Deborah is a trained mediator and Title IX hearing officer. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and a certified EEOC investigator.
Deborah’s practice focuses on workplace investigations into claims of workplace misconduct, including claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation and claims of improper governmental activities. Deborah is experienced in conducting Internal Affairs investigations, and those involving the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. Deborah is also an experienced investigator in Title IX sexual assault claims, and a founding member of T9 Mastered, a training firm for Title IX investigations. She is experienced in testifying regarding completed investigations. Deborah also provides hearing officer and mediation services, as well as advice and counseling regarding employment matters. She provides consulting regarding optimal management practices, including one-on-one executive coaching.
Deborah is an experienced and effective trainer, and provides training to all levels of management on a variety of legal issues, including sexual harassment prevention, discrimination prevention and legal compliance with conflict of interest laws and policies. She has provided in-house training to staff investigators regarding how to conduct effective investigations that focus on ensuring that internal reviews are fair and thorough, as required by law. Her training is consistently rated excellent, and focuses on best practices and practical approaches and solutions. Deborah has written online training courses in the areas of sexual harassment prevention and best employment practices.
Prior to creating her employment law firm, Deborah served as Counsel to the University of California, Davis, where she was routinely called upon to advise all levels of management regarding a wide variety of employment law situations. In this role, she conducted, oversaw and managed many investigations and advised and collaborated with management regarding the appropriate follow-up to investigative findings and conclusions. She worked with campus units related to all aspects of employment management, including the proper application of and compliance with state and federal employment laws, grievance and arbitration administration, personnel policy development and interpretation and complaint resolution processes. She provided direction regarding the proper administration of personnel actions, evaluations, hiring decisions, corrective action and progressive discipline, up to and including dismissals. She negotiated and drafted separation agreements. At UC Davis, Deborah served as an active member and collaborated on a variety of campus team projects and standing committees, including the Ethics Advisory Committee, the Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Case Management Team, the Faculty Accommodation and Disability Assessment Team and the Student Crisis Response Team.
Deborah has served as counsel to the statewide ethics watchdog, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, where she provided continuing legal education training for attorneys statewide, and ethics training to state employees as mandated by state law. She wrote formal advice letters, drafted regulations and advised the Commission on a variety of legal matters. In addition, she litigated in state and federal courts, including the California Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court.
Deborah began her legal career in 1993 as a litigator with the Sacramento-based law firm Boutin, Dentino, Gibson & Di Giusto. She managed and litigated cases, and wrote trial briefs and appellate briefs. In addition to conducting trials, she participated in arbitrations and mediations, negotiated settlements, took depositions and argued numerous law and motion matters.
CA State Bar No. 167875