Sierra J. Spitzer

Senior Counsel

Sierra is an experienced litigation attorney whose practice now focuses on advice and counsel, training and compliance for employers in the realm of labor and employment law, including, guiding clients through the challenges of reductions in force & furloughs, remote work, sick and family leave, relief programs, unemployment claims, privacy issues, discrimination & accommodation concerns and return to work and reopening considerations.  Additionally, she also provides assistance in drafting, updating and training related to workplace policies and procedures, including employee handbooks, risk management and prevention.  Sierra is also experienced in providing advice and counsel and litigating matters related to harassment, discrimination & retaliation based on protected status, sexual harassment & hostile work environment, whistleblowing, accommodation and leave requests, employee discipline and termination decisions and wage & hour issues.  She is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources – California.    

Sierra is also very active in the local legal community, including membership in the San Diego County Bar Association, for she is currently the Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section, and Lawyers Club of San Diego.  She has also been a regular contributor to legal publications and frequently serves as a speaker for continuing legal education programs and as a provider of legal updates/training regarding labor and employment law to local community 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.

Education

  • 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 2019 - present
  • Brown Law Group, Senior Counsel, April 2019 - October 2019
  • 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

Admissions

  • 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)

Publications

  • 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, “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)