Complex Civil Litigation and Class Actions

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As co-counsel with the California Attorney General’s office, I represented the state in a statewide class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that the disparity between the payment rate for services in the community for persons with developmental disabilities and the payment rate for institutional services discouraged placement in the community. Plaintiffs contended this disparity violated the Medicaid Act and the ADA. The plaintiffs sought relief that would have cost the state $1.5 billion per year. The district court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the ADA claim and our motion to dismiss the Medicaid Act claim. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment on appeal on all issues. Sanchez v. Johnson, 416 F.3d 1051 (9th Cir. 2005).

While working for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, I represented a class of welfare recipients who challenged the implementation of a set of regulations on the ground that the published notices failed to comply with the Hawaii Administrative Procedures Act. I was lead counsel for plaintiffs in the First Circuit Court and argued the case to the Hawaii Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that the notices did not comply with the HAPA and issued an order enjoining the State from implementing the regulations.

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