Kelly D. Gemelli, Esq.
Jackson Lewis P.C.
Kelly (Wood) Gemelli, a principal in the San Diego office of Jackson Lewis P.C., provides advice and counsel to management on a wide range of employment issues. She is a certified leave of absence specialist and is an active member of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. For nearly 20 years, she has defended employers on discrimination, harassment, leave, retaliation, wage and hour, and other claims. Gemelli is well-versed in matters that arise under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Paid Family Leave, Family and Medical Leave, Pregnancy Disability Leave, and various California state employment-related laws.
Gemelli conducts workplace investigations and routinely counsels employers on strategies for minimizing potential litigation. She provides advice on the practical and legal implications of everyday employment decisions. She also provides training seminars on a wide variety of employment topics. She has presented and trained professional groups in specialized areas of employment law, including preventing sexual harassment, workplace investigations, anti-harassment/sensitivity in the workplace, unconscious bias, managing leaves of absence under FMLA and California state leave laws, workplace accommodations, wage and hour, and effective management/prevention of claims.
Marc Jacuzzi, Esq.
Simpson, Garrity, Innes, & Jacuzzi, P.C.
Marc Jacuzzi has broad experience in employment law matters. He has represents numerous employers as defendants in civil rights actions (including claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and other state discrimination statutes), trade secret misappropriation claims, wage claims, wrongful termination claims; unfair business practices claims (Section 17200), non-competition claims (Section 16600), contract disputes and various tort claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), various other state agencies and in various State and Federal Courts. Jacuzzi’s practice also involves employment law counseling. He regularly advises clients regarding all aspects of the employer/employee relationship including hiring and termination issues, wage and hour requirements, employee classification issues, civil rights/discrimination issues, commission plans, employment contracts, employee handbooks and policies, confidential information agreements, reductions in force, leaves of absence issues, employment audits, M&A employment issues, violence in the workplace issues and international employment issues. Jacuzzi has also conducted numerous in-house training programs on a number of employment law topics.
Usama Kahf, Esq.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Usama Kahf is a partner in the Irvine office of Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm with over 350 attorneys in 32 cities. His practice focuses on privacy and data security, as well as on trade secrets and unfair competition. Kahf is an active member of the firm’s Data Security & Workplace Privacy practice group, and he regularly conducts seminars and trainings on privacy compliance, best practices, and data breach response. He is also a member of his firm’s Electronic Discovery Committee and has co-authored a book on electronic discovery practice under the federal rules. He has also been selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Southern California Rising Star” every year since 2013.
Phillip R. Maltin, Esq.
Raines Feldman LLP
Phillip Maltin, a veteran litigator and trial lawyer, is a member of both the Labor and Employment and Business Litigation practice groups of Raines Feldman LLP. He has a reputation as a preeminent litigator and exceptional questioner, with nuanced tactical and technical skills at trial. He has mastered the strategy of reverse engineering the outcome: he determines the result his client wishes and develops the approach and case staffing to achieve it.
Maltin defends employers both in single plaintiff and multi-plaintiff litigation and class actions concerning a wide range of matters, including wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and misappropriation of trade secrets. He also has managed and conducted numerous internal investigations for companies in a variety of work-place issues, from claims of discrimination and harassment to inquiries into violence and embezzlement. He is an expert speaker on the topics of investigation and questioning techniques, with a focus on uncovering dishonesty. His presentations have garnered media interest, with frequent invitations to deliver keynote addresses at conferences and conventions across North America.
He is perennially recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer (every year 2010 to 2018), an elite distinction given to no more than five percent of the Southern California Bar.
Danielle Moore, Esq.
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Danielle Moore, a partner with Fisher Phillips, represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including preparation of employment handbooks, personnel policies, and management training and lectures on employment issues. She has experience litigating matters in state and federal courts, state administrative tribunals, and in arbitration.
Moore is “AV” Peer Review Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and was named one of San Diego’s “Top Attorneys,” “Best of the Bar,” and one of the “Top 40 under 40 Best and Brightest Minds of San Diego.” She was also a 2016 finalist for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.”
Ryan H. Nell, Esq.
Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin
Ryan Nell, a shareholder/partner in Petti Kohn’s San Diego office, represents California employers statewide in both counseling and comprehensive litigation support. With the ever-changing landscape of California and federal employment law, he prides himself on assisting clients in staying ahead of the curve in an effort to avoid legal trouble before it arises. He has extensive experience representing clients in harassment, retaliation, and discrimination matters, as well as large-scale wage and hour lawsuits. Nell speaks regularly on a wide range of topics aimed at assisting California employers in the avoidance of legal trouble before it arises, and his work in the field has led to his recognition as a Rising Star by San Diego Super Lawyers.
Christopher W. Olmsted, Esq.
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Christopher Olmsted, a shareholder at Ogletree Deakins, helps businesses avoid employment-related legal claims by providing California employment law compliance advice. He also defends employers in a variety of litigation matters. Olmsted’s employment law compliance and litigation experience includes: California FEHA and Title VII discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims; wrongful termination claims; wage and hour compliance and defense of claims and labor agency audits; California CFRA, federal FMLA and other leaves of absences; misappropriation of trade secrets, non-competition and non-disclosure agreements; California and federal ADA accommodation; gender pay equity audits and litigation; terminations, reductions in force and severance agreements; independent contractor misclassification claims; employment agreements and policies; labor Commissioner claims (Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement claims), EDD and Unemployment Insurance claims.
Olmsted also provides employment law compliance and claim prevention training to management and staff, as well as other attorneys.
Olmsted has represented clients in state and federal trials, arbitration proceedings, and administrative law hearings. Olmsted also has significant experience representing clients on appeals before California and federal courts of appeal.
Olmsted serves as an instructor at Cal State University San Marcos, teaching a course titled “Legal Issues for HR Professionals” as part of the Human Resource Management Certificate Program. He is frequently an invited speaker for various industry groups, and regularly publishes employment law articles.
Kelly O. Scott, Esq.
Partner and Head of Employment Law Department
Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP
Kelly O. Scott, Esq., head of ECJ’s Employment Law Department, has practiced law for more than 30 years. His experience includes representation of employers in all types of employment matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employment discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wage and hour claims and advice and/or training for compliance with various employment laws. Scott is also an experienced investigator in various types of employment law related complaints and problems.
A distinguished thought leader, Scott has been quoted by a wide variety of news organizations, including CNN Entertainment, the Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, and E! News. He is also a published author and frequent speaker on employment law matters. Southern California Super Lawyers® has recognized Scott every year since 2005, and he maintains a Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating of AV Preeminent. He has been an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and served as Chairman of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Lisa Von Eschen, Esq.
The Maloney Firm, APC
Lisa Von Eschen counsels businesses and non-profit organizations on employment law compliance issues, including leaves of absence, exempt classifications, payroll, discipline, grievances, terminations and reductions in force. Her practice includes advising companies and executives on employment contracts, commission and bonus plans, restrictive covenants, trade secret and confidentiality issues, and severance agreements. She routinely drafts and audits personnel policies and handbooks, leads internal investigations, and conducts preventive training sessions on harassment and other employment topics.
When employment disputes cannot be prevented or resolved, Von Eschen does not hesitate to litigate her clients’ matters before administrative bodies and courts. She has more than twenty-five years of litigation experience including individual discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination cases, as well as systemic claims and class actions. In 2018, Von Eschen was named to the Daily Journal’s list of Top Women Lawyers.
Cathleen Yonahara, Esq.
Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
Cathleen S. Yonahara, Esq., a partner with San Francisco-based Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP, received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She concentrates her practice on employment and labor law. She has successfully represented employers in courts and before various government agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the California Labor Commissioner. She has litigated all types of employment matters, including claims of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, violation of California Family Rights Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and wage and hour violations. She also represents clients in commercial business disputes.
In addition to her litigation practice, Yonahara also provides advice and counseling to employers on all aspects of the employment relationship in order to avoid potential legal disputes. She advises employers on the myriad legal requirements facing California employers including anti-discrimination and harassment laws, family and medical leave laws, wage and hour compliance, and proper classification of independent contractors and exempt employees. She conducts audits of her client’s employment practices, policies and agreements to ensure compliance with federal and state employment laws, and drafts employee handbooks and personnel policies, and employment, arbitration, confidentiality and severance agreements.
Yonahara serves as the Assistant Editor to the California Employment Law Letter, a semimonthly newsletter focused on current labor employment cases in California, and a contributing author to 50 Employment Laws in 50 States. She is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on all aspects of the employment relationship.