“My background as both outside and inside counsel gives me valuable insight into the entire litigation process. It’s not all about the fight; it’s about the solution. I learn everything I can about the situation at hand - the facts, the client’s goals, and the people involved - and focus on finding the best way to resolve the issue. In my advising role, I help clients understand the nuances of their policies and their interactions with employees, and the pros and cons of the risks they’re facing.”
Practicing for three decades as a career litigator, Dino Velez advises clients on labor and employment; construction and contract matters, and general civil litigation. He has litigated delay claims and performance issues, contractual claims, environmental and regulatory matters, wrongful death and personal injury cases, and property damage claims. Dino brings a confluence of skill sets to help construction and design employers and professionals on a wide range of both challenges and opportunities. Dino previously served as both internal and external counsel to several large public entities in Northern California.
Dino guides clients through such labor and employment matters as discrimination, retaliation, and employee misconduct claims; wage and hour suits; labor negotiations and arbitration of labor grievances; employee discipline cases; and issues arising from the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other leave issues.
Dedicated to quickly responding to clients’ needs, Dino closely monitors the ever-evolving labor and employment law environment and alerts clients about changes that affect them. He partners with them to devise strategies aimed at favorable outcomes. Dino enjoys helping clients understand how to navigate around potential pitfalls in written materials, as well as management style and employee discipline processes.
As a spotlight shines on claims of sexual harassment and other discrimination - Dino helps employers identify potential trouble spots and craft and implement policies for day-to-day operations to help prevent problems from arising.
Labor and Employment
•Summary Judgment in Sexual Harassment Suit and Indemnity Claim
Plaintiff claimed employee of client had sexually harassed them, and also obtained assignment of client’s employee’s rights to indemnity and defense to assert against client. Won summary judgment on direct claim against client and on indemnity claim assigned by employee to plaintiff. Judgment upheld after argument in court of appeal.
•Summary Judgment in Constitutional Free Speech Claim Related to Employee Discipline
Plaintiff witnessed two other employees engaging in sexual act at work, and repeatedly distracted other employees by gossiping about the two other employees. Plaintiff was directed to avoid distracting gossip, and was reprimanded when they persisted in gossiping. Plaintiff’s suit dismissed via summary judgment motion, and judgment upheld after argument in court of appeal on First Amendment free speech issues.
•Successful Defense at Arbitration of Labor Grievance Regarding Work Hours
Prevailed at arbitration on labor grievance where claimants attempted to apply a statutory definition of their work time instead of the specific definition of work time in a collective bargaining agreement.
•Investigation and Separation of Sexual Harassing Teacher, and Subsequent Termination of Professional License
Investigated claims of sexual harassment against teacher, and issued termination petition. Employee subsequently resigned, and credentialing commission terminated teaching credential after receipt of investigation report.
Construction and Development
•Defended Property Damage Claim Related to Subsidence from Installation of Shoring System
Represented shoring contractor in claim of property damage by owner of 5-story unreinforced masonry building, which had subsided on days when shoring contractor installed curtain wall and/or installed 37 tiebacks. Plaintiff claimed $12.3 million damage. Settled case for total of $2.3 million. Subsequently generated $400,000 indemnity offer from cross-defendant geotechnical engineering company.
•Delay and Performance Claim - Obtained $1.3 Million Settlement Value from Design Professionals and Contractors
Prosecuted delay and performance claims against design professionals and contractors arising from cost overruns and improper change orders on public building. Obtained settlements valued at over $1.3 million.
•Code Compliance/Upgrade Issues - Obtained Settlement from Design Professionals
Prosecuted claim against design professional for cost overruns due to failure to identify need for seismic upgrades and code compliance in public building. Obtained settlement valued at over $300,000.
•Design and Performance Issues - Obtained Settlement from Design Professionals and Cure/Corrections from Contractors
Prosecuted claims against design professionals for poor design of HVAC system and waste water system in transport facility, and claims against contractors to cure and correct performance. Obtained settlements and repairs valued at over $800,000.
•CEQA - Defeated Challenge to Project at Historic Location
Defeated claimant’s petition for injunction under CEQA at site of historic building, and allowed project to continue.
•Challenged Municipal Ordinance and Client Avoided Mitigation Measures/Fees
Represented client upon whom municipality attempted to levy a traffic mitigation fee and/or impose mitigation measures. Challenged municipal ordinance on constitutional grounds and forced municipality into settlement waiving levy of fees and any mitigation measures.
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts (Session 6 - Claims, Dispute Resolution and Termination) - November 6, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts (Session 5 - Insurance and Indemnity) - October 23, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts (Session 2 - Schedule and Delays) - September 11, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts - San Francisco, CA
•Prevention of Sexual Harassment: Mandatory Training for Supervisors - June 27, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Prevention of Sexual Harassment: Mandatory Training for Non-Supervisory Employees - June 27, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Contracts (Session 6 - Claims, Dispute Resolution, and Termination) - May 8, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Lifecycle of an Employee Series - March, April, and May, 2019 - San Rafael, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Contracts (Session 5 - Risk Shifting and Subcontractual Relations) - April 24, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Contracts (Session 3 - Schedule) - March 27, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Contracts - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Contracts (Session 1 - Contract Types and Owner Responsibilities) - February 27, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Labor and Employment Seminar - November 2, 2018 - San Francisco, CA
•Law & Libations Summer Series - (Part 2) Life Cycle of an Employee - July 26, 2018 - San Francisco, CA
•Law and Libations - May 8, 2018 - San Francisco, CA (Lifecycle of an Employee - Current Hiring and Intake Issues)
Did You Know?
Dino frequently conducts training to avoid discrimination and other employment issues, including best practices for acceptable use of technology and social media.
Dino likes to spend time with family and friends, and hurl himself down mountains on skis or his mountain bike.