Press Releases

Leading Accessibility Litigator Greg Hurley Joins Sheppard Mullin Orange County

Partner Brings Nationally-Renowned ADA & Fair Housing Act Expertise To Firm’s Business Trial Practice Group

October 1, 2013

Gregory F. Hurley has joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in the firm’s Orange County office as a partner in the firm's Business Trial practice group.  Hurley joins from Greenberg Traurig, where he helped open its Orange County office.  Hurley co-chaired that firm’s ADA, Accessibility, Building & Life Safety Codes practice and managed its Orange County Litigation group for the last 10 years. 

"Greg is one of the top attorneys in the country specializing in accessibility law and we are excited to welcome him to the firm.  His extensive experience in ADA and Fair Housing Act matters bolsters our capabilities and allows us to better service client needs.  We also share several clients with Greg from key industry sectors, including hospitality, retail, sports and entertainment, and real estate," said Guy N. Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.

“As a nationally recognized attorney on discrimination and access law, Greg brings an extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise to clients who face accessibility-related issues and matters.  His decades of experience, which include trying state and national class actions, are invaluable to clients whether he is counseling them or representing them in court,” commented John Yacovelle, co-chair of Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trial practice group. 

"I am thrilled to join Sheppard Mullin and look forward to working with my new partners in Orange County and firmwide.  I was particularly attracted to the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit and the partnership’s transparency.  Also impressive is Sheppard Mullin’s significant footprint as a market leader throughout California," Hurley stated. 

Hurley is a member of the Attorney Settlement Officer Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, having first been continuously appointed to the Panel every year since 2003.  He holds a masters certificate from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and has tried many national class actions alleging discrimination and violations of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act, including advising the following clients on these claims.

Hurley’s trial experience includes the following matters: representing California in the largest class action certified against the State, involving more than 10 Million claimants against 4000 miles of Caltrans pedestrian routes and 90 Park & Ride facilities; defending a class action brought by the ACLU against the entire Los Angeles Superior Court System; a national action brought by the United States Department of Justice against AMC Theaters; a national class action against 80 golf courses owned and operated by Marriott.  He is currently defending statewide class actions against Starbucks, In-N-Out Burgers, Auto Club of Southern California, Ralphs Grocery Stores; Adir / La Curacao Store; Sport Chalet; Regency Theaters; and The Irvine Company.  Last year, he successfully de-certified a damage class action against more than 200 Taco Bell stores.

Hurley’s experience includes substantial appellate work, where, against numerous amici and the US DOJ, he argued and won landmark Ninth Circuit cases: Lonberg v. Sanborn Theaters; Oliver v Ralphs Grocery Store; and Lonberg v. City of Riverside.  He authored United States Supreme Court briefs and Ninth Circuit Appellate briefs for the National Association of Theater Owners, The California and National Restaurant Associations, the California and National League of Cities, and more than 200 California cities.

Hurley is the author of the Wiley Law Publications text, Defending Disabled Access Claims, a comprehensive survey of state and federal laws relating to the rights of individuals with disabilities.  He sat on the committee advising the California State Legislature on revisions to California’s discrimination laws and drafting of the new SB 1186 statute.

Hurley received his J.D. from University of Colorado Law School in 1986 and A.B. from University of California at Berkeley in 1981. 

Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trial practice group includes more than 200 attorneys firmwide.  The firm has 60 attorneys based in its Orange County office. 

In August, Sheppard Mullin added six partners: David Almeida joined the Business Trial practice group in Chicago from Sedgwick, Peter Carson joined the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group in San Francisco from Bingham McCutchen, Tom Devaney joined the Corporate practice group in New York from Morrison & Foerster, Lorna Tanner joined the Intellectual Property practice group in Palo Alto from Foley & Lardner, Ariel Yehezkel joined the Corporate practice group in New York from Kirkland & Ellis and Stephanie Zeppa joined the Corporate practice group in Palo Alto from Dentons.