Helen I. Zeldes at Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP is dedicated to representing clients throughout California in general business litigation matters (particularly, small to medium sized businesses seeking assistance with contractual disputes, business fraud, interference with business relations, employment matters and partnership issues), in employment litigation representing employees who have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs, suffered violations of employment contracts or otherwise experienced discrimination in the workplace.
We also represent clients throughout California and the nation in consumer, insurance, securities and antitrust class actions. Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck bring more than 40 years business experience to the table and more than 30 years of litigation experience to their practice. Ms. Zeldes’ practice focuses on class action litigation, employment discrimination, general business litigation and human rights.
Ms. Zeldes has 20 years small business experience: from retail and manufacturing to importing and wholesaling to e-commerce, Helen has owned and operated eight businesses over the past two decades. Helen brings a business owner’s sensibilities to the table in her litigation practice, understanding both the concerns of the employer and employee, and what litigation means to your bottom line.
Helen also has extensive experience litigating complex consumer class actions with an emphasis on actions brought by policyholders against life, auto and other insurers for deceptive sales practices, mortgage lending and banking fraud, product defect claims, wage/hour violations, and human rights, civil rights and antitrust class actions. Ms. Zeldes is currently serving as class counsel in a nationwide consumer fraud class action against Trump University. Ms. Zeldes is also representing a nationwide class of plaintiffs in an action against Sony Electronics, Inc., alleging that fundamental flaws in the design and/or manufacturing process in the VAIO Touchpad Notebooks render it almost impossible to use because the touchpad is prone to cause the onscreen cursor to track in reverse, freeze and/or engage in erratic behavior (i.e. the pointer will randomly open and close windows and programs) Nation v. Sony Electronics, Inc., Case No. 09-CV-2603 BEN (BBB) (S.D. Cal.).
Ms Haeggquist is also interim co-lead counsel in a nationwide class action of millions of purchasers of an alleged defective power adapter in a consumer product defect class action against Apple Inc. In re MagSafe Apple Power Adapter Litigation,Case No C 09-01911 JW.
Prior to starting Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, Ms. Zeldes worked for many years at the nation’s largest plaintiff’s class action firm, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP (“Lerach Coughlin”) (formerly known as Milberg Weiss) in its consumer and insurance fraud class action practice group. At Lerach Coughlin, Ms. Zeldes was instrumental in litigating a series of nationwide senior annuities fraud class actions in which her former firm, Lerach Coughlin, was appointed Co-Lead Counsel.
Other nationwide class actions Ms. Zeldes litigated at Lerach Coughlin included: a wage/hour overtime action against Cintas, one of the nation’s largest commercial laundries for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act for misclassifying truck drivers as salesmen to avoid payment of overtime wages; race discrimination underwriting class actions against large insurance companies for their practice of intentionally charging African-Americans and other minorities more for life insurance than similarly situated Caucasians (cases that collectively recovered over $400 million for African-Americans and other minority class members as redress for the civil rights abuses they were subject to); race discrimination underwriting class actions against insurance companies based upon the improper use of credit scoring or geographical redlining to charge minorities higher premiums against insurance giants like Allstate and State Farm; a statewide consumer class action over the propriety of a private contractor operating “red light camera” systems throughout California, Red Light Photo Enforcement Cases, Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding No. 4305, a case which Ms. Zeldes co-chaired at trial; A multi-state antitrust action entitled In re Medical Waste Services Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1546 (D. Utah), in which plaintiffs brought claims for defendants’ alleged conspiracy to allocate customers and territories in the market for the collection, transportation and disposal of medical waste, as well as for unlawful monopolization. Ms. Zeldes was also involved in the Carbon Fiber Antitrust Litigation, Case No. CV-99-7796 (C.D. Cal), in which a class of purchasers alleged that the major producers of carbon fiber fixed the price of carbon fiber from 1993 to 1999. The case ultimately settled for $675 million.
Ms. Zeldes is licensed to practice law in the States of California and Hawaii and is admitted to practice before all the federal district courts in both states.
Have traveled extensively for business and pleasure to: Guatemala, Mexico, Bali, Singapore, Thailand, and throughout Europe. Hobbies include hiking, paddling on an outrigger racing team and interior design.
- University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Juris Doctor (Cum Laude) – May, 2002
- Honors: Recipient, Edward H. Nakamura Memorial Public Interest/Service Scholarship
- Honors: CALI Award for Highest Grade in Domestic Ocean & Coastal Law
- Honors: CALI Award for Highest Grade in Domestic Ocean & Coastal Law
- Law Review: University of Hawaii Law Review, Outside Articles Editor, Editorial Board
- University of California at Davis, Davis, California
- Major: Political Science/Public Service
- Major: Emphasis International Relations
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- San Diego North County Bar Association, Member
PAST EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS
- Law Offices of Helen I. Zeldes, Solana Beach, CA, Attorney, 2006 – 2008
- Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, San Diego, CA (formerly Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach), Associate, 2001 – 2006
- Hon. Judge Daniel R. Foley, State of Hawai’i Intermediate Court of Appeals, Appellate Law Clerk, 2000 – 2001
- Law Offices of Bostwick & Hoffman, Los Angeles, CA, Human Rights/Civil Rights Law Internship, 1999
- Law Offices of Bostwick & Hoffman, Los Angeles, CA, Summer Associate, 1999
- Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, Honolulu, HI, Summer Law Clerk Grant Recipient, 1998
- Global Creations & Global Interiors, Haleiwa, HI, Owner and Founder, 1988
- The Empowerment Project, Los Angeles, CA, Theatrical Release Coordinator, 1988
- Cal Aggie House, Davis, CA, Community Service Network Director, 1986 – 1988
- UC Davis, School of Medicine, Davis, CA, Student Liaison to Project Directors, 1985 – 1986
PRO BONO ACTIVITIES
- Board of Directors, The Girls Think Tank, 2008 – Present
- Board of Directors, San Diego BayKeeper, 2003 – 2007
- Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, Progressive San Diego, 2003 – 2006
- Co-Chair, Development Committee, Progressive San Diego, 2003 – 2006
- Board of Directors, San Diego Girls Alliance, 2004 – Present
- Board of Directors, Hawai’i Women Lawyers, 2001
- Project Committee Co-Chair, Hawai’i Women Lawyers, 2001
- Volunteer, Hawaii Appleseed Child Advocacy Working Group, 1998
- Board of Directors, Haleiwa Main Street, 1997 – 1998
- Vice President, Haleiwa Main Street, 1997 – 1998
- 2nd Vice President, Sunset Beach Community Association, 1997
- Liaison, Main Street Organization, Sunset Beach Community Association, 1997
- Board of Directors, Save Sunset Beach Coalition, 1997 – 2000
- Vice President, Save Sunset Beach Coalition, 1997 – 2000
- Member, Public Relations Committee, Save Sunset Beach Coalition, 1997 – 2000
- Member, Amnesty International & Equality Now
- Public Relations Chair, Hawaii Chapter, Surfrider Foundation, 1992