MEET THE TEAM
Craig Ackermann has been practicing employment law for over 25 years. As lead counsel, he has resolved 15 cases in recent years—9 class actions, 5 PAGA actions, and 1 individual arbitration—for over $3 million each. Since 2007, he has also been lead or co-lead counsel in more than 500 class, collective, or PAGA actions that settled from $250k to $14 million each, on behalf of more than 500,000 workers. He is currently lead or co-lead counsel in over 150 class, collective, and PAGA actions in California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Washington, the majority of which have already been resolved and will receive approval in 2022 or 2023. Craig has also obtained class certification in 8 contested class certification motions since 2008, including one in December 2018 for over 3,800 truck drivers in a pending wage/hour case, and another in mid-2017, in a trucker rest break case for 540 drivers that settled for $2.95 million. In 2016, after 7 years of litigation in another case, he obtained a $1.2 million fee award on a contested fee motion in a class action where the total recovery to the class, including fees, was over $3.3 million. Currently, he is lead counsel on several class action wage and hour cases with pending class certification motions. In the early 2000’s, he was second chair on a $23.5 million settlement for 150 female workers in a case that, at the time, was the 2nd largest sexual harassment case in US history. In addition to truck drivers, farm workers, healthcare workers, factory workers, construction workers, adjunct professors, tech/entertainment workers, and restaurant and hotel workers, Craig and the firm represent C-Suite executives of private equity and Fortune 1000 companies in employment contract and stock option and/or severance negotiation cases, as well as sexual harassment collective actions, gender discrimination class actions, and high-stakes civil employment litigation consulting. Moreover, as a federal court panel mediator for employment cases since 2015, and now as a private mediator, Craig brings 25 years of employment law experience to the table, having practiced on both sides of the aisle, in his efforts to resolve complex employment matters practically and efficiently. Commencing January 2022, he announced the opening of Employment Mediation Corp., where he has partnered with Jaclyn Blackwell, the firm's office administrator, to build together an employment law mediation practice.
Craig J. Ackermann
Managing Partner & Shareholder
As a shareholder of Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C., Yael Tilajef Ackermann was formerly involved in building the firm’s sexual harassment practices. She has served as lead or co-lead counsel in a growing number of sexual harassment cases in California. She has represented dozens of victims of workplace sexual harassment in cases throughout California, including cases involving male-on-male sexual harassment, anti-gay harassment, teenage sexual harassment cases, and traditional male on female harassment cases. Previously, Yael Tilajef Ackermann worked as an associate for the Law Offices of Vicki J. Greene, practicing complex litigation for clients in high net-worth family law cases. Before moving back to Los Angeles in early 2003, she also worked in New York City from 1999 through 2002 as an associate for the law firms of Rimberg & Associates, P.C. and Peter Axelrod & Associates, P.C., and served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Bernard J. Fried of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Mrs. Ackermann holds a BS from Sy Syms School of Business, a division of Yeshiva University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. She is admitted to the New York, New Jersey, and California Bars. Currently, Mrs. Ackermann occasionally works a couple of days per month, and is primarily involved in firm administration activities.
Yael Tilajef Ackermann
Avi Kreitenberg joined the team at Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C. in 2017 and became a Shareholder in 2022. Avi’s practice focuses on the firm’s California and Washington wage-and-hour class and representative action cases, assisting employees recover wrongfully withheld wages, breaks, and expenses from employers big and small throughout California and Washington state. Avi is admitted to practice law in California and Washington State, and is a member of the Bars of the U.S. District Court for the Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of California. Avi received his law degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. Prior to law school, Avi graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in English. Prior to joining the team at Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C., Avi worked as an Associate at KamberLaw, LLP, a consumer and privacy class action law firm.
Shareholder, Employment Litigation and Class Actions
Brian Denlinger joined Ackermann & Tilajef’s Tacoma, Washington office as a Senior Associate in 2017, and he became a Shareholder in 2022. Brian is responsible for all of the firm’s Washington wage-and-hour class action cases (i.e., claims for unpaid wages, off-the-clock time, rest and meal periods, overtime, and other violations) on behalf of truck drivers, farm workers, nurses, hotel workers, restaurant workers, laborers, etc. Brian is also involved in numerous multi-plaintiff and individual employment discrimination actions, including sexual and racial harassment cases, retaliation cases, and class actions under Title VII and other civil rights laws seeking equal pay and promotions. Brian is licensed to practice law in the States of Washington and Colorado, and is a member of the Bars of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Brian received his law degree with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2012, where he was a Managing Editor of the Journal of Corporation Law. Prior to law school, Brian graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Prior to joining Ackermann & Tilajef, Brian was the principal officer of his own law firm, where he represented plaintiffs in employment matters, including employment discrimination cases. Brian also worked for private law firms as general counsel and practicing civil litigation.
Shareholder, Employment Litigation, Class Actions and Harassment/Discrimination
Since joining the Firm in 2016, Jaclyn has operated as a legal assistant, litigation paralegal, and most recently, the office administrator for the Firm. She completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011, and worked for a real estate law firm for five years as a senior legal assistant before joining Ackermann & Tilajef. In addition to assisting the Firm and all staff with administrative and legal duties, Jaclyn is also a part owner of, and the Case Manager for, Employment Mediation Corp., which provides neutral resolution services for employment cases of any kind.
Amanda joined the Firm’s Tacoma office as a legal assistant in 2017, and was promoted to a paralegal in 2018 before leaving in April 2019. Amanda returned to Ackermann & Tilajef in February 2022 as the firm’s senior paralegal, and is also a Licensed Rule 9 Legal Intern in the State of Washington. She completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Hispanic Studies and Chinese Studies from Pacific Lutheran University in 2016, and obtained her paralegal certificate from Tacoma Community College in 2018. Currently, Amanda attends Seattle University School of Law and is expected to complete her Juris Doctorate in August 2023. She plans to sit for the Washington State Bar in February 2024.
Aron is a recent addition to the Firm but comes with several years of relevant paralegal experience, making him a valuable addition to the team. Aron completed a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Project Management at Western Governors University and then enrolled in Seattle University School of Law. Aron expects to graduate in 2023 with his Juris Doctorate and sit for the Washington State Bar in February 2024.
Laura is a paralegal for the Firm with an experienced background in representing clients of all backgrounds. Having graduated from California, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts in Chicano Studies, and also having completed the paralegal program at Cerritos College, Laura is well-equipped to handle client matters and assist counsel in every step of a case.
Rebecca is a paralegal for the firm who comes with a robust background in public interest legal work, legal translating, and legal writing. She received the Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Award by the Bar Association of San Francisco three times before graduating from JFK University School of Law in Walnut Creek, California. Her Spanish translations include four consumer legal guides published by Bet Tzedek, a public interest law center. She also received the Wiley Manuel Award by the State Bar of California twice for her public interest advocacy. For several years, she summarized published law cases for a private attorney and then for a legal newspaper; Rebecca is credited with approximately 130 published articles. On her time off, she writes poetry for fun. Prior to the Pandemic, she spent almost 9 years singing with Legal Voices of the LA Lawyers Philharmonic.
Kanani brings over six years of legal experience to our firm, in both criminal and civil litigation. After earning her Bachelor Degree of Arts, with a focus on Law and Policy, from the University of Washington in 2017, Kanani continued to pursue her passion for law by attending Seattle University School of Law's part-time evening program. She is expected to graduate in December 2023 and plans to sit for the February 2024 bar exam.
- Employment Law - sexual harassment in the workplace - labor law attorney - Employment law attorney - class action cases