Rachele Byrd is a managing partner of Wolf Haldenstein’s San Diego office. Ms. Byrd practices in complex class actions representing clients, including institutional investors such as public and labor pension funds, who suffered losses due to corporate fraud. She also has extensive experience litigating federal and state class actions in matters of antitrust, wage and hour, unfair and deceptive practices, civil rights and unlawful taxation.
She is a member of the Firm’s litigation team that recovered over $7 billion for investors. Ms. Byrd is a member of the Investor Protection, Consumer Protection, Labor, Business Practice and Social Justice litigation groups with an emphasis on unfair and deceptive practices law, wage and hour law, securities litigation and shareholder derivative litigation, civil rights law and unlawful taxation.
Ms. Byrd joined Wolf Haldenstein in 2001 as an associate and became a partner in 2008. Prior to joining Wolf Haldenstein Ms. Byrd served as Deputy Alternate Public Defender for the County of San Diego representing children and parents in juvenile dependency proceedings.
- Lead counsel in complex antitrust class actions including pending cases against Apple Inc. where plaintiffs allege that Apple Inc. conspired to monopolize the aftermarket for voice and data services for iPhones and that Apple Inc. has monopolized the aftermarket for iPhone applications.
- Lead counsel in ten year precedent-setting unfair taxation class actions against the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach. Plaintiffs prevailed against the City of Los Angeles by not only recovering over $92 million in improperly collected telephone utility taxes for city residents but by obtaining two unanimous landmark California Supreme Court decisions that established the rights of taxpayers to file class claims for tax refunds from local governmental entities. Ardon v. City of Los Angeles, 52 Cal. 4th 241 (2011); McWilliams v. City of Long Beach, 56 Cal. 4th 613 (2013).
- Representing plaintiffs challenging unfair taxation of telephone users taxes imposed by the County of Los Angeles.
- Representing plaintiffs challenging unfair taxation of gas users taxes imposed by the City of Los Angeles.
- Lead Counsel in a federal civil rights case filed on behalf of children placed at a county detention facility who were improperly subjected to medical evidentiary examinations in violation of their Constitutional rights prior to being placed in the county’s foster care system.
- Provide advice and counsel in securities class and derivative actions representing institutional and individual investors, which resulted in significant recoveries and corporate governance reforms against and on behalf of companies in cases such as In re Western Digital Corp. Deriv. Litig., No. SACV 06-729-ODW (C.D. Cal.), In re Applied Micro Circuits Corp., Inc. Deriv. Litig., No. CV 06-04269-JW (N.D. Cal.), In re Dole Shareholder Litigation, Case No. BC281949 (Los Angeles Cnty. Super. Ct.).
- Litigating a shareholder derivative action brought on behalf of U.S. Aerospace, Inc. DeFrees v. Kirkland, No. 11-cv-04272 JLS (SPx) (C.D. Cal.).
- Represented shareholder plaintiffs in mergers and acquisition litigation for the failure to pay adequate value for shares against such companies as Robert Mondavi Corp. and American Spectrum Realty. Bamboo Partners LLC v. Robert Mondavi Corp., No. 26-27170 (Napa Cnty. Super. Ct.); Lewis v. American Spectrum Realty, Inc., No 01 CC 00394 (Orange Cnty. Super. Ct.).
Ms. Byrd is a on the board of Ranchita El Shadai, a non-profit ministry to disadvantaged children in Jamul, California. She also volunteers for various community outreach programs at her church.
Ms. Byrd authored “Class Actions: “There Is No Reason To Fix What Isn’t Broken,” San Diego ABTL Report, Vol. XIV, No. 3, Summer 2007, a counter-point article discussing class action reform in California.