Sharyl Bilas Garza has thirty years of experience representing clients in all aspects of litigation, including claims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, gender violence, assault, battery, discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, invasions of privacy and unfair business practices. She has litigated and argued matters in both state and federal courts (including the 9th Circuit and California appellate courts) and before various governmental agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Ms. Garza has extensive experience in multi-plaintiff litigation, including handling significant matters in the Complex Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court representing hundreds of plaintiff/victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. She has represented her clients in arbitrations, mediations, and complex settlement and contract negotiations. She has litigated both jury and non-jury trials to verdict.
Ms. Garza specializes in litigating matters involving individuals and employees who are victims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and all forms of prohibited discrimination. Ms. Garza has represented both minor children and adults against Fortune 500 companies, large universities, and law firms, including her recent representations of the hundreds of sexual abuse victims of university gynecologists Dr. George Tyndall and Dr. James Heaps against USC and UCLA. She is an experienced employment lawyer, representing employees in all aspects of employment litigation, such as claims of wrongful termination, retaliation, and discrimination (including race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and age). She is a former big firm employment lawyer and previously served as an independent investigator, providing neutral evaluations of claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Because of her unique experience and insight, Ms. Garza understands how companies and universities operate and attempt to prevent disclosure of important information necessary to prove claims of sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination.
Ms. Garza is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA, graduating magna cum laude in 1989 from the UCLA Honors Program with a degree in political science. While at UCLA, she played college volleyball as a middle blocker for legendary coach Andy Banachowski. She received her law degree cum laude in 1992 from the Georgetown University Law Center. After graduating from law school, Ms. Garza began her career as an attorney at the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she was first an associate and later an equity partner in Gibson Dunn’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. After spending 12 years with Gibson Dunn, Ms. Garza withdrew from the partnership to start her own law firm in 2004.
In the succeeding years, Ms. Garza developed an extensive practice representing individuals in the litigation of claims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and employment-related misconduct. Beginning in 2006, she successfully partnered with Manly, Stewart & Finaldi (“MSF”), both as co-counsel and briefly as an employee, on several high-profile matters, including Jane Doe 5 v. Dr. George Tyndall and the University of Southern California. Ms. Garza was one of the lead lawyers of the MSF team that served as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and obtained a settlement of over $850 million for the group of 750 sexual abuse victims of USC student health center gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall. Ms. Garza continues this partnership with MSF, with The Garza Firm serving as co-counsel in several cases, including Jane Doe v. Dr. James Heaps and the Regents of California. This recently settled lawsuit vindicates the rights of hundreds of victims of sexual abuse at the hands of UCLA gynecologist Dr. James Heaps.