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John R. Goffar

John R. Goffar

Mr. Goffar has specialized in representing California employees for more than fifteen years. His practice consists of prosecuting claims on behalf of private and public sector employees, providing pre-termination advice and counsel to employees in crisis regarding a wide variety of employment related issues and litigating employment cases to jury verdict. Mr. Goffar also extensively utilizes mediation as a tool to resolve cases without the often unnecessary expense and emotional burden of going to Court.

Mr. Goffar’s litigation and mediation experience includes more than 500 employment cases including all forms of discrimination including Age, Race, Disability, National Origin, Religion, Gender, Sexual Harassment, Breach of Contract, Failure to Pay Overtime and Minimum Wage Violations. Mr. Goffar also reviews and drafts severance agreements on behalf of employees and provides counsel to separated employees regarding the signing and negotiation of severance packages.

Mr. Goffar is an experienced trial attorney, having tried to verdict cases involving wrongful termination/fraud, sexual harassment, numerous wage and hour claims, personal injury matters and even won a case – after a three week jury trial- for Breach of Implied Contract despite the employee having signed several “at will” agreements. Mr. Goffar has appeared before the California Court of Appeal, 4th District, and successfully argued his case resulting in a published decision: Stillwell v. The Salvation Army (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 360.

Mr. Goffar also represents numerous employers in California in the defense of all facets of employment related matters. He applies his practical experience to counsel California employers in preventative maintenance regarding their employment policies and handbooks, provides pre-termination advice on employee related disputes, and when necessary provides litigation defense through trial.

While Mr. Goffar almost exclusively represents employees, he believes that it is an extreme benefit to his clients that he represents both employees and employers because it gives him particular insight into “what the other side is thinking.” This mindset and experience has been a hallmark of his success.

Mr. Goffar is licensed to practice before all State, Federal and Appellate Courts in the State of California. Mr. Goffar is an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Cases

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Diego County Bar Association, Member
Marc G. Kroop

Marc G. Kroop

Since gaining admittance to the California Bar in 1993, Marc’s law practice has been dedicated to representing employees in legal disputes against their employers. During his 22 year legal career, Marc has successfully represented thousands of California employees in employment-related disputes on an individual and class basis. Marc has mediated, arbitrated or litigated hundreds of employment cases to successful conclusions.

In employment cases, Marc has prevailed in arbitrations, bench trials, jury trials and appeals. Recently, in June 2015, Marc won an appeal of a class action case involving more than 300 California local-hourly truck drivers. Marc filed this case in the Superior Court of Alameda County in 2007. Over the last eight years, Marc has persevered for this class of employees who allege they were systematically denied meal periods and rest periods by their employer. Since the employer’s request to the California Supreme Court was denied, Marc expects to proceed to trial in this case in December 2015. Marc’s other experiences handling complex class action (wage & hour) cases have resulted in the certification multiple classes of employees and millions of dollars in recovery on behalf of those classes.

Throughout his legal career, Marc has successfully represented hundreds of individual employees in a wide range of employment matters including, wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, unpaid wages/commissions and other employment issues. Recently, in April 2015, Marc recovered $329,500.00 on behalf of an individual employee who alleged that he was improperly denied commission wages by his employer.

In 1999, Marc left his employment with a mid-size California law firm and helped co-found Advantage Law Group in San Diego, California. Since that time, Advantage Law Group has grown to add two more partners and two additional offices in California. Advantage Law Group’s other offices in California are located in Irvine and San Francisco. Marc has served as Advantage Law Group’s Chief Financial Officer since 1999.

Since passing the California Bar Examination in 1993, Marc has gained admittance to all of California’s state courts and the Federal Southern and Central District Courts in California. From 1996 to present, Marc’s employment practice has included all major venues in California, including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Marc attended Willamette University College of Law (“WUCL”) in Salem, Oregon from 1990-1993. While attending WUCL, Marc served as Senior Law Clerk to Daniel Ellis, Chief Judge of the Oregon Employment Relations Board (“ERB”). In law school at WUCL Marc also worked as a law clerk for the Marion County District Attorney’s Office (“DA”).

In his career Marc has generously pro bono legal services to indigents and supported the Special Olympics and American Cancer Society. Originally from Teaneck, New Jersey, Marc attended the University of Maryland College Park (“UMCP”) and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from UMCP in 1987. Marc has lived in San Diego since 1993. Marc is married and has three children.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California

Education

  • Willamette University College of Law, Salem, Oregon
    • Juris Doctor – 1993
    • Honors: Senior Law Clerk, Daniel Ellis, Chief Judge
  • University of Maryland
    • B.A.
    • Major: Political Science
Patrick J.S. Nellies

Patrick J.S. Nellies

Prior to co-founding the firm in 1999, Patrick served over four years as the Chairman of the Employment Law Practice Group of a mid-size law firm in La Jolla, California. Patrick represents private sector employees, and has successfully represented parties across the state in over 750 employment-related matters. He has had significant success negotiating cases privately in addition to prosecuting or defending them through mediation, arbitration, bench or jury trial. He has successfully argued a number of cases in California appellate courts as well.

While Patrick’s practice is focused exclusively on employment law, he handles a wide variety of employment-related issues, including wrongful termination, public policy violations, and breach of contract. Patrick has represented parties in litigation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act in cases involving discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation based on age, race, gender, national origin, disability (mental, physical, or pregnancy-related), medical condition, sexual orientation, marital status, and religious belief. He also has represented numerous clients in actions brought under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).

Patrick also is highly regarded in wage and hour actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or the California Labor Code. Patrick has represented a large number of clients in such actions brought in both an individual capacity and on a class-wide basis. He also represents clients in disputes pertaining to stock and stock option agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and trade secrets. Patrick represents clients in state and federal courts, mediation, arbitration, and in proceedings before the California Labor Commissioner (DLSE), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB).

In October 2013, Patrick was honored by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego at its annual Evening With the Trial Stars event, receiving the CASD’s 2013 Outstanding Advocate Award for his work in Brewer v. Hennessey’s Tavern.  That case was a class action in which Patrick represented 94 current and former Assistant Managers for unpaid overtime and other wage and hour claims.  Patrick secured a $1,637,000 settlement of that case, resulting in payments to class members ranging from just over $500 to just over $33,000.  After settling the case, Patrick worked feverishly to identify and locate every member of the class, including one in Australia, one in Chile, and the next of kin of two deceased class members.  As a result of those efforts, every class member received his or her settlement share.

Patrick’s recent successes include the following:

  • $5 million class action settlement for wage and hour claims brought on behalf of class of loan agents and processors misclassified as exempt employees;
  • $4.75 million class action settlement for meal and rest period claims brought on behalf of fast food restaurant managers;
  • $2.5 million class action settlement for overtime claims brought on behalf of fast food restaurant managers;
  • $1.85 million class action settlement for overtime claims brought on behalf of class of technical specialists;
  • $1.637 million class action settlement for overtime and meal & rest period claims brought on behalf of class of restaurant assistant managers;
  • $1.5 million class action settlement for overtime claims brought on behalf of employees subjected to illegal alternative workweek;
  • $398,000 settlement of individual retaliatory wrongful termination claim;
  • $330,000 recovery for single plaintiff on a wage and hour claim;
  • $250,000 settlement of individual pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination claims; and
  • $250,000 settlement for individual pregnancy discrimination case (client was only employed for 4 days)

Originally from Baltimore, Patrick graduated from the prestigious James Madison University located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. There Patrick received his Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Communication and Political Science, with double minor concentrations in Journalism and Telecommunications. Patrick received his Juris Doctor degree from San Diego’s California Western School of Law in April of 1993 and passed the California Bar Exam that July. Patrick is admitted to practice in all courts in California and Maryland, having passed that state’s Bar Exam in February of 1994.

Patrick is an avid golfer and enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Public Policy Violations
  • Breach of Contract
  • Discrimination
  • Wage & Hour Claims

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 1994
  • California

Education

  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • Juris Doctor – 1993
  • James Madison University
    • Bachelor of Science
    • Major: Communication
    • Major: Political Science
    • Minor: Journalism
    • Minor: Telecommunications

Past Employment Positions

  • Employment Law Practice Group, Chairman
Anthony Ruggieri

Anthony Ruggieri

Anthony Ruggieri has practiced labor and employment law exclusively since moving to California in 1997 and is admitted to all California state and federal courts. He has handled a wide range of employment claims, including wrongful termination, breach of contract, discrimination, gender and race based harassment, public policy torts, and Sarbanes-Oxley retaliation claims. Mr. Ruggieri has also litigated several complex wage and hour class actions, including involvement in all phases of the class certification process.

Originally from New York City, Anthony graduated with honors from Iona College in 1993. His scholastic record was recognized by his induction into Delta Epsilon Sigma, a National Scholastic Honor Society. Prior to attending law school, Anthony worked as a paralegal at Hahn & Hessen, a mid-size New York law firm, focusing on secured lending transactions. Anthony attended Fordham University School of Law in New York, graduating in 1997. While attending law school, Anthony gained valuable legal experience, focusing primarily on labor and employment law. He worked as a Law Clerk to Honorable Salvadore J. Collazo, New York County Supreme Court Judge. He also worked as a Law Clerk for the National Labor Relations Board in both San Diego and in the Judge’s Division in New York. Anthony also served as a Law Clerk in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations.

Prior to moving to California, Anthony also worked at the corporate headquarters of IBM Corporation, working directly with the company’s senior labor and employment counsel. This experience has provided him with a keen insight into the employer-side evaluation and risk analysis process relating to employment claims. Upon moving to California, Anthony was hired as a Principal Attorney at the law firm of Goode, Peterson & Hemme. He then joined Advantage Law Group as a Principal Attorney in December 2000 and became a partner in 2007.


Areas of Practice

  • Employment Claims
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Breach of Contract
  • Discrimination
  • Gender and Race Based Harassment
  • Public Policy Torts
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Retaliation Claims

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California

Education

  • Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York, Juris Doctor – 1997
  • Iona College, Bachelor of Arts – 1993
  • Honors: Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Scholastic Honor Society

Past Employment Positions

  • Goode, Peterson & Hemme, Principal Attorney
  • Hahn & Hessen, Paralegal
  • Hon. Salvadore J. Collazo, New York County Supreme Court Judge, Law Clerk
  • National Labor Relations Board, Law Clerk
  • IBM Corporation, Law Clerk