Dawn T. Collins


Dawn has over 15 years of experience as a civil litigator, with an emphasis on the defense of employers in all areas of employment related litigation, including wage and hour class actions, sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation in both state and federal court, arbitration as well as administrative hearings, including:

  • Lead trial counsel for a major California manufacturer in an alleged discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination dispute. Dawn secured a complete defense award and recovered cost from the plaintiff.
  • Lead trial counsel for securities brokerage firm in multi-million dollar dispute regarding the independent contractor status of former broker and improper investment practices. Successfully defeated all of plaintiff's causes of action and recovered attorneys' fees and cost from Plaintiff. (NASD Arbitration).
  • Trial counsel for European satellite television provider in multi-million dollar contractual dispute with major U.S. motion picture studio regarding the distribution, content and licensing of a satellite channel. Successfully defended claims related to proprietary satellite television technology. (International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration).
  • Trial counsel for a national private university in a sexual harassment case in which the defendant prevailed and recovered costs from the plaintiff.

Dawn regularly defends wage and hour class actions brought under California and federal wage and hour laws alleging meal and rest break violations, off-the-clock work, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to reimburse business expenses as well as misclassification issues. Most recently, Dawn short circuited a wage and hour class action on summary judgment by successfully arguing no employment relationship existed between the two corporate defendants and the putative class. Among other class action successes, Dawn has defeated class certification on behalf of a major satellite television provider based on a novel 'ascertinability' argument.

In addition to litigation, Dawn emphasizes a preventative approach by assisting clients with workplace investigations, and providing advice and counsel on various topics including discharge and discipline, reductions in force, employment agreements, and wage and hour compliance.

Education and Honors


J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1997
B.S., University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School of Business, 1991

Honors and Awards: 
  • Southern California Super Lawyer (2014)
  • Super Lawyer, Rising Star (2006)
  • Editor-in-chief, National Black Law Journal, UCLA School of Law (1996-97)

Professional Activities

Professional Activities: 
  • California Bar Foundation (Board Member, 2013-2014)
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (Board Member, 2011-2014)
  • National Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • ABA Section of Litigation Regional CLE Seminar - "Trade Secret and Non-Compete Issues Arising From the Rogue Employee" - Philadelphia - February 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce in 2013 - "Bullying and Workplace Violence | Getting in Front of the Curve" - Los Angeles - October 2013
  • Southern California Employment Roundtable - "Employment Litigation Update" - Santa Monica - May 2012
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California - In-House Counsel Conference - "GC Roundtable" - Los Angeles - January 2009

In The News

Media Quotes:
  • February 2014 - California Lawyer - "Who or What Inspired You to Become a Lawyer?"
  • August 28, 2012 - Law360 - "DirecTV Beats Technicians' Class Cert. Bid in Wages Suit"
  • June 18, 2012 - Employment Law360 - "Ogletree Adds Employment Aces From Jackson, Steptoe"