The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012
Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2013
Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2012)
Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012)
Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey
honors + affiliations
Member, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
Member, D.C. Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
Member, Women’s Bar Association
Note & Comment Editor, Journal of Corporation Law
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
Anne M. Brafford is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice and has dedicated her career to defending lawsuits against employers and advising them on litigation avoidance and "best practices." She is the practice group leader for the Labor and Employment Practice in Irvine and is a former executive member of the firm's Complex Employment Litigation Practice. Her primary focus is defending employers against single-plaintiff and class action claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation of all types under federal and state law. But her practice spans all areas of employment law-including, for example, wrongful termination of all types, defamation, employment contracts, leaves of absence, wage issues, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and employment-related claims brought under California's Business and Professions Code § 17200. Ms. Brafford also focuses on appellate matters in employment law.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Ms. Brafford clerked for two years for Chief Judge H. Dean Whipple of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Ms. Brafford is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia, and Missouri and before the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits; and the U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California, the District of Columbia, the District of Maryland, the District of Kansas, and the Western District of Missouri.
Representative matters and accomplishments include the following:
- Achieved denial of class certification in federal court for a telecommunications company in a purported class action covering a seven-state region alleging disparate treatment and disparate impact claims of race discrimination in promotions, performance reviews, qualification tests, and pay practices.
- Prevailed on summary judgment for a technology company against four class representatives of a proposed nationwide class action alleging claims for unpaid commissions, resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit without the need to reach plaintiffs' motion for class certification.
- Defended four class actions on behalf of major television studios and networks in California brought by television writers who asserted disparate treatment and disparate impact claims of age discrimination in hiring.
- Defended a national educational institution against a statewide class action alleging violations of California's meal and rest break laws and retaliation.
- Won a full defense award for a national financial services firm in an arbitration of claims of sexual harassment and retaliation brought by a female customer service representative who alleged $2 million in damages.
- Achieved summary judgment in California state court on behalf of a national educational institution against a plaintiff's claim of disability discrimination and denial of a reasonable accommodation.
- Achieved summary judgment in California federal court on behalf of a national educational institution against a plaintiff claiming race discrimination in promotions.
- Achieved summary judgment in California federal court on behalf of a national medical device company against a former sales representative claiming breach of contract, discrimination, and wage/hour violations.
- Achieved summary judgment in California state court on behalf of a national supplier against a former employee claiming wrongful discharge, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate an alleged disability, and failure to engage in the interactive process.
- Achieved summary judgment in California federal court on behalf of a national telecommunications company against a former accountant alleging that he had been wrongfully discharged after allegedly reporting violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (affirmed on appeal before the Ninth Circuit).
- Multiple successes in negotiating the dismissal of employment lawsuits in exchange only for a waiver of fees and costs.
- Consistently successful in mediations and settlement negotiations based on aggressive litigation (while avoiding unnecessary, costly discovery disputes) providing leverage for highly favorable outcomes on behalf of, for example, pharmaceutical, medical device, real estate development, educational, financial services, temporary staffing, outsourcing, technology, oil, and television companies and relating to severance of highly paid executives.
- Amicus briefs in several prominent employment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Smith v. City of Jackson, Grutter v. Bollinger, and Adams v. Florida Power Corp. and Florida Progress Corp.
- Winning brief on the merits before the U.S. Supreme Court in Barnhart v. Bellaire Corporation involving funding of healthcare benefits for retirees in the coal industry.
- University of Iowa College of Law, 1996, J.D., High Distinction, Special Honors
- Iowa State University, 1992, B.S.