William (Bill) Richards, Jr. is Senior Counsel in the San Diego office of Gordon & Rees, and a member of the Employment Law practice group. His practice focuses primarily on employment litigation, which largely encompasses defending employers in all stages of litigation regarding a variety of claims, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower protection, misclassification, wage and hour laws, unfair business practices, breach of contract, and other employment-related matters. Mr. Richards has successfully represented clients in state and federal court, binding arbitration, and administrative proceedings (i.e., Labor Commissioner), with experience handling individual cases, complex class actions, and representative actions (i.e., under PAGA). He has argued before U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Central, and Northern Districts of California, Eastern District of New York, and District of Massachusetts, as well as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Washington Court of Appeal (Commissioner), and several California Superior Courts.
In addition to ample experience managing heavy litigation caseloads, Mr. Richards also provides counseling and transactional services for employers on a wide array of personnel matters, such as employment contracts, employee handbooks, company policies and procedures, arbitration agreements, severance packages, terminations, wage and hour regulations, employee exemptions, worker classifications, human resources management, disability, leaves of absence, and more. He also previously served as the Employment and Labor Law Compliance Officer for a San Diego employment/consumer protection class action law firm, where he was responsible for ensuring firm-wide compliance with all federal, state, and local employment/labor law regulations.
After earning his B.S. in Business Administration (Mgmt.), Mr. Richards graduated law school magna cum laude, ranking in the top 10% of his graduating class and making the Honor Roll or Distinguished Honor Roll list every semester. While attending law school, he received the highest grade in multiple courses, earning him numerous awards for each course. Mr. Richards also served as an editor for Law Review, was elected to the Student Bar Association and its Community Events Committee, served as a Teaching Assistant for a Federal Rules of Evidence course for three consecutive semesters, interned for the San Diego Office of the Primary Public Defender, and attended a winter intersession program with Pepperdine University School of Law to study Negotiation Theory and Practice.
U.S. District Court, Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California