Mr. Desai has worked on both sides of the fence, initially with a prominent defense firm and then with a boutique class action group. He served as an Adjunct Professor for two years at Chapman University School of Law, teaching Legal Research and Writing (2004-2006). He also worked as a judicial extern to the Honorable Frances Maloney at the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Texas in 1995.
As the Managing Partner at Desai Law Firm, he primarily handles class and collective actions involving:
Aashish Desai recently co-authored an update to the California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation book. Available from Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB 2010-present).
Since 2005, his peers have selected him as a “Super Lawyer” by Thompson Reuters. He has a perfect 10/10 rating from the online legal referral service AVVO, which also selected him as one of the top five employment lawyers in Orange County Metro Magazine (2010 & 2012).
Mr. Desai is frequently asked to speak and present at legal seminars on various topics; and has been quoted or interviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Law 360, and the Orange County Register, among others.
In his spare time, Mr. Desai has volunteered as a head or assistant coach for youth sports (mainly coaching his son): AYSO Soccer (8 years); Ladera Ranch Flag Football (4 years); National Junior Basketball (4 years). After playing music in several working bands in Austin, TX during college, Mr. Desai attended Musician’s Institute in Hollywood for guitar (1992); he still plays lead guitar and sings for several working bands in the Southern California area, playing classic rock, 80’s and 90’s, and current pop cover songs.
Adrianne De Castro
Adrianne De Castro is a Senior Associate at Desai Law Firm, P.C. in Orange County. Since graduating from law school in 2005, Ms. De Castro has devoted her legal career to advocating for workers and consumers. For the last two decades, she has built an expertise in litigating employment and consumer class actions on behalf of workers and consumers. Ms. De Castro has litigated employment discrimination cases for workers discriminated on account of age, pregnancy, disability, and gender. She also has experience litigating sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation cases. With the Desai Law Firm, her practice has focused mostly on wage and hour class actions. Ms. De Castro has helped to successfully resolve numerous cases on behalf of employees at various stages of the litigation process, including pre-litigation negotiations and settlement just weeks before trial.
In the last few years, Ms. De Castro’s practice has been devoted to wage and hour class actions and Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) actions on behalf of truck-drivers and drivers, leading to published decisions advancing the rights of drivers in the state of California. See Cardenas v. McLane Foodservice, Inc., 796 F. Supp. 2d 1246 (C.D. Cal. 2011) (granting truck drivers’ motion for summary judgment of pre and post-shift claims under California Labor Code where employer paid with piece rate wages and denying defendant’s motion for preemption under FAAAA); Shook v. Indian River Transport Co., 2014 U.S. District LEXIS 174395 (E.D. Cal. Dec 14, 2014)(holding that the FAAAA does not preempt wage claims for intrastate or interstate truck drivers); Aguirre, et al. v. Genesis Logistics, SACV 12-00687 JVS (C.D. Cal. Dec. 30, 2013 (awarding PAGA judgment in California for $500,000 for paystub violations); Carmona v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, 2020 WL 7979174 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 9, 2020)(establishing an exemption from forced arbitration under the FAA for transportation workers who engage in “interstate commerce.”)
Ms. De Castro is also part of the litigation team in Adolph v. Uber Technologies Inc., No. S274671 (2022), a successful California decision prohibiting arbitration of PAGA claim on behalf of UberEats’ drivers. Ms. De Castro successfully argued the appeal before the California Appellate Court. The case has been accepted for review by the California Supreme Court to determine PAGA representative standing requirements pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Viking River.
Prior to joining the Desai Law Firm, P.C., Ms. De Castro was an associate at the law firm of Mower, Carreon, and Desai LLP where she litigated wage and hour and consumer class actions on behalf of restaurant workers, home health care workers, and California consumers. Ms. De Castro has also worked as an associate at the law firm of Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff, & Lowe LLP in San Francisco where she focused on individual employment discrimination cases and wage and hour class actions. Ms. De Castro began her career as the Ruth Chance Law Fellow at Equal Rights Advocates where she spent two years representing low-wage women workers in sexual harassment and discrimination cases.
Ms. De Castro is also a devoted leader in the legal community with her work focused on ensuring diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and organizing high quality continuing legal education. She is a Board member of the California Employment Lawyers Association (“CELA”), the premier organization in California of employee rights advocates. She is a member of CELA’s Diversity Committee and a member of CELA’s Education Committee, which she chaired for two years. Ms. De Castro is also a Board Member of Legal Aid at Work where she dedicates her time and resources to raising funds for Legal Aid’s service to low-income workers in the Bay Area. She is also a member of the California Lawyers Association – Executive Committee, Labor & Employment Section where she works with plaintiff and defense-side members of the bar to provide professional services and education to California’s employment practitioners. Ms. De Castro has also been a long-time lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law where she has taught Employment Discrimination for several years. She is also an attorney volunteer at the Workers’ Rights Clinic at Legal Aid Society – Orange County. Ms. De Castro is a 2005 graduate of U.C. Berkeley School of Law, and a 2002 graduate of U.C.L.A.
Professional Associations/Volunteer Activities:
“Managing the Surge in Retaliation Claims after Crawford and Other Key Decisions and Developments,” American Conference Institute’s National Advanced Forum on Employment Discrimination Claims and Class Actions (San Francisco, June 2009).
“PAGA: Nuts and Bolts,” Orange County California Employment Lawyers Association (Costa Mesa, 2012).
“Diversity Leadership Summit: Diversity in the Legal Profession,” California State Bar (April 2015).
“The Trouble with Lawyers: A conversation with Deborah Rhode,” California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference (Oakland, September 2015).
“Employment Class Actions,” Workers’ Rights Clinic at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (Santa Ana, November 2015).
“FLSA Collective Actions,” California Employment Lawyers Association Advanced Wage and Hour Conference (Oakland, April 2017).
“Employment Discrimination Basics,” Workers’ Rights Clinic at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (Santa Ana, 2016-2019).
“Know Your Venue,” California Employment Lawyers Association Advanced Wage and Hour Conference (Pasadena, May 2019).
California Employment Lawyers’ Association 2005-present: Diversity Committee Member; Education Committee, Member & Chair, 2016-present.
California Lawyers’ Association, Labor & Employment Section, Executive Committee.
Orange County Bar Association, Labor & Employment, 2009-present.
Sonia M. Nava
Sonia has worked on complex litigation cases, ranging from employment wage and hour to consumer class actions. Sonia has worked in the legal field for over 12 years. She assists with document review, discovery, trial preparation, and manages the firm’s calendar and office. She is eager to learn new things, has a sharp eye for detail, and is particularly good with clients.
Sonia M. Nava is an Orange County native and studied Communications at Orange Coast College in 2001. After working in the vendor compliance unit of Lexis/Nexis for several years, she attended Kensington College and obtained a Paralegal Certificate in 2010.
Outside of work, she enjoys attending performing arts events, collecting hardcover books, and illustrating and painting. She recently co-founded, OverBooked Book Club and is a member of OCMA.
Prior to joining Desai Law Firm, Ms. Nava was a paralegal at Mower, Carreon, and Desai in Irvine, CA.