Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Wilson Turner Kosmo is the largest certified women-owned law firm in San Diego, and one of the largest in California. Founded in 1991, our firm represents the litigation and counseling needs of companies on a local, statewide and national level.

Firm Overview

We are committed to providing value to our clients as trusted advisers and legal counsel and contributing to our clients' success through superior legal services that combine the highest levels of excellence, integrity and professionalism with cost-efficiency and a clear understanding of our clients' business goals.

We are committed to making our workplace an inclusive community that values our diversity, our professional development, as well as leadership in and service to the legal profession and the communities in which we live.

We are committed to supporting an environment that emphasizes team work, professionalism, respect and a focus on superior service.

Our attorneys have extensive experience as lead counsel in jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. We routinely provide representation on complex, class action and mass tort litigation. Our firm is AV-rated in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and was recognized by Corporate Counsel magazine as one of the "Go-To" law firms for Fortune 100 companies. To learn more about our attorneys please visit the Professionals page on our website.

Our clients range from Fortune 50 companies to small local businesses in most industries including manufacturing, retail, restaurants and hospitality, health care, real estate, public entity, banking, transportation, oil and gas, technology, and pharmaceutical.
Main Office
Main Office
550 West C Street, Suite 1050
San Diego  CA  92101
Phone
  • 619-234-9600
Websites
Employment
Our lawyers are skilled in the investigation, negotiation, litigation, arbitration and trial of all types of employment related claims.
Our lawyers are skilled in the investigation, negotiation, litigation, arbitration and trial of all types of employment related claims such as wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act disputes, wage and hour law claims, trade secret violations, interference with business claims, privacy right violations, and Labor Code Section 132(a) claims. WTK's litigation team is recognized by the bench and bar to be among the region's finest trial counsel. In addition to this exceptional dispute resolution practice, WTK has broad expertise in matters such as work place investigations, development of effective personnel policies and practices, drafting and negotiation of employment and severance agreements, and conducting in-house employment practices training.

Our lawyers frequently speak on current issues in employment law and have recently lectured on such topics as employment-related testing, workplace violence, protecting employer rights under the Family Medical Leave Act, and avoiding sexual harassment claims. In addition, they have published extensively in various journals and periodicals on such issues as wrongful employment termination practices, requirements to pay overtime, the Americans with Disabilities Act, sexual harassment and office relationships.

Our employment clients include businesses in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, publishing, retail, banking, restaurants, healthcare products, computer technology and software as well as colleges and universities and public agencies.

Representative Matters

-Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in a race discrimination case in United States District Court, and were awarded over $50,000 in attorneys' fees.
-Successfully resolved a putative statewide class action of over 1,000 existing and former employees regarding classification of Store -Managers and Assistant Store Managers as exempt under the executive exemption.
-Obtained a defense verdict in a case where plaintiff claimed wrongful termination in violation of public policy and defamation.
-Obtained a defense verdict for a grocery chain in an Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination case.
-Obtained a defense verdict in San Diego County Superior Court for a hotel in a race discrimination case under the Unruh Act.
-Prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in a case against a University alleging wrongful termination, gender and religious discrimination.
-Obtained a defense verdict in San Diego County Superior Court in a case against a University for sexual harassment and negligence.
-Prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in a case against a public employee for race and disability discrimination.
-Prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in a case alleging disability discrimination, harassment, and failure to accommodate medical condition.
-Prevailed on Demurrer in a case against an employer for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
-Prevailed by a Motion to Dismiss in a case against a public employer for race discrimination, wrongful termination and deprivation of due process.

SOTERA L. ANDERSON

Sotera L. Anderson defends product manufacturers in complex litigation, both in state and federal court, including federal multi-district litigation, against claims for negligence, strict products liability, unfair competition, fraud, and misrepresentation. Sotera has extensive experience representing manufacturers of automobiles, motorcycles, household and commercial appliances and equipment, and pharmaceuticals. She also represents automobile manufacturers and dealers in breach of warranty claims brought under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and Magnusson-Moss Act.

Sotera's notable experience includes case management and coordination of defense efforts in multi-district litigation serving as National Coordinating Counsel responsible for the coordination of hundreds of lawsuits nationwide, including trial and litigation strategy and preparation, deposition, mediation, as well as ongoing pre-trial and motion practice.

Sotera prides herself on her time management and organizational skills, as well as her responsiveness, which leads to cost-effective, quality representation of clients.

Prior to joining WTK in 2007, Sotera defended a variety of individuals and corporations as part of her insurance defense practice at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP. Sotera has been a member of the California Air National Guard since 1993.
Education
  • California Western School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

CAROLINA BRAVO-KARIMI

Carolina Bravo-Karimi is a member of the firm's Employment Law group. Her practice is focused on representing employers in a variety of employment disputes, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour litigation.

Additionally, Ms. Bravo-Karimi has served as the Faculty Advisor for the Executive Moot Court Board and an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Prior to joining Wilson Turner Kosmo, Ms. Bravo-Karimi served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Louisa S Porter of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. In law school, Ms. Bravo-Karimi was a member of the Moot Court Executive Board, as well as a National Team Competitor and Coach. She also served as Student Comment Editor for the San Diego International Law Journal, was an extern for the Honorable Judith McConnell of the California State Court of Appeal, District 4, Division I and was a Certified Legal Intern for the Office of the Public Defender.
Education
  • University of San Diego
    Juris Doctorate

JESSICA A. CHASIN

Jessica A. Chasin is an associate with WTK. In her practice, Ms. Chasin focuses on labor and employment law, and general business litigation.

Her labor and employment practice is focused on representing employers in a variety of employment disputes, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour litigation and trade secret violations.

Ms. Chasin also advises employers on matters related to policies and procedures, and conducts training and handbook reviews.

Ms. Chasin's general business litigation experience includes the representation of companies in disputes arising out of various types of business dealings, including contract disputes, close corporation shareholder disputes, and claims regarding false advertising.

Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Ms. Chasin practiced general commercial litigation in Silicon Valley.
Education
  • University of California, Davis School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

ROBERT K. DIXON

Robert K. Dixon is an associate with WTK. His practice focuses on products liability lawsuits, consumer class action defense, and other complex litigation, particularly with respect to claims under state and federal consumer protection laws. Mr. Dixon's practice also includes defending so-called "junk fax," "blast text," robocalls, and Do-Not-Call class actions brought under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Mr. Dixon represents clients from a variety of industries, including automotive, pharmaceutical, construction, beverage, and home security companies. He frequently obtains successful results for clients before trial and prides himself on obtaining quick, cost-efficient results for his clients.

Before joining WTK, Mr. Dixon was in-house counsel for Henry Company LLC, which is a multimillion-dollar company that manufactures building materials. At Henry, Mr. Dixon managed and assessed the Company's asbestos cases. He also assisted with the Company's insurance recovery, patent infringement, and non-asbestos products liability cases. Mr. Dixon was also an Associate at Tucker Ellis LLP, where he defended high profile corporate clients in products liability matters involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and asbestos-containing products.

Mr. Dixon is also a recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services. He also developed an award-winning high school outreach program and a high school internship program at his previous firm. In 2013, he took on a quasi-pro bono case to assist a music group to resolve a contractual dispute with its label.
Education
  • University of Southern California, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

EMILY J. FOX

Emily Fox represents private and public employers, large and small, in all aspects of labor and employment litigation. This includes suits for discrimination, failure to accommodate, defamation, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour, violation of leave laws and other matters. The more causes of action the merrier; complicated claims don't scare Ms. Fox. She also counsels clients on day-to-day employment matters and advises employers on the latest developments in workplace law and practice.

In addition to litigating and providing clients with employment-related guidance as needed, Ms. Fox trains human resource professionals and management on most aspects of employment law. And she conducts wage and hour audits to ensure employers are appropriately following California and federal employment laws.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

DANIEL C. GUNNING

Daniel C. Gunning is an associate in WTK's Employment Law Group. Mr. Gunning concentrates his practice on defending employers in discrimination, harassment, and retaliation litigation, and he also defends employers in wage and hour class actions. Mr. Gunning has extensive experience in both state and federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. In addition to litigation, Mr. Gunning advises employers regarding wage and hour compliance, exempt status, and overtime regulations. He has assisted companies by drafting employment agreements, separation agreements, confidentiality agreements and employee handbooks.
Education
  • University of Notre Dame
    Juris Doctorate

JOCELYN D. HANNAH

Jocelyn D. Hannah is an associate in the firm's business litigation group.

Her practice is focused on representing businesses in a general tort and complex business matters, professional liability, employment and appellate work.

Ms. Hannah's representation includes her involvement in an inverse condemnation and public nuisance action, class action energy litigation, commercial lease disputes involving environmental claims and other complex litigation.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

MICHAEL S. KALT

Michael Kalt is a partner in the Employment Law Practice Group of Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP, where he has worked since 1996. His employment law practice emphasizes the litigation and trial of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination cases in state and federal court. Michael also provides advice and training to employers on employee discipline and investigations, employment policies and procedures, and fair employment practices. Michael represents businesses of all sizes and in most industry sectors. He is an accomplished writer and oral advocate and has prevailed through summary judgment in dozens and dozens of litigated matters and has also prevailed before the California Supreme Court and California Court of Appeal, resulting in several published decisions. (Jones v. The Lodge at Torrey Pines Partnership (2008) 42 Cal.4th 1158 [no individual liability for FEHA retaliation], Acuna v. SDGE (2013) 217 Cal.4th 1402 [successive administrative charges does not extend statute of limitations after right-to-sue notice issued] and Tu v. UCSD Medical Centers (S.D. Ca. 2002) 201 F. Supp. 2d 1126 [precluding negligent infliction of emotional distress claims for intentional employment decisions].)

Michael is currently the Governmental Affairs Director for the California State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management (CalSHRM) and tracks and oversees the legislative advocacy efforts for its 18,000 members. He formerly was Vice President-Legislation for the San Diego Chapter of SHRM where he monitored the federal and state employment-related developments for its 1,000 members. He is also the Legislative Liaison and a Steering Committee Member for the Employment and Labor Committee for the Defense Research Institute. He is also the former author of the ADR Case Notes Column of the statewide publication:California Labor and Employment Review, and is the editor of the Firm's monthly employment newsletter. Michael has been an invited speaker and author of numerous employment law related articles, which have appeared in various statewide publications and he is a former Co-Chair of the San Diego County Bar's Labor & Employment Law Section.

Michael has been elected by fellow attorneys as a Super Lawyer by Law and Politics Magazine from 2007 to 2013 for labor and employment law. He was also named by the San Diego Daily Transcript as one of the top 10 Labor and Employment attorneys in 2009 and 2012, and by Super Lawyer as one of the top 10 attorneys in 2013 and one of the top 50 attorneys in San Diego in 2012. Michael was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in 2014 for Litigation - Labor and Employment. Michael received both his B.A. magna cum laude, and J.D. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Education
  • University of California, Los Angeles Law School
    Juris Doctorate

HUBERT KIM

Hubert Kim joined WTK in June of 2004 and is Senior Counsel in the firm's Business Litigation group. As part of his business and real estate litigation practice, Mr. Kim represents organizations of all sizes in complex disputes in federal and state court including contract disputes, violations of the federal Petroleum Marketing Practices Act and its California state law counterpart, franchise disputes, unfair business practice claims, partnership and close corporation disputes as well as real property and lease disputes. Mr. Kim has substantial litigation experience and his wide-ranging expertise and thoughtfulness have led to numerous favorable results for his clients.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

LOIS M. KOSCH

Ms. Kosch joined the firm in 1994 and is a partner in the Employment Law Practice Group. Her practice emphasizes the litigation of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and wage and hour matters. In addition to litigation, she regularly counsels employers on employment-related issues that range from hiring to firing of employees, including writing and reviewing policies and handbooks, analyzing adverse impact and advising employers on mass layoffs, conducting and overseeing investigations, and advising clients on leave of absence issues, disciplinary actions and terminations. Ms. Kosch represents clients of all sizes and in most industry sectors including national employers in the health care, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries. She has also advised and defended clients in both print and broadcast media on First Amendment and invasion of privacy issues.

Ms. Kosch served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Section and currently serves on the editorial board of the statewide publication: California Labor & Employment Law Review for which she writes a regular Wage and Hour update column. Ms. Kosch also serves on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) - San Diego chapter, and is the Editor of its quarterly ABTL Report. She has been elected by fellow attorneys as an Employment Litigation Super Lawyer by Law and Politics Magazine every year from 2007 - 2014. She is the recipient of the YMCA's 2002 Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN) award. Ms. Kosch is a frequent speaker and author on topics relating to employment law. In addition, has been a contributing author to several labor and employment books including CEB's Wrongful Employment Termination Practice and has authored numerous human resource and legal articles.
Education
  • Rutgers University, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

FREDERICK W. KOSMO, JR.

Mr. Kosmo is a partner with WTK with over 25 years of experience practicing in business litigation. After beginning his career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Mr. Kosmo joined WTK as part of its early formation in 1992. His experience encompasses multiple practice areas and involves the representation of companies across a broad spectrum of industries, including manufacturing, retail, technology, nutrition, energy, services, healthcare and real estate. These are often "high stakes" cases involving multi-million dollar claims and hotly contested litigation over issues such as business ownership interests.

As a result, Mr. Kosmo has significant experience in a wide range of contractual, business, partnership, consumer and business ownership disputes. Mr. Kosmo has represented clients in a variety of forums including state and federal courts, in trials, arbitrations and mediations. This includes representing clients before the California Supreme Court and successfully arguing cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Mr. Kosmo has successfully defended clients, including retailers, manufacturers and Fortune 500 companies in numerous consumer class actions. These class actions often include allegations of unfair business practices under section 17200 and claims under the California Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"). The cases have involved issues from gift cards, to wine bottles, and sales tax. Mr. Kosmo further has defended major clients against allegations of violation of Cal. Penal Code section 632 regarding recording calls, TCPA claims, and Prop 65 claims.

Mr. Kosmo has also defended all types of employment related claims including wrongful termination, race and age discrimination, harassment, disability discrimination, trade secret violations and interference with business claims. Mr. Kosmo has been called on by major clients to conduct independent factual investigations, especially involving a combination of employment, business and ethical issues.

Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of products have turned to Mr. Kosmo when they have become the target of a product liability lawsuit. He has successfully defended a vast array of corporations in various types of liability suits. These include representing Fortune 500 clients in MDL Litigation related to breast implants, latex gloves, PPA, and various other products.

Mr. Kosmo has also represented numerous parties in real property related litigation arising from purchase and sale agreements, commercial leases, real estate partnership agreements, and property management agreements. This includes a successful specific performance trial. His clients include owners, purchasers, developers, commercial landlords and tenants.

Experienced in a variety of healthcare litigation matters, Mr. Kosmo has represented healthcare providers and other managed care organizations in all areas of litigation. He has successfully defended major healthcare institutions in large reimbursement claim matters and against fair process claims by terminated physicians.

In addition to his active litigation practice, Mr. Kosmo is a respected leader in the legal community having held positions as the President of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers ("ABTL"), Chair of the Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Committee, President of the William L. Todd Inn of Court, and Commissioner on the San Diego City Redistricting Commission.

Mr. Kosmo graduated with honors, Order of the Coif, from the University of Southern California Law Center, where he served as an Article Editor, for the Southern California Law Review.
Education
  • University of Southern California, Law Center
    Juris Doctorate

JAMES P. LEONARD

James Leonard is a member our the firm's Employment Law and Business Litigation practice groups. He represents employers in all areas of employment litigation, including suits for wrongful termination, defamation, discrimination, wage and hour, and workers' compensation discrimination. He also counsels employers on everyday employment matters and advises employers regarding new legal developments in the workplace.

Mr. Leonard was a Rose Foundation Fellow for the First Amendment Project in 2008. He has extensive experience with First Amendment issues, including California's anti-SLAPP statute.
Education
  • University of San Francisco, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

MARISSA L. LYFTOGT

Marissa L. Lyftogt is an associate in WTK's Employment Law group. Her practice focuses on claims of harassment, retaliation, discrimination, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination. She also has extensive experience defending wage and hour class actions. In addition to defending employers through litigation, Marissa devotes her time assisting employers with compliance as she believes that proactive compliance is the best defense. In this capacity, she prepares training materials, provides counseling, and drafts employee handbooks, policies, pay plans, and employment agreements. Prior to joining the firm, Marissa worked at a national labor and employment law firm representing employers. Prior to her career as an attorney, she worked as a legal assistant at an HR and employment law consulting firm where she conducted wage and hour audits, assisted with workplace investigations and developed training programs on fair employment practices.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

MERYL C. MANEKER

Meryl C. Maneker is a partner at WTK, where her practice focuses on the defense of class actions as well as the areas of product liability, employment and general business litigation.

In her class action practice, Ms. Maneker has extensive experience defending businesses in cases filed in state and federal court involving a wide range of issues including alleged violation of wage and hour laws, alleged defective products, and consumer claims. She has also defended numerous clients against claims of unfair competition under California's unique statute, Business & Professions Code section 17200.

Ms. Maneker's product liability practice focuses on the defense of manufacturers, distributors and retailers of products. Her clients are corporations in a wide range of industries, including the manufacturers of automobiles and medical products.

Ms. Maneker's employment litigation practice focuses on the defense of employers in lawsuits involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, leave laws, wage and hour law, and other types of employment-related litigation.
Education
  • New York University, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

KATHERINE M. MCCRAY

Katherine McCray is an associate in WTK's Business Litigation and Employment Law Groups. Ms. McCray represents companies in contract, real property and other complex litigation matters. Her employment law practice includes representing employers in variety of employment disputes including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, wage and hour matters, and labor relations disputes.
Education
  • Yale University
    Juris Doctorate

MARTINA M. NAGLE

Martina ("Tina") Nagle represents employers in discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other employment-related litigation matters in state and federal courts. She also advises employers in personnel matters, and on compliance with state and federal employment law.

Ms. Nagle is admitted to practice before all California state courts and all federal district courts in California. She has received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating provided, based on the confidential opinions of members of the bar and judiciary. She was recently recognized as a "top lawyer" in employment law by San Diego magazine, March 2013 and 2014.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

DESSI P. NINTCHEVA

Dessi Nintcheva is a Senior Associate with WTK Employment Law Practice Group. She has been with the firm since 2003. Her employment law practice is focused on representing employers in a wide spectrum of employment disputes, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act, wage and hour litigation and trade secret violations. Dessi also provides advice to employers on employee discipline and investigations, employment policies and procedures and employment agreements. Dessi represents businesses of all sizes and in most industry sectors.

Prior to joining the firm's Employment Law Group, Dessi represented national and local clients in product liability and business litigation matters. Dessi is involved in several professional organizations. She has served on the Planning Committee for the DRI Employment and Labor Law Annual Seminar from 2009 to present. She is also a Steering Committee Member of the DRI Employment and Labor Law Committee and a former Co-Chair of the Litigation Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association.
Education
  • University of North Carolina, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

KRYSTAL L. NORRIS

Krystal Norris is a member of the firm's Business Litigation, Employment Law and Products Liability practice groups. Prior to joining Wilson Turner Kosmo, Ms. Norris served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia, District Judge in the Southern District of California. During law school, Ms. Norris was the Executive Comments Editor for the San Diego Law Review, an Appellate Moot Court board member, and Chair of the Graduate Student Council. Prior to her career as an attorney, Ms. Norris was a seventh and eighth grade teacher in the Coachella Valley School District.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

KATHERINE K. POTHIER

Katie Pothier joined WTK on November 1, 2010 after finishing her eighth season as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the San Diego Padres - where she advised the Club on all disciplines of the business, supervising outside counsel, enforcing intellectual property rights, providing risk management advice and establishing and implementing best practices for daily operations and long-term planning. In addition to overseeing the Padres day-to-day legal affairs, Ms. Pothier supervised the Human Resources functions of the Club to ensure legal compliance and achieve best practices in all areas of employee relations. Ms. Pothier also managed the Club's relationship with its union work force and had the unique opportunity to represent the Club during baseball salary arbitrations. Prior to joining the Padres, Ms. Pothier worked as a trial lawyer at the law firm of Coughlan, Semmer and Lipman for seven years where her practice included litigating complex business and white-collar criminal matters including actions involving legal malpractice, health care billing fraud, criminal tax matters, political corruption, financial institution fraud and securities fraud.

At WTK, Ms. Pothier will draw on her litigation experience and in-house experience to counsel and defend clients in a variety of business and employment matters including: wage and hour issues; effective performance management; union grievances; general business disputes; and complex business litigation. Ms. Pothier was honored to be designated as one of San Diego's Top Corporate Counsel by the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2008 and 2010.

Pothier has a keen interest in sports and the business of sports and was integral part in establishing the Padres unique partnership with San Diego State University and its Sports Management MBA Program. In addition, Pothier is a strong supporter of community efforts and currently serves as a board member for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, San Diego Chapter where she served as chair, and as a board member for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program. A native of New Jersey, Pothier earned both her undergraduate and her law degree from Rutgers University.
Education
  • Rutgers University, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

ROBERT C. RODRIGUEZ

Robert C. Rodriguez is a member of WTK's Product Liability group. His practice is primarily focused on the defense of national automotive manufactures against negligence and strict products liability lawsuits in both state and federal court.

In addition, Mr. Rodriguez represents automotive manufactures in a host of breach of warranty claims brought under the Song-Beverly Act and Magnusson-Moss Act. Mr. Rodriguez also has extensive knowledge and experience defending insurance companies and governmental entities in complex litigation matters. Mr. Rodriguez has also successfully represented a number of subcontractors in large multi-party construction defect matters. In November 2008, Robert was named to the San Diego Daily Transcript's Top Young Attorneys of 2008.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rodriguez was an associate attorney at Mayall, Hurley, Knutsen, Smith & Green, an AV-rated civil litigation firm in Stockton, California.
Education
  • University of California, Davis School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

ROBERT A. SHIELDS

Robert A. Shields is a partner at WTK and has been with the firm since 2000. His practice is focused on the representation of automobile, motorcycle, automotive component parts, and industrial equipment manufacturers who have been sued for damages in catastrophic injuries. In addition, Mr. Shields supervises his firm's representation of product manufacturers in a host of breach of warranty claims based on the Song-Beverly and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Acts.

Rob has defended several cases that have been dismissed on summary judgment motions, including claims of negligence, design defect, breach of warranty, breach of contract, fraud, and misrepresentation. Mr. Shields has been responsible for regional and statewide defense programs concerning consumer litigation, manufacture, design and warning defect claims.

He has consulted with manufacturers in the development of policies for product litigation management, product warranties, and compliance issues. He has managed and defended complex toxic tort cases, including chemical exposures. He has significant experience implementing strategies for clients involved in national litigation, managing statewide, regional and national caseloads, managing discovery, and conducting expert depositions.

He has successfully mediated well over a hundred cases to creative and successful conclusion. He has successfully analyzed and prepared cases at the pleading stage to promote early resolution, mediation and dismissal based on lack of merit. Since 2000, he has taken approximately 2,000 cases to resolution.
Education
  • University of Illinois
    Juris Doctorate

MORGAN P. SUDER

Morgan Suder is a member of the firm's Business Litigation, Employment Law and Product Liability practice groups. Prior to joining Wilson Turner Kosmo, Ms. Suder externed for the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia in the Southern District of California and the Honorable J. Michael Seabright in the District of Hawaii, and clerked at the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego. In law school, Ms. Suder was a Comment Editor for the San Diego Law Review, a National Team Competitor and member of the Appellate Moot Court Executive Board, and the American Bar Association Law Student Division Chair.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

CHRISTINA M. TAPIA

Christina Tapia is an associate and member of the Employment Law practice group of Wilson Turner Kosmo. Ms. Tapia has experience in all aspects of litigation, including preparing and arguing motions, witness interviews, depositions, discovery, mediation, settlement, defending clients at trial, and drafting post-trial motions. Ms.Tapia has worked on numerous matters dealing with discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour claims. Ms. Tapia has assisted employers in their drafting of employee handbooks and provided counseling on employment-related matters. Ms. Tapia has also represented clients in charges filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Employment Development Department, and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Additionally, Ms. Tapia has defended employers during investigations and audits conducted by the Department of Labor.

Ms. Tapia's work in the community includes previously serving as a faculty member of the University of San Diego's Paralegal Program where she taught a course on employment law. Prior to beginning her legal career, Ms. Tapia gained invaluable employment law experience working with the Los Angeles District Office of the California Labor Commissioner and the California Teachers Association, Legal Division. In 2007, Ms. Tapia was designated as one of San Diego County's top young attorneys by The Daily Transcript.
Education
  • University of California, San Diego
    Juris Doctorate

VICKIE E. TURNER

Vickie E. Turner is a partner at WTK. Ms. Turner has 32 years of experience in complex litigation matters filed against corporations, with extensive emphasis in the areas of product liability, class actions, general business litigation, and warranty.

Ms. Turner has successfully defended manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in complex product liability claims throughout California, and in 12 other western states. She was defense counsel for Ford Motor Company in a product liability case that was named one of the Top 20 Defense Counsel Verdicts for 2003. She was selected as one of California's Top Women Litigators by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and has been named one of San Diego's top product liability defense attorneys by San Diego Super Lawyers each year from 2007 through 2013. She was chosen for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 in the area of product liability, and named the Best Lawyers' 2012 San Diego Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Women Attorneys in San Diego in 2012 and 2013. She was also recently honored by Union Bank and KPBS as a "local hero" for her community service.

Ms. Turner has represented a wide array of companies in the defense of tort and business disputes. Throughout her career, Ms. Turner has actively participated in lengthy mediations and arbitrations, and has defended numerous class action lawsuits, including consumer class actions, unfair business practices, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Ms. Turner joined Wilson Turner Kosmo as a partner in 1998 after being an associate and partner with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego for 16 years. Throughout her career, Ms. Turner has received numerous awards and honors, including Outstanding Trial Lawyer award from the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association, Outstanding Service to the Legal Profession award presented by the San Diego County Bar Association, Women Who Mean Business award from the San Diego Business Journal, the Frederick Douglass award by the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, Women of Distinction award from Women's Inc., Outstanding Service award from National Bar Association, Phenomenal Woman award presented by San Diego County Ethnic Minority Bar Association, and Community Service award from Sisters by Choice.

Ms. Turner has participated in multiple forums, workshops, and seminars on a wide variety of topics, including corporate witness preparation, Airbag and Passenger Restraint Claims, Minority Representation of Corporate America in Catastrophic and High Stakes Litigation, Effectively Developing and Managing Successful Business Relationships, Diversity in the Courtroom - Defending Product Liability Cases, and Ethically Representing Your Client in the Court of Public Opinion.
Education
  • University of San Diego, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

CLAUDETTE G. WILSON

Ms. Wilson has been a partner with the firm since its founding in 1991, and leads the Employment Law Practice Group. Ms. Wilson has been representing companies in employment litigation for over 30 years. Her litigation practice includes both wage and hour class actions and single plaintiff claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other employment-related matters. She regularly counsels employers on employment-related issues, including avoiding claims, reductions in force, disciplinary actions and terminations. Ms. Wilson represents businesses of all sizes in a wide variety of industry sectors.

Ms. Wilson has significant trial experience in state and federal courts in a wide range of employment matters, including disability and age discrimination, wrongful termination, failure to hire, defamation, breach of contract, and trade secret theft. She has sought and defended claims for injunctive relief involving trade secrets and non-compete agreements, has handled government agency hearings and trials, and argued employment issues before the California Court of Appeal and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Education
  • University of California, Davis School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

ROBIN A. WOFFORD

Robin A. Wofford is a partner at WTK. Ms. Wofford's 25 plus years of trial experience includes extensive experience in the areas of employment litigation, general business litigation, class actions and healthcare litigation.

Ms. Wofford has represented employers in disputes regarding wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, trade secret, and wage disputes. Ms. Wofford has successfully handled various class actions, including wage and hour, consumer and unfair business practices. She has also successfully tried numerous wrongful termination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination and business disputes.

Clients ranging from large corporations to small businesses and individuals have turned to Ms. Wofford to litigate disputes arising out of daily operations. Such claims include breach of contract, violations of PMPA, unfair business practices, unfair competition and franchise disputes. Ms. Wofford has successfully defended numerous consumer class actions brought under the CLRA and California Business and Professions Code. Ms. Wofford has also handled various real estate broker malpractice cases, and product liability matters.

Ms. Wofford has represented physician groups and other managed care organizations in utilization review, medical necessity, "failure to refer" and coverage disputes. She has also represented health care providers in reimbursement litigation and successfully pursued business claims on behalf of large health care institutions and laboratories.
Education
  • Pepperdine University, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

LEONID M. ZILBERMAN

Leonid "Lonny" Zilberman is a partner in the firm's Employment Law Practice Group. Mr. Zilberman works with employers to find practical, cost-effective strategies to their workforce problems. Mr. Zilberman has broad experience resolving potentially explosive employment law issues before they escalate. Clients rely on Mr. Zilberman's creative strategies to solve complex employment matters within the framework of their business goals. He advises clients on a broad range of employment issues, such as Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, and WARN; drafting and analyzing employment and non-compete agreements; developing and implementing personnel policies and procedures; hiring, firing and managing employees; conducting internal sexual harassment, whistleblower and misconduct investigations; conducting "best practices" audits and management trainings; handling DOL investigations; and defending discrimination claims before the EEOC, DFEH and other state administrative agencies.

Mr. Zilberman has an active litigation practice, representing employers in breach of contract, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, whistleblower, and non-compete actions, as well as wage and hour class actions. He practices regularly in federal and state courts, in private mediation and arbitration proceedings, and before the EEOC and equivalent state administrative agencies.

In 2007, Mr. Zilberman was named by the San Diego Metropolitan Magazine to its annual list of "Top 40 under 40", recognizing his professional and civic accomplishments. In 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Mr. Zilberman was honored as one of San Diego's Top 10 Employment Lawyers by the San Diego Daily Transcript. Since 2010, Mr. Zilberman was also recognized as a San Diego Super Lawyer, an honor bestowed on only the top 5% of attorneys in the state, as selected by his peers. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer rating (AV "Preeminent") for legal ability and ethical standards. Mr. Zilberman earned his J.D. degree at Santa Clara University School of Law (1995) where he was Order of the Barristers. He received his B.A. degree, in political science and international relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1990). Mr. Zilberman is fluent in Russian.
Education
  • Santa Clara University, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate
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