Sierra has been practicing law in San Diego since 2004 with a focus on labor and employment issues, personal injury and business litigation on behalf of both individuals and business entities.

Sierra works closely with corporate counsel, human resource personnel, insurance companies and business owners, providing counseling and assistance in prevention, investigation and early resolution of employment and business related issues. She is also experienced at both prosecuting and defending these types of disputes and claims throughout the litigation process.

Sierra is active in the legal community including membership in the San Diego County Bar Association for which she will serve as the 2019 Vice Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section, Lawyers Club of San Diego, and the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association including acting as the 2015-2016 Chair of the Employment and Labor Law Committee. She is also a regular contributor to legal publications for the ABA and the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego as well as a frequent provider of legal education including speaking/presenting for continuing legal education programs and providing legal updates/training regarding employment law to local organizations and businesses. Additionally, Sierra is also involved in the San Diego community at large, including acting as a mentor, pro bono counsel, volunteer and/or Board Member for several local non-profit organizations.

Completing studies at the Libera Universita di Lingue Moderne in Milan, Italy; the Centro de Lenguas e Intercambio Cultura in Seville, Spain; the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Florence, Italy; and a work abroad program in Melbourne, Australia, Sierra is a world travel enthusiast and is always plotting her next adventure abroad.

education

  • University of Puget Sound (B.A., 2000)
  • Santa Clara University School of Law (J.D., 2004)

memberships

  • American Bar Association (Member, 2005-present); ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (Member, 2013- present); ABA TIPS Employment & Labor Law Committee (2013 – present; Committee Chair, 2015-2016); Law in Public Service Committee (2016-present); Women Trial Lawyers General Committee (2016-present); Tortsource Editorial Board (2013-2018); Law Journal Editorial Board (2018-present)
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (Member, 2007-present; Women’s Advocacy Committee, 2018)
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Member General Civil Litigation & Employment Law Sections, 2005-present; 2007 Executive Committee; 2019 Vice-Chair Employment & Labor Law Section)

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Presenter, Employment Law Update for San Diego Human Resources Forum (January 2018, September 2018; December 2018)
  • Speaker, Annual Legal Update-Employment Law, Associated Subcontractors Alliance, San Diego Chapter (2016-2018)
  • Author, ABA article, “Employers’ Ability to Limit Employees’ Online Activities Curtailed as Social Media Policies Come Under Scrutiny” (July 2013)
  • Author, Consumer Attorneys of SD, Trial Bar News Article, “Show Me the Money -New Law Provides Greater Transparency in Issues of Equal Pay” (December 2015)
  • Author, ABA CLE materials, “Tips for Employers Regarding Prevention of Employment Litigation” (January 2016)
  • Author, ABA Article, “Combating Violence in the Workplace” (June 2016)
  • Organizer/Panel Moderator, ABA CLE, “Minefields of the Modern Employee Handbook” (August 2016)
  • Author, Consumer Attorneys of SD, Trial Bar News Article, “Making (It) Facebook Official—Authenticating and Admitting Social Media Evidence” (January 2017)
  • Author, Consumer Attorneys of SD, Trial Bar News Article, “Got PAGA?  Understanding the Process and Discovery Under California’s Private Attorneys General Act” (February 2018)
  • Speaker, ABA Webinar, “No Sir! You Can’t Steal My Clients! Or Maybe You Can: Effective Strategies for Preparing, Negotiating, Litigating and Avoiding Restrictive Covenants” (November 2018)

community service

  • Mentor to Law Students/New Lawyers, Lawyers Club of San Diego (ongoing)
  • Mentor to high school students, Crawford Law Academy (2015)
  • Pro Bono Counsel/Board ●  Bayside Community Center (Non-Profit) ● 2014 - 2017
  • Pro Bono Counsel ●  Doggie Street Festival (Non-Profit) ● Volunteer 2008-2011; Pro Bono Counsel 2009-present

Related News

10.29.18

Schwartz Semerdjian is proud to announce that firm partner Sierra Spitzer has been elected as the 2019 Vice Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. Congratulations, Sierra!

9.18.18

Partner Sierra Spitzer was a guest attorney speaker at the SDHR Forum Meeting providing a presentation on the upswing in PAGA litigation. Click here for the presentation handout re California Labor Code's Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”).

9.5.18

Schwartz Semerdjian is proud to announce a recent victory in the appellate court for client Ace Parking Management, Inc. in Los Angeles.  Ace Parking was sued by a former model after she was injured walking under a parking gate arm.  Schwartz Semerdjian partners Dick Semerdjian and Sierra Spitzer worked diligently on the case, and hope the ruling discourages future frivolous law suits against long-time client Ace Parking.  The decision was featured in Law360, click here for the full article.  Congratulations to our team for their expert counsel!

1.12.18

On February 7, 2018, the Associated Subcontractors Alliance will host their Annual Construction Law Update, an information packed review of new and noteworthy employment and labor laws and regulations that affect those in the construction industry. Schwartz Semerdjian attorneys Kevin Cauley, Sierra Spitzer and Kristen Bush will present on various topics, including prevailing wage, AB 1701, worksite immigration, enforcement and protections, paid family leave benefits, public work procurement methods, public and private work contracts, attorney's fee recovery, licensing, indemnification, as well as recent court decisions including the prevailing party's entitlement to attorney's fees, promissory estoppel in public and private contracts, indemnification, and public contract bidding issues. Click here for the event flyer. Registration can be completed online at the ASA website.

8.14.17

Schwartz Semerdjian partner Sierra Spitzer has been appointed Vice-Chair for the Business Litigation General Committee and the Employment and Labor Law General Committee. In addition, Sierra has been appointed to the TortSource Editorial Board Standing Committee, Law in Public Service Standing Committee, Women Trial Lawyers Task Force & Outreach to Young Lawyers Committee. All of these committees are within the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association (ABA). Congratulations, Sierra!

1.2.17

Partners Kevin Cauley and Sierra Spitzer will provide a review of new and noteworthy employment laws and regulations and how these impact the construction industry’s workforce at the Associated Subcontractors Alliance (ASA) Construction Law Update on January 11, 2017. The presentation will include information regarding minimum wage, itemized wage statements under Labor Code Section 226, fair pay amendments, and paid family leave benefits. They will discuss recent court decisions which impact contractors. These decisions will include the validity of a general contractor relying on a bid number while ignoring other material terms and conditions in a subcontractor's bid, interpretation of written indemnification provisions with respect to employee injuries on construction sites, and subcontractor entitlements to late payment penalties under the prompt payment statutes for past retention payments withheld by the project owner. Click here for the event flyer.

8.4.16

Schwartz Semerdjian partner Sierra Spitzer received an “Exceptional Achievement” award during the Annual American Bar Association Meeting in San Francisco.  Sierra was honored for her work as the 2015-2016 Chair of the Employment & Labor Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association (ABA).  Congratulations, Sierra!

12.14.15

Partners Kevin Cauley and Sierra Spitzer will provide a review of new and noteworthy employment laws and regulations and how these impact the construction industry’s workforce at the Associated Subcontractors Alliance (ASA) Construction Law Update on January 13, 2016. The presentation will include information regarding skilled workforce requirements, electronic certified payroll requirements, and recent court decisions which impact contractors. These decisions will include the validity of lease-leaseback delivery systems that discuss the Davis v. Fresno Unified School District case. This decision deals with lease-leaseback and the issue of competitive bidding on lease-leaseback projects. The Court of Appeal recently issued a decision in Jeff Tracy, Inc. v City of Pico Rivera with important implications with respect to the requirements to be proven for a contractor to collect in a lawsuit. Click here for the event flyer.