Sharyl Bilas Garza has over twenty-five years of experience representing clients in all aspects of litigation, including claims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, gender violence, assault, battery, discrimination, wrongful termination, invasions of privacy and unfair business practices.  Ms. Garza’s current practice is focused on the civil litigation of multi-plaintiff claims of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and civil rights violations, including claims brought under Title IX.  Her representative matters have involved individuals, universities, partnerships, public entities, Fortune 500 companies, and she has significant experience in large, complex multi-party litigation.  She has litigated and argued matters in both state and federal courts (including the 9th Circuit and California Courts of Appeal) as well as before various governmental agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Ms. Garza has litigated both jury and non-jury trials and arbitrations to verdict, and was named to The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Civil Litigators in 2021.

In addition to her extensive litigation practice, Ms. Garza specializes in internal investigations, having performed numerous neutral, independent workplace investigations which included high-level executives, employees of Fortune 500 companies and government entities accused of, among other things, sexual harassment, abuse, retaliation and misconduct. She has served as an expert witness regarding the adequacy of internal investigations, and she has conducted numerous training programs for employees, executives and human resource professionals on harassment, abuse, retaliation and adequate investigations.  Her extensive knowledge in this area is invaluable in the litigation of sexual harassment and abuse claims against large entities, which often implicate the adequacy of internal investigations.

Current Representative Matters

  • Jane Doe 5 v. Dr. George Tyndall and the University of Southern California (Tyndall/USC) (2021), Superior Court, Complex Division, Los Angeles, California. Manly, Stewart & Finaldi serves as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel in this high-profile litigation, representing over 700 victims of sexual abuse against USC and its former student health center gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall for sexual abuse perpetrated during gynecological exams. As one of the lead attorneys, Ms. Garza is involved in all aspects of this complex litigation, including determining and implementing strategy for the litigation, leading the offensive discovery team, and arguing multiple important motions.

 

  • Jane Doe v. Dr. James Heaps and the Regents of the University of California (Heaps/UCLA), Superior Court, Complex Division, Los Angeles, California. Garza is one of the lead attorneys for hundreds of plaintiffs, all of whom are sexual assault victims of former UCLA gynecologist Dr. James Heaps in this currently pending sexual abuse case.  The Heaps/UCLA plaintiffs seek damages against UCLA and Heaps for decades of sexual abuse perpetrated on female patients during gynecological examinations at UCLA.

Personal Biography

Ms. Garza is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA, graduating magna cum laude in 1989 from the UCLA Honors Program with a degree in political science.  While at UCLA, she played college volleyball as a middle blocker for legendary coach Andy Banachowski.  She received her law degree cum laude in 1992 from the Georgetown University Law Center.  She began her career as an attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she was first an associate and later an equity partner in Gibson Dunn’s then named Labor and Employment Practice Group.  After spending 12 years with Gibson Dunn, Ms. Garza started her own law firm in 2004, and during that time partnered with Manly, Stewart & Finaldi on several harassment and sexual abuse matters, leading to her recent decision to join the Firm.

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court