Michael Lieder

Michael Lieder

Michael Lieder is a partner at Mehri & Skalet. He has worked with the firm since 2012 and specializes in complex employment discrimination and wage and hour litigation. He is also an expert in age discrimination and claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Michael is regularly recognized as a leading class action lawyer. For example, he was named one of Washington’s Best Lawyers by the Washingtonian. Michael also writes about employment discrimination class actions. His article, Onward and Upward after Wal-Mart v. Dukes, co-authored with Cyrus Mehri, was published by Trial Magazine. He co-authored a book chapter, Addressing the Ever Increasing Standards for Statistical Evidence: A Plaintiff Attorney’s Perspective, in Adverse Impact Analysis: Understanding Data, Statistics, and Risk (2017).

Prior to joining Mehri & Skalet, Michael was of counsel, a partner, and a member of Sprenger + Lang, PLLC for 21 years. At that law firm, he generally served as lead counsel or in another leading role in employment discrimination, ERISA, wage and hour, and consumer class action litigation, including the following prominent cases:

  • In re TV Writers Cases, No. 268836 et al. (Cal. Sup. Ct. (Los Angeles Cty.) 2011) (age discrimination class action);
  • Whitaker v. 3M Co., (Minn. Sup. Ct. (Ramsey Cty.) 2011) (age discrimination class action);
  • Seraphin v. SBC Internet Servs., Inc., No. CV 09-131-S-REB (D. Idaho 2011) (consumer class action);
  • Jarvaise v. RAND Corp., No. 1:96-CV-2680 (D.D.C. 2007) (gender discrimination class action);
  • Carlson v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., No. CV-02-3780 (D. Minn. 2006) (gender discrimination class action);
  • Lucich v. New York Life Ins. Co., No. 01-1747 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (ERISA pension benefits class action);
  • Franklin v. First Union Corp., Nos. 3:99cv344 and 610 (E.D. Va. 2001) (ERISA breach of fiduciary duty class action;
  • Thornton v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., No. 98-890 (D.D.C. 2000) (race discrimination class action);
  • McLaurin v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., No. 98-2019 (D.D.C. 1999) (race discrimination class action);
  • Hyman v. First Union Corporation, No. 94-1043 (D.D.C. 1997) (age discrimination collective action);
  • Burns v. Control Data Corporation, No. M.D. 4-96-41 (D. Minn. 1997) (age discrimination collective action);
  • In Re: Maytag Corporation/Dixie Narco Plant Closing Litigation, No. 92-C-417 (Jefferson County, West Virginia Circuit Court 1995) (breach of contract and fraud class action); and
  • In re Pepco Employment Litigation, No. 86-0603 (D.D.C. 1993) (race discrimination class action).

The settlements in many of the cases required comprehensive injunctive relief in addition to substantial payments to the class members.  In the majority of these cases, Mr. Lieder worked closely with co-counsel from other firms.

During his time at Sprenger + Lang, Mr. Lieder became well known in the class action employment bar. In the last ten years alone, he has written papers and spoken at seminars and webinars concerning certification of employment discrimination class actions, the impact of Dukes on certification of employment discrimination and FLSA class actions, statistical evidence in employment discrimination cases, mediation of employment discrimination cases, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Rule 23(f) review of class action certification decisions, ERISA litigation, and wage-and-hour litigation.  He also has authored several amicus briefs to the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal. In 2007, he was named one of “500 Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon magazine, and in 2013 and 2014, he was selected as a “Super Lawyer.”

Mr. Lieder brought with him to Mehri & Skalet several cases initiated while he was at Sprenger & Lang, including an ongoing breach-of-contract, ERISA and age discrimination case against Allstate Insurance Company on behalf of over 6,200 insurance agents (if the proposed class is certified) and over 300 agents even if it is not certified.

Before beginning work at Sprenger + Lang in 1991, Mr. Lieder graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a Notes and Comments editor on the Georgetown Law Journal, worked for six years as an associate at the Madison, Wisconsin office of Foley & Lardner LLP, and served as a visiting assistant professor for a year at the University of Toledo College of Law.

Mr. Lieder is also an accomplished author with wide-ranging interests.  He co-authored a book, Wild Justice:  The People of Geronimo vs. the United States, published by Random House in 1997, which was favorably reviewed by the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other leading publications.

In April 2013, Mr. Lieder co-authored an article about successfully pursuing employment justice in the wake of Wal-Mart v. Dukes , which heightened requirements for class actions. The article, “Onward and Upward after Wal-Mart v. Dukes,” was co-authored with M&S’s Cyrus Mehri. Mr. Mehri and Mr. Lieder have been asked to co-author a chapter of a book on adverse impact analysis scheduled for release in 2016.

Mr. Lieder also wrote or co-authored five pieces published in various law journals:

  • Class Actions Under ERISA, 10 Employee Rights & Employment Policy J. 665 (2006);
  • Navajo Dispute Resolution and Promissory Obligations: Continuity & Change in the Largest Native American Nation, 18 Amer. Ind. L. Rev. 1 (1992);
  • Constructing a New Action for Negligent Infliction of Economic Loss: Building on Cardozo & Coase, 66 Wash. L. Rev. 937 (1991);
  • Religious Pluralism and Education in Historical Perspective: A Critique of the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, 22 Wake Forest L. Rev. 813 (1987); and
  • Adjudication of Indian Water Rights Under the McCarran Amendment: Two Courts Are Better Than One, 71 Geo. L.J. 1023 (1983).