Laurie A. Traktman
Voice: (323) 938-3000 x340
Fax: (323) 937-9139
Email Laurie A. Traktman
Laurie has been a member of the firm of Gilbert & Sackman since 1993. Laurie is a partner and shareholder with the firm. Laurie focuses on ERISA trust fund issues, and is a nationally recognized expert in the area of compliance. She works closely with management and labor trustees on multiemployer trust funds in the union construction and entertainment industries.
Laurie also has been an innovator in enforcing lien rights and in cases involving ERISA’s preemption of trust funds’ rights under state law. In 2003, she persuaded the California Supreme Court to reverse more than a decade of decisions holding that ERISA preempts trust funds’ use of California mechanic’s lien laws to collect delinquent employer contributions. Betancourt v. Storke Housing Investors, 31 Cal. 4th 1157, 8 Cal. Rptr. 3d 259 (2003).
Laurie has considerable experience litigating fiduciary, bankruptcy and post-judgment issues. For example, she persuaded a federal bankruptcy court to characterize pre-petition delinquent health contributions as administrative expenses, thereby requiring that the contributions be paid immediately and in full. See, e.g., In Re Certified Air Technologies, Inc., 300 BR 35 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2003). The Certified Air decision was the first published decision of its kind in the country, and it is widely cited by other multiemployer trust funds faced with bankrupt signatory contractors who are delinquent in paying health plan and other employee benefit contributions.
Laurie also manages all aspects of the review and approval process of QDROs, and facilitates health plan reimbursement claims for monies paid for prescription drugs that are the subject of class-action litigation.
Before starting at Gilbert & Sackman, Laurie clerked for the Inter-American Court and Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica for approximately two years. While at the Institute, she drafted proposed legislation to introduce a corollary Title VII addendum to the country’s constitution.
- University of Southern California Law School (Gould School of Law), (J.D., May 1991)
- Barnard College of Columbia University, (B.A., 1986)
- Barnard College of Columbia University, (Post Baccalaureate in Art and Literature, 1987)
- National Lawyers’ Guild, Vice-President
- Los Angeles Alliance for A New Economy, Advisory Board Member
- California Conservation Corps., Board Member
- National Lawyers’ Guild Labor & Employment Committee
- California State Bar
- California State Bar Labor and Employment Section
- Los Angeles County Bar Association Labor and Employment Section
- Southern California Association of Benefit Plan Administrators
- International Foundation of the Employee Benefit Plans
- Northeast Democratic Club
- Jewish Labor Committee
- Mount Washington Association
- Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2003
- National Lawyers Guild Award, 2010
- “Innovative Collection Procedures,” Collection Procedures Institute, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Lake Tahoe, Nevada (2004)
- “Innovative Practices in Collecting and Enforcing Judgments,” 56th Annual Employee Benefits Conference, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Washington D.C. (2010)
- In March 2015, Laurie was appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, to be a County Commissioner and serve on the Workforce Investment Board (now renamed the Workforce Development Board). As a County Commissioner, Laurie assists the County of Los Angeles in oversight of federal funds of $40 million annually and effectively administering workforce programs in the County. She is expected to serve two 3-year terms.
- Since 1993, Laurie has produced The Lawyers’ Guild Hour for Pacifica public radio, KPFK (90.7 FM) and other Pacifica affiliates every Thursday from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The show is hosted by Jim Lafferty, the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, and addresses current labor, political environmental and economic issues. It is broadcast live in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.