Davis, Cowell & Bowe, LLP

Photo: People marching and holding signs

Firm History

McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry, LLP, has been in continuous existence since the late 1930s. It was founded by Roland C. Davis, one of the few full-time union lawyers of that era, who was heavily involved in the struggles around the rebirth of the U.S. labor movement.

After World War II, the firm came to concentrate on the representation of retail clerks, hotel and restaurant workers and firefighters. With the expansion of large-scale gaming in Las Vegas in the 1950s, representing casino workers became another large part of the firm’s work.

Many unions started benefit funds in the post-war period for the protection of their members. These included pension and health care plans financed through negotiated employer contributions. McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry helped many unions form, administer, and improve these plans. These important benefits have been preserved over the intervening years despite many pressures against them. Today, one of the hallmark differences between organized and unorganized workers is the existence of these important protections.

Starting in the 1980s, McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry was instrumental in helping to pioneer new ways of organizing. These included the “comprehensive campaign” and the use of negotiated organizing agreements, sometimes called “card check/neutrality agreements” that provide an alternative to adversarial representation litigation at the National Labor Relations Board.

The firm experienced a substantial expansion during the 1990s both in practice areas and geographically. Since the 1960s, McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry has represented employees in retirement benefit and prevailing wage class action cases. In the 1990s, this area of practice grew to include wage and hour and discrimination cases. The firm’s representation of construction-industry unions also increased greatly during this period of time. McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry lawyers have also become the leaders in drafting (and defending) labor standards laws throughout the United States.

In the 1990s, but particularly in the present decade, McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry’s work grew to include quite literally the four corners of the continental United States and Hawaii.

We are pleased to announce that Davis, Cowell & Bowe, LLP has changed its name to McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry, LLP. There is no change in personnel, and we continue working from the same offices in San Francisco and Las Vegas.