California, Colorado, U.S. District Court, District Court for the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
B.A., University of California at Los Angeles, 1985
National Collegiate Debate Champion (1982-4)
J.D., Southwestern University School of Law, 1989
Southwestern University School of Law, 1993-1999, 2007- , (Employment Discrimination Law; Labor Law; Civil Rights & Civil Liberties; Pre-Trial Civil Practice; Employment Discrimination: Sexual Harassment Seminar).
University of California at Los Angeles, 2008- , (Labor & Workplace Studies M 172: Free Speech in the Workplace; Communication Studies 167: Sex, Race & Politics: Free Speech on Campus; Communications Studies 164: Entertainment Law)
Labor Law; Employment Law; Business Litigation; Entertainment Litigation; Legal Malpractice; Civil Rights Litigation; Real Estate Litigation; Appellate Practice, Family Law.
"Free Speech in the Workplace", Cognella, 2011;
"Race, Sex & Politics: Free Speech on Campus", Cognella, 2010;
"The Age of the Internet and the Schism between Individuals Rights to Freedom of Speech and Right to Privacy", presented Center for Employment and Immigration Studies Conference, Salzburg Austria, October 9, 2009;
"Harassment and Bullying Laws, An International Perspective", International Employment and Business Immigration Law Symposium, 2009;
"Employment Law from A to Z"; Lorman Education, 2005;
"Scylla and Charybdis : Charting a Course for Law Enforcement Officers Caught Between 42 U.S.C. §1983 & 18 U.S.C. §241 and 242", Federal Bar News and Journal, Vol. 41, No 5, pp 370-380, June 1994;
"Admissibility of Expert Testimony on The Code of Silence" Federal Evidence Practice Guide Reporter, Vol. 2, Issue 16, pp 263-267, June 1993;
"Demonstrative Evidence," Federal Evidence Guide, Chapter 5, 1993
"Considerations for Admitting Photographic Evidence" Federal Evidence Practice Guide Reporter, Vol. 2, pp 171-175, August 1992;
"Defending Depositions," Federal Litigation Guide, Chapter 18, 1991;
"Evaluating America's High Schools : A Framework for Critical Analysis," 1983.
"Sexual Harassment and Bullying Laws in the US: An International Perspective", Schloss Leopoldskron Palace Salzburg, Austria October 10, 2009, Center for International & Employment Studies
"Recognizing Pre-Hire Red Flags During the Selection Process: Application Review; Interview Questions; Background Checks." Ayers Inn, Costa Mesa, California February 28, 2008
"Wage and Hour Issues for Restaurant Owners, from Tip-Pooling to Overtime as well as ADA and Accommodation Issues", California Restaurant Association, Monterey, California, May 24, 200
"Sexual Harassment Prevention and Training", California Restaurant Association, Monterey Beach Resort, May 24, 2006
"How to Conduct a Workplace Harassment Investigation", Atrium Suites Hotel, Las Vegas, August 16, 2005
"Wage and Hour Issues for Employers", Atrium Suites Hotel, Las Vegas, August 16, 2005
"Strategies for HR and Attorneys to Destroy Witnesses in Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Cases", Doubletree Hotel, Santa Monica, March 3, 2005
"Sexual Harassment: The Employer's Responsibility," Sheraton Pasadena Hotel, June 10, 2003
"Preventing Lawsuits for Wrongful Termination," Los Angeles Hyatt Regency, June 9, 2003
"Understanding Sexual and Racial Harassment", Southwestern Law School, 2003 (Guest Lecturer)
"Litigating Termination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims: Strategic Tips", Loyola Law School, 2002 (Guest Lecturer)
"What Every Employer Needs To Know To Handle And Crush Discrimination And Sexual Harassment Claims," Lorman Business Center, Radisson Hotel, Nov. 6-7, 2002
"Federal Civil Litigation: Judicial Estoppel, Collateral Estoppel, After Acquired Evidence & Other Esoteric Rules to Defend Employment Discrimination Cases," Lorman Business Center, July 2002
"School Law in California: Title IX, Sexual Harassment and Gerber," Medical Educational Services Wyndham Hotel, Los Angeles Airport, December 7, 1998
"Evaluating Witness and Party Credibility in Sexual Harassment Cases," North County San Diego Bar, at Shadow Ridge Country Club, September 26, 1998
"Liars on the Witness Stand," California State Bar Employment Law Section, Biltmore Hotel 1997
"School Law and Sexual Harassment," Medical Educational Services, Radisson-Huntley Hotel, December 7, 1996; Expert Witness Seminar, Lorman Business Center
"Use of Experts in Employment Cases," Sept 13, 1996
"Basic Personnel Law," Employers Group, Various Locations, 1995-1996
"Federal Appeals: Avoiding Traps for the Unwary Trial Attorney," Wilshire Bar Association, April 29, 1993
"Attorneys Fees in Civil Rights Cases: Understanding The Supreme Court's Technical and Deminimus Language," PLI, New York, October 30, 1991
Grant-Burton v. Covenant Care Case 99 Cal. App. 4th 1361 (2002)
Brooks v. Cook 938 F.2d 1048 (9th Cir. 1991)
Romberg v. Nichols 970 F.2d 512 (9th Cir. 1992)
Alliance Ins. Co. v. Colella 995 F.2d 944 (9th Cir. 1993)
Wilks v. Reyes 5 F.3d 412 (9th Cir. 1993)
Credit Managers Association v. Kennesaw Life Ins. & 25 F.3d 743 (9th Cir 1994)
Romberg v. Nichols, U.S. cert. granted, 113 S. Ct. 1038 (1993)
Romberg v. Nichols 953 F.2d 1152 (9th Cir.) Cert denied, 516 U.S. 943 (1995)
Williams v. Superior Court 5 Cal. 4th 337 (1993)
Williams v. Superior Court 15 Cal. App. 4th 913 (1992)
Farrar v. Hobby 506 US 103 amicus (1992)
Unreported Cases of Interest:
Steve Erdman v. Dromy International Investment Corporation, et al., Case No. B194592 (2009)
Fink v. Signalife B193587 (2008)
Rodney King v. Lerman B139783 (2001)
Espinoza v. Dunn 91-56353, 91-56389, 92-56018 (1995)
Tolo v. Wexco 92-55016 (1993)
Past Employment Positions:
Fink & Feldman 1997-2000
Baker & Hostetler 1994-1997
Kindel & Anderson 1993-1994
Cotkin, Collins & Franscell 1987-1993
Covenant Care, Director 2002-2004
Sigma Pi Faculty Advisor (UCLA) (2008- )
Non-Legal Work of Interest:
Power of Attorney , Fox 2000 (actor, himself)
Massage Case vs. Lisa Bloom
Radio Case vs. Lynda Sheridan
Mr. Fink has handled a wide variety of cases in state and federal courts throughout California. He has also litigated in Nevada, Georgia, Colorado, Illinois and Indiana. He has successfully taken to trial and received verdicts in favor of his clientsin employment, real estate, business, civil rights and personal injury cases. Mr. Fink's experience as a labor and employment lawyer is extensive. He has his entire career defended employers in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and wage and hour lawsuits.
The wrongful termination case of Banares v. Covenant Care is a good example of his success and litigation approach wherein the plaintiff asked for a walk-away during Mr. Fink's cross-examination of the plaintiff. Mr. Fink has successfully disposed of dozens of employment cases by way of summary judgment. His experience and straightforward approach has allowed him to fairly and economically resolve hundreds of cases. In addition to being hired by individual businesses he has been panel counsel for various EPLI carriers.
For over a decade since opening his own firm Mr. Fink has represented plaintiffs in employment matters. Some examples of the cases he has handled:
• Non-profit general counsel's retaliation claim for wrongful termination after being terminated for allegedly breaching the attorney-client privilege by reporting illegal activity to the Attorney General;
• Executive assistant's pregnancy discrimination claim against entertainment company for being terminated when plaintiff became pregnant from a recording artist and would not have an abortion;
• Casino employees wrongful termination suits where employer was alleged to have engaged in illegal conduct as well as the plaintiffs;
• A reverse discrimination suit by an Indian male who was not give the same opportunity as minority females for advancement by a Fortune 10 company (the plaintiff was a student in Mr. Fink's employment class);
• Employee's sexual harassment and religious discrimination suit against television station;
• Personal trainer's sexual and racial harassment suit against world famous gym where plaintiff was alleged to have been subjected to repeated barrage of demeaning sexual and racial comments;
• Many race discrimination claims against casinos by African American employees for failure to promote and disparate pay. The one that went to trial resulted in a plaintiff's verdict;
• Secretary kissed by stockbroker and then found evidence of sexual act on her desk claim for sexual harassment;
• Numerous age and religious discrimination claims for employees over sixty who were ostensibly laid off
In the media section many articles are attached in a case Mr. Fink is litigating against American Apparel. This case typifies the careful scrutiny Mr. Fink takes in taking on a plaintiff's case. He will only take on a plaintiff's case if he is absolutely convinced the employer's conduct is in contravention of the law.
In addition to litigating labor and employment cases Mr. Fink provides sexual harassment training to businesses as well as conducting independent sexual harassment investigations. He also assists in revising and drafting employee handbooks and other personnel forms.
Mr. Fink has handled dozens of unfair competition claims for both plaintiffs and defendants many involving trade secrets and the solicitation of employees. His business litigation matters have also included disputes over acquisitions of companies, failure to remove a restrictive legend pursuant to Rule 144 on a CEO's stock, breach of fiduciary duty in a ninety-seven million dollar case where it was alleged his clients didn't disclose the risks in a VUL policy, failure to honor oral contracts over equity interests incompanies, and many defamation claims to name a few of the cases he has handled.
Mr. Fink has gone to to trial and prevailed on Business and Professions Code 17200 claims. Recently he prevailed on several writs regarding 17200 issues.
The real estate matters he has handled include multi-million dollar disputes over finders fees (one involved a sixty million project), disputes between partners over disposition of hundreds of millions of dollars of commercial real estate, fraud in connection with the purchase of mutli-million dollar commercial real estate where the seller contracted to remain as a tenant then abandoned the premises, many defect cases to muti-million dollar homes including concealment by the sellers, and various landlord-tenant disputes. Perhaps the most unique case he handled in real estate was for a Beverly Hills homeowner who sued for trespass and other claims when his neighbor cut down his trees. The case went to trial and Mr. Fink got a substantial verdict as well as an easement to the neighbors property.
Mr. Fink has also handled legal malpractice matters for plaintiffs as well as defendants. He defended one of Rodney King's lawyers, who was sued for malpractice after he distributed the statutory attorneys fees the court awarded arising from the King excessive force civil suit. Mr. Fink got his client out on summary judgment and had it affirmed on appeal.
Mr. Fink has handled hundreds of appeals. Most of those appeals were during the first few years of his career when he ran the appellate department for a law firm. He has been successful on numerous writs and appeals in the courts of appeal in California, the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court and as an amicus in the United States Supreme Court. He has had a number of his cases published. Despite a strong focus on litigation, Mr. Fink's firm still handles appeals.
Mr. Fink has served and still serves as outside general counsel to many private and public company's such as Shearson Financial Network.
Mr. Fink's litigation approach, style and success he attributes in large part to his years debating for UCLA where he won three consecutive national collegiate debate championships as well as establishing numerous individual records for awards as the top speaker and tournament victories. For example he won the prestigious Alan Nichols tournament at USC an unprecedented three straight years with three different partners as well as tournaments at the University of Arizona and BYU twice, University of Utah, Townson, Weber State, UTEP, Colorado College, University of Houston and Houston Baptist, CSULB, CSULA. Mr. Fink before law school went on to be the debate coach at the Harvard School. The skills learned and honed by debate such as cross-examination, research and persuasive speaking he finds invaluable as an attorney.