“I did not have the cash to pay for legislation college within the States after I migrated, so I needed to paintings first,” stated Atty. C. Joe Sayas, Jr. when requested how he began out on his American journey in his mid-twenties within the mid-80s.
“I needed to roll up my sleeves, occasionally operating as a secretary, occasionally as paralegal, different occasions as researcher, occasionally as a copier, occasionally whilst a messenger for this Filipino-American trial lawyer, who used to be trained in the United States, Joe Lauchengco (Jr.). He gave me a spoil,” persevered Sayas.
“Within the Philippines, I had 4 years of legislation college and six months to study for the bar. However right here, my God, I had best two months to review a brand new set of rules ahead of the California bar examination, whilst operating full-time, and with out the good thing about attending an American legislation college! It used to be in reality a roll of the cube,” he recalled, remembering the drive and uncertainty blended. “I simply did my very best.”
And his very best, because it seems, used to be excellent sufficient. He handed the bar and in 1990, got his Grasp of Regulations from the Georgetown College in Washington D.C., then the second one costliest legislation college in the United States. He met his spouse, Anna Marie Santos from Quezon Town, in the United States and raised two kids together with her.
At the present time, C. Joe Sayas, Jr. is identified as one among California’s most sensible employment and hard work legislation legal professionals by way of the Day by day Magazine. He has faithful his 3 a long time of litigation occupation to protective staff’ and client rights. He has fought for workers discriminated because of incapacity, race, or intercourse, together with 1000’s harmed by way of employer salary robbery in each particular person and sophistication movements.
His skilled existence is also related to the tale of David and Goliath for he has waged prison battles towards massive firms in the United States on behalf of his Filipino and minority purchasers. He is helping his kababayans and different deprived teams in the United States in the course of the company he based in 1991, the Legislation Places of work of C. Joe Sayas, Jr., which tenaciously advocates for pro-employee and client movements towards robust entities that deny equivalent remedy and violate a person’s rights to existence, liberty and assets. The company has prevailed in movements starting from discrimination as a result of gender, incapacity and nationwide beginning, to civil rights violations and unfair trade practices.
“…I had best two months to review a brand new set of rules ahead of the California bar examination, whilst operating full-time, and with out the good thing about attending an American legislation college! It used to be in reality a roll of the cube.”
A champion of fellow Filipinos and low-wage incomes minorities, Atty. Sayas had recovered million buck settlements. In 2012, he used to be lead suggest in a category motion go well with (Taylor v. Shippers Shipping Categorical), which sought common employment standing for 540 drivers towards a trucking corporate, which misclassified their drivers as unbiased contractors and denied them their salary and hour rights. The 3-year litigation led to a court docket victory and a agreement of $11.4 million to the drivers. That very same yr, in every other elegance motion go well with (Diaz v. AMPCO), Atty. Sayas fought for the rights of parking staff who had been being shortchanged by way of their corporate in unpaid overtimes and denied meal breaks. After 5 and a part years of litigation, he got a restoration of $4.7 million in again wages for 1000’s of parking staff.
Because the voice of Filipino-American citizens in the United States court, he represented the circle of relatives of a 39-year previous mentally disabled Filipino who used to be fatally shot by way of a Lengthy Seashore, California police officer. He argued that the officer did not put into effect a tactical plan, which might have allowed him to remember the fact that the sufferer used to be non-violent. A two-year hotly contested litigation adopted, during which the sufferer’s circle of relatives won $2 million in agreement, the most important entered into by way of the Town of Lengthy Seashore in its historical past of police litigation.
Some other case concerned a 73-year previous Filipino who labored as a safety guard. His combat used to be towards his employer who prodded him to just accept his wage per month, as an alternative of wages in line with hourly charge and compelled him to paintings seven-days every week, with out additional time. Atty. Sayas used to be in a position to acquire a good verdict and an unheard of quantity of $425,000. It helped that he speaks Filipino, which enabled him to keep up a correspondence successfully along with his Filipino purchasers.
Greater than being an outstanding attorney, Atty. Sayas additionally lends his beef up to the Filipino-American neighborhood in California. He’s a long-time member of the board of administrators of the Seek for Pilipino American citizens (SIPA), a company that gives a wide-range of techniques and services and products to Filipinos in Los Angeles. Additionally, since 2017, he has donated $20,000 to the Pilipino Employees Heart (PWC) to assist its Employment, Schooling and Outreach Program (EMPLEO). He additionally gave $5,000 to the Filipino Migrant Heart (FMC) to beef up its anti-human trafficking actions.
For his notable paintings and accomplishments, he won a number of accolades from his friends and prison media. He used to be one of the vital 2015 Most sensible Hard work and Employment Legal professionals by way of the Day by day Magazine and is continually being identified as a Tremendous Legal professional within the box of employment legislation by way of the Los Angeles Mag. In 2016, he won the Group Champion Award from the Philippine-American Bar Affiliation, the Apo Award from SIPA in 2017, and the Justice Award from the FMC.
In popularity of his advocacy for the rights of the underprivileged and the minorities within the court, he used to be conferred with the 2018 Presidential Award for Filipino People and Organizations In another country beneath the Pamana ng Pilipino class. He has been identified as a Tremendous Legal professional by way of the Los Angeles Mag for 7 years.
Atty. Sayas’ roots may also be traced to Silang, Cavite. He obtained each his Political Science and Legislation levels from the College of the Philippines, in 1978 and 1982 respectively, ahead of operating on the famed Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRA) Legislation Places of work and a lot of different legislation companies within the Philippines.
Requested what his folks needed to say when he introduced that he used to be migrating to the United States, he grinned and responded, “Oh, my folks had been glad that I used to be getting out of Cavite.”
His folks feared that he would input native politics someday. Again then, his house province used to be a violent surroundings. In reality, two cousins he grew up enjoying basketball with have been shot lifeless.
Slightly glad that taking the street ‘much less traveled by way of has made all of the distinction’ for him, Robert Frost fan Atty. Sayas provides that just like the poet, he nonetheless has ‘miles and miles to move ahead of [I go] he is going to sleep.’
Requested about his retirement plans, he responded, “I nonetheless have to complete my missions right here. However I’m open to different probabilities, educating possibly. Being all for civil rights motion teams, dealing with natural civil rights circumstances, discrimination circumstances towards folks in energy, and mainly, circumstances that affect folks’s lives and provides one thing again to the neighborhood when it comes to the ones abilities that God has given us.”