Marie D. DiSante

Firm Managing Partner, Orange County
mdisante@cdflaborlaw.com
(949) 622-1661
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If I Wasn't a Lawyer, I’d Be: Host of my own cooking show on the Food Network Channel

Toughest Job: Waitress, far more stressful than being an attorney

Provides foster homes to dogs through Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southern California

Favorite Quote: “My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am.”

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About Marie

An employment litigation attorney whose dual role as a California business owner and entrepreneur allows her to understand her clients’ workplace challenges firsthand, Marie DiSante has been resolving and preventing disputes for employers for 29 years.  Her active leadership in the business community shapes her effective, practical and value-driven counsel to employers of all sizes, from startup ventures to Fortune 500 enterprises.

After founding the firm with her partners in 1994, DiSante positioned her clients in the forefront of emerging and unprecedented class action litigation in the state, especially in wage and hour compliance cases. Her facility with introducing a strategic business view within a legal context has resulted in numerous favorable outcomes in complex employment law litigation and litigation avoidance.  

In one representative example, DiSante dramatically reduced the threat of five concurrent putative class actions filed by five separate sets of plaintiffs' counsel in five separate counties. Her assertive representation of her client, a national telecommunications retailer with a significant California workforce, included defending claims covering a variety of overlapping alleged wage and hour violations involving meal and rest breaks, misclassification, off-the-clock work, failure to reimburse business expenses, miscalculation of the overtime pay rate, and minimum wage issues. 

DiSante’s experience also includes a broad range of single-plaintiff actions, EEO compliance, personnel policy implementation, performance management and reductions-in-force counsel. 

Throughout her client representations, DiSante leverages her conflict resolution skills, gained in state and federal courts and alternative dispute resolution venues, to offer real-life, pragmatic approaches that foster safe, productive workplaces and prevent employee claims.  At the center of her advice and counsel is a deeply held wish to add value to clients’ businesses, as well as create a rewarding workplace for employees.

Ongoing education and participation in the business and legal communities are key components in DiSante’s counsel to clients.  DiSante serves as a founding member of several Southern California business organizations, including the Collaboration of Professional Women (ProVisors), Orange County Law Firm Leadership Roundtable, Orange County Women Lawyers Roundtable and Women Presidents’ Organization, Orange County Chapter.  DiSante also is an active member of Vistage, a CEO peer advisory group to which she has belonged for over ten years.

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Education

Southern Methodist University School of Law, Order of the Coif, J.D., 1988

Texas Christian University, B.S., summa cum laude, 1985

Presentations

“How to Avoid Liability When Hiring and Firing Employees,” American Academy of Attorney CPAs 2017 Fall Meeting & Education Conference, November  2017

"Recent Developments in Employment Law," Panel Moderator, Human Capital Affinity Group (Provisors), March 2017

“Recent Developments in Employment Law,” Co-Presenter, Orange County Lawyers and Legal Professionals, March 2017

"Update on Employment Law for the Practitioner and the Client," Co-Presenter, Women Lawyers Roundtable, January 2017

“Growing a Law Practice,” Women Lawyers Roundtable, January 2016

“Get Ready for 2016: New Employment Laws in California and What to Do About Them,” Women Presidents’ Organization, January 2016

"When to Let COBRA Loose for Employees On Leave," CDF Webinar, December 2015

"How To Protect Against The Continued Onslaught Of Wage And Hour Litigation," Article, Orange County Business Journal, October 2015

"What's Trending In CA Employment Law," Entrepreneurs' Organization - OC Chapter, April 2015

"Mandatory Sick Leave, Contractor Wage and Hour Liability & Beyond: New Employment Laws California Employers Need to Prepare for in 2015," Women Presidents' Organization, January 2015

"New Challenges for California Employers: What You Need to Know for 2014," Women Presidents' Organization - OC II Chapter, February 2014

"Seven Tips For Law Practices To Avoid Bias & Other Workplace Claims," Co-Presenter, OCBA – Solo Practitioner/Small Firm Section, January 2014

"Wage & Hour Risk Management in CA: The Top Issues That Expose Employers to Claims & Lawsuits," CDF HR Roundtable, May 2013

"Elimination of Bias in Law Firms: Six Scenarios," Co-Presenter, OC Law Firm Leadership Roundtable, May 2013

"Top 15 Tips for Employers for 2013 & Beyond," Lawyers Roundtable, May 2013

"CDF’s Top 15 Tips for Employers for 2013 & Beyond,” Vistage, March 2013

“Top Ten Employment Law Concerns for Businesses in 2013,” OC Lawyers & Legal Professionals Group, ProVisors, March 2013

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated

Listed, Best Lawyers®, Employment Law - Management, Irvine, 2018

Listed, Best Lawyers®, Litigation - Labor and Employment, Irvine, 2018

Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2014 - 2017

Nominated, Women in Business Awards, Orange County Business Journal, 2013 - 2016

Fellow, Orange County Bar Foundation

Lex Romana (Orange County Bar Association), 2011 - present

Collaboration of Professional Women (ProVisors), Founding Group Leader, 2010 - present

ProVisors, 2008 - present

Orange County Law Firm Leadership Roundtable, Founding Member, 2007 - present

Women Lawyers Roundtable, 2012 - present

Women Presidents’ Organization, OC Chapter, Founding Member, 2006 - present

Vistage, Chief Executive Peer Advisory Group, Member, 2006 - present

Orange County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Member (Chairperson, 1993)

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