Dawn has spent two decades partnering with her clients to help guide and direct their employment decisions to avoid the time and expense of litigation, and creating and executing a strategy to defend them through trial should the need arise. Dawn uses depth of knowledge and expertise to ensure that clients exceed their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) goals, while avoiding legal landmines. 

She is committed to knowing her client's businesses.  Dawn's familiarity with her client's businesses and industries and knowledge of current legal trends is beneficial to her clients in preparing for and thwarting any potential adverse actions.  It is for these reasons that employers turn to her to defend them in administrative proceedings and state and federal court actions involving sex, age, national origin, race and other discrimination claims.  Dawn has extensive experience handling ADAAA and Family and Medical Leave Act claims and has successfully litigated multiple plaintiff Age Discrimination claims in state and federal court.

Dawn provides regular training and counsel to employers on a variety of issues to ensure compliance with new laws and emerging trends.  She provides helpful tools, including checklists for employers to use to detect and prevent potential claims and acts as a partner to employers in evaluating day-to-day employment decisions from disciplinary actions to termination. As a Certified Diversity Executive, Dawn routinely provides DEI advice, training and workshops designed to allow employees to recognize and combat their biases and create safe spaces where employees can bring their full selves to work and engage in courageous conversations across differences. 

Dawn is the Firm's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Partner with responsibility for the oversight and implementation of the Firm's Diversity Strategic Plan.  As the Firm's DEI Partner, Dawn is a member of the Management Group and the Firm's seven (7) person Executive Committee, the Firm's highest governing body that sets policy and compensation. Dawn is recognized as a Certified Diversity Executive through the National Institute for Diversity Certification. 

Dawn serves on the Board of Directors for USAmeribank and was selected as a 2017-2018 Thought Leader for the USAmeriBank WE Innovate series. She is also active in the American Bar Association's Aids Coordinating Committee (1998-present); Stetson University School of Law Employer Advisory Board (2016-present); National Conference of Women's Bar Associations (President 2002-03, President Elect 2001-02, Vice President 2000-01, Board Member 1997-present); Florida Association for Women Lawyers (Past Newsletter Editor 1996-97, Constitutional Revision Committee Chair 1997-98, representative to the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations 1997-present, Board Member 1996-present); Hillsborough County Women Lawyers Association (1998-present); the Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association (1994-present); and the George Edgecomb Bar Association (1998-present).

Dawn is very active in civic and community organizations, including the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Black Women Attorneys Network, the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Seminole Heights Baptist Church (Trustee Board 2000-present (Chair), Personal Committee 2000-present (Chair 2002-04, 2006-07), Haiti Mission Committee 1999-04 (Chair 2003-04)), the Women's Executive Club and the Women's Chamber of Commerce (Charter Member). She has spoken and continues to speak on numerous areas of employment and labor law, throughout the state of Florida and throughout the country, for various organizations and employers. Dawn also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Great Apes.

Honors & Awards
  • 2023 CW DEI Trailblazer Award Recipient 
  • The Legal 500 United States, Recommended attorney in Labor & Employment - Labor and Employment Disputes (2020, 2021)
  • "500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers," LawDragon (2020-2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management and Litigation - Labor & Employment (2005-2024)
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • "League of Extraordinary Women," The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women, 2018
  • "500 Leading Lawyers in America," LawDragon, 2018
  • "Legal Elite," Florida Trend magazine, 2018
  • "The National Black Lawyers - Top 100"
  • "2016 Client Choice Award"
  • "100 Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyers," LawDragon, 2015 -2019
  • "Most Influential Black Lawyers," Savoy magazine, 2015
  • "Women Worth Watching," Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2011
  • Certified Diversity Executive, National Institute for Diversity Certification
  • "Florida Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers magazine
  • Florida's Top Lawyers
  • Florida's Diversity Council Promoting Diversity First
  • 2012 Delano S. Stewart Diversity Award, George Edgecomb Bar Association

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  • Successfully represented a large regional power company in a family and medical leave act claim.  Obtained judgment and costs in favor of the company in 2009.  Judgment was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Won a non-compete trial before the District Court, including the enforcement of a one year injunction against the former employee and his new employer in 2008.  Injunctive relief was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals. 
  • Acts as the Labor Relations Management Team for a national supply company, providing advice, training and expertise on labor relations and management issues in 2008-2021.
  • Develops robust and individualized Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plans for employers, including a 3-5 year strategic plans, employee resource group charters/development, training/workshop cascades for depth of knowledge and understanding and ongoing support and guidance.   
  • Per Florida Bar rules, information on litigation and other legal successes has not been disclosed but is available upon request.
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  • University of North Carolina School of Law
    J.D., 1993
  • University of North Carolina
    B.A., 1990
  • Client Advisory Board, Saxon Advisors, 2024
  • Board of Directors, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, 2019-2021
  • Board of Directors, The Florida Holocaust Museum, 2022
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association - AIDS Coordinating Committee Chair
  • The Florida Bar
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • George Edgecomb Bar Association
  • Member, The Trial Law Institute
  • Member, Diversity Law Institute
  • The National Black Lawyers - Top 100
  • 50/50 Women on Boards, Steering Committee 
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida