Altshuler Berzon partner P. Casey Pitts has spent most of his career as a union-side labor lawyer. He is now poised to join the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where he would be the only judge to identify as LGBTQ.
Pitts got his B.A. from Yale University in 2003 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2008. After graduating, Pitts clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then joined Altshuler Berzon LLP in San Francisco, serving currently as a Partner in the firm.
History of the Seat
Casey has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, to a seat vacated on December 15, 2021, by Judge Lucy Koh’s elevation to the Ninth Circuit.
Pitts has spent his entire legal career at the left-leaning law firm Altshuler Berzon LLP (co-founded by Ninth Circuit liberal lion Marsha Berzon). At the firm, Pitts focused primarily on union-side labor law. Notably, Pitts represented the Writers Guild of America in a suit challenging talent agencies from accepting packaging fees from studios. See Writers Guild Suggests Judge’s Recusal in Agency Packaging Suit, Variety, May 1, 2019. The suit ended in a settlement. See Bryan Koenig, Writers Guild Cuts Deal With Last Talent Agency in Fee Suit, Law360, Feb. 8, 2021. Pitts also represented SEIU Local 668 in defending against a claim seeking repayment of union dues. See Bill Wichert, 3d Circ. Nixes Post-Janus Challenges to Union Dues, Law360, Jan. 19, 2021.
Among non-labor matters, Pitts argued before the California Court of Appeals on behalf of a class of plaintiffs challenging alleged false advertising on behalf of Apple Inc. See Justices Recharge iPhone Marketing Suit Against Apple, ICT Monitor Worldwide, Sept. 16, 2014. Pitts also represented a transgender employee fired by Tower Loan after he refused to sign a document stating that he was not in compliance with their personnel policies. See Civil Rights Groups Sue National Finance Company for Illegally Firing Transgender Employee, Targeted News Service, Apr. 13, 2015.
Statements and Writings
As a law student, Pitts authored an article critical of the military’s then policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” arguing that it hurts recruitment among the youth. See P. Casey Pitts, To Young People, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Means “Don’t Enlist,”, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part. 254 (November 14, 2006).
Pitts is facing a tight deadline to get confirmed by the end of the year. If not confirmed, Pitts’ confirmation would depend on Democrats keeping the Senate as it’s unlikely that a Republican senate would find him an acceptable nominee.