These days, lawyers are working overtime for someone else's overtime pay.


The Quisenberry Law Firm recently negotiated a $2 million settlement with Abercrombie & Fitch Co. for overtime of 250 store managers in the state of California.


The complaint charged that Abercrombie classified its store managers as exempt from overtime although their duties legally entitled them to overtime pay. Abercrombie could not be reached for comment.


The firm is trying similar cases against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and IKEA International A/S. They have settled overtime lawsuits with Big Lots Inc., The Coca-Cola Co., Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up Bottling Group and Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc.


Specializing in plaintiffs' work and consumer cases, the Century City firm has eight lawyers and focuses on class action, construction defect and insurance bad faith.


Roof collapse
The plaintiff's firm Greene, Broillet & Wheeler LLP won a $30 million jury verdict in a product liability case stemming from a roof collapse in Carson in 2001.


The firm's namesake, Browne Greene, joined the case for the damages phase of the trial. Irvine attorney Orlando J. Castazo, Jr. began the litigation in 2002.


In the case, 12 plaintiffs sued Harsco Corp. and DYK Inc. after they fell when the roof they were working on collapsed. Several of the workers landed in a tank filled with metal and wet concrete while others were left hanging 50 feet above the ground until help came. Harsco declined to comment on the case.


Prior to the start of the damages phase of the trial, Geoffrey S. Wells, also of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, settled a case in the same matter for two other plaintiffs. The settlement amounts have remained confidential.


The 10-lawyer plaintiff's firm specializes in product liability, personal injury and business litigation. The firm currently is prosecuting seven cases against UC-Irvine's liver transplantation program.


German banks
Descendants of Armenian genocide victims filed a class action lawsuit against two German banks, Deutsche Bank AG and Dresdner Bank AG in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 13.


The undetermined number of plaintiffs are being represented by Brian S. Kabateck of Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP, Mark J. Geragos of Geragos & Geragos P.C. and Vartkes Boghos Yeghiayan, who is in business for himself. All three lawyers are of Armenian descent.


The suit charges that millions of dollars were taken from Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian genocide and funneled through Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank. It is estimated that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire between 1895 and 1923.


Geragos said that since these funds have been gaining interest for 90 years, they believe the case is worth a minimum of eight and up to nine figures.


Deustche Bank declined to comment on the pending litigation.


The trio recently settled two Armenian genocide lawsuits both brought in Los Angeles. AXA Konzern AG settled for $17.5 million and New York Life Insurance Co. agreed to a $20 million settlement. These were the first major cases brought seeking reparation for Armenian genocide.


Geragos & Geragos focuses on criminal defense and complex civil litigation. The boutique firm, founded in 1969, has 15 lawyers. Geragos is famous for his defense of Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, Susan McDougal and former congressman Gary Condit.


Kabateck Brown specializes in consumer class actions, insurance bad faith, and complex civil litigation. Kabateck won a verdict against Farmer's Home Mutual Insurance Co. brought by victims of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.


Ch-Ch-Ch changes
McDermott Will & Emery has promoted two of its Los Angeles attorneys to partners. The firm promoted a total of 37 lawyers.


New partner Terrence Mann focuses on complex commercial litigation, including health care, employment and entertainment law. He also performs probate litigation and antitrust compliance. Another new partner, Jacqueline M. Sutton, works in mergers and acquisitions, finance, securities offerings, and private equity and emerging companies.


McDermott is one of the world's largest law firms with more than 1,000 attorneys worldwide. The firm has 185 lawyers practicing in its four California offices: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Silicon Valley.


Greenberg Traurig LLP, an international, firm with 1,500 attorneys worldwide, has promoted two of its Los Angeles-office lawyers to shareholder status. Jordan D. Grotzinger focuses on commercial and entertainment litigation and Naoki Kawada focuses on corporate and securities law, and heads the L.A. Japanese Practice Group.


New name
Sometimes less is more.


L.A.-based Fulwider Patton Lee & Utecht LLP has changed its name to Fulwider Patton LLP. Fulwider spokesman Ron Perez said the firm is going along with the national trend of shortening firm names.


The dropped namesakes are John M. Lee, deceased, and Francis A. Utecht, recently retired. Founded in 1938, Fulwider is one of Southern California's oldest firms, with offices in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The firm has 34 lawyers and specializes in intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing. They also focus on the areas of medical devices, computer systems, entertainment, automotive, building, restaurants and education.


*Staff reporter Emily Bryson York can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 230, or at eyork@labusinessjournal.com .

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