Cornelia Dai, a partner at Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP, specializes in employment, wage and hour, and civil rights law, with a focus on class actions and complex litigation. She represents individuals and groups at all stages of litigation, from pre-lawsuit negotiations through trial and the appellate process. She practices in both state and federal court.
Ms. Dai has fought to protect and vindicate the rights of individuals her entire career. She has successfully litigated a wide range of matters, including wage and hour violations, workplace harassment and discrimination, whistleblowing, and wrongful termination. She has obtained favorable settlements for her clients ranging in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Notable cases include Wang v. Chinese Daily News, a class action involving violations of overtime and meal and rest break laws by a Chinese-language newspaper company. There, she and her co-counsel obtained a judgment of more than $5.1 million in one of the first wage and hour class actions to go to trial by a jury in California. Ms. Dai was also one of the plaintiffs' counsel in South Central Farmers Feeding Families v. City of Los Angeles, a case brought on behalf of over 300 low-income families in a struggle to preserve land for a much-needed urban community garden in South Los Angeles. In addition, she was one of the Doe plaintiffs' counsel in the state litigation of the international human rights case Doe v. Unocal, which involved human rights abuses by a large oil company against Burmese villagers.
For the years 2017, 2019, 2022, and 2023, Ms. Dai has been selected as Lawyer of the Year in Southern California by Best Lawyers for Litigation - Labor and Employment (Pasadena). In 2018, she was also selected as Lawyer of the Year in Southern California by Best Lawyers for Employment Law – Individuals (Pasadena). In addition, Ms. Dai has been named to the Top 50: 2023 Women Southern California Super Lawyers List. In 2022, she was again selected as one of the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers and one of The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Ms. Dai has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers® list as a Rising Star or Super Lawyer each year since 2005, and she has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2012.
In addition, Ms. Dai oversees the Employment Rights Clinic at Loyola Law School, a joint retaliation complaint investigation program with the State of California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
Ms. Dai serves on the Board of the California Employment Lawyers Association and as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section. She also serves on the Executive Advisory Council of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Southern California and on the Board of the Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Resources (FAIR).
Ms. Dai is frequently asked by legal organizations and law schools to speak on employment and wage and hour topics. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and she received her law degree from USC Gould School of Law.
- J.D., USC Gould School of Law
- B.A., U.C. Berkeley
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- California Employment Lawyers Association, Board
- Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion and Resources, Board
- Los Angeles County Bar Association - Labor & Employment Law Section, Executive Committee, Vice Chair
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Southern California, Executive Advisory Council
- National Lawyers' Guild, Member
Classes & Seminars
- National Employment Lawyers Association
- California Employment Lawyers Association
- California Lawyers Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice- Los Angeles
- Loyola Law School
- University of Southern California Law School
"For Abusive Employers, The Dai Has Been Cast", Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine, Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2007
- "Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court: Employee’s Perspective", California Labor & Employment Law Review, September 2018
Awards & Accolades
- Lawyer of the Year in Southern California by Best Lawyers for Litigation – Labor and Employment (Pasadena), 2017, 2019, 2022, and 2023.
- Top 50: 2023 Women Southern California Super Lawyers List
- Lawyer of the Year in Southern California by Best Lawyers for Employment Law – Individuals (Pasadena), 2018
- Southern California Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars, 2005-Present
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2012-Present
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers
- The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- The Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2011
- Los Angeles Regional Social Justice Award, 2006