Dearn Law Group represents businesses in general civil matters from advice to litigation, and employers in all aspects of employment law. We work as an outsourced "general counsel" for our clients and are a trusted part of their business team, not just their hired guns.
The firm's advice and business services include policy drafting and review, litigation avoidance, auditing, and contract negotiation and drafting. The firm's litigation practice is also sophisticated and full service, including defense of law suits, government audits and class actions.
Dearn Law Group was started out of necessity. I had a highly successful career at a prestigious international law firm but felt deeply unsettled at the prospect of staying long term. Looking back, I believe that I am more entrepreneurial than I am big-corporate and that I felt stifled by the corporate environment. My strengths are that I am a creative, nimble thinker and a fast-adopter of strategic ideas and new technologies (traits more easily expressed as a business owner than as an employee). So when my husband needed me to go with him to London to be with an ailing parent, quitting the big firm to support him felt like a no-brainer -- my love for my family was massively more important to me than my big law firm career.
I was in England off and on for about ten months and could not work during that time. I used my spare time to educate myself about business, marketing, and technology. In October 2008, I returned to San Diego and quickly obtained several offers at law firms. But the economy simultaneously crashed and all my job offers were rescinded. I'm a problem solver and while thinking about how to make money to feed my family, I realized suddenly, "I still have a law license. I don't need a job at a law firm to practice law." I wasn't unemployed; I was self-employed, just by making my mind up. And so, Dearn Law Group was born using Craigslist and a laptop in my living room.
Today, the firm's ongoing mission is to use good business to help business. Dearn Law Group is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses be successful now, and always, because businesspeople are the creative, driving force behind a free and prosperous society. Plus, doing business is just plain fun (I like to have fun if I am going to work this hard)!
• As a business lawyer, I act as general counsel to my clients and help them stay out of trouble while growing their businesses. For example, one client required clean up of liabilities in order to avoid bankruptcy. I aided in identifying problems (corporate, vendor disputes, collection issues, and employment law liabilities), aided in cleaning up operations and policies and settled multiple issues before they became lawsuits.
• I single-handedly defended a large class-action lawsuit based on alleged violations of wage law. The case was toughly fought by the plaintiffs, but because of strategic maneuvering and working closely with my clients to investigate and correct issues, we were able to settle the case favorably for my clients. My cost-effective services and the excellent settlement result saved my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars, while simultaneously identifying potential problems and correcting them to avoid future litigation.
3990 Old Town Avenue
Suite A -200
San Diego CA 92110
A free initial consultation is available for up to two hours for qualified businesses and individuals.
Dearn Law Group charges only set fees based on a pre-disclosed price list or a pre-negotiated fee agreement. Our fees are either up front package prices for pre-defined services or a month-to-month fee for ongoing services. Dearn Law Group never charges by the hour, which often can cause clients to be surprised by the lawyers' bill and interferes with a good attorney-client relationship and good budgeting and decision-making by our business clients. Examples of pre-priced service packages are: corporate formation, annual business reviews, employment law liability audits, real estate and business deals by flat fee, month-to-month general counsel packages, and month-to-month litigation packages.
We do not charge by the hour, but for a lawyer of my experience level who does charge by the hour, you should expect to pay approximately $350/hour or more.
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Emergency After Hours for current clients only.
Nichoel Casey, Chief Operations Officer and Jamie Kasara, Executive Assistant
Yes. Individuals in our office speak: Spanish, Korean, and American Sign Language.
My employment and business practice combines both of the human aspect of relationships, business and employment relationships, with highly technical and complex aspects of law. California employment law, in particular, is much more complicated than people realize; I greatly enjoy the mental challenge of understanding the nuances of the law, while also figuring out how they affect my clients day-to-day. In fact, employment law liability, both employee complaints and government prosecutions, are a major point of vulnerability for businesses who are just trying to make good products or services and work with good people. I work to protect my business clients in a proactive manner so that they don't lose it all to a surprise compliance issues.
I advise clients to educate themselves on the law whenever possible. This knowledge helps the attorney and client make the most informed decision possible. This philosophy keeps with the Dearn Law Group model of keeping legal fees under control while providing the highest quality legal services possible, as well as acting as a business advisor to a well-regarded client.
I am willing to review documents prepared by clients. There are times when the client taking the lead can be very helpful based on their understanding of the situation. There are also times that a legal review is required to prevent problems or correct problems after a transaction is complete; so in that situation, it is inherent that we are reviewing documents prepared by our clients and providing only legal help where it's most needed and effective.
Yes, on a case by case basis. There are times where this is very effective and makes for a good business strategy. In most matters, however, this is not a good idea and is even prohibited in some situations.
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, March 2006 - December 2007
Substantive practice areas include all aspects of employment law, such as wage and hour, wrongful termination, employment contracts, discrimination and harassment, disability, leaves and unfair competition. Paul Hastings is considered the premier law firm for employment defense in the U.S. and enjoys a prestigious international reputation.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, January 2005 - February 2006
Substantive practice areas included all aspects of employment law and general civil litigation, such as contracts, torts, partnership and business agreements and consumer law as both plaintiff and defense counsel. Pillsbury is a prestigious international firm.
First, I travel a lot internationally. I think that having spent a lot of time in other countries, usually without a lot of money, has made me a very resourceful person and has made me adept at negotiating. Second, I am a small business owner, currently with two businesses. As a business owner, I bring a very practical focus to my work. It also reminds me to view issues the way that the rest of the world views them, and to not get too stuck inside that lawyer bubble without regard to the practical objectives of my clients. My business experience also allows me to anticipate issues for my clients having been through them myself, and to feel compassion for their struggles, as there are a hundred competing interests that a CEO or business owner has to think about, and the law is only one of them! My clients know that I understand their problems from their perspective and that I try to craft solutions that are workable in the real world.
I am calm, strategic, creative, and very thorough. I know where I am going in a case from the outset, and I do not rise to aggressive behavior by opponents. For that reason, I am typically able to control cases and out-maneuver my opponents, although it can take time as litigation is a slow process. I prefer to avoid litigation; I enjoy it, but it is usually not in my clients' best interests, so my focus with clients is handling issues before they mushroom into bigger problems. I will not be bullied, however. I also give my clients the straight deal and do not tell them something just because they want to hear it. There is a big difference between good news and good advice.Personal interests:
I travel extensively and I prefer adventure travel such as sailing, whitewater rafting, camping and hiking in remote locations with my husband and Portuguese Water Dog. I'm a tech geek and I love gadgets, especially my iPhone, the internet and business software, which makes world travel as a business owner so much easier. I also love marketing, and business and economics, so I spend my spare time avidly reading about those subjects.
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