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David Sanford

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney in New York, NY

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
1350 Avenue of the Americas, Floor 31
New York, NY 10019-4702
Phone: 646-402-5650
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020
Licensed in New York Since: 2019
Education: Stanford Law School
Practice Areas: Employment & Labor: Employee
Attorney Profile

David Sanford is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and B.A. from Vassar College. David has recovered more than one billion dollars for individual clients and the United States government since 2004.

David represents C-suite executives and non-managerial hourly employees throughout the US. He has served as lead counsel in more than 50 class actions and numerous qui tam cases around the country and represented more than 100 general counsel and attorneys (in-house and outside counsel) in contract disputes, employment matters, and severance packages.

Within the past year, David was lead counsel in a $14.25 million class action settlement against Rabbi Freundel and other defendants on behalf of women surreptitiously videotaped while performing a religious cleansing ritual; and David settled a $4 million gender discrimination case on behalf of female members of Forest Laboratories’ national sales force.  David was lead trial counsel for a professor at Columbia University Business School in a sexual harassment/retaliation matter, which culminated in a $1.25 million jury verdict after a three week trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

David is lead counsel currently representing more than 15 female partners at BigLaw firms throughout America. On behalf of three female partners, he recently settled a case alleging gender discrimination and pay inequity against Chadbourne & Parke (now Norton Rose Fulbright). He also recently settled a gender discrimination matter on behalf of female partner at Proskauer Rose and Sedgwick. For his work in bringing cases and discussing the issues surrounding gender equality in law firms, the American Lawyer had chosen David as a finalist for its 2018 Attorney of the Year award.

He is also class counsel in ERISA matters pending against Morgan StanleyHome Depot and General Electric. David has also settled gender discrimination class actions with extensive class-wide relief against NovartisDaiichi PharmaceuticalsQualcomm, Publicis, and Alcon Pharmaceuticals.

David was inducted into the National Law Journal’s “Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame” and named among the top 100 trial lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers. He is recognized as a “Top Employment Lawyer” by American LawyerCorporate Counsel and the National Law Journal; and rated “Band One” by Chambers. Recognized by Law360 as an “Employment Lawyer MVP” and as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” David has also been selected as a “Super Lawyer” in both Washington, DC and New York. Since 2006, he has been AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given to an attorney by judges and attorneys nationwide.

He sits on the Board of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and on the Board of Corps Africa. David is a member of the advisory board of the Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Resources, a non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the plaintiffs’ employment bar and raising public consciousness about workers’ rights; is on the advisory board of Aernos; and is an advisory forum member of the Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession.

Practice Areas
  • 100%Employment & Labor: Employee
Focus Areas

Employment Law - Employee, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment, Labor Law

Selections

7 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020

About David Sanford

First Admitted: 1998, Washington DC

Professional Webpage: https://sanfordheisler.com/team/david-sanford

Videos

Bar/Professional Activity

  • U.S. District Court District of Maryland

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia

  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida

  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

  • District of Columbia

    , 1998
  • Maryland

    , 1997

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Novartis Pharmaceutical Wage & Hour Class ActionThe law firm of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (”Novartis”) have reached a $99 million settlement to resolve a nationwide wage and hour class action originally brought by Sanford Heisler in the Southern District of New York on March 23, 2006 on behalf of current and former Novartis sales representatives. In their class and collective action lawsuit, thousands of Novartis sales representatives claim they are owed overtime pay under state and federal labor laws because they work more than 40 hours during a work week.
  • Norton Rose Fulbright/Chadbourne & Parke LLP Gender Discrimination Class Action
  • Novartis Pharmaceutical Gender Discrimination Class ActionIn the largest gender discrimination case to ever go to trial, Sanford Heisler Sharp successfully represented a class of 5,600 female sales representatives of Novartis Pharmaceutical Company in their gender pay and promotion and pregnancy discrimination claims. A unanimous decision by a jury of nine found Novartis liable for gender discrimination in pay and promotion and pregnancy-related matters and awarded 12 former Novartis sales reps $3.36 million in compensatory damages and the class of 5,600 women an additional $250 million in punitive damages In addition, the verdict from the jury meant that the remaining 5,600 women in the class were also entitled to additional awards of backpay and to seek compensatory damage awards up to $300,000 each. The verdict and the resulting monetary awards was the largest ever in the U.S in an employment discrimination case.
  • Cracker Barrel Race Discrimination Class ActionDavid Sanford was lead counsel in a race discrimination class action suit against Cracker Barrel restaurants. The case concerned discrimination in pay and promotion, and also involved discrimination against African-American customers. The United States Department of Justice intervened in the case after five years of litigation and the suit settled for $8.7 million.
  • Qualcomm Gender Discrimination Class ActionSanford Heisler Sharp, LLP had reached an agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated in which Qualcomm will pay $19.5 million to settle a gender discrimination class action suit. In addition to monetary relief, the settlement requires Qualcomm to institute comprehensive programmatic relief, which will ensure that female employees working, for example, in STEM and related positions will enjoy equal job opportunities at the company. The settlement on behalf of a class of approximately 3300 women was reached before Plaintiffs filed suit. As part of the settlement process, Plaintiffs are required to file a class complaint and move for preliminary approval of the agreement in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Educational Background

  • J.D. Stanford Law School, 1995
  • B.A. Vassar College, 1980
  • M.A. UNC, Chapel Hill, 1984
  • ABD UNC, Chapel Hill, 1985

Honors/Awards

  • , Lawyer of Distinction, 2020
  • , Best Lawyer, Best Lawyers in America
  • , Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • , Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice areas of Civil Rights & Human Rights, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Product Liability, Benchmark Litigation, 2020
  • , Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2020
  • , Leader in the Field, Chambers USA, 2020
  • , Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice areas of Civil Rights & Human Rights, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Product Liability, Benchmark Litigation, 2019
  • , Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2019
  • , Leader in the Field, Chambers USA, 2019
  • , Lawyer of Distinction, Lawyers of Distinction, 2019
  • , Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year, Benchmark Litigation, 2018
  • , Employment MVP, Law360, 2018
  • , Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice areas of Civil Rights & Human Rights, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Product Liability, Benchmark Litigation, 2018
  • Attorney of the Year Finalist, The American Lawyer, 2018
  • Top Rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
  • Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar, Law360, 2018
  • Leader in the Field, Chambers USA, 2018
  • Trailblazer Plaintiffs' Lawyer, National Law Journal, 2018
  • Lawdragon Top 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2018
  • Lawyer of Distinction, Lawyers of Distinction, 2018
  • , Leader in the Field, Chambers USA, 2017
  • Employment MVP, Law360, 2015
  • Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar, Law360, 2014
  • Employment MVP, Law360, 2014
  • Employment Advisory Board, Law360
  • Top Rated Employment Lawyer, National Law Journal
  • Top Rated Employment Lawyer, Corporate Counsel
  • Top Rated Employment Lawyer, The American Lawyer
  • AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
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Office Location for David Sanford

1350 Avenue of the Americas
Floor 31
New York, NY 10019-4702

Phone: 646-402-5650

Last Updated: 6/29/2022

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