Barnes, Kevin T.
Address: 1635 Pontius Ave 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Lawyer Firm: Law Offices of Kevin T. Barnes
|Areas of Practice||Consumer Protection, Discrimination, Employment Law — Employee, Personal Injury — Plaintiff, Sexual Harassment|
Kevin Barnes is a former Deputy District Attorney who opened his own office in 1997. Since that time, he has been almost exclusively representing employees in wage and hour class action cases in California. Mr. Barnes was one of the original Plaintiff’s attorneys in California to begin pursing wage and hour class action litigation on behalf of employees.
Mr. Barnes was selected as one of the Top 10 Plaintiff Employment Lawyers in 2008 by the Daily Journal and named Daily Journals’ Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers in California for 2017, as well as being selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer each year from 2007 to present in Employment and Labor. This recognition is a selection by his peers based upon ethics, experience and reputation and represents the top 5% of his profession. Mr. Barnes is also AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating for a lawyer. Mr. Barnes has been invited, on numerous occasions, to speak on class action and wage and hour employment issues. He has spoken at seminars put on by the Labor Employment Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, various labor law associations, seminars for mediators, Nuts & Bolts seminars for new lawyers and was a guest speaker on Champions Of Justice.
Furthermore, Mr. Barnes, with co-counsel Joseph Antonelli, tried one of the only wage and hour class action case tried in Los Angeles County Superior Court in a case entitled Mutuc v. Huntington Memorial Hospital, LASC Case No. BC288727. On September 14, 2007, Judge William A. MacLaughlin issued a Statement of Decision and a Supplemental Statement of Decision on January 5, 2008, awarding the class members restitution in the amount of $32,857,014.83. This was the 14th largest verdict in 2008 as reported by the Daily Journal and the 2nd largest Labor and Employment verdict for that year. The case thereafter settled in 2008 for $60 million dollars lump sum payout. This was a seminal and precedent setting case dealing with hospitals’ dual pay rate plans which was closely followed by hospitals nationwide and which affects the entire hospital industry.
As a result of the Huntington Memorial Hospital verdict and settlement, Mr. Barnes and his co- counsel Mr. Antonelli settled a similar dual pay plan hospital case against Tenet Hospitals in the amount of $85 million dollars and one against Arcadia Methodist Hospital in the amount of $20,250,000.
In August 2008, Mr. Barnes tried a wage and hour case entitled Solis v. World Wide Attorney Service, Inc., OSCS Case No. NO 03CC000069. These are two of only a small number of wage and hour class action cases ever tried in the State of California.
The Law Offices of Kevin T. Barnes obtained a significant victory for consumers and plaintiffs’ class action attorneys in a landmark California Supreme Court decision. On August 11, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its decision, approving the use of percentage fee awards in class action cases resulting in preservation or recovery of a "common fund" for the benefit of class members. The Supreme Court granted review on the single issue of whether a trial court may calculate an attorney fee award from a class action common fund as a percentage of the fund, while using the lodestar-multiplier method as a cross-check of the selected percentage. Class counsel Kevin T. Barnes argued the case, which resulted in a lengthy opinion by Justice Werdegar.
This case is significant because it brings a measure of clarification to attorney-fee calculations in California courts. The use of the percentage method in common-fund cases is consistent with both California lower-court practice and national practice. The case ensures that the application of the lodestar method to cross-check the percentage fee will not undercut the reasons for applying the percentage of the recovery method in the first instance; namely, the "alignment of incentives between counsel and the class, a better approximation of market conditions in a contingency case, and the encouragement it provides counsel to seek an early settlement and avoid unnecessarily prolonging the litigation." (Id. at p. 27.) A contrary holding could have disrupted how legal services are funded in class actions and are distributed in California state court actions. The case makes clear that California trial courts retain great discretion to review and approve reasonable fee awards in common fund cases.
Mr. Barnes has settled several hundred million dollars of wage and hour class action cases. In 2008 alone, he settled the following cases:
Tenet Hospitals – $85 million dollarsHuntington Memorial Hospital – $60 million dollarsStaples – $38 million dollarsConfidential – $23 million dollarsRent-A-Center – $11 million dollarsSeveral other six and seven figure settlements
Based on the selection as a top lawyer by his peers, based upon his ethics, experience and reputation, as well as having tried two class action wage and hour cases, including the landmark Huntington Memorial Hospital verdict and settlement, Mr. Barnes should be recognized as one of California’s top 100 lawyers.
My firm has also been involved in numerous favorable appellate court decisions which have been very important in wage and hour class action law. These appellate decisions include the following cases:
Huntington Memorial Hospital v. Superior Court (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 893 (a landmark decisions regarding the manner in which the regular rate must be calculated and what is considered a “subterfuge” to avoid the correct payment of the regular rate and overtime rate)Tien v. Sup. Ct. (Tenet Healthcare) (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 528 (protecting the interest of putative class members in a wage and hour case who want their identity protected)Jaimez v. Daiohs USA, Inc. (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1286 (the criteria required to certify pay stub claims, waiting time penalty claims, and meal and break claims among other matters)Williams v Superior Court (Allstate) (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 1353 (confirms several important legal theories which support certification regarding common questions)Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 1137 (one of the first California cases to consider the California Supreme Court decision in Duran v. U.S. National Bank Association (2014) 59 Cal.4th 1, holding that plaintiffs can use statistical sampling evidence to establish either liability or damages in a wage and hour class action case. The Schwan’s opinion is also a seminal case regarding an employers’ obligation to reimburse employees’ business expenses under California Labor Code §2802);Laffitte v. Robert Half International Inc. (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 860 (Review granted and Opinion superseded by Laffitte v. Robert Half Intern., 342 P.3d 1232, February 25, 2015) (use of a common fund recovery for attorneys’ fees in class action cases). I argued this case to the California Supreme Court on May 27, 2016 and the court ruled in Plaintiffs favor in a precedent setting decision on the award of attorneys’ fees under the common fund doctrine. Vaquero v. Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., — F.3d —, 2016 WL 3190862 (9th Cir. June 8, 2016) (limits the impact of Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 564 U S. 338 (2011) with respect to the issue of commonality, limits the impact of Comcast v. Behrend, 133 S.Ct. 1426 (2013) with respect to predominance and underscores the 9th Circuit rule that the need for individualized finding with respect to damages does not defeat class certification).Vaquero, et. al. v. Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., —Cal.Rptr.3d—, 2017 WL 770635 (Second Appellate District Division Seven, February 28, 2017) (expands the impact of Bluford v. Safeway Stores, Inc. 216 Ca. App. 4th 864 (2013) to commission employees for the first time and held that they must be separately compensated for rest breaks).
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