Sierra J. Spitzer

Senior Counsel

Sierra is an experienced civil litigator whose practice is now focused primarily on providing practical advice, counsel and guidance to employers, in-house counsel, human resource personnel, and business owners in the realm of labor and employment law.  She also regularly assists clients with risk management and mitigation, compliance, policy drafting and implementation, workplace investigations, early dispute resolution and in the general navigation of the many complexities of the employer-employee relationship in California.  She is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources – California.  

Sierra is very active in the local legal community.  She is currently serving out a second term as the Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association and is on the Board of Directors for the San Diego County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the SDCBA.  She is also a regular contributor to legal publications and frequently serves as a speaker for legal education programs and trainings for local organizations and business owners.  Sierra is also involved with the San Diego community at large, including currently serving on the Board of the Foundation for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Prior to joining the firm, Sierra practiced business and employment litigation as a Partner at Schwartz Semerdjian and as Senior Counsel at Brown Law Group. 

Having completed studies at the Libera Universita di Lingue Moderne in Milan, Italy; the Centro de Lenguas e Intercambio Cultura in Seville, Spain; the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Florence, Italy; and a work abroad program in Melbourne, Australia, Sierra is also a world travel enthusiast and is always plotting her next adventure abroad.


  • Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., 2004
  • University of Puget Sound, B.A. Psychology/English, 2000
  • HR Certification Institute, CA Professional in Human Resources – California (PHRca), 2019

Professional Experience

  • Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, Senior Counsel, October 2020 - present
  • Brown Law Group, Senior Counsel, April 2019 - October 2020
  • Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Moot LLP, Partner, January 2014 - April 2019; Associate March 2007 - December 2013
  • Lorber Greenfield & Polito LLP, Associate, March 2005 - March 2007
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court, Judicial Intern and Law Clerk, Spring 2004


  • All California State Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • All United States District Courts in California

Professional Activities

  • Member, State Bar of California (December 2004-present)
  • American Bar Association (Member, 2005-present)
    • Labor & Employment Section (2019-present)
    • ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (Member, 2013-2019)
    • ABA TIPS Employment & Labor Law Committee (2013-2019), Committee Chair (2015-2016)
    • Law in Public Service Committee (2016-2019)
    • Women Trial Lawyers General Committee (2016-2019)
    • Tortsource Editorial Board (2013-2018)
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (Member, 2007-present)
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Member 2005-present)
    • Vice-Chair, Employment & Labor Law Section (2019-2020)
    • Chair, Employment & Labor Law Section (2020-present)
  • San Diego County Bar Foundation – Board of Directors, 2021-present
  • San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Foundation – Board of Directors, 2019-present


  • Author, Consumer Attorneys of SD, Trial Bar News Article, “Got PAGA Understanding the Process and Discovery Under California’s Private Attorneys General Act” (February 2018)
  • Author, ABA Article, “Combating Violence in the Workplace” (June 2016)
  • Author, ABA CLE, “Tips for Prevention of Employment Litigation” (January 2016)

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, “What’s New & Notable – Employment Law Update 2021” webinar presented by San Diego County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section (March 2021)
  • Co-Author, “Disability Accommodations in the Pre- and Post COVID-19 Workplace” National Association of College and University Attorneys, Conference Materials (2021)
  • Co-Author, “Employers’ Role in the Rescue – New COBRA Subsidy Requirement” E-Update by Paul Plevin (April 2021)
  • Co-Author, “Creating a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Worth a Shot?” E-Update by Paul Plevin (March 2021)
  • Co-Author, “Cal/OSHA’s Newly Approved Emergency Temporary Standards RE: COVID-19 Call for Immediate Action by Employers” E-Update by Paul Plevin (December 2020)
  • Moderator, “Civil Unrest & the #BLM Movement” webinar presented by San Diego County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section (August 2020)
  • Presenter, “The Workplace Transformed” webinar by Brown Law Group (August 2020)
  • Presenter, “Navigating the New Norm: A Look at Employment in Post-COVID World” webinar for San Diego County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section (May 2020)
  • Interviewee, Segment re: COVID-19 Considerations for Employers, KUSI News (April 2020)
  • Presenter, “Employment Law Update 2020” for Brown Law Group (February 2020)
  • Presenter, “Exploring Bias & Discrimination in the Workplace” for San Diego County Bar Association, Committee for Diversity & Inclusion (October 2019)
  • Presenter, “Employment Law “A,B,Cs”: Dynamex and Beyond” for San Diego County Bar Association, Real Property Law Section Annual Conference (September 2019)
  • Presenter, Employment Law 101 for Small Business Owners @ WeWork (July 2019)
  • Presenter, Employment Law Update for San Diego Human Resources Forum (January 2018, September 2018, December 2018)
  • Presenter, Annual Legal Update-Employment Law, Associated Subcontractors Alliance, San Diego Chapter (2016-2018)
  • Presenter, ABA Webinar, “No Sir! You Can’t Steal My Clients! Or Maybe You Can: Effective Strategies RE: Restrictive Covenants” (November 2018)
  • Moderator, ABA CLE, “Minefields of the Modern Employee Handbook” (August 2016)