People: Francis J. Ortman, III ("Tripper"), Partner

Photo of Francis J. Ortman, III ("Tripper"), Partner

Francis J. Ortman, III ("Tripper")

Partner

San Francisco
Direct: (415) 732-1102
Fax: (415) 397-8549
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Tripper Ortman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  Mr. Ortman is an experienced, well-respected litigator and mediator who has handled all aspects of class action and single plaintiff employment cases, from the pleading stage through trial.  His experience includes the successful defense of major wage and hour, discrimination and unfair competition class actions, as well as the defense of employers in a variety of claims arising out of alleged violations of the California Labor Code and the FLSA.  Mr. Ortman is an active member of Seyfarth Shaw’s National Trial Team, and is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt -- a certification that assists him in leading client teams that deliver high-value, predictably priced legal services to meet the needs of our clients.  Mr. Ortman also serves as a mediator in complex, class action, and single plaintiff employment cases throughout California.
 
One of Mr. Ortman’s trials resulted in the first defense jury verdict in a wage and hour class action in California, and was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Defense Verdicts in California. Mr. Ortman prides himself on developing thoughtful, creative strategies to secure “wins” for clients, and he recognizes that the definition of “win” can be an evolving one, depending on client and business needs.  Mr. Ortman strives to delight his clients with responsive, innovative, and decisive recommendations on the legal and business issues they face, whether in litigation or in daily management of employment issues.  In 2015, Mr. Ortman was named a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting.
 
Mr. Ortman often speaks to employer groups on how to avoid becoming the target of a class action lawsuit, and how to prevent and manage employment litigation.  Mr. Ortman has also made presentations on class action and trial work to local bar associations and law students.  In fact, his connections with local students have far outlasted his time coaching them in the classroom, extending to his involvement in the community by working with Section925.com, a hyperlocal Bay Area sports, music, and culture blog founded by his former students.
 
Before entering law school, Mr. Ortman was a middle school history teacher and the host of his own public access cable television show, two formative experiences that trained him to develop creative strategies to engage otherwise uninterested audiences, skills he now employs with judges, juries and in mediation.
Tripper Ortman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  Mr. Ortman is an experienced, well-respected litigator and mediator who has handled all aspects of class action and single plaintiff employment cases, from the pleading stage through trial.  His experience includes the successful defense of major wage and hour, discrimination and unfair competition class actions, as well as the defense of employers in a variety of claims arising out of alleged violations of the California Labor Code and the FLSA.  Mr. Ortman is an active member of Seyfarth Shaw’s National Trial Team, and is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt -- a certification that assists him in leading client teams that deliver high-value, predictably priced legal services to meet the needs of our clients.  Mr. Ortman also serves as a mediator in complex, class action, and single plaintiff employment cases throughout California.
 
One of Mr. Ortman’s trials resulted in the first defense jury verdict in a wage and hour class action in California, and was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Defense Verdicts in California. Mr. Ortman prides himself on developing thoughtful, creative strategies to secure “wins” for clients, and he recognizes that the definition of “win” can be an evolving one, depending on client and business needs.  Mr. Ortman strives to delight his clients with responsive, innovative, and decisive recommendations on the legal and business issues they face, whether in litigation or in daily management of employment issues.  In 2015, Mr. Ortman was named a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting.
 
Mr. Ortman often speaks to employer groups on how to avoid becoming the target of a class action lawsuit, and how to prevent and manage employment litigation.  Mr. Ortman has also made presentations on class action and trial work to local bar associations and law students.  In fact, his connections with local students have far outlasted his time coaching them in the classroom, extending to his involvement in the community by working with Section925.com, a hyperlocal Bay Area sports, music, and culture blog founded by his former students.
 
Before entering law school, Mr. Ortman was a middle school history teacher and the host of his own public access cable television show, two formative experiences that trained him to develop creative strategies to engage otherwise uninterested audiences, skills he now employs with judges, juries and in mediation.

Education

  • J.D., Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (2000)
  • B.A., San Francisco State University (1992)

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • American Employment Law Council
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association Silicon Valley
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • California Bar Association
  • California Minority Counsel Program
  • St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco

Representative Engagements

Complex/Class Action

  • Arnold v. Large Insurance Company (Contra Costs Superior Court) (class action allegations of unpaid business expenses on behalf of insurance sales agents classified as independent contractors. Summary judgement gained, holding that agents were properly classified as independent contractors)
  • Geer v. Central Valley Manufacturer (San Joaquin County Superior Court) (PAGA allegations of inaccurate pay statements)
  • Lange v. Office Equipment Sales Corporation (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (class action allegations of failure to reimburse business expenses)
  • Cozzitorto, et al. v. Automobile Club (Contra Costa County Superior Court) (allegations of independent contractor misclassification and breach of contract)
  • Hernandez v. Large Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Corporation (Santa Clara County Superior Court) (allegations of unpaid wages on behalf of equipment service workers) 
  • Bernardino v. San Francisco Tourist Destination (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (allegations of unpaid wages and missed breaks on behalf of security workers) 
  • Mayton v. Office Equipment Sales Corporation (allegations of unpaid business expenses on behalf of equipment salespeople) 
  • Jones v. Large Silicon Valley Technology Company (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (allegations of unpaid wages on behalf of software and hardware installers)
  • Cordy v. Large Steel Manufacturing Company (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (allegations of unpaid wages and missed breaks on behalf of steel workers)
  • Covillo, et al. vs. Large Café Chain (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (allegations of unpaid wages and missed breaks on behalf of retail bakery/café workers)
  • Buktenica v. Nationwide Court Reporting Service (Alameda County Superior Court) (allegations of failure to properly calculate and pay commissions on termination)
  • Zadeh v. Office Equipment Sales Corporation (Los Angeles County Superior Court) (allegations of unpaid business expenses on behalf of equipment salespeople) 
  • Martinez v. Gaming Software Corporation (San Francisco County Superior Court) (allegations of unpaid wages and missed breaks) 
  • Albertsen v. Global Manufacturing Corporation (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (alleged misclassification of dental product salespeople as exempt employees)
  • Goodman v. Silicon Valley Hardware Manufacturer (Alameda County Superior Court) (alleged misclassification of software/hardware engineers) 
  • Wilson v. Global Construction Corporation (San Francisco County Superior Court) (alleged misclassification of administrative workers and unpaid travel time)  
  • Brown v. Fortune 50 Global Technology Company (Santa Clara County Superior Court) (alleged misclassification of technical workers) 
  • Chapman v. Fortune 50 Global Technology Company (Santa Clara County Superior Court) (alleged misclassification of technical workers) 
  • Hoenemier v. Fortune 50 Global Technology Company (Santa Clara County Superior Court) (alleged misclassification of technical writers)
  • Kenny v. Nationwide Chain of Hair Salons (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) (allegations of meal period violations on behalf of hair salon workers)
  • Walsh v. Global Office Equipment Sales Organization (San Francisco County Superior Court) (Alleged misclassification of legal document services salespeople. Attained decertification of class of salespeople)

Single Plaintiff Actions

  • Wyant v. Fortune 50 Global Technology Company (Sacramento Superior Court) (wrongful termination/invasion of privacy)
  • Brower v. Silicon Valley Technology Corporation (San Mateo County Superior Court) (wrongful termination)
  • Li v. Fortune 50 Global Technology Company (U.S., Northern District of California) (wrongful termination/discrimination) 
  • Miller v. Silicon Valley Technology Corporation (Santa Clara Superior Court) (wrongful termination/retaliation)
  • Hughes v. Nationwide Court Reporting Service (Los Angeles County Superior Court) (wrongful termination/retaliation) 
  • Pravado v. Private, For Profit Educator (San Francisco County Superior Court) (wrongful termination/discrimination) 
  • Bluebaugh v. Global Insurance Company (San Francisco County Superior Court) (wrongful termination) 
  • Nelson v. International Pharmaceutical Sales/Manufacturing Corporation (Alameda County Superior Court) (wrongful termination/discrimination) 
  • Haley v. New York -based Financial Services Company (U.S., Northern District of California) (wrongful termination/retaliation)

Trial Experience

  • Valdez v. Fortune 50 Silicon Valley Technology Corporation (2009) Secured terminating sanctions against plaintiff during her direct examination after almost two weeks of trial testimony in a gender and age discrimination case.
  • Wiseman v. National Office Equipment Manufacturing Company (2006) Six week trial of class action claims for expense reimbursement claims of outside salespeople who allegedly exceeded their expense budgets in non-accountable plan. Secured the first defense jury verdict in a major wage/hour class action in California history.
  • Bharji v. Global Security Corporation (2006) Four week trial of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims of former security guard.  Defense jury verdict.
  • Taormina v. Transportation Company (2006) Three week trial of retaliation claim of ferry boat deckhand.  Defense jury verdict.

Presentations

  • “FLSA: State Law Violations Lurking Behind FLSA Compliance,” American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law FLSA Midwinter Meeting (February 19, 2016)
  • “The Future of Labor & Employment Practice,” Bar Association of San Francisco, Labor & Employment Section Annual Meeting (January 31, 2015)
  • “Handling Experts in Employment Litigation,” American Employment Law Council Conference (October 2013)
  • “Evaluating Wage and Hour Claim as a Potential Class Action: Plaintiff and Defense Perspective,” Contra Costa County Bar Association (September 18, 2013)
  • “If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now,” Lessons From Seasoned Employment Attorneys (April 18, 2013)
  • “From the United States Supreme Court to your local Superior Court,” 23rd Annual All Hands Meeting, Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel (December 7, 2012)
  • “Worker Misclassification: Risks, Trends and Updates,” Silicon Valley Compensation Associate (June 20, 2012)
  • “Winning the Certification Battle:  Analyzing Recent Rulings, Certification and Decertification Grounds to Craft a Strategy for Current and Future Cases,” ACI National Forum on Wage and Hour Litigation (September 14, 2010)
  • “Winning the Key Wage and Hour Motions:  What Works and What Doesn't for Summary Judgment Motions, Motions to Strike, and Motions for Sanctions,” ACI National Forum on Wage and Hour Litigation (October 29, 2009)
  • “Recent Developments in Employment Class Action Litigation,” The State Bar of California 2009 Labor and Employment Annual Meeting (October 23, 2009) 
  • “Wage and Hour Class Actions:  Winning the Certification Battle,” ACI National Forum on Wage and Hour Litigation (October 2008)
  • “War Stories and Analysis: Recent Wage and Hour Jury Trials,”  ACI National Forum on Wage and Hour Litigation (October 3, 2007)

Publications

  • “Handling Experts in Employment Litigation,” American Employment Law Council Conference Paper (October 2013)
  • Chapter Editor, “American Bar Association's Fair Labor Standards Act,” MidWinter Report (2012)
  • Chapter Editor, “American Bar Association's Fair Labor Standards Act,” MidWinter Report (2011)
  • "Silencing the Minority: The Practical Effects of Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes." 49 Cath. U.L. Rev. 613 (2000)

Accolades

  • BTI Client Service All-Star (2015)
  • “Super Lawyers,” Super Lawyers Magazine (2013. 2014)
  • “Rising Star,” Super Lawyers Magazine (2011)