Dan Siegel is a well-known trial and appellate attorney who has represented individuals, labor unions, community organizations, government agencies, and businesses in complex civil litigation for over 35 years. He is nationally known as an expert in employment and labor law, particularly in cases involving college and university faculty members and athletics coaches. He has tried over 125 cases to jury verdict.
Siegel is a 1970 graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in 1967. After working for the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County and the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Project in Southeast Asia, Siegel entered private practice in 1973. His store front community law collective specialized in employment discrimination, labor law, and civil rights litigation and developed an extensive practice representing pipeline workers in Alaska, shipyard workers in San Diego, casino employees in Las Vegas, and farm, cannery, factory, and office workers throughout California.
In 1987 he joined the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office as chief of complex litigation. While there he led the effort to settle a 14-year-old employment discrimination case against the San Francisco Fire Department, negotiating a consent decree that guaranteed affirmative action in hiring and promotions for women and people of color. He successfully defended the decree in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court against a challenge by the firefighters union.
In 1989 Siegel became General Counsel for the Oakland Unified School District. He supervised the district’s legal, labor relations, and security departments and successfully defended the district in several high profile trials.
In 1993 Siegel resumed private practice. He and Anne Weills launched their college and university practice when they represented Jenny Harrison in her suit against the University of California for sex discrimination in the denial of tenure in the Berkeley Mathematics Department. As a result of their aggressive advocacy, the University agreed to a settlement which led to Dr. Harrison’s appointment as a tenured full professor and a substantial financial award.
Siegel next took on Donna Hunt’s case for sexual harassment against the University of California at Davis. That suit ended successfully, with a cash settlement and ongoing support for Ms. Hunt as she completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Geology. That case led to the termination of the professor who harassed Ms. Hunt, only the second dismissal of a tenured professor for misconduct in the entire history of the University of California.
In 1997, Siegel won the largest employment law case in Arizona history, a $1 million verdict against Arizona State University for Dr. Laurie Vollen, former director of student health. Dr. Vollen was fired after she argued with the university’s athletic director over the care provided to student athletes. In 1998, Siegel won a $700,000 judgment for a CalTrans biologist, Sally Walters, who suffered sexual harassment and retaliation on the job.
In early 2000, Siegel and Weills won a judgment of over $1.0 million for Dr. Colleen Crangle in her gender bias and retaliation case against Stanford University, the first loss ever for Stanford in a civil rights case. In spring 2003, they won a $1 million judgment in a tenure discrimination case against Brown University, representing Fred Shoucair, a native of Lebanon.
In 2007 Siegel won the two largest verdicts ever awarded in cases brought under Title IX, the law that forbids sex discrimination by colleges and universities and requires gender equity in intercollegiate athletic programs. In July a Fresno jury awarded $5.85 million to Lindy Vivas, former basketball coach at Fresno State. In December, Siegel and Warren Paboojian won a $19.1 million verdict for Stacy Johnson-Klein, who was fired from her job as head coach of Fresno State's women's basketball team.
Siegel has developed an sports law practice, representing college and professional coaches throughout the country. He and his associates also have an active labor law practice. Their clients include the National Union of Healthcare Workers and several locals of the Service Employees International Union.
Siegel writes and lectures frequently on trial practice, labor and education law, and other legal matters. He teaches education law at Mills College and is a former president of the Oakland School Board and former chair of the Oakland Housing Authority, the Greater Oakland YMCA, and the Oakland Community Policing Task Force. He has served as legal advisor to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
Michelle Maher v. City of Fresno
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (2009)
Won $2.5 million verdict plus attorneys' fees for Fresno firefighter discriminated against on the basis of gender when she was dismissed from the department's training academy.
Nimachia Hernandez v. The University of California
Alameda County Superior Court (2009)
Won $266,347 verdict for professor of Native American Studies denied reasonable accommodation following her injury in an automobile accident.
Susan Bradford and Lavona Stanley v. Dirk Winter
San Luis Obispo County Superior Court (2009)
Won $1.3 million verdict on claims of fraudulent concealment of assets against hotel owner who refused to pay judgment from an earlier sexual harassment case against hotel management company.
Margie Wright v. California State University
Case Settled in Mediation (2008)
Won settlement of $605,000 for championship softball coach at Fresno State University who suffered pay discrimination compared with male coaches.
Stacy Johnson-Klein v. California State University
Fresno County Superior Court. (2007)
Won $19.1 million jury verdict for the former head coach of the woman's basketball team at Fresno State University who was fired after she complained about sexual harassment and the unequal treatment of the woman's basketball program.
Diane Milutinovich v. California State University
Fresno County Superior Court. (2007)
Won $3.5 million settlement for Fresno State's former associate athletic director who lost her job after fighting for the equal treatment of female coaches and athletes at Fresno State University for 15 years.
Lindy Vivas v. California State University
Fresno County Superior Court. (2007)
Won $5.85 million jury verdict for the former head coach of the Fresno State University volleyball team who was fired after 13 successful seasons because she advocated for gender equity at the university.
Ignacio Chapela v. The Regents of the University of California
Alameda County Superior Court. (2006)
Won settlement for UC Berkeley faculty member granting him tenure following denial based upon his research into the impact of genetically modified organisms and opposition to University contracts with companies providing funds for GMO research.
Susan Bradford and Lavona Stanley v. Moonstone Management Corporation
San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. (2004)
Won jury verdict of $766,584 for two women who suffered sexual harassment while working as hotel waiters and front desk employees.
Charlotte Laughon v. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
California Court of Appeal. (2004)
Won appeal establishing that an arbitration award must be vacated when the arbitrator failed to make mandated disclosures, regardless of the party's failure to seek the arbitrator's disqualification earlier.
Stella Holmes v. Alta Bates Medical Medical Center
Alameda County Superior Court. (2003)
Won jury verdict of $204,600 in general damages based on failure of physician to obtain informed consent for use of experimental medical device on patient undergoing routine angiography.
Fred Shoucair v. Brown University
Providence Rhode Island Superior Court. (2003)
Won jury verdict of $675,000 plus attorney's fees, and costs for former assistant professor of electrical engineering denied tenure and terminated after he protested discrimination directed at him due to his Lebanese national origin and his advocacy against gender bias. This was the largest jury award in Rhode Island in 2003.
Colleen Crangle v. Stanford University
United States District Court for the Northern District of California. (2000)
Obtained jury verdict of $545,000 plus attorneys' fees of $492,925 for research scientist terminated in retaliation for complaining about gender bias. This was the first successful civil rights suit brought against Stanford University.
Paul Kranz v. P.C.C. Group, Inc.
Alameda County Superior Court. (2000)
Won jury verdict of $704,624, including punitive damages of $500,000, for attorney defrauded of his fees.
Sally Walters v. California Department of Transportation
Alameda County Superior Court. (1998)
Obtained a jury verdict of $500,000 plus attorneys' fees and costs of $200,000 for CalTrans biologist who suffered sexual harassment and retaliation on the job.
Laurie Vollen v. Arizona State University
Maricopa County Superior Court. (1997)
Won jury verdict of $999,053 plus attorneys' fees, costs, and interest of $645,000 for physician director of student health who was terminated for whistle-blower activities involving the department of intercollegiate athletics. This was the largest judgment obtained in an employment case in Arizona.
Kelly Torres v. Baker
Alameda County Superior Court. (1997)
Obtained jury verdict of $354,120 for family of man who died in house fire.
City of Oakland v. California Beverage Retailer Coalition
California Court of Appeal. (1996)
Won landmark appellate decision upholding city ordinance restricting the proliferation of liquor stores and imposing requirements that liquor store owners prevent public nuisances and blight on their property.
Donna Hunt v. The Regents of the University of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. (1994)
Won settlement for graduate student at the University of California, Davis, who was sexually harassed by a professor. Ms. Hunt received over $200,000 plus support for her continued education, and the professor was fired.
Jenny Harrison v. The Regents of the University of California
Alameda County Superior Court. (1993)
Won settlement for teacher of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, in action for gender bias in the denial of tenure. Dr. Harrison was promoted to full professor, with tenure, and received a confidential monetary award.
San Francisco Fire Fighters v. City and County of San Francisco, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Review denied by the United States Supreme Court. (1990)
Won appellate ruling upholding affirmative action plan for women and minorities in the San Francisco Fire Department.
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