Getting Back to "Normal": A Conversation with Amelia Warden
As law firms across the country continue to cautiously navigate the post-COVID landscape, many are reexamining what running a successful law firm looks like. For years, the thought of a remote or partially remote law firm seemed like an anathema to many lawyers. However, after successfully weathering over a year of restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, many attorneys are seeing the benefits of embracing some of the virtual aspects of remote practice.
In this series, we are speaking to some of the all-stars of the plaintiffs’ bar to discuss how they are tackling the move back to “normal” firm life. We recently spoke with Amelia Warden, Chief Financial Officer of the renowned Flint Law Firm, to discover how her firm has changed over the past year-and-a-half and what the future holds for the firm.
On June 1, 2020, class claims were filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York by a group of artists who alleged that the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) and the City of New York violated the Visual Artists Rights Act by its willful destruction of a work of visual art during its ongoing campaign to clean up graffiti.
On June 7, 2021, popular food delivery services Grubhub, Seamless, Postmates, UberEats and DoorDash were served with class claims in federal court in the Southern District of New York, alleging that the companies are “bleeding New York City restaurants dry” by charging fees while collecting millions of dollars at the restaurants’ expense, in what the plaintiff referred to as a blatant disregard of the laws of the City of New York.
On June 8, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Central Bucks School District (“the District”), by a group of female teachers who alleged that the District violated their rights under the federal Equal Pay Act.
In the complaint, named plaintiff Dawn Marinello described how she began working as a teacher within the District in 2016, entering the position with substantial career experience as an educator. Plaintiff alleged that she was expressly told by the District that salaries were decided by factors within a proscribed Salary Schedule and that the gender of the teacher did not impact their compensation.
On May 28, 2021, U.S. Chief District Judge for New Jersey, Freda L. Wolfson, partially shot down a bid by Johnson & Johnson unit, J&J Consumer Inc. (“JJCI”), to dismiss class claims, alleging that the defendant’s popular Neutrogena brand makeup remover wipes caused adverse skin reactions by upholding eight of the 10 counts comprising the claims.
On May 20, 2021, class claims were filed in the Circuit Court for St. Louis County, State of Missouri against Conopco, Inc. (d/b/a Unilever), maker of Dove “Men + Care” anti-perspirants, alleging that the company engaged in false, misleading and deceptive marketing of its products.
On May 17, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Central District of California against actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxe lifestyle and wellness brand, GOOP Inc., alleging that the company’s kitschy “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle may explode during normal use.
On May 7, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida against superstore Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco”), alleging that the retail giant intentionally misled consumers as to the details of its Interstate Battery Warranty.
On May 2, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York against Nestlé Waters North America, Inc. (“Nestlé”) alleging that the company actively misled consumers as to the true ingredients of its Poland Spring brand sparkling water.
On April 30, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Central District of California by a group of investors against Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc. (“VWoA”) and two of the company’s executives, CEO Scott Keogh and Volkswagen head of communications, Mark Gillies, concerning the automaker’s poorly planned April Fools prank in which it announced its intention to change its name to Voltswagen.
On April 16, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) issued a transfer order centralizing all litigations alleging that All-Clad’s multi-ply stainless-steel cookware was deceptively marketed to consumers as dishwasher safe, be transferred to the Western District of Pennsylvania under federal court Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan.
On April 27, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Northern District of California against tech giant Google LLC (“Google”) alleging that the COVID-19 contact tracing technology the company co-created with Apple has exposed users’ private personal and medical information. The suit claims that the sensitive data was retrievable by numerous third parties, and also by other contact tracing app users who were within a certain proximity of a fellow user.
Returning to the office, employee vaccinations, flextime—these are all considerations facing contingency-fee firms as the U.S. looks toward a gradual return to some semblance of pre-pandemic life. We recently spoke to Matthew Haynie, Esq. of Forester Haynie about his views on how the pandemic has impacted his firm operations and what he sees the future looking like.
CFS: As we pass the one-year mark of COVID-19 regulations and closures impacting the court system, how has your firm changed in the last 12 months?
On April 19, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois against popular convenience baked goods company, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery (“Sara Lee”), alleging that the company engaged in deceptive, unfair and false merchandising practices regarding its popular All Butter Pound Cake (the “product”).
On April 15, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Eastern District of California against Victoria’s Secret Stores LLC (“Victoria’s Secret”) and its parent company, L Brands Inc., by a group of employees who alleged that they were denied payment for all hours worked because of company compelled temperature screenings while off the clock.