San Francisco: (415) 771-6400 | Oakland: (510) 272-0169

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Firm History

For more than seven decades, Leonard Carder has provided legal counsel and representation to unions and workers involved in some of the most memorable labor struggles on the West Coast.

The firm was founded in the depths of the Great Depression by two legends in the field of union-side labor law, Richard Gladstein and Aubrey Grossman. Along with Norman Leonard and, later, William Carder, these lawyers dedicated their considerable legal skills to representing progressive labor unions, key among which was the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which the firm is privileged to represent to this day. These attorneys represented the ILWU in its struggles to bring economic security, workplace safety, and industrial democracy to the West Coast waterfront; defended Harry Bridges and other progressives targeted in the anti-Communist witch hunts of the 1940s and 50s; aided conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War; and assisted numerous other labor unions in organizing and representing workers.

As the firm has grown over the years, our attorneys have continued to be inspired by, and follow in the footsteps of, its founders. Our attorneys are dedicated to advancing workers’ rights by representing the labor movement. Today, Leonard Carder is proud to represent international and local labor unions representing working men and women in both the private and public sectors, in industries as varied as the longshore, maritime, hospitality, transportation, construction, utility, technical, and professional sectors. In recent decades, we have expanded our mission by protecting and advancing workers’ rights by representing workers in class actions to enforce wage and hour and other employment laws. We also represent dozens of pension, health, and other employee benefit plans covering workers, retirees, and their dependents.


Oakland:(510) 272-0169 | San Francisco:(415) 771-6400