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 over 30 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.
Areas of Practice
Wrongful Termination and Workplace Tort Litigation
Wage and Hour Issues
Workplace Solutions, Advice and Training
Southern Methodist University School of Law, Order of the Coif, J.D., 1988
Texas Christian University, B.S., summa cum laude, 1985
"Mentoring and Training New Firm Lawyers in the 2020s," Quoted, Orange County Lawyer, November 2022
“Storm of Sexual Harassment Claims Expected to Continue,” Quoted, Digital Journal, May 2018
“Can You Fire an Employee For Off-Duty Conduct?” Co-Author, Orange County Business Journal, October 2017
Sampling of Most Recent Presentations:
"Human Resources Panel," Panelist, GLOVIS HRMC Conference, October 2022
“COVID Compliance and Planning for the Future,” Co-Presenter, 2022 Business Owners' Forum, CalPrivate Bank, February 2022
“Return to the Workplace in the Age of COVID-19,” Co-Presenter, Sage Executive Group, May 2020
"Episode 2: Key Steps to Rebuild a Strong Operational Foundation in the Wake of COVID-19," Co-Presenter, Business Rising Advisors, May 2020
"Episode 1: Ground Zero: How Do I Stabilize by Business During COVID-19?" Co-Presenter, Business Rising Advisors, April 2020
"California 2020 Employment Law: What you need to know this Year. An Employment Law and HR Panel Perspective,” Co-Presenter, Human Resources Seminar, February 2020
"Avoiding Employee Lawsuits," Sage Executive Group, February 2020
"Toxic Employees – How to Legally Deal with Them & Protect Your Business," Van Beurden Breakfast Briefing, October 2019
"Workplace Investigations Gone Wrong: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls That Expose Employers to Liability," Moderator, CDF Webinar, May 2019
"2019 California Employment Law Update,” Sage Executive Group, March 2019
"2019 California Labor Law and HR Update,” Co-Presenter, OCBA, Business and Corporate Law Section, March 2019
“Employment Law Developments,” Co-Presenter, ProVisors/JWA Group, January 2019
"Women on Boards, the What, How & Why," Panel Participant, Center Club's Women Impact Council (WIC) & ProVisors, September 2018
"New Employment Legislation, Significant Recent Judicial Decisions and Other Hot Trends in Employment Law," Ethos Networking Group, August 2018
"New California Employment Laws for 2018 & Reminders from 2017," ProVisors Irvine Concourse, March 2018
"California Labor and Employment Law Year in Review – Key Developments from 2017 and Tips to Ensure Compliance in 2018," Co-Presenter, Orange County Bar Association, February 2018
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated
Recipient, Vistage, Orange County Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022
Honoree, Corporate Counsel's National Women in Law Awards "Lifetime Achievement," 2018
Listed, Best Lawyers®, Employment Law (Management), Litigation (Labor and Employment), and Labor Law (Management), Irvine, CA, 2018 - 2024
Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers®, 2014 - 2023
Listed, SuperLawyers®, Top 50 Attorneys in Orange County, 2019 & 2020
Nominated, Women in Business Awards, Orange County Business Journal, 2013 - 2023
Member, Board of Directors for Masters Division of the Orange County Bar Association, 2023
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)