Paul B. Mello
Paul represents public and private sector clients in high stakes litigation, including putative and certified wage and hour, misclassification, harassment, and discrimination class actions. His practice focuses on complex employment litigation, and he has significant experience in all aspects of the transportation industry. He also provides compliance advice and counseling on employment law and transportation law issues. He has handled a wide variety of individual and multi-plaintiff cases in federal and state court, including race, sex, disability, and age discrimination suits, as well as breach of employment contract, wrongful termination, fraud, defamation, whistleblower, wage and hour, and other employment-related litigation.
Paul frequently counsels employers and management in litigation prevention and compliance issues, including leave of absence, accommodation of disabilities, wage and hour, employee discipline and termination, internal investigations, personnel policy issues, and reductions in force. He has extensive experience assisting clients concerning employment law issues that regularly present during the merger and acquisition process. He also routinely negotiates and drafts employment, independent contractor, and severance agreements for clients.
In addition, Paul represents public sector clients in putative and certified class actions relating to the delivery of health care and programs to persons incarcerated in or paroled from state and local correctional facilities. He also counsels public sector clients on corrections operations, including specifically the constitutionality of the delivery of services and risk analysis. He also assists public sector clients in putative and certified class action litigation alleging police department wrongdoing.
Areas of Focus
Admissions and Courts
Babu v. County of Alameda. Represents the County defendants in this certified class action challenging the delivery of mental health services to all incarcerated persons housed at Santa Rita Jail. Paul and the defense team negotiated resolution of this complex matter and obtained approval by the District Court for the parties’ negotiated consent decree.
Coleman v. Newsom. Co-counsel with the California Attorney General's office, representing the State of California, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), in a class action lawsuit concerning the delivery of mental health care provided to all incarcerated persons housed in the state’s prison system.
Mollard v. Roadrunner Transportation Systems. Obtained complete dismissal of disability and retaliation claims against transportation and logistics company by summary judgment.
Helfter v. Nortech Waste. Obtained complete dismissal of age, disability, retaliation, and wage and hour claims against private waste management company by summary judgment.
Freeman v. Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. Defeated class certification in a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) case alleging violation of the credit and debit card “truncation” requirement, in which potential statutory damages to public agency client were $40 million.
Plata v. Newsom. Co-counsel with the California Attorney General's office in a class action case against the State of California, including CDCR, concerning the delivery of medical care to all incarcerated persons housed in the state's prison system.
Valdivia v. Brown and L.H. v. Brown. Lead counsel for the State in both cases. Successfully argued for decertification of the class and the termination of the Valdivia case, a nineteen-year-old class action case brought against the State of California challenging the constitutionality of California’s adult parole revocation processes. In the L.H. v. Brown case, orchestrated the termination of the L.H. class action, which challenged the parole revocation processes for juvenile offenders in California.
California Furlough Litigation. Co-counsel for the State of California in consolidated litigation relating to California’s 2010-2011 budget impasse and the California Department of Personnel Administration’s implementation of the governor’s furlough program.
Ranjan v. Patni Computer Systems, Ltd. et al. Represented Patni Computer Systems, Ltd., Patni Telecom Solutions, Inc., and iGATE, Inc., in an employment law action alleging, among other things, breach of contract, declaratory relief, and intentional misrepresentation, as well as a separate cause of action for interference with a contract against iGATE. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint based upon a forum selection clause. The Alameda County Superior Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding the parties’ forum selection clause was enforceable and thus, reasonable for plaintiff to litigate his claims in the High Court of Bombay, India.
Allen, et al. v. City of Oakland, et al. In September 2012, retained as co-counsel, along with the City of Oakland's City Attorney's office, in this civil rights class action case involving allegations of police misconduct against the city's police department. Defense counsel successfully defended against placement of the police department into receivership. Instead, the Federal Court appointed a compliance director to assist the City in attaining substantial compliance with the parties' Negotiated Settlement Agreement.
Transportation Lawyers Association, Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Co-Chair; Past Member of the Executive Committee
National Home Delivery Association, Outside General Counsel
Bar Association of San Francisco
"Common Wage and Hour Issues in the Trucking Industry in California and New Jersey," White and Williams LLP / Hanson Bridgett LLP Podcast (October 2023)