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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Linda C. Miller Savitt

To understand the influence of Linda C. Miller Savitt on the legal system, consider this: in the third quarter of 2006 alone, she racked up three defense verdicts and a motion for summary judgment. That type of track record four significant legal accomplishments in three months is par for the course for Savitt, an employment attorney and partner in the Universal City firm Ballard Rosenberg Golper and Savitt who typically defends employers and managers against wrongful termination, sexual harassment and discrimination claims. With a workload of 50 cases at any one time, she has tried 65 jury trials and 10 court trials and has received defense verdicts in approximately 85 percent of them. Last winter, she successfully tried Neal v. Health Net, a seven-day jury trial in which a former equal employment opportunity affirmative action coordinator for Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc. said a supervisor harassed her because of her race and gender. She was also involved in the landmark EEOC v. Reeves, an 11-day federal court trial involving a sexual discrimination claim filed by the U.S. government. After just four-and-a-half hours of deliberation, the jury ruled unanimously for the defense and the trial court awarded Savitt’s client more than $1 million in fees and costs. The settlement is believed to be the largest claim against the EEOC to date. The case, Savitt said, exemplifies what she finds rewarding about job helping employers restore their image. “A lot of people have been falsely accused and I got them exonerated,” she said. “That’s a great feeling.” Savitt’s law career started in 1980, when she graduated from Loyola Law School. By 1989, with the law firm Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett, she first gained notice for her defense of San Pedro Peninsula Hospital, a landmark case in which the state Court of Appeal better defined the term “hostile work environment.” “That opinion is still one that stands today,” she said. “This case defined it.” Lisa Perrochet, a partner at the Encino firm Horvitz & Levy, remembers hearing about Savitt decades ago when the two worked at different Valley firms. People were impressed, she said. “I thought she was one of the prominent lawyers even 20 years ago,” she said. Today, Savitt still approaches her cases with a common sense attitude, she said. “She can really bring practical insights,” said Perrochet, who also serves with Savitt on the Association of the Southern California Defense Counsel. “She’s just engaged in her practice. She’s great.” Chris Coates

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