Stefanie helps businesses navigate California’s complex regulatory structures and manage the associated compliance burdens and liability risks so each client can focus on their business. Stefanie also counsels and negotiates for clients who are the target of federal and state government investigations and other private enforcement activity and litigates to resolve cases in court and before administrative tribunals.
Stefanie is a member of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, a former law clerk to the Honorable Irma E. Gonzalez of the US District Court for the Southern District of California, and in 2015 was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Southern California Super Lawyers and among the “Best of the Bar” by the San Diego Business Journal. Prior to joining Trails Law Group, Stefanie practiced law at Dentons US (formerly McKenna Long and Luce Forward).
Stefanie’s experience includes:
- Defending class actions involving claims of violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, Invasion of Privacy Act, and wage and hour-related claims, including:
- Defending, among others, a distilled spirits company and a food manufacturing company in “all natural” class actions alleging false and misleading labels.
- Defending businesses against claims of violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act in “recorded call” class actions.
- Defending employers in class actions involving wage and hour, misclassification, and expense-reimbursement claims.
- Advising clients on compliance with California’s Brown Act (guaranteeing the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies) and Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (governing meeting access for state agencies).
- Assisting clients in requesting or responding to requests for records under the California Public Records Act.
- Defending a resort operator in a class action brought by timeshare owners alleging water intrusion and mold growth. After successfully opposing plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, won summary judgment dismissing all claims.
- Counseling consumer product manufacturers and retailers on compliance with California’s Proposition 65 (the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act) and defending companies in toxic tort and product liability actions brought under Prop 65 and other laws.
- Conducting workplace investigations into harassment claims and possible trade secret misappropriation.
- Representing regulated parties in defense of environmental claims brought under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, including:
- Defending a manufacturer in EPA administrative proceedings alleging disposal of hazardous waste in violation of RCRA permitting requirements.
- Representing property owners in prosecution and defense of environmental cost recovery/contribution claims in state and federal courts.
- Representing public agencies and developers in California Environmental Quality Act and land use litigation.
- Board Member, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
- Advisory Board Member, Fair Play for Girls in Sports
- Member, Honorary Committee for the 2015 ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship
- Board Member, The Thacher School Board of Trustees
- Volunteer, Challenged Athletes Foundation
- Volunteer, Urban Surf 4 Kids
- “Ninth Circuit Rulings Yield Changes to Endangered Species Act Rules and Policies” ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, September/October 2015.
- “Seeking Clearer Waters? EPA Aims to Clarify Federal Jurisdiction in the New ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule,” Dentons Client Alert, May 29, 2015
- “Just Like We Learned From Mom: If You Don’t Have Something Nice to Say, Consider Whether You May Be Liable for Defamation,” SDS/ Newsletter, October 7, 2013
- “How to Stage Modern Sports Experience in Nontraditional Setting” – Sports Business Journal – May 20, 2013.
- “Ask the Expert: California Supreme Court Takes Stand to Protect Consumers and Online Retailers,” Transworld Business, February 13, 2013.
- “It Ain’t Easy Being Green in California,” SDSI Newsletter, October 5, 2012
- “Forty Million Reasons to Think Before You Make a Marketing Claim,” Transworld Business, May, 2012
- “California Throws a Penalty Flag on Retailers’ Zip Code Requests,” NSGA Retail Focus, November/December, 2011
- “Where Do You Live? … Retailers Want to Know!” Transworld Business, June, 2011
- “Do (Your) Diligence: Managing Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions,” Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter, Real Estate Round Table, November 8, 2013
- “Environmental Issues in Commercial Transactions: From Dirt to Debt, Be Diligent!” Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter, Brown Bag Program, San Diego, October 7, 2010
Areas of Focus
- Class Action Defense
- Commercial Litigation
- Environmental Regulation
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Real Estate
- Emory University School of Law, 2005, JD, cum laude
- Emory University, 2000, BA (History and Political Science), magna cum laude
- US District Court for the Central District of California
- US District Court for the Southern District of California