When reflecting on the firm’s launch in 1994, founding partner Marie DiSante is both struck by, and proud of, how much of the partners’ original vision continues today. “We wanted to serve clients statewide from day one. We wanted to offer the depth of experience and the skills that many people associate with national law firms, but to do it with innovation from a statewide platform instead.”
Quicker decisions, more competitive rate structures, increased flexibility with staffing and case management, a greater emphasis on educating clients, and a collaborative practice were all part of the partners’ broad vision.
Positioning the firm to be as entrepreneurial as their clients’ businesses also was a goal from the start for founding partners DiSante and Timothy Freudenberger - to practice as “business people and lawyers rolled into one.” They parlayed their experiences as labor and employment law counselors, all with AmLaw 100 firms, and opened their doors simultaneously in Orange County, Los Angeles and San Jose. Many of firm’s first clients remain clients of the firm to this day.
From a start-up group of six attorneys and five staff, CDF followed a pattern of controlled growth that reflected our clients’ needs and the state’s expanding economy. By 2000, CDF counseled employers from offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. In 2011, partner and trial attorney Dave Carothers became a name partner.
Today, CDF is home to approximately 45 attorneys and an equal number of staff, many of whom have been serving CDF clients for more than a decade, and some for more than two. Together, we represent regional, national and global employers with workforces throughout the state, and we are one of the few statewide firms exclusively servicing the needs of employers in California.