Jennifer Altfeld Landau
Jennifer Altfeld Landau has nearly 25 years of experience handling complex class actions and other high-stakes civil litigation matters for clients, through trial and appeal. She has successfully defended prominent financial services institutions, health care organizations, accounting firms, and other large business entities in nationwide and statewide class and collective actions in a variety of legal areas, including consumer fraud, unfair business practices, employment, wage and hour, gender discrimination, and mergers and acquisition litigation. In addition to class and collective actions, Jennifer has substantial experience litigating business and commercial disputes, wrongful termination actions, and legal malpractice claims for mid-sized and smaller business entities. She also has represented bankruptcy trustees in a variety of adversary proceedings and appeals. In recent years, Jennifer has represented a number of different individuals claiming sexual assault, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and/or wrongful termination. In addition, Jennifer has provided advice and counsel to leadership and in-house counsel on a wide range of legal issues. Jennifer has been repeatedly named to the Daily Journal’s list of Top Women Lawyers in the State of California and consistently selected for inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, based on a vote of peers.
Jennifer is very active in professional, civic, and philanthropic endeavors. She is a past-President and Board Member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), a past Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), former member of the LACBA Judicial Appointments Committee, and a founding member of the LACBA/WLALA Joint Task Force on the Retention and Promotion of Women. Jennifer previously served as a member of both the Board of Directors for the Center Theatre Group, the preeminent non-profit theater organization in California, and the Leadership Council of the Orthopaedic Clinic of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. In 2013, she was admitted to the Chancery Club in Los Angeles, membership of which features distinguished lawyers in the community.
Prior to joining Landau, Gottfried & Berger, LLP, Jennifer was a partner for more than 16 years in the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP. She also previously worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
The University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1990, with honors, Order of the Coif; University of Chicago Law Review (1988 - 1990), Associate Articles Editor (1989 - 1990))
Amherst College (B.A., 1987, magna cum laude)
Jennifer has obtained exceptional results in a number of high-profile matters, including:
Consumer Fraud and Unfair Competition Matters:
Holman, et al. v. Student Loan Xpress, Inc., US District Court, M.D. Fla., No. 8:08-cv-00305, and related cases. First-chaired the defense of CIT Group Inc. and its subsidiary, Student
Loan Xpress, Inc., in more than five overlapping nationwide and statewide class and collective actions seeking to discharge hundreds of millions of dollars of student loan obligations. Negotiated an early settlement that was approved over numerous objections following a contested fairness hearing.
U.S. Green Card Lottery Facilitators, Inc. v. Cardservice International, Inc., LA Superior Court, No. BC 298724. First-chaired the defense of a national financial services entity in a class action asserting claims for fraud and unfair business practices. Winnowed the putative nationwide class of nearly 200,000 plaintiffs to a California-only settlement class of less than 1,300 plaintiffs and negotiated an extremely favorable settlement.
Fiore, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al., SF Superior Court, No. CGC 06-452874. Obtained dismissal at the pleading stage, without leave to amend, of class action allegations asserted against a non-profit health care system in connection with claims arising out of the administration and closing of its organ transplant facility.
In re: Mexico Money Transfer Litigation, 164 F. Supp. 2d 1002 (N.D. Ill. 2000), aff’d 267 F.3d 743 (7th Cir. 2001), and related cases. Defended Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and several affiliated entities in a series of nine overlapping statewide, nationwide, and international consumer class actions, alleging consumer fraud and violations of consumer protection laws arising out of their advertising and foreign exchange disclosure practices, and seeking billions of dollars. Negotiated extremely favorable, coupon-based settlements.
In re Kava Kava Litigation, LA Superior Court, No. BC 269717. First-chaired the defense of six manufacturers of herbal products in three consolidated class and representative actions alleging claims against 38 different defendants under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and unfair competition statutes for false advertising and failure to warn. Negotiated a very favorable, early settlement, which served as the model for the settlement of the claims against the remaining defendants.
Zito v. CSI, et al., US District Court for S.D.N.Y., No. 02-CV-8074 (GEL). First-chaired the defense of national financial services entity in collective action filed by more than 900 plaintiffs, asserting claims for violation of RICO, unfair business practices, fraud, and breach of contract. Negotiated extremely favorable settlement.
Wage and Hour Matters:
Pippins, et al. v. KPMG LLP, 921 F. Supp. 2d 26 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), aff’d, 759 F.3d 235 (2d Cir. 2014). Obtained summary judgment, upheld on appeal, for KPMG LLP against a nationwide collective of more than 1,300 entry level accountants challenging their classification as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Second-chaired the defense, managed multi-office team of partners and associates, and supervised local counsel.
In re: KPMG Wage & Hour Litigation, US District Court for C.D. Cal., No. CV 07-4396, 2012 WL 5416939 (C.D. Cal. 2012). Defeated a motion for conditional certification of a nationwide collective and obtained summary judgment on behalf of KPMG LLP against an individual plaintiff challenging her classification as an exempt learned professional under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Second-chaired the defense, managed multi-office team of partners and associates, and handled day-to-day litigation activities with opposing counsel.
Litchfield, et al. v. KPMG LLP, 285 P.3d 172 (Wash. Ct. App. 2012). Defeated a plaintiff class’ motion for summary judgment and prevailed on cross-appeals concerning the scope of the professional exemption from overtime under Washington law. Second-chaired the defense, managed multi-office team of partners and associates, and supervised local counsel.
Woo, et al. v. California Institute of Technology, LA Superior Court, No. BC 499141. Obtained dismissal at the pleading stage, without leave to amend, of wage and hour putative class action claims relating to Caltech’s provision of separation benefits.
Gregg, et al. v. California Institute of Technology, SA Superior Court, No. BC 532399. Drafted demurrer challenging the legal sufficiency of Plaintiff’s putative class action complaint alleging wage and hour violations, in response to which Plaintiff immediately voluntarily dismissed the action.
Baker, et al. v. Valley Presbyterian Hospital, et al., LA Superior Court, No. BC 409505; Chambers v. White Memorial Medical Center, Case No. LA Superior Court, No. BC 426335; Davis, et al. v. Methodist Hospital of Southern California, LA Superior Court, No. BC 380177; Wilcox, et al. v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, et al., LA Superior Court, No. BC 424796. Negotiated extremely favorable, early settlements for several non-profit healthcare providers defending against putative class action claims for wage and hour violations.
Professional Services And Other Business Litigation Matters:
City of Chino v. KPMG Peat Marwick, LA Superior Court, No. KC 026471. Obtained dismissal without leave to amend at the pleading stage of claims alleging professional negligence by KPMG Peat Marwick.
Confidential Indemnification Matter. First-chaired representation of a national financial services entity in pre-litigation negotiation of indemnification claims against former owners of an acquired entity. Client sought reimbursement for tens of millions of dollars expended in connection with more than twenty post-acquisition lawsuits against the acquired entity. Led the negotiations which required in-depth knowledge of claims and reasons supporting indemnification in connection with a plethora of underlying matters, involving a wide range of legal issues, including intellectual property litigation, escheat, tax, employment, and unfair business practices. Obtained extremely favorable settlement.
Defended law firm and partner against claims of legal malpractice. Matter resolved through favorable settlement.
Mergers and Acquisition Matters:
Unitrin, Inc. v. American General Corp. (In re: Unitrin, Inc. Shareholder Litigation), 651 A.2d 1361 (Del. 1995). Successfully defended Unitrin in connection with claims brought by potential acquirer and shareholders arising out of a hostile takeover. The opinion from the Delaware Supreme Court is one of the leading cases on a board of directors' ability to use defensive measures, such as poison pills or buybacks, to prevent a hostile takeover.
Garamella v. Fitzsimmons, et al., LA Superior Court, No. BC 362110. Defeated motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin leveraged employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) transaction by a major publishing and media company.
Defended the CEO of media company in an action to enjoin the acquisition of the company. Defeated plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.
Co-Chair, “Hot Topics in Privacy and Data Protection,” Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Litigators Forum, April 14, 2015.
Panelist, “Secrets, Lies, And Money! Ethical Rules For Interacting With Non-Lawyers In Litigation And Transactions,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California Chapter, January 29, 2014.
Moderator, “Forging Lasting Relationships With Clients: Strategies from Leading Southern California General Counsel,” Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Business Development Committee, June 4, 2013.
Presenter, “Hot Topics and Emerging Trends in Consumer Class Actions,” eBay Inc., December 1, 2009.
Presenter, “Hot Topics and Emerging Trends in Consumer Class Actions in California,” Bridgeport Continuing Education, October 23, 2009.
Panelist, “J.H. Cohn Professional Women,” J.H. Cohn Fall 2009 Conference, October 19, 2009.
Panelist, “Women Success Stories,” LACBA and WLALA Law Firm Leaders’ Summit: Practical Ways To Retain And Promote Women Lawyers, November 13, 2008.
Panelist, “Anatomy of a Class Action,” Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Litigators Forum: Class Actions in Action, February 21, 2008.
Panelist, “Transitioning to Partner,” LexisNexis Women in the Legal Profession Summit, January 15, 2008.
Panelist, “Why Diversity Matters: On the Bench, in the Courtroom and in the Firm,” Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles Bar, October 11, 2006.