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, for example, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, 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, including under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (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 numerous California Superior Courts (i.e., San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Monterey, etc.).
Mr. Richards also provides counseling and transactional services for employers on a wide array of employment and personnel matters, such as employment contracts, employee handbooks, company policies and procedures, arbitration agreements, severance agreements, terminations, wage and hour regulations, employee classification and exemptions, disabilities, leaves of absence, and more. He also previously served as the Employment and Labor Law Compliance Officer for a medium-sized San Diego class action law firm, where he was responsible for ensuring firm-wide compliance with all federal, state, and local employment/labor law regulations.
In addition to his employment law practice, Mr. Richards also has significant experience with consumer protection class actions, including complex multi-district litigation (MDL) involving false advertisement, breach of warranty, and other related consumer protection laws, such as California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).
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. 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.
In his free time, Mr. Richards enjoys spending quality time with his wife and four-legged child—a Bengal cat with a devoted social media following. As a self-proclaimed music aficionado, he also has a passion for playing acoustic guitar, and was formerly a drummer in a punk rock band. Finally, Mr. Richards has been an avid artist since he was a young child, providing commissioned artwork in various mediums for numerous well-known companies throughout San Diego.
U.S. District Court, Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California