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If Lawyer Were King, He’d Change PAGA

   Richard Rosenberg is a partner at Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, beginning his career in 1977. Since then, Rosenberg has become an expert in workplace law and has lectured for management groups, bar associations and trade organizations. The veteran lawyer has published more than 75 articles and commentaries in publications such as the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal.    

   How has the pandemic changed your firm?    

Most of us are still working remotely, so that’s a big change. Thankfully, we have Zoom, MS Teams and the like. We really haven’t skipped a beat, except that in-person meetings are mostly electronic. Now that COVID-19 is subsiding, we are excited to be returning to the office on a three days/week schedule.  

   How has it affected your clientele?   

Many of our clients were hurt badly because they were shut down or had only limited operations. Though some have prospered, most are just beginning to recover. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a host of new legal regulations that were constantly changing. 

   What’s your favorite part of being an attorney?   

Being a problem-solver and devising strategies for success. Every new engagement is like a riddle that you have to solve with your client’s best interest as the focus.   

   What qualities in your personality make you a good lawyer?   

Persistence, curiosity, attention to detail and the ability to listen and really “hear” what the others are asking of my clients.   

   What is the most funny, unusual or memorable experience ou’ve had during your career as an attorney?   

I was trying a federal court case involving a restaurant worker who was let go because she did an unsatisfactory job cleaning her tables. When her boss was on the stand in court, he saw a gum wrapper on the courtroom floor and boldly told the judge that he’d fire whoever cleaned that courtroom.  

   What are your hobbies? 

Golf (because it requires you to be 100 percent present to succeed), traveling to see my four adult children (because I miss them) and eating out (because I like to eat).  

   If you could change one legal rule or practice, what would it be?   

I would repeal the California Private Attorney General Act. PAGA deputized the state’s workers and their lawyers to sue employers for labor law compliance on behalf of the state and keep a share of the money. Even small technical violations can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the big winners are the lawyers that file the claim. If I were king, I’d change PAGA to allow employers the chance to fix these problems before they could be sued.   

 

Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio “Tony” Pequeño IV is a reporter covering health care, finance and law for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. He specializes in reporting on some of the biggest names in the Valley’s biotechnology sector. In addition to his work with the Business Journal, Tony has reported with BuzzFeed News on the unsupervised use of Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition technology. Tony, who also conducts freelance reporting, graduated from the USC’s Master of Science in Journalism program in 2021. He is in his fifth year as a journalist as of 2021.
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