Alfred "Al" M. De La Cruz leads the Employment Law Team for Manning & Kass, where he advises a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors. Al brings more than 25 years of experience to counseling clients in pre-litigation and litigation matters. Fortune Magazine identified him as a Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law. San Diego Magazine identified him as one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego. In 2014, he was named one of the Top 10 Employment Lawyers in San Diego. He is also a 2013–2017 San Diego Super Lawyer.
He defends employers in state and federal courts, regularly appearing before juries, judges, and administrative agencies. A true trial attorney, he has taken more than 100 cases to jury verdict and he has tried more than 300 bench trials. He has received the AV Preeminent® rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest an attorney can receive for legal quality and ethics. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (JD 1990).
In his role as the leader of the firm’s Employment Law Team, he oversees and handles EPL claims throughout California. Clients have also called upon Mr. De La Cruz to defend sensitive matters from Boston to San Diego. His practice regularly takes him across the United States as lead counsel for the most demanding of cases. He currently divides his time defending business entities in litigation involving state and federal employment claims and directors’ and officers’ claims relating to employment. He speaks regularly before state and national organizations and companies on employment law topics, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage & hour claims, DFEH claims, EEOC claims, and DLSE claims, among other topics. He has served as lead counsel/liaison counsel for over 10 years in multidistrict litigation encompassing over a billion dollars in claims.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. De La Cruz worked as an engineer for TRW Inc., (now Northrop Grumman) where he specialized in computer simulations. He participated in both the MX missile program and the “Star Wars” program under Top Secret clearance from the Department of Defense. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 1984. He has extended that expertise to the emerging area of cyber liability. This includes claims involving data integrity, I.T. errors and omissions, and data loss.
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