Danielle M. Blackhall

Associate

Danielle Blackhall represents private and public employers in administrative proceedings and all aspects of labor and employment litigation in California state and federal courts.  As a litigator, Danielle aggressively defends employers against all types of employment claims, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, defamation, retaliation, wage and hour disputes, and compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), often securing dismissal for her clients at the pleadings stage.  She also regularly defends and advises educational clients on a variety of topics unique to public entities and educational settings, including governmental immunities, special education, denial of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), personnel matters and due process complaints.

Danielle also enjoys partnering with employers to provide training on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment prevention, wage and hour matters, anti-discrimination, bullying, workplace investigations, accommodating disabled workers and special education, and counseling on day-to-day issues such as, policy creation/revision, handbook reviews, employee performance, discipline and termination, workplace investigations, disability accommodations, family and medical leave issues, background checks, and contract disputes.

 

 

Education

  • University of San Diego, School of Law, J.D., 2007
  • University of Southern California, B.A. 2003, cum laude

Professional Experience

  • Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, Associate, April 2012 – present
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael M. Anello, United States District Court for the Southern District of California, March 2010 – March 2012
  • Baker & McKenzie LLP, Associate, September 2007 – March 2010

 

Admissions

  • All California state courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Southern and Central Districts of California

Professional Activities

  • Member, State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Member, California Charter Schools Association
  • Member, Enright Inn of Court, 2012-2014
  • Volunteer Judge, University of San Diego School of Law Moot Court Competitions, 2007 to present
  • Mentor, University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Mentorship Program, 2015-2016
  • Coordinator, Annual Marine Corps Birthday Celebration Hosted by the Honorable Michael M. Anello and the Honorable William V. Gallo, 2010 to present
  • Volunteer, Feeding America, 2012 to present
  • Volunteer, Casa Cornelia Law Center, 2007-2010

 

Speaking Engagements

  • I Am Who I Am: Promoting Inclusion of LGBTQ Individuals Within Our Schools, 24th Annual California Charter Schools Conference, March 2017
  • eDiscovery in Small Cases, Ing3nious SoCal eDiscovery & IG Retreat, November 2016
  • Discrimination and Harassment, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update, October 2016
  • Managing Employee Disability and Accommodation Issues: When is Enough Really Enough?PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2015
  • A Primer on the Disability Discrimination Laws, University of California Irvine, October 2015
  • Employee Mobility Wars, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2014
  • Recovering Attorneys’ Fees, Enright Inn of Court, April 2013
  • Litigation Holds and the Duty to Preserve Electronic Evidence, San Diego Defense Lawyers, April 2013
  • Top HR Action Items for 2013, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2012
  • Personnel Law, San Diego Education Association, 2012-2014
  • Working Together to Prevent Workplace Harassment, various clients, quarterly
  • March 22, 2017: I Am Who I Am: Promoting Inclusion of LGBTQ Individuals Within Our Schools

Representative Matters

  • Dismissal at pleadings stage in action against school district alleging discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.  (San Diego Superior Court)
  • Dismissal at pleadings stage in action against school district and principal alleging negligence, defamation, harassment and denial of due process.  (U.S. District Court, Southern District of California)
  • Dismissal at pleadings stage in action brought by mother on behalf of minor student alleging negligence and battery.  (San Diego Superior Court)
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice via demurrer in action against school district alleging discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
  • Obtained dismissal of action with prejudice brought by mother on behalf of minor student alleging negligence and battery, in exchange for waiver of costs. 
  • Obtained dismissal of action with prejudice brought by minor student and mother against school district, principal and teacher for negligence. 
  • Successful appeal and resolution of audit by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) regarding independent contractors for an entertainment company.
  • Obtained summary judgment of all claims in action for disability, gender and pregnancy discrimination and retaliation brought against multi-state bail bonds company.  Appeal dismissed.
  • Successfully defended action for sexual harassment and age discrimination against national audio visual services provider
  • Secured return of confidential and proprietary company data and obtained a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction against employee for misappropriating the employer’s trade secrets
  • Obtained summary judgment of all claims in dual-plaintiff race discrimination and harassment action brought against a major health care system
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction on behalf of global technology security company against former employee to prevent access to internal network after separation
  • Internal audit of wage and hour compliance for multi-state education institution
  • Obtained favorable resolution in a Department of Labor audit for a national online retailer