economics, cum laude, from the University of Vermont.
Currently, Ms. Christensen is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and Public Justice.