Congratulations to our friends and clients, Gary Gwilliam and Randall Strauss of Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer, on their nomination as finalists for Consumer Attorneys of California’s (CAOC) 2020 Trial Lawyer of the Year award.
Their work on the case, Colombo, et al. vs. BNC Mortgage, Inc., et al. garnered the nomination for Gary and Randy. The litigation would take 14 years and a lot of patience and result in a $5 million settlement for the plaintiffs. The pair represented six women underwriters who worked for BNC Mortgage, Inc., a Lehman Brothers subsidiary. In 2005, the women individually reported fraudulent lending practices to their supervisors. The women claimed Lehman Brothers were approving home loans to borrowers by overstating the borrowers’ income. Instead of being applauded by their employer for identifying fraud, the employer retaliated and sexually harassed the women forcing them to quit.
The women filed a wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuit against Lehman Brothers in 2005. During the discovery phase, the financial markets collapsed, and Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. Gary Gwilliam and Randall Strauss continued to fight for their clients for over a decade in bankruptcy court. Because of their grit and determination in fighting to hold Lehman Brothers accountable, the women whistleblowers prevailed and received a $5 million settlement.
The CAOC board will hear presentations from the nominees at their September board meeting.
Director, Client Management Services