Desai Law Firm, P.C.
Aashish Y. Desai
Aashish Y. Desai is an experienced and polished advocate. He has a reputation as both an ethical and determined attorney and a long history of success. Clients and attorneys seek him out not only for his professionalism, intelligence and strong desire to win, but perhaps more importantly, because of his proactive, solution-oriented style of litigation. He takes his role as an advocate very seriously — whether it’s a multi-million dollar class action or a pro bono matter. He filed an amicus brief and appeared (but did not argue) before the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether the outside salesperson exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 applies to pharmaceutical representatives. Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 567 U.S. 142 (2012) (five to four majority pharmaceutical sales reps were not eligible for overtime pay).
In 2011, Mr. Desai, after oral argument, convinced Judge David O. Carter to reverse his tentative ruling and, thereby, established that piece-rate compensation that does not separately pay for non-productive time violates California law. Cardenas v. McLane Food Service, Inc., 796 F.Supp.2d 1246 (C.D. Cal. 2011). This case was one of the first to establish liability in the transportation industry; and its “separate compensation” theory has led to an avalanche of litigation throughout California, even before Bluford (which actually cites to Cardenas for support).
He has tried seven (7) complex civil cases to verdict in his over twenty-three years of practice. Recently, he successfully tried Aguirre et al. v. Genesis Logistics, et al., 8:12-cv-00687 (C.D. Cal. 2017), a PAGA action on behalf of 665 truck drivers, before the Hon. James Selna -- which resulted in a bench victory, $7,000,000.00 global settlement, and a cover story in the Los Angeles Daily Journal (Oct. 1, 2017).
He has written countless legal articles and co-authored two practice manuals: California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation (CEB 2012-2020) (chapter co-author); Fair Labor Standards Act, Third Edition (Bloomberg Kerns 2013-2020) (associate chapter editor).
Mr. Desai has worked on both sides of the fence, initially with a prominent defense firm and then with a boutique class action group. For two-years he served as an Adjunct Professor 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:
State and Federal Wage and Hour
Personal Injury/Mass Tort
Unfair Business Practices
United States Supreme Court
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
Western District of Arkansas
Central District of California
Southern District of California
Northern District of California
Eastern District of California
District of Colorado
Northern District of Florida
Northern District of Texas
Southern District of Texas
Western District of Texas
B.A University of Texas at Austin (Economics) – 1991
J.D University of Houston Law Center – 1996
Aashish Desai recently co-authored an update to the book, California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation. Available from Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) (2012-2020).
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 a variety of 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 served as a head or assistant coach for youth sports for years (mainly coaching his superstar son): AYSO Soccer (8 years); Ladera Ranch Flag Football (4 years); Ladera Baseball League (1 year); National Junior Basketball (2 years). After playing in several working bands in Austin, TX during college, Mr. Desai went to Musician’s Institute in Hollywood for Guitar (1991); he currently plays lead guitar (and sings) professionally for several working cover-bands in Orange County, CA – playing classic rock, 80’s rock, and current popular music.
Professional Associations/Volunteer Activities
- 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.
- Workers’ Rights Clinic at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Counseling Attorney, 2009 – present
- National Employment Lawyers Association - Convention Planning Committee, 2015 – present
- Lecturer, “Employment Discrimination” course – University of California, Irvine School of Law, 2018 – present
B.A. University of California, Los Angeles (Communications) - 2002
J.D. University of California, Berkeley School of Law - 2005
“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)
Prior to joining Desai Law Firm, Ms. Nava was a paralegal at Mower, Carreon and Desai in Irvine, CA.