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Carol Gillam, President, The Gillam Law Firm
Los Angeles, California
Carol Gillam began practicing law in 1978 in Chicago. She moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and joined the firm of Irell and Manella. She became a federal prosecutor in 1988, as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U S Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. While there she prosecuted numerous well publicized cases, including a notorious case involving abuses of migrant workers. In that case, United States v. Griffith Ives et al., she obtained the first racketeering conviction in the country for violations of worker rights, as well as the then-highest-ever amount of restitution in a civil rights case. Ms. Gillam’s novel use of the Reconstruction-era slavery laws as combined with the modern RICO statute set a new standard for the government’s dealing with highly abusive violations of the rights of migrant workers. Carol’s model has since been used in a number of other successful prosecutions.
Carol left the United States Attorney’s office in 1994 to open her own practice devoted primarily to vindicating workers’ rights. She has obtained several 7-figure settlements and verdicts as well as a $14 million verdict in a malpractice case for a music celebrity. She has litigated cases throughout California and in states across the country. Carol has been a trailblazer in representing plaintiffs in same sex harassment and discrimination cases for many years. She represented the first openly lesbian FBI agents in their quest to receive equal treatment with heterosexual agent couples.
Carol received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and her law degree from Loyola University of Chicago, where she was associate editor of the law review. She wrote in and oversaw the publication of an issue of the law review devoted to the then-newly evolving field of employment law. She has also served as an adjunct professor and has lectured and written for a wide variety of audiences. Carol annually updates the treatise, California Causes of Action: Employment Law. Carol was inducted as a Fellow of the national College of Labor and Employment.