Callahan Thompson Sherman & Caudill LLP

40 years of representing California’s professionals
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Kyle Gahm

Callahan Thompson Sherman & Caudill LLP (CTSC Law) is a nationally recognized law firm, known for representing businesses, employers, professionals and other individuals throughout California. Based in Irvine, California, CTSC Law also has offices in San Diego, San Francisco and Fresno. CTSC Law is comprised of civil litigators, counselors and trial lawyers that have served the region for the last 40 years with a business-minded approach to legal issues.

“The founding partners of CTSC Law were all owners of Callahan, McCune & Willis [CMW] which was founded in 1975 and started as strictly a defense firm in a single office,” recounts Robert Thompson, managing partner of CMW and CTSC Law. “We’ve grown and migrated from that and now we have four offices throughout the state. We’re known for being able to handle cases in all geographical areas of California.”

Diverse in-house practice

CTSC Law not only covers the entire state of California but the firm also has a diverse practice, covering a variety of industries as a full-service civil litigation firm. Restaurants, hotels and retailers, automobile dealerships, construction companies, psychiatrists and counselors, chiropractors and dentists, nonprofit and religious organizations, private schools and independent universities and colleges – CTSC Law represents them all.

The firm provides counsel for employment and labor issues, sexual harassment training, operational policies to minimize exposure to clients and administrative agencies, commercial transactions, including business purchase, trademark,  and licensing, and serves as general counsel to a number of businesses. When a case goes beyond planning and negotiation, CTSC Law provides seasoned litigators to advocate for the client’s position in state or federal court, arbitration or administrative proceedings or in other alternative dispute resolution forms.

“CTSC Law is essentially a select group of boutique practices under a single umbrella,” explains Thompson. “We offer a diverse array of in house specialties that all utilize the same unique, well-honed litigation skills developed over time.  Having these different practices under the same roof allows us to handle many types of case and leverage our administrative resources as one unit.”

CTSC Law’s attorneys are versed in practice areas such as labor and employment law, consumer and construction law, professional liability, class action and collective actions, sexual misconduct and abuse, negligent and intentional torts, business transactions and disputes and more.

“We have one department of attorneys that represent psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family counselors and social workers and we’re really well-known in this arena,” says Thompson. “For more than 30 years our firm has represented the Diocese of Orange County and various other religious and non-profit organizations.”

“In fact, after years of representing nonprofits, one of the firm’s founding partners, Peter Callahan jumped into the nonprofit world himself and is currently on the board of a nonprofit charitable organization, Wells of Life, which is bringing clean, usable water to thousands in need,” adds Thompson.

CTSC Law is also one of the foremost firms in the auto industry with 40 years of experience in this area both as general counsel for dealerships and as outside counsel representing dealerships in everything from product liability to labor and employment law and consumer fraud. “We also work with several major restaurant chains as well, in the areas of employment law, wage and hour law and premise liability,” says Thompson.

Class action and employment cases

After more than 31 years in the industry, Thompson has carved a particular niche of his own in class action work and employment law. “We have defended and brought numerous class actions – several of which have resulted in published decisions for creating major milestones, on both the defense and plaintiff side,” says Thompson.

One such case was Parks v. Eastwood, a representative action for unpaid wages and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In this often cited decision, Thompson was successful in obtaining a ruling allowing  employers to communicate with prospective plaintiff employees after certification if they had not yet opted into the class. 

Thompson was also lead counsel in the 2012 Sullivan v. Oracle class case, which was heard by the California Supreme Court and where CTSC Law established important wage and hour law for employers doing business in California. “This was a landmark decision because wage and hour law differs in the other 49 states,” says Thompson.

Leading experience

CTSC Law is successful in and out of the courtroom thanks to a leading team. The firm employs 50 individuals and Thompson is extremely proud of the fact that women are well represented in top leadership positions. “From the beginning we’ve been at the forefront of female leadership,” he says. “There is a heavy influence of women representation at all levels in the firm including ownership. This is something that our firm has carried with it from the prior firm which was recognized for this in publications such as the Orange County Business Journal.”

CTSC Law puts experience to work in each particular practice. “We have very low turnover in our firm, which adds to the continuity of our practices,” considers Thompson. “When there is a new associate attorney they are given guidance and oversight from the lead partner in each individual practice area. This allows us to pass on our knowledge and help shape new employees.”

“We also offer firm-wide training pertinent to all practice areas, but the specific practice lead partner is responsible for teaching associates the nuances of a particular area,” adds Thompson. “By investing in our employees we offer career potential and benefit from training and nurturing that takes place on a daily basis. One of these employees progressed from a law clerk position all the way to owner.”

Overall, Thompson says CTSC Law has a great collegial atmosphere which fosters the sharing of ideas and growth of each employee. “Many law firms foster a competitive atmosphere within the firm but we prefer to save that for our adversaries,” he compares. “We look to collaborate on cases and we have a good time doing it. I look for a team player when I hire people and we are flexible with our employees as long as they are performing exceptional legal work.”

At the end of the day Thompson says the biggest indicator of success is repeat business. “Our goal is to do a great job for all of our clients by protecting their businesses and helping them grow – that helps us grow too.” he adds. 

After 40 years Callahan Thompson Sherman & Caudill LLP continues to be California’s go-to firm for businesses and individuals throughout the state.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Hahn & Bowersock