Represents employers in a wide variety of labor and employment matters, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, fraud, wage and hour, public policy violations, defamation, invasion of privacy, and trade secret/unfair competition. Represents employers in state and federal court and before state and federal administrative agencies (e.g. EEOC, DFEH, DLSE, and NLRB). Conducts workplace investigations and provides advice and counseling to employers regarding compliance with state and federal law (including FMLA, ADA, Title VII, FEHA, and NLRA), personnel policies and manuals, and difficult personnel decisions.
- Seconded as in-house employment counsel for international food company (2003-2005).
Obtained non-suit on claims for discrimination, retaliation, interference with prospective economic advantage, and unfair business practices.
Obtained defense award for video service company in a four-day arbitration involving discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims.
- Obtained defense award for aerospace company in a week-long arbitration involving discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.
- Obtained defense award for video service company in arbitration involving disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, and wrongful termination claims.
- Obtained dismissal of breach of collective bargaining agreement claim for international beverage company.
- Successfully represented major motion picture company in jurisdictional dispute before the NLRB.
- After defeating class certification, successfully resolved wage and hour class action for global consumer goods company.
- After successfully demurring, negotiated favorable resolution of wage and hour representative action on behalf of a major television network.
- Obtained summary judgment for employers in wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment cases.
- Obtained dismissals on behalf of employers of unfair labor practices charges before the National Labor Relations Board.
- Settled sexual harassment, failure to pay commissions, and wrongful termination case for less than $10,000, after the first day of the plain tiff’s deposition and before any depositions of our client’s employees were taken.
- Settled age discrimination and wrongful termination case of former long-term employee for less than $15,000, after one deposition per side.
- Settled age, gender, and race discrimination, wrongful termination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress case for less than $20,000, without any depositions being taken.
- Settled case with claims of wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, disability harassment, and fraud and deceit for less than $20,000, without our client having to respond to any written discovery and without any depositions being taken.
Honors & Awards
- "Most Influential Minority Lawyers Award", Los Angeles Business Journal (2016)
- "Diversity Leader Award" Profiles in Diversity Journal (2016)
- “Who’s Who Legal: Labour & Employment," Who’s Who Legal (2013-2015)
- "Most Powerful and Influential Women of California," California Diversity Council (2012)
- “Presidential Award,” National Bar Association (2012)
- "Attorney Spotlight" Profile, California Minority Counsel Program E-Newsletter (January/February 2011)
- "Top Labor & Employment Lawyers in California," Daily Journal (2011)
- "Southern California Rising Stars," Super Lawyers (2005-2010)
- "California's Top Women Litigators," Daily Journal (2007)
- "10 Up and Coming African American Lawyers to Watch," Diversity & the Bar by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (2007)
- "Rising Legal Star," LA Focus (2007)
- Black Law Students Association Alumni Achievement Award, UCLA School of Law (2007)
- "One to Watch" in the labor and employment field, Daily Journal (2006)
Professional, Business and civic Affiliations
- Member, N-Gen Advisory Board, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- Commissioner, Commission on Women in the Profession, American Bar Association
- Council Member, Section of Labor and Employment Law, American Bar Association
- Co-Chair, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, American Bar Association
- Board Member, Constitutional Rights Foundation
- Executive Committee, Litigation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Board Member, Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Member, American Employment Law Council
- Council Member, Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, American Bar Association (2014-2015)
- Nominations Committee, National Bar Association (2012-2014)
- Board of Governors, National Bar Association (2012-2013)
- President, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (2011-2012)
- Attorney Admission Fund Board, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (2009-2012)
- Executive Committee, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (2010-2012)
- Co-Chair, Central District Delegation of Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit (2008-2009)
- Lawyer Representative, Central District Delegation of Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit (2006-2009)
Other Career Experience
- Labor and Employment Legal Extern for the United States Information Agency, Washington, DC (1997)
- August 23, 2016
Events & Speaking Engagements
- October 21, 2016
- Discrimination Update: Current Trends Affecting the Workplace, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. Meeting2016
- Objection as to Form—Obstructionist Conduct or an Exercise in Restraint?, ABA, Ethics & Professional Responsibility Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2015
- The Future of Employment Law and Employment Law Lawyers, Italian Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference2015
- Best Practices for Diversity in the Sections, Divisions, and Forums, ABA Section Officers Conference2014
- Hot Topics in Employment Law: Issues Pertinent to the Entertainment Attorney, Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association2014
- Hello, Is This Thing On? Perfecting Public Speaking Skills, ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2012
- From Cradle to Grave: Drafting and Communicating Employment Agreements, ABA, Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Conference2011
- Competing for and Winning Work from Corporate Counsel, ABA, Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Conference2010
- Sexual Harassment Arbitration in the Union vs. Non-Union Worlds, ABA, Employment and Rights Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2009
- Mentors: Who Needs Them and Why? ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2008
- Grabbing a Jury and Keeping ‘Em, ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2008
- Choices, Choices: Your Place or Mine? Drafting and Litigating Choice of Law and Forum Selection Clauses in Non-Compete Agreements, ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2007
- Workplace Investigations: The Witness Interviews and Evaluation of the Evidence, ABA, Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Conference2007
- True Believers in the Workplace: A Primer on Religious Discrimination, Accommodations, and Undue Hardship, State Bar of California Annual Meeting2007
- It's a Status Thing: The Ground War at FedEx. Independent Contractor or Employee? ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2007
- The Nuts and Bolts of Harassment Cases: How to Prevent, Identify, and Litigate Harassment Cases, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Annual Meeting2007
- Are Law Firms and Corporations Committed to Diversity in the Legal Profession? ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2007
- An Exploration of Diversity Issues, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers of Southern Ninth Circuit Regional College Meeting2004
- We Didn't Hire You. You Don't Work Here and Where's That Memo You Owe Me? Who is an Employee? ABA, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting2004
- California, 1998
- U.S. District Courts
- Central District of California, 1998
- Northern District of California, 2001
- Eastern District of California, 2012
- U.S. Court of Appeals
- Ninth Circuit, 1998
- Third Circuit, 2016
University of California Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1998
Editor, Women's Law Journal; Moot Court Honors Program
University of Toronto, Honors B.A., 1994
APUS Scholastic Award