Higgs’ Labor and Employment Practice Group Chair, Alexis Gutierrez, was recently recognized by the San Diego Daily Transcript as one of its Top 100 Influentials. Congratulations to Alexis on this achievement.
Gutierrez knew early on that he wanted to be a litigator, and as chair of the labor and employment practice group at Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP, he handles business litigation and employment cases for a broad range of clients.
“I like helping clients solve problems, and helping management avoid issues and succeed,” said Gutierrez, whose clients range from startups to publicly held companies and nonprofits.
He has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration, mediation and before administrative agencies.
Among a string of recent successes was defeating a hotel class action suit with 12 alleged wage violations. He represented Wave Crest Management, which employs people that run the day-to-day operations of two hotels with separate management structures in Carlsbad.
“It was challenging because it was multiple properties bound by different agreements. It was complex commercial litigation and employment law, so it was satisfying that it combined two areas of my focus,” he said.
Another case that was a significant milestone was defending Sharp Healthcare in one of the largest decertification decisions that involved 120,000 class action members, which spanned seven years.
“It was granted against me at one point, but litigation continued, and we succeeded in getting it overturned and decertified,” he said.
Adverse results in such cases would have had bad impacts on his client, but they were able to get it decertified from being a class action lawsuit. A third party had sued his client under California’s unfair competition law, “which has been used as a sword for any disagreement” he pointed out, alleging violations.
“These cases are significant to our clients’ bottom-line and ability to operate,” Gutierrez said.