William A. Kershaw
William A. Kershaw “Bill” is the managing partner of Kershaw, Cook & Talley PC. For over 27 years, Bill has represented clients in class actions, mass torts, and complex litigation in state and federal courts, including coordinated and multi-district proceedings. He has served as court-appointed lead class counsel and liaison counsel on behalf of plaintiffs in numerous class actions, mass torts, and consumer-related proceedings throughout the United States.
Prior to entering civil practice, Bill spent nine years in the District Attorney’s Office of Sacramento County where he tried roughly 75 cases to verdict and supervised the Consumer and White Collar Fraud Division, various felony trial teams, and the Career Criminal Unit.
His commitment to his clients has led to a statewide and national reputation for providing exceptional legal representation and obtaining significant victories. He is named a Northern California Super Lawyer for 12 consecutive years (2005-2016), Best of the Bar 2014-2015 by Sacramento Business Journal, Superb Rated by AVVO, selected by his peers as a 2015 Top Lawyer in the Sacramento region, and AV Preeminent rated, the highest rating bestowed by Martindale-Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability.
During his career, some of his notable cases, settlements, and verdicts include:
- Currently serving as lead class counsel in a class action against PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC) alleging failure to pay PwC Audit Associates overtime and other compensation due under California wage and hour laws.
- Currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the In re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2441) pending in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota. This MDL is in its preliminary stages with the leadership appointed during the first week in November 2013.
- Currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the DePuy ASR™ Hip System Cases, California Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No 4649 pending in the Superior Court in San Francisco County. These proceedings are working cooperatively with MDL 2197, In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implants Products Liability Litigation.
- Currently serving on the Plaintiff’s Discovery Committee for In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation “MDL No. 2244”
- $45 Million Jury Verdict against Ford Motors Company: A $29.6 million jury verdict on behalf of eleven heavy truck dealers in the Ford Motors breach of contract lawsuit increased to $45 million in August 2012 to reflect interest accrued over the life of the suit. The case, which took 13 years of litigation, was based on allegations that Ford violated its franchise agreement for failing to supply the dealers with heavy trucks following sale by Ford of its heavy truck business to Freightliner in 1997. The eleven dealerships were located throughout the United States.
- A $39 million settlement against VeriSign, Inc. on behalf of a nationwide class alleging misrepresentation to U.S. businesses regarding the degree of security provided by VeriSign’s Secure Site Pro encrypted security certificates.
- An $87 million settlement against United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) on behalf of a class of 23,600 UPS drivers to recover unpaid wages based on allegations that the employer failed to provide meal and rest periods. The cases settled in 2006 for an $87 million cash payment and other benefits to class members valued at more than $4 million. This is believed to be the largest “meal and rest period” settlement in California history, and was one of the largest nationwide wage and hour settlements of 2007.
- Multiple mass tort settlements in the $20 to $40 million dollar range involving a broad spectrum of medical devices (court protective orders preclude identification of defendants which are well-known pharmaceutical companies).
- Served as lead counsel in a seven-month trial to verdict of a class action alleging bad faith insurance practices against the California State Compensation Insurance Fund, California’s largest workers compensation carrier.
- A $330 million class action settlement against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. arising out of MDL proceedings on behalf of all present and former Honda dealers alleging RICO violations relating to misallocation of vehicles in a nationwide bribery conspiracy.
- A $180 million settlement against a Richmond chemical company for release of sulfuric acid vapor in the San Francisco Bay area.
- A $46 million settlement against Jenny Craig, Inc. for misleading advertising and improper business practices. Multiple recoveries on behalf of class members, totaling more than $75 million against the funeral industry for improper handling of human remains.
- In Re Vicryl Sutures – Mr. Kershaw served as lead counsel in this mass tort action against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of more than 200 plaintiffs who alleged they contracted post-operative infections following the use of defectively manufactured Vicryl Sutures. The cases were consolidated in state courts in New Jersey and California and in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas. After several years of litigation, the cases settled for a confidential sum.
- Gynecare Intergel Litigation- Mr. Kershaw served as lead counsel in a case against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon, Inc. on behalf of approximately 60 women who alleged they were injured by a defective medical device known as Intergel, a product intended to reduce adhesions in women undergoing abdominal surgery. However, the device actually increased adhesions resulting in serious injury. The case was prosecuted over three years resulting in a global settlement on behalf of clients. The settlement amount and the terms of the settlement are confidential.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES & AFFILIATIONS
- Chair of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff’s Class Action Practice Group, 2014
- American Association for Justice, 2014
- Capitol City Consumer Attorney, 2014
- Member (Master Emeritus), Anthony M. Kennedy American Inns of Court, 2014
- Member, Sacramento County Civil Courts Advisory Committee, 2014
- Sacramento County Bar Association, 2014
- The State Bar of California
- Past Board Member, Director, California District Attorneys Association (CDAA)
- Past President, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA)
- Past Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA)
- Past Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) Judiciary Committee- responsible for evaluating candidates for judicial office and performance of sitting judges
- Past Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) Conference of Delegates Committee to the State Bar Conference of Delegates
- Past President, St. Michael’s Episcopal Day School
- Past Chair, California Consumer Protection Council
- Past Member, Board of Directors, Sacramento Downtown Rotary
PRIOR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
- Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP; Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, P.C.: Past Chairman and member of the firm’s Board of Directors (1987-2003); Chair of KMTG’s complex litigation practice group dedicated to prosecution of consumer class action and mass tort matters (1983-2003).
- The State Bar of California
- Sacramento County Bar Association
- Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association
- American Association of Justice
- Rotary Club
- B. A. University of Santa Clara, 1969
- J.D. University of Santa Clara, 1972