She represents clients in a variety of industries, but has particular expertise in the healthcare, aviation and hospitality industries.
Michelle's employment litigation experience includes defending against claims for wrongful termination, retaliation, wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, as well as cases involving business torts, non-compete agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets. Her labor experience includes representing health care and airline clients in grievance resolution, particularly arbitrations, under both the NLRA and the RLA.
Michelle frequently writes and lectures on California and federal employment laws. She recently presented at the Regional Airline Association 2012 Summer Seminar, PIHRA's 2012 annual legal update, FordHarrison's 2012 Airline Symposium in Atlanta, the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Las Vegas, and has presented several webinars on topics such as California's leave laws, FMLA/CFRA abuse, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements. In addition, Michelle counsels employers on employee discipline and termination, and also conducts internal investigations and training sessions.
Before joining FordHarrison, Michelle served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall in the Central District of California and also worked as an associate for a boutique firm in Los Angeles representing clients in business and entertainment litigation matters.
Michelle worked as a senior media buyer in the advertising industry before she began her legal career. Her significant business experience has proved to be a valuable asset to her practice. Having worked on the client side, she understands how to meet and exceed clients' expectations and also provides practical, real-world employment advice.
- Successfully defeated Plaintiff's motion for class certification on behalf of a fast food franchise owner with 35 locations.
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a national fitness franchise on claims for wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to pay overtime wages, and breach of contract after an 18-day jury trial in Orange County Superior Court.
- Obtained favorable settlements in wage and hour class actions for several fast food franchise clients.
- Successfully represented a large, national law firm in an action for race and gender discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, and defamation.
- Successfully represented a high-end automobile dealership in an action for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process and wrongful termination.
- Successfully represented a software company in an action for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, wrongful constructive discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress.